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F-Zero Climax, the series' last game, came out 16 years ago today

On October 21, 2004 in Japan, F-Zero Climax was launched, putting a lukewarm (at best) cap on the franchise 16 years ago.


Time flies right? It flies like a Blue Falcon through Mute City clashing against the likes of the Fire Stingray and Black Bull in hunt of the first place finish. Unfortunately, if you’re an F-Zero fan, it doesn’t fly that fast. The well has been dry and the city has perhaps been a little too mute. It has, in fact, been 16 years as of today since Nintendo last released an actual F-Zero game and, let’s face it, F-Zero Climax wasn’t much to be happy about.

It was on October 21, 2004 that F-Zero Climax launched on the Game Boy Advance in Japan, and it was pretty shoddy at best. Climax officially launched only exclusively in Japan, but it didn’t stop major fans from hunting it down and finding out why. Climax used a lot of rehashed tracks from the first F-Zero game, F-Zero Maximum Velocity, and F-Zero GP Legend, the last of which came out only a year before. It was also notoriously short, with players reporting that most of the game’s tracks could be unlocked in completed in about 30 minutes. You can actually see a full play of all cups and difficulties in F-Zero Climax below.

GP Legend and Maximum Velocity at least had the novelty of bringing the first game’s mechanics to a portable form. Climax was just a cheap reskin of what had already been done before, and with it, Nintendo drew the curtain on the F-Zero series. If we’re talking quality F-Zero games, there hasn’t been anything good since F-Zero GX on the GameCube in 2003

Captain Falcon has since been regulated to appearances in Super Smash Bros. Good for him because at least he still gets a regular spotlight there. Bad news for every other character in F-Zero though. Samurai Goroh, Black Shadow, Mighty Gazelle, and James McCloud have been relegated to flimsy cameos. There was a glimmer of hope earlier in 2020 when an F-Zero Twitter account appeared under what appeared to be the stylings of usual official Nintendo Twitter setups, but just like most things in 2020, those hopes were dashed when it turned out to be a troll. And so we still find ourselves waiting.

Please understand, Nintendo. Sincerely, F-Zero fans.
Please understand, Nintendo. Sincerely, F-Zero fans.

Given how long it's been and how little Nintendo cares to adhere to the outspoken desires of fans (amirite Smash Bros. Ultimate online playerbase?), it feels unlikely that we’ll suddenly see a new F-Zero game after 16 years, but… a fan can dream, right? Indeed, a fan can dream. Please understand, Nintendo.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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