The Best Mario Kart Wii Games Over The Years

 

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 1996. 

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.

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