Today (June 29th, 2023) marks the 25th anniversary of one of the Nintendo 64’s most reverred video games, Banjo-Kazooie. It has been one of my most favourite video games of all time, and to see the game grow into a series that is well loved with millions of fans all over the world, even today just shows how special the game and its characters were and still are.

Banjo-Kazooie was first released on Nintendo 64 on this day back in 1998. The 3D platformer featured the iconic bear and bird duo Banjo and Kazooie and was developed by the UK video game developer RARE. I would first play the game on my 11th birthday later that year when my parents bought me the Nintendo 64 and Banjo-Kazooie with it (oh, and Super Mario 64, of course which came bundled with the console). I fell in love with the game there and then with its incredible worlds and colourful characters. I would play it for hours and hours and would go on to 100% complete the game several times over the years.

I was not alone in my adoration for Banjo-Kazooie. The game was well received by critics and the public alike that it went on to spawn a direct sequel in the form of Banjo-Tooie, also on the Nintendo 64 and other games like Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge and Banjo Pilot on the Gameboy Advance, and then Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts on the Xbox 360. While the later games did not receive as high a praise as the original game and may have tarnished any possibilities of the bear and bird returning in a new game, die-hard fans of the series are still holding on with hope that Banjo & Kazooie may still yet return even after all these years of absence.

When the news of Banjo & Kazooie would come to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a DLC fighter, I was so far over the moon that I was orbiting Mars. It was such a joyous moment. Even though fans have been longing for a new Banjo-Kazooie game, they had been waiting just as long for Banjo to get into Smash Bros. The character model was absolutely spot on and captured the essence of the original N64 character superbly. The icing on the cake, of course, was hearing that beautiful medley during the Smash Bros. Fighter reveal that it could only have come from the incredible Grant Kirkhope. After the reveal and Grant himself revealing that he composed the music we heard during the reveal, we just had to get in touch with him for an interview and we talked all about Banjo-Kazooie as well as some of Grant’s later works as well (see embedded video below for the full interview).

Moving on, when the Nintendo Switch Online introduced the Nintendo 64 – Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, people were hoping that Banjo-Kazooie would be added to the library. It was the longest of long shots, but it eventually did happen. All those years of hoping to play Banjo-Kazooie on a Nintendo console and the time had finally come. I did not waste any time at all, and as soon as the game came to the NSO service, I was like a kid at Christmas. I immediately booted up my Nintendo Switch and just played the game from start to finish and was enjoying it all over again.

It is amazing how, even after 25 years, Banjo-Kazooie is just as much fun now as it was then. The developers who worked on the game had created something truly special that encaptures the hearts of all who play it. What is even more amazing is that some of the developers will be holding a very special panel at EGX this year. For those who may not know what EGX is, it is the UK’s largest video game event that is held in London every year. It is said that Chris Sutherland, Steve Mayles, and Grant Kirkhope will be on the panel to celebrate 25 years of Banjo-Kazooie and, if you are a BK fan, this will be one event you will not want to miss. The GoldenEye 007 Panel at last year’s EGX was a huge highlight of the show and you just know that the Banjo-Kazooie panel this year will most definitely knock it out of the park.

I guess it is time I wrap up this feature now. I didn’t mean to ramble on for as long as I did, but when it comes to Banjo-Kazooie, I can’t help but talk at length about the game. It is one of my most cherished video games of all time, and I am so happy that the bear and bird are getting to celebrate their 25th anniversary and I seriously look forward to what adventures may await the iconicc duo next.

Thank you so much for reading and until next time, Keep on Gaming!

By Mike Scorpio

I am Chief Administrator for A news & reviews website for Nintendo related articles and merchandise. An intermediate gamer with over 20 years of experience spanning 4 decades and 4 generations of Nintendo Games Consoles From the NES up to the Wii U. I also manage our YouTube Channel where I post videos frequently ranging from Let's Plays, Unboxings, Let's Talk Abouts, Our Wii U Lv1 Playthrough Series and the Super Mario Maker Bros Show! and a whole lot more, we even have our own Miketendo64 Directs!

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