The Definitive 50 SNES Games: #7 Super Mario Kart

Click here to view our list of the Definitive 50 SNES games. Links to each video and write-up are included.

Super Mario Kart takes seventh place on the list of Definitive 50 SNES games. This kart racer, really the progenitor of all kart racers, invaded store shelves on September 1, 1992. The title went on to sell 8 million copies, spawning one of the most successful game franchises of all time. It is now available on Wii’s Virtual Console service.

Super Mario Kart consists of a number of single and multiplayer modes, all of which revolve around piloting cramped karts with familiar Mario characters piled into them.

Mario Kart GP is the main mode of the game. You can play this with either one or two players through three difficulties and four cups (Mushroom, Flower, Star, and Special).

Each cup is made up of five of the zaniest tracks imaginable. You’ll tackle the kart racer versions of Bowser’s Castles, Ghost Houses, Choco Island, and numerous other places from the Mushroom Kingdom.

There are eight playable characters in Mario Kart, all of whom compete in GP at a time. The list is made up of Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, Yoshi, Bowser, Donkey Kong Jr., Toad, and even Koopa Troopa. Each character has a different feel, depending upon his or her weight. It is recommended new players pick a light character like Toad, as he has great acceleration (albeit a low top speed).

Of course, it wouldn’t be Mario Kart without the series defining items established here. Green shells bounce dangerously around courses, red shells pursue their targets with deadly accuracy, banana peels can be slipped on, and lightning bolts will shrink everyone in your path.

The game also includes Time Trials and Match Races, but the other famous component of Mario Kart is Battle Mode. This is an intense direct combat take on go-carting, in which two players drop the pretext of racing, and simply go at it in more open arena-style levels. Each player is given three life balls, and taking a hit from the enemy by one of the aforementioned items will lose you one ball. Last player standing with balls in-tact wins.

Mario Kart is one of the most singularly enjoyable video games you will ever play. Its challenging single player modes and intensely fun multiplayer options have entertained me since I began playing as a child. Nearly 20 years later, and this game hasn’t lost a thing.