Last Updated on December 7, 2023
It’s the game that will not die: GoldenEye 007. It’s available to play once again on Nintendo Switch and Xbox Game Pass – but what if you don’t have those platforms?
First released back in 1997 on the Nintendo 64, the game – featuring the likeness of Pierce Brosnan’s franchise-saving Bond – was an instant hit. It’s four player mode in particular revolutionised local multiplayer, and I haven’t even mentioned the game’s impact on the FPS genre.
(And that’s in a decade of DOOM, Quake, and Half-Life.)
Ultimately, everyone wants to give the game a go and see what the fuss is all about. With that in mind, here are all the ways you can play GoldenEye 007 today.
5 legal ways to play GoldenEye 007
Because you’re all good boys and girls, we’ll kick off with the legal ways to play GoldenEye 007.
Yes, you could go 100% old skool and grab a Nintendo 64 from a local retro store or branch of CeX. It’s almost impossible to not find an N64 on the high street; you’ll easily find an N64 with GoldenEye on eBay.
Once you’ve done that, connect it to a TV with RGB inputs (or add an HDMI coverter to your order) and you’re ready to play. This is the most authentic way to play GoldenEye 007.
Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Nintendo DS, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Alternatively, you can upgrade to a later version of GoldenEye 007. In 2010, a new version of the game was released, replacing Pierce Brosnan’s likeness with that of Daniel Craig. This game came out on Nintendo Wii (so plays on the Wii U) along with Nintendo DS, and later arrived (as GoldenEye 007: Reloaded) on Sony PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360.
While telling the same story, this is a different game, with enhancements to bring the gameplay up to contemporary levels.
Nintendo Switch Online
This is where the hype is. If you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you’re already enjoying a bumper selection of retro Nintendo games. but you’re missing out on Nintendo 64 titles as these are not included. Instead, you’ll need the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, a more expensive offering that gives you Nintendo 64 titles (including GoldenEye 007), Nintendo Game Boy Advance, and SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis games.
With your upgraded subscription enabled (the basic Nintendo Switch Online is £17.99, whereas the + Expansion Pack is £34.99), you can simpy add the N64 app and start playing the classic James Bond game.
Once you’ve installed the game, these are the GoldenEye 007 tweaks you need to make it more playable.
Xbox Game Pass
If you’re still throwing money at Microsoft month after month, you have access to GoldenEye 007 via Game Pass. As with the Nintendo Switch version of the game, it is available to subscription holders only.
Unfortunately, this is not the version planned for release in 2008, but rather a port of the original Nintendo 64 game with no substantial graphic enhancements.
Rare Replay compilation
Meanwhile, if you’re one of those who bought the Rare Replay compilation back in 2015, GoldenEye 007 has been unlocked. It was initially planned to be included in the collection, but various legal issues prevented this at the time.
Still, 8 years isn’t too long to wait…
2 illegal ways to play the GoldenEye 007 game
You also have two less-than-legal (read strictly illegal, but who is checking?) methods to play GoldenEye 007 in 2023.
Play the leaked GoldenEye 007 on PC
Way back before the game was re-released on the Xbox and Nintendo Switch, it was leaked on the PC. But this was a slightly different version, intended for release on Xbox Live in around 2008, with optional upgraded graphics to suit.
Note, however, that multiplayer doesn’t work in this version.
Our guide to running GoldenEye 007 on a PC explains how you can play the game this way – complete with mouse and keyboard control option!
Play GoldenEye 007 on Steam Deck
If you prefer to take the Xbox Live version of GoldenEye 007 with you, it can also be configured to run on the Steam Deck. It uses a different version of Xenia, a fork called Xenia Canary.
This video guide explains how to set it up.
You won’t find GoldenEye 007 on PlayStation 5
There has been absolutely no talk of the game landing on Sony PlayStation 5 (or the more retro release friendly PS4).
But why is this?
Well, it’s not entirely clear, but we do know this:
- The game was released exclusively on Nintendo 64.
- The unreleased Xbox 360 version was developed by the same team, Rare.
- Eon does not have a great relationship with Sony.
You can look up the details of that last point yourself, but it concerns Sony strong-arming its way into the Bond franchise via Never Say Never Again and the later buyout of Colombia Pictures. Since Spectre, Sony has not been involved with distribution of the Bond movies.
While Sony Pictures and the PlayStation unit are separate, they remain part of the same conglomerate. The lack of a GoldenEye release (the Xbox version is essentially a port) on PlayStation 5 is flaring in its absence.
But you can draw your own conclusions.
You can play GoldenEye on almost any system
It’s 26 years old, but thanks to the efforts of Rare, Nintendo, and Microsoft, GoldenEye 007 can now be played on Nintendo Switch and Xbox.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine, TechRadar.com, and other publications.