It’s not long since the 25th Anniversary of Pokemon and already we have another great gaming day to celebrate. Mar 10 will forever be known as Mario Day for obvious reason. As such, what better time than now to find our favourite games featuring the acrobatic plumber. However, when you start looking at all the games Mario is in, it becomes quite overwhelming. Mario has featured in over 300 games according to Wikipedia and this list isn’t even likely to be complete! Therefore, for a slightly more manageable list, we are going to focus on the brilliant Mario Kart series. This also happens to be One Chilled Gamer’s favourite game series featuring Mario, so even better. With such a great catalogue of games here, it could be difficult to pick just our 3 best Mario Kart games, but we will try!
The 3 Best Mario Kart Games
Super Mario Kart
Any list of the best Mario Kart games must include the one that started it all, Super Mario Kart. It was released in 1992 for the SNES and laid the groundwork for future releases. Mario games had been around for over a decade when this was released, and Super Mario Kart would have been considered a brave departure from their normal games at the time. However, the risk paid off with the game being a huge success and receiving great reviews across the board. The game would go on to sell 8 million copies and be the 3rd most successful game on the SNES. Its success has been so enduring, that Nintendo have even rereleased it for the Switch. Surprisingly, this is the only game in the series to have a maximum multiplayer of 2 people.
Mario Kart 64
Next up on the list is the game that followed up on this, Mario Kart 64. After the huge success of Super Mario Kart, it was released just 4 years later in 1997 as a headline title for the legendary Nintendo 64. Mario Kart 64 built on the success of Super Mario Kart and introduced many of the elements that we are familiar with today. These included local multiplayer for 4 players, mini turbo boosts, ghost racing and mirror tracks. Also due to the game moving from Mode 7 to 3D, it was the first game in the series to allow elevation and advanced collision physics. This game evokes many great memories of crowding around an etremely bulky TV, with all your friends, and duking it out in the fierce battle mode.
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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
This is perhaps the most controversial game in One Chilled Gamer’s 3 Best Mario Kart Games list. With only 10 Mario Kart titles in total, it is incredibly tight, especially given the quality of all of them. However, for One Chilled Gamer, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe just pips the others to make it into the top 3. Strictly speaking, this is a remaster of Mario Kart 8 released on the Wii U in 2014. Nevertheless, given it is the best selling Nintendo Switch game, it really needs to be considered in its own right.
Released in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch, the graphics are a huge upgrade and there is an extremely competitive online multiplayer scene. In addition, the game feature several new maps and characters with an array of kart parts for customization. This is easily the most comprehensive Mario Kart title released yet. Indeed, it has no doubt helped drive the huge Nintendo Switch sales.
What next for Mario Kart?
The Mario Kart series has been incredibly popular and no doubt they will continue to release many more titles in the series for years to come. Most recently, in 2020, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit was released for the Switch. This was the Mario Kart series first foray into the augmented reality genre. Races take place around the actual homes of players as they control a little remote control car. Although sales were dissapointing, perhaps we can look forward to more innovation from Mario Kart in this space going ahead. What’s your favourite Mario Kart game? Interested in more gaming history then check out our post on the origins of Pokemon.