The Big Question: Best Mario Kart Game?

Today I'm going to break tradition — just this once. Today we're going to run a poll that includes more that two options. Crazy I know. Today we're going to decide what the best Mario Kart game is. Blood will be shed.

I have a theory: I believe that 80% of people, when asked to name their favourite version of Mario Kart, will choose the first one they played. I know I do. I still think the original Super Mario Kart on the Super Nintendo is the best version. I don't think any video game will change my mind on that, even a game as good as Mario Kart 8.

But I do think that plenty of Mario Karts have come extremely close. There's Mario Kart 8 of course, but I also think that Mario Kart DS was one of the most definitive versions of the game. Going against Mario Kart — I think — is the lack of a decent Battle Mode, which is integral to the Mario Kart experience in my humble opinion.

Anyway, I'll let you all decide.


    I've only played:

    - Super Mario Kart
    - Mario Kart 64
    - Mario Kart - Double Dash
    - Mario Kart 8

    Of those, definitely Mario Kart 64, mainly because of the awesome battle mode that hasn't been replicated since.

    Playing the latest Mario Kart, I find I just can't enjoy it. I see that it's polished and well designed, but I find it really boring.

    I'm a sucker for Double Dash - had the best handling, optional extra co-op play and all round pretty great tracks. I can't pinpoint it, but despite Mario Kart 8 being pretty, the actual track layouts never feel that inspired to me.

    The amount of fun you could have in local multiplayer was insane. Never liked anything after it.

      I think this one felt the best too. Felt fast and the some of the tracks were amazing!

    Super Mario Kart - those courses were by far and away the best fun.

      Even though the 64 was amazing super Mario kart is by far the best.

      Wouldn't surprise me if half the people voting haven't even played it seeing it was out 20 years ago

        Yes, and you had to be bloody good to get through Rainbow Road - I've always felt having edges was like cheating

          A lot of the tracks in SMK though were difficult not because of the track design, but because of the kart handling.

    I'm rather fond of the new one. Sure, it lacks a Diddy making it an abomination against nature itself... but it's also pretty great. The DLC is high quality and affordable too. The tracks are beautiful. It just feels refined and good.

      I do like that the DLC is good value for money

        And it's expanding the game by 50% too! Very cool!

          It's also high quality. I think they have put some love into those new tracks.
          Excitebike is a great way to teach people to trick for boosting too.

            And Mute City. So, so fast. Just the sense of speed there is a thing of beauty! :)

              Ice ice outpost, the shortcuts confuse me

        The DLC was a no-brainer, esp when they gave a discount for getting both (who wouldnt get both??).
        That and with the Hyrule Warriors DLC, I hope this becomes Nintendo's "thing" for DLC (ie: high value for money and additional content that is actually good)

          Oh yeah, the Hyrule warriors one is amazing. Buy to DLC packs for $18, or all of them for $20. (There is 4 or 5 in total). some costume packs are excluded, but they're like $2

      The lack of Diddy Kong relates to my rumour of the year 2014; Diddy Kong Racing 2 is in development and they didn't want overlap!

    I liked Mario Kart before power slide speed boosts were cool.

    For me it's a tie between Super Circuit and DS. SC was my favourite when DS came out, and it should have lost its crown to it but there were too many little niggling backwards steps to stop it from doing so.

    My entirely subjective take (64) was pretty much determined by the one I played with friends the most and had the most fun.
    Mario Kart 64. Battle mode. Still really disappointed at the lack of real battle mode in the new one.

    CTR :P

    I've only really played Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart Wii so I'll go 64.

    I've played pretty much every Mario Kart and MK8 definitely ranks up there as one of the best. Yes it doesn't have a real battle mode but I never played or cared about battle mode, I only ever played races.

    Going against MK8 is just a few little things like heavy characters being a little too good when playing online and an item system that probably needs a little bit of tweaking (why does 2nd place get 3 red shells while 8th place gets a banana?).

    MK Wii cops a bit of flack but I honestly really liked it, as long as you ignore Funky Kong on an indrift bike.

    Some of my fondest memories of Mario Kart were with Double Dash. We haven't got another MK game like it since, and that's a shame. I think the 2 drivers per kart dynamic was a very interesting one. DD also had some of the best track design in the series IMO.

    So it's a bit of a toss up for me.

    Not really sure where I'd rate most of the others but MK64 definitely comes in last place for me. I hated the physics in that game, and the AI cheats even more blatantly than it does in other MK games.

    Last edited 07/01/15 11:34 am

    I'm going with the original, followed by DS and then 8. The others didn't really make an impact for me and the only one I've never played is double dash. (i['m trying to remedy that but it's bloody expensive!)
    My least favourite was wii. I don't know why but I just hated everything about it.

    Last edited 07/01/15 11:40 am

    The path of 1000 kart games begins with the first Mario Kart. This is why it's the best, and also the worst for all the crappy knock of kart games it spawned.

    Funny thing is that the top two are my least favourite by far. Super Mario Kart was a cool idea that had been improved upon greatly since, and MK64 always just felt off - possibly due to the physics and AI as mentioned previously.

    I didn't "get" it till the GBA version, but I would say that Double Dash and MK8 have been the most fulfilling for me.

    n64 version because of the shortcuts in the tracks that really paid off if you pulled them off.

      Hahaha memories - one of my exes nearly dumped me over this !

    I'll somewhat affirm Mark's prediction and say that for me, it's incredibly difficult to choose between Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64. I haven't yet played 8 but from what I've been told I don't think it would top the first two. If I was absolutely forced to pick one, I think I probably would lean ever so slightly toward 64.

    Last edited 07/01/15 12:21 pm


      I was a hard core Mario Kart fan since SNES, owned and played the crap out of them until Wii.

      I dunno if it was just the removal of the waggle drift to equalise online matches but they just haven't been the same since.

      I am now fully addicted to Sonic All stars Racing Transformed.

        Do you mean snaking?

          Snaking was when you did it constantly, it was fun to do it while cornering for the boost.

          Sonic Racing has this boost combo sysystemnot as fun, but better than just being handed free boosts.

    I went for the Wii version of this, I just liked the track design best (although that downhill track on 8 is fantastic).

    64 might have been the best for its time, but I don't think it's the best gameplay experience today.

    Super Mario Kart for mine, I remember as a kid going on a holiday to a family friends place and them having it there. It was my first multiplayer experience on any platform, and I think for that reason alone I need to have it as my top choice if only for the pure nostalgia.

    64 ran a close second!

      Someone at Pax bought his copy of Super Mario Kart. It was meant to be a different game, but they let him try it out. He was nice enough to let @gorzilla and I play. I enjoyed it so much. I also beat Gorzilla thoroughly =P

    Overall I hand it to 64, the tracks were enjoyable, 100cc racing was always tight and I could never leap out to an unassaible lead, plus Toads Turnpike in Extra cup.

    But personal favorite has to be Double Dash.

    I was spoiled by the magnificent Crash Team Racing, so I've never really enjoyed a Mario Kart game. Does this make me a bad person?

    PS. It was sad when Crash Nitro Kart killed the franchise. Terrible game....

    Shouts-out to GBA Mario Kart tho. I went 64, damn nostalgia.

    This is a difficult question to get an accurate answer for, because most people will consider 'best' what they enjoyed when they were young. I owned super mario kart as a kid, back in 1994 or so, but I also owned mario kart 64 when I was around 12-13. When I was a kid, I found SMK quite difficult but my brother and I enjoyed the 2player battle mode, it's what we played the most. The same was true to an extent for MK64, multiplayer was very fun with friends. The cup racing was alot easier in MK64. Once you master powersliding boosts then the game is yours.

    Out of the two SMK is much more technical, and it's a real challenge to master well. When I was at uni I had my snes with me and my roomate and I played SMK frequently, he was an absolute gun. I got much better but I was never able to keep up with his skills, he usually drove bowser which is the fastest, no doubt. But I stuck with koopa tropper because I liked the grip when coming out of a slide.

    So for me I'd have to say that SMK is certainly the more enjoyable game, I enjoyed the battle mode as a kid and then as a young adult I came to appreciate the technical aspects of the racing, which is without doubt the most challenging of any mario kart game since. It seems they dumb down the racing with each version.

    What I'm taking away from this poll is that around 80% of respondents are under the age of 30.

    Last edited 07/01/15 12:54 pm

      I think unlike films, games do age and nostalgia isn't reason enough to vote for something you loved in your childhood. :)

    Super Mario Kart - No kiddy mode catchup on here.

    Races were won by skill, not by what items you got. Back when getting a lightning was actually rare.

    Crash Team Racing is better then all Mario Kart games put [email protected]@@@

      I liked Crash team racing as a kid, but when I tried playing last year at pax, in four player mode the track disappeared. It wasn't obvious where to go and so it became stupidly frustrating.

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