Let's Rank The Mario Kart Games, Worst To Best

Let's Rank The Mario Kart Games, Worst To Best

Pecking Order has arisen from its slumber, and it thirsts for blood.

A Mario Kart game came out recently, and some people at Kotaku said it's the best ever. Others disagreed. This quickly leads to jokes about Mario Kart DS, the merits of balloons and arguments over just how close to perfection Double Dash got.

To appease the great Pecking Order, then, and to settle the debate it has thrust upon us once and for all, this is a list of Mario Kart games, ranked worst to best. So the ones at the top are the least amazing, while the one at the bottom is the most amazing.

Note that this is my list. Not Stephen's, not Tina's, not Kirk's, not Jason's, not anyone's. You got a problem with it, you take it up with me. Also note that, in the interests of inclusion, I've left out the arcade games, both for their similarities to existing titles and since so few of us (or you) will have played them.

Mario Kart Wii

Eh. I thought the bikes were a bit naff, and the motion controls sucked. Get past those, and the nostalgia factor of so many retro courses, and there's not much there that lives on in the memory. Not a bad game by any means, but up against this kind of world-beating competition, something had to come last.

Let's Rank The Mario Kart Games, Worst To Best

Mario Kart Super Circuit

The Game Boy Advance was, in my mind at least, supposed to be a way I could play SNES games on the go. This was nowhere near as good as the SNES Mario Kart. I am, however, one of the only people on Earth to actually like its visuals. They make it look like a really fantastic Mario Kart bootleg game for the Amiga.

Mario Kart 64

I know, it was the first one most people got to play with three other folks. But whatever. I never liked it that much, maybe because I never liked the N64 controller that much. Some absolutely classic courses, some making better use of 3D terrain than more modern entries, but boy, the game just looks gross now.

Let's Rank The Mario Kart Games, Worst To Best

Mario Kart DS

Nobody saw this coming. It should have been another weird handheld port. Instead, it was an almost perfect combination of nostalgia and pioneering features. It would take years for Nintendo to release another game this enjoyable when played online, an amazing feat considering this was released in 2005.

Super Mario Kart

Fuck you, Ghost Valley.

Mario Kart 7

It's almost as though Mario Kart Wii was a test, so that Nintendo could see what worked and what didn't when it came to the levels of innovation necessary in each Mario Kart game. Those lessons have since been applied, and they were first applied here, with the addition of long-overdue features like custom karts. Also, gliding: looked stupid in trailers, was awesome in the game.

Mario Kart 8

Further proof that Nintendo has this down to a science. It's almost a shame it will be remembered mostly for a meme, since everything else it did was the kind of perfection in execution and design that only a Nintendo at the top of their game can pull off.

Mario Kart Double Dash

Remember, this is my list. Double Dash has its problems, sure. But it was so brave, and I love it for that. The co-op abilities gave the game's most basic act of driving around and throwing stuff a level of depth and tactics it hasn't seen since. It also has the single best collection of original tracks the series has ever seen, from the insanity of Baby Park to DK Mountain's strategic perfection to Mushroom Bridge's rush hour madness.


    Forgot to mention the broken battle mode of Mario Kart 8

      Before that battle mode, I never would've imagined that I'd see camping in a Nintendo game...

      Funnily enough, MK8's battle mode is the first battle mode I've really liked - its like a never ending joust! I found previous battle modes were a lot harder to have fun in as they didn't seem to have enough structure.

      Yeahhhh Double Dash is still my fave but I do love 8 and 7 as well

    8) Super Mario Kart
    7) Mario Kart Super Circuit
    6) Mario Kart 64
    5) Mario Kart 7
    4) Mario Kart Wii
    3) Mario Kart Double Dash
    2) Mario Kart DS
    1) Mario Kart 8

    EDIT this is from worst to best

    Last edited 15/07/14 4:40 pm

      I would pretty much agree with that, but switch MK8 with Double Dash.

      Double Dash had some really cool innovations, and that bob-omb battle mode was hectic yet amazing!

    Haven't played any of the handheld ones, so my list will consist of console only. Haven't played much of Double Dash either, but from memory I enjoyed it.

    1) Mario Kart 64
    2) Mario Kart 8
    3) Mario Kart Wii
    4) Mario Kart: Double Dash and
    5) Super Mario Kart

      mario kart n64 all the way.
      double dash was not good imo.

    Too early for me to be definitive re MK8 (it's right up there), but Double Dash is absolutely my favourite.

    Pleased to see the Wii version last, too.

    FTR my list is (worst to best):

    Super Circuit

    Last edited 15/07/14 4:46 pm

      The Wii version didn't do anything new or amazing but the online racing was where it excelled.

    The first kart game I played was Skunny Kart on the old 386, and I thought it was amazing at the time...

      And Wacky Wheels!

        Hedgehogs FTW!
        Also using the oil slicks in battle mode to turn 180 quickly and spit hedgehogs at the competition... I loved WW before I knew what Mario Kart even was, and I loved it.

      I used to love that game, rip-off and all. The title theme still brings tears to my eyes :)

    1 - Super Mario Kart - SNES
    2 - Super Mario Kart DS
    3 - Super Mario Kart 64

    My top three anyway. The original on the SNES was amazing. Was challenging and very different for its time. DS Version I LOVED. Could not get enough of it. Heaps of fun. MK 64 was just out of this world too. 4 player battle mode kept my friends and I well entertained throughout our lives growing up.

    Luke you frigging champion, double dash IS THE Best, end of story. Snaking galore, use of two items, 2 player single mode and some amazing tracks - I tip my hat off to you sir. Also nobody buy into that garbage about snaking being a cheat and not a technique, nintendo staffs own time trails used them!

    I didn't play it all that much online. I just found the 'rubber banding' (a necessary feature of MK games to be sure, and absolutely welcome) to be far too extreme with this version. More frustrating than fun.

      Sorry, that was meant to be a reply to you, Stevo.

    Mario Kart 7 is stupidly high and Mario Kart DS is way too low. Totally agree on 64 though - it does not hold up at all.

    Wii also seems to be underrated. It was pretty good as long as you happened to have 4 Gamecube controllers.

    Top 3:
    1. MKDS
    2. MK8
    3. MKDD

    Also Super Circuit looked so damn rad.

      I was pretty comfortable with remote+nunchuck for MKWii. Only waggle needed was for the jumping moves.

    worst to best of the ones ive played.
    Super Mario Kart SNES
    Mario Kart Wii
    Mario Kart Double Dash
    Mario Kart 64/ Mario Kart 8

    first is a tie - Racing is amazing in Mario Kart 8, they've balanced it all really well, but Mario Kart 64 nails the battle mode better than anything else.

    Double Dash is the worst!
    HAHA! It’s actually my second worst, the Wii version was pretty shit.

    Mario Kart is one of those games that I find really hard to judge objectively.
    They all have Karts, they all have Nintendo Characters, they’ve all got good courses and they will all SCREW YOU OVER FOR WINNING!

    So what makes a Mario Kart the best Mario Kart then?
    Simple- it’s the one you play the most with your mates.
    I’m voting for Mario Kart 64 because that game was the shit when I was in early high-school.

    1 - Mario Kart 64
    2 - Mario Kart DS
    3 to 8 - Everything Else in a battle royale for the rest of the slots

    My ranking system goes in tiers, each one containing a pair of games.

    Bottom tier:

    Middle tier:

    Top tier:

    MK7 and MK8 get tiered together too, but I'm not entirely sure where to put them. I think they go in a secondary middle tier, parallel to the other two.

    Mario Kart Super Circuit on GBA is head and shoulders above all other versions of the game!! People who don't recognise this are not even true fans. The real question is ranking all the other inferior versions of the game.

    Super Mario Kart was the best, end of discussion.

      Absolutely mind boggling people are placing it as the worst!

    Top 3 for me

    Mario Kart 64 does still has the best battle mode tracks.
    I also liked in 64 how when you drove over a banana that you could prevent spinning out if you were going straight and countered your wobble. 64 hasn't aged well but it was brilliant at the time. Perhaps that is also because I was younger and played it with friends more frequently.

    8) Mario Kart Super Circuit
    7) Mario Kart DS
    6) Super Mario Kart
    5) Mario Kart Wii
    4) Mario Kart 64
    3) Mario Kart 7
    2) Mario Kart Double Dash
    1) Mario Kart 8

    Excuse me, but the official name for Mario Kart: Double Dash is actually "Tandem Mario". Just thought I'd clarify.

    1. Crash Team Racing

    Last edited 16/07/14 7:18 am

    Apparently, I am one of the few people that really liked MKWii. I really mastered those motion controls, which made drifting a very organic thing. Compared to 8, the level of depth and difficulty of the courses themselves was much higher and the game had more features. Don't get me wrong, MK8 is still a fabulous game, its graphics and music blow all previous MK off the water and the kart customization is cool (though it kind of irks me that the apparent vast variety of choices is only superficial, and when it comes to it, there are only a few groups of choices); I'm sure that after a year or so of playing it it it will feel natural to me and surpass MKWii in my personal ranking. But for the time being, when I'm playing MK8, I cannot help to steal a look to the resting case of MKWii and exhale a little sigh.

    Nevertheless, MKDD is the best by far.

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