The past few decades have seen several cult-classic racing games hit peak popularity, with examples like Gran Turismo, Need For Speed, and Forza still played by millions today. While these more conventional titles are often people’s favorites, there’s no beating Nintendo’s Mario Kart series in terms of fun and pure enjoyment. It may not be the most realistic driving simulator, but there’s absolutely no denying how exhilaratingly entertaining it is.
Where else can you drive one of several bonkers karts or motorbikes as characters like Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Yoshi? Or throw different colored shells at your adversaries to knock them off the course? Mario Kart is unique in this way, bringing a hilarious arcade-style dynamic to the otherwise quite serious world of racing games. With 13 different iterations and counting, there’s no stopping this iconic video game series. But what’s the best Mario Kart installment of all time? Let’s have a look.
Mario Kart: An Iconic Approach to Racing
Starting life in 1992 with Super Mario Kart, Nintendo’s flagship racing series has undergone numerous transformations without ever losing its core identity. Each Mario Kart installment has always primarily been about fun, first and foremost, leaving the super HD graphics and realistic driving mechanics to other titles like Gran Turismo.
Games like Mario Kart Wii are some of the best 4-player Wii games, especially considering the motion-controlled steering. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! was another title to break the mold, with two controllable characters in each kart. One was in charge of driving, while the other launched shells, bananas, and more from the backseat, hoping to sabotage rival racers.
A Quick History of Mario Kart
Wikipedia is a fantastic place to read a comprehensive Mario Kart history. The series has its origins back in the early 1990s, so there’s a wealth of interesting stuff to read about. For example, Mario Kart was a vital part of the Nintendo World Championships, widely regarded as one of the first global esports tournaments.
So you can get an idea of how Mario Kart evolved over the past two decades, here is a quick rundown of each iteration so far:
- Super Mario Kart (1992)
- Mario Kart 64 (1996)
- Mario Kart Super Circuit (2001)
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003)
- Mario Kart DS (2005)
- Mario Kart Wii (2008)
- Mario Kart 7 (2011)
- Mario Kart 8 (2014)
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017)
- Mario Kart Tour (2019)
Our Favorite Mario Kart Installments
Ultimately, what you think is the best Mario Kart installment is down to personal preference. However, there are undeniably a few standout titles from over the years that will go down as many people’s top choices. You can find our favorite Mario Kart games below:
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!!: Perhaps the most innovative game in the franchise, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! featured two characters in each kart. This was fun enough single-player, but the multiplayer ability to play on the same team in one kart was unparalleled.
- Mario Kart Wii: A bona fide modern classic, Mario Kart Wii is still played by millions today. The unique motion-control steering and showstopping design still hold up almost a decade and a half from its release.
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Probably the definitive Mario Kart game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has glorious HD graphics alongside a wealth of customizable options.
Other Famously Good Driving Games
Mario Kart is an iconic racing game, although many people prefer more realistic titles like Gran Turismo or Forza.
If it’s solely driving you are after, these games might be better, although you’ll have to do without the fun elements offered by Mario Kart. For a different experience altogether, racing-themed online slots like Fast Lane or Drive: Multiplayer Mayhem are quickly becoming the next best thing. Registering at cheap minimum deposit platforms offers an incredibly affordable online casino experience, perfect for players looking to try new games out. You only have to deposit $1 to start playing, and there are several bonuses up for grabs as well. Playing at a $1 deposit casino is the cheapest way to try these exceptionally exciting driving casino games. If this isn’t your thing, there are plenty of scintillating driving games at arcades that incorporate driving chairs and steering wheels.