Every Mario Kart game ranked!
If you’re one of the few lucky enough to have tracked down and secure yourself Nintendo’s new shiny hybrid console, you’ll no doubt also be frothing at the mouth to experience the latest entry in the Mario Kart series. Originally starting out life as an F-Zero game, the industry’s favourite character kart racing game continues to thrill, enthuse, and of course speed into our hearts, so much so that the newly released Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has become the fastest selling entry in the US yet.
To celebrate our ability to rip roar around the likes of fan-favourite tracks Baby Park, Yoshi Valley, as well as a suite of all-new pulse-pounding tracks, we’ve done the math to rank every Mario Kart game from worst to best!
8. Mario Kart Super Circuit
Mario Kart Super Circuit might have been the series’ first ambitious attempt to bring the experience to handheld, but even that can’t keep it from feeling a little bIt dated when picking it back up today. Released for the Game Boy Advanced in 2001, the game did boast an impressive roster of 40 tracks in total, combining 20 fresh courses with some familiar unlockable ones first seen in the original SNES version.
7. Mario Kart Wii
Complete with intuitive motion controls that allowed us to lift, turn, and swerve our Wii wheels in the hope of achieving first place, Mario Kart Wii to this day remains as the entry with the most copies sold – most likely due to the Wii’s colossal sales. Motorbikes were introduced for the first time along with an increased racing participant number of 12, leading to tracks becoming wider just to accommodate.
6. Mario Kart DS
Being the first Mario Kart game that allowed players to take the competitive racing action online with friends, Mario Kart DS was no slouch. Despite being an entry released on a handheld that was severely underpowered when compared to its PSP competition, this DS iteration was a fully-fledged Mario Kart experience that came complete with retro tracks, online, and local wireless play.
5. Mario Kart 64
Holding a special place in many gamer’s hearts for its status on this list as the very first Mario Kart game rendered fully in 3D, Mario Kart 64 used the N64’s powers to its advantage in almost every way. Introducing the series’ infamous blue shell item that still bodes the power to make or break almost any race, in Mario 64 it was now possible to play locally with up to 3 friends instead of just 1.
4. Super Mario Kart
The game that started it all. It recently came to light that the original Super Mario Kart initially started out life as a new entry into Nintendo’s preceding racing series F-Zero. Little did they know that upon releasing Super Mario Kart they would enjoy one of the most successful spin-off video game franchises of all time. Touting up to 8 racers to master and some of the most impressive graphics you’ll find on the SNES, saying that Super Mario Kart is an important game is an understatement to say the least.
3. Mario Kart 7
The true and fullest realisation of what a handheld Mario Kart game could be, Mario Kart 7 refined the systems and modes first laid down in Mario Kart Super Circuit to make for an experience that was by far better than its console equivalent. After a lengthy absence in the series, coins once again returned as a vital acceleration mechanic and karts could be customised with the addition of gliders.
2. Mario Kart Double Dash
Perhaps one of the most unique entries to the series not least due to the ability to switch between two on board characters on the fly, the Gamecube’s Mario Kart Double Dash introduced the concept of tag-team racing which would later go on to be copied by the likes of Crash Bandicoot. Multiplayer could see you either racing with friends normally or sharing the same kart, either way character-specific items always came in handy when trying to win.
1. Mario Kart 8 (Deluxe)
Nintendo’s latest entry into the 25-year long racing franchise is by far the most refined, polished, and beautiful to look at. When bundling 8 with all of its corresponding DLC (which also makes for the Switch’s new deluxe version) players can find themselves racing in three distinct versions of Rainbow Road along with some lovingly detailed tracks like Hyrule Circuit. Thrusting Mario Kart into the HD pantheon of rival racing games, once playing we’re left wondering how it could possibly be improved further.