Ranking Mario Kart
The Mario Kart franchise has really changed over the years - more so than most other franchises. To be honest, I never played the SNES version (well, I did for a minute or so, but that doesn’t count) so I won’t write about that game.
I decided that for this article, I’ll write about each of the Mario Kart games. I’ll start with my favorite and end with my least favorite. I’m going to leave out the original SNES version (again, because I haven’t played it), and the GBA game Mario Kart: Super Circuit. In other words, I’m only ranking the 3D Mario Karts.
So here goes…
MARIO KART 64
This will always be the best Mario Kart in my mind. Also, oddly enough, this was the first video game I ever played. Needless to say, I thought it was amazing. I love the skill - you really have to master the controls to do well. It’s easy to lose control of your kart and spin out for no reason. It really feels like you’re driving a kart, too, instead of some car or vacuum cleaner. This is a game you have to master to win - and once you have the controls down, it makes multiplayer that much better.
MARIO KART: DOUBLE DASH!!
I know, I know. People argue that this is the worst Mario Kart, but it’s a serious contender for the number one position in my mind. I probably played Double Dash!! more hours than any other Mario Kart in the franchise. The single player wasn’t that great, but get a couple people in a room together, and Double Dash!! is fantastic. Like Mario Kart 64, Double Dash!! requires a lot of skill. You have to learn the game and fully take advantage of drifting if you want to beat your opponents. In addition, you literally have to dodge shells by throwing items at the incoming red or green shell. You can’t just hold a shell or banana peel behind you. You have to wait for the right moment and fire the item back. Also - check out the Bowser’s Castle in Double Dash!! It is my favorite Mario Kart track, ever.
MARIO KART DS
Mario Kart DS is my favorite DS game. Nintendo really did a nice job developing it - the courses are great, and I love that they included retro courses, too. Being on a handheld limits the multiplayer a bit, but the added Wi-fi makes up for it. Unfortunately, connecting online isn’t that easy and the gameplay isn’t as fast paced as the single player. Still, the online play is a welcomed addition to Mario Kart. For me, Mario Kart DS does single player best. It’s the first Mario Kart that I can play for hours without having to compete against friends.
MARIO KART WII
Yes, Mario Kart Wii is my least favorite of the franchise. I think it may have to do with the fact that a lot of the skill was replaced with luck. Mario Kart Wii requires more luck than anything - it’s about not getting hit with a million items at the last second. I miss the ability to power slide as quickly as your hands allowed - mastering the power slide was an essential part of every Mario Kart. Also, the Wii Mario Kart feels a lot slower than the others. The courses are all well designed, but I find myself missing the difficulty of the previous games.
Mario Kart in 3D will be something entirely new - I’m really excited to see that first hand. As I look over this list, I see that I’ve ranked the games in the same order they’ve been realized. Maybe I’m one of those people who always say the originals are the best (although I hope I’m not). I don’t know - in this case, I really believe the older games were better.
Anyway, the important thing is what you think: do you agree? What’s your favorite Mario Kart? Let me know in the comments below.