The Best Mario Kart Wii Games Over The Years
Mario Kart is the most successful spinoff series in Nintendo
history, and was really the franchise that helped spawn the very idea of
crossover party games as a concept. There arguably hasn’t been a bad game released
in the series to date, but which ones stand out as the very best so far?
Mario Kart 64 (1996)
Like almost anyone that owned and played on a
Nintendo 64 back in the day, people who like Mario Kart 64 REALLY like Mario
Kart 64. The first title in the series to make the bold leap to 3D graphics, a
lot is owed to the success of the game following its release back in December
In comparison to certain other entries in the
franchise, there wasn’t a whole lot added to Mario Kart 64 that made it that
much of a departure from SNES Mario Kart that launched the series. Donkey Kong
and Wario were added to make their debuts, the Spiny Blue shell was first
introduced along with the triple mushrooms, red and green shells and weight
classes were also differentiated for the first time here.
With Mario Kart 64, it was all about the
courses. There are some seriously beloved tracks that emerged from the Nintendo
64 such as Kalimari Desert, Mario Raceway and Royal Raceway, all of which
received remasterings in Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch.
However, what gives these courses and the game
such an infamous reputation is just how punishing this game can be at times.
Hit boxes are absolutely broken, the time a player spends out of action when hit
is frankly absurd, and some of the courses such as Chcoo Mountain, Toad’s
Turnpike, Yoshi Valley contain gaps and drops that will dump players out of
position with no hopes of a reset point. And that’s all without mentioning the
infamous Rainbow Road introduced for the Nintendo 64.
For a truly memorable party experience with
friends and family, there’s few titles in the series better than Mario Kart 64,
however, for everyone else, it’s probably best to steer clear of this one for
the sake of your own sanity.
Mario Kart Double Dash!! (2003)
Mario Kart is an amazing series, and one that
really does capture the joys of multiplayer party games better than most,
however there’s no denying that it’s still a series that can struggle to break
the mould when it comes to a title’s originality and overall feel.
This criticism certainly cannot be applied to
Mario Kart Double Dash!! however, easily the most standout and memorable title
to date. Released in November 2003, a whole seven years after the release of Mario
Kart 64, for the Nintendo Gamecube, Double Dash!! is the only game in the
franchise to feature two playable characters being used per kart.
This one feature, coupled with the pushed in
camera, the inability to hold items behind the kart, the wacky course designs,
faster speed, lack of cooldown when hit by items and introduction of
overpowered unique special items made Double Dash!! the most frantic-feeling
and wacky Mario Kart title ever released.
Mario Kart DS (2005)
The game that really launched the Mario Kart
franchise on the handheld market, Mario Kart DS really stripped the series back
from the madness that was Double Dash!! and was much more of a skill gaming title, with a similar feel to the Gran Turisimo games of the time
rather than an outlandish title to whip out during a party.
However, for a handheld title, there’s no
denying the huge amount of content DS managed to throw in. Customisable emblems
and a brilliant mission mode were introduced to much acclaim from fans and
critics alike, but neither have since returned, and DS is also noteworthy for
being the first game in the series to introduce retextured and updated retro
tracks from previous games in the series.
On top of that, the game also contained a huge
amount of fan service in the theming of its new courses, with the likes of
Airship Fortress taking influence from Super Mario Bros. 3, Tick Tock Clock
from Super Mario 64, Luigi’s Mansion from Luigi’s Mansion on the Gamecube and
Delfino Square from Super Mario Sunshine.
To date, Mario Kart DS is
still the second best selling game in the series with 27 million units shifted
around the world, outperforming all but Mario Kart Wii.