Mario Kart: The Best Video Game Series Ever

by on January 29th, 2015
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Since console gaming’s creation only a few decades ago, there have already been numerous video game series that have found a place in the hearts of millions of gamers. Personally, I too have a fondness for many franchises, though the Mario Kart games are my most beloved.

Super Mario Kart (SNES, 1992)

The series started out with a bang in the 16-bit era. Those who grew up playing the Gran Turismo and Forza titles might find the cartoonish graphics primitive, but let me tell you, as a young lad I rightfully found the game revolutionary.

Indeed, this was one of the first attempts from Nintendo to combine their most popular characters into a single game, and it has been a concept that has proven very successful. In Super Mario Kart, you could play as Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi — which was appreciated but nothing new — and you could also control classic villains like Bowser and a Koopa. This novel idea was simple, but also ingenious.

Super Mario Kart also set the standard for future releases in the series. Not only did it have excellent gameplay and a surprisingly fun battle mode, but it also included power-ups that would become iconic, like the turbo-boost mushrooms and slip-inducing banana peels.

Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo 64, 1997)

The first sequel proved a worthy successor, as Mario Kart 64 is still remembered fondly as one of the finest games for the 64. While this game wasn’t anywhere near as revolutionary as the original, it still gave me and my friends hours of racing excitement.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Game Cube, 2003)

Although the Game Cube was far from the most popular console, Double Dash!! alone made it worth buying. In fact, Nintendo really upped the bar with this release, which fully took advantage of the Game Cube’s more powerful processor. The superior graphics and speed were truly remarkable.

In addition, Double Dash!! introduced some new elements to pump additional life into the series. There were more power-ups, the tracks were more diverse than ever, and you had the opportunity to unlock all sorts of cars and even new characters.

Mario Kart Wii (Wii, 2008)

Admittedly, Mario Kart’s most recent console edition took me some time to warm up to. For instance, I was disappointed that the Battle Mode became team based, and some of the courses were, for lack of a better word, dull. But once I became accustomed to the changes, I realized this edition can be safely enshrined along with the rest of the series into the Pantheon of great games.

So despite the perceived downsides, this game had some fantastic new features. I’d even say it has the coolest, most creative tracks to date. And perhaps best of all, online play is a blast.

Final Thoughts

Not being a handheld gamer, I haven’t explored some versions of the game, but I guarantee that the console editions provide more than enough entertainment. With this being such a successful series, I can only imagine what Nintendo will come up with in their next Mario Kart. But for the moment, I’ll have to make due with these four outstanding games.

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