The Mario Kart Series is a major franchise in the video game world. It features many different characters from the Mario world as they race to the finish line on unique and different tracks (compared to other racing titles) as they toss plenty of items at you and other opponents. The first game in the series was Super Mario Kart for the SNES. The first game in the series to go on Wi-Fi was Mario Kart DS for the Nintendo DS. The next Wi-Fi Mario Kart was Mario Kart Wii for the Wii.
Super Mario Kart was the first Mario Kart game to be released. This game has a total of eight playable characters and twenty courses to select from. This is the only title to feature five courses for a Grand Prix, as all the later installments only contain four. Super Mario Kart is also the only Mario Kart game to featured Donkey Kong Jr. as a playable character; he later gets replaced by Donkey Kong in the later titles. A Koopa Troopa is also a playable character, but did not reappear in the series until Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Super Mario Kart was heavily influenced by Super Mario World, with some graphics and locations taken from the platform game.
Mario Kart 64 is the second installment in the Mario Kart series. Being the first 64-bit Mario Kart game, it allows for fully 3D graphics, such as the course layouts. However, it still uses the 2D frames for the characters and items. It is the first game in the Mario Kart series to feature Donkey Kong and Wario as playable characters out of the eight total drivers to choose from. This game features sixteen normal courses as well as four battle courses. Mario Kart 64 was later re-released on the Virtual Console for 1000 points.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit is the first Mario Kart game in the series to be brought to a handheld system. It is compatible with the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo DS Lite. The game features eight playable characters, all of which were featured in Mario Kart 64. Mario Kart: Super Circuit introduces twenty new courses, as well as the twenty courses from Super Mario Kart.
Mario Kart: Double Dash! is the fourth installment in the Mario Kart series. The game introduces new features such as two drivers per kart, which allowed characters to hold more items. Additionally, another new feature is Special Items, each pair of drivers has a Special Item that is only obtainable by them, the exception being King Boo and Petey Piranha, who do not possess a Special Item. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! features sixteen new courses and twenty different characters to select from. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is the first installment in the series to include different karts for each character.
Mario Kart DS is the fifth console installment in the Mario Kart series and the second to be released on a handheld system. Unlike Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart DS returns to single character driving and does not feature Special Items. The game has 64-bit graphics and includes an all new Mission Mode for players to complete missions within a time limit. The game features 12 characters, with eight default racers and four unlockable racers. It is the second game in the series to feature courses found in earlier installments. In the Retro Grand Prix mode, players can select to race in courses from Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. The courses from the Nitro Grand Prix are based upon the latest games in the Mario series.
Mario Kart Arcade GP was the first of the two Mario Kart arcade games. It was released in 2005. It featured Pac-Man characters, as it was a collaboration with Namco.
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 was the second Mario Kart arcade game released in 2007. Like the previous one, it featured Pac-Man characters. It added two new characters as well: Waluigi and Mametchi.
Mario Kart Wii is the sixth console Mario Kart game, released for the Wii in April 10, 2008-April 30, 2009. Other than the Wii Wheel gimmick, Mario Kart Wii featured 12 characters in a race, rather than 8 as in previous installments. Also unlike the previous games, Mario Kart Wii featured bikes as well as karts, and while in mid-air, tricks can be performed after shaking the Wii Remote. Like Mario Kart DS, the game offered an online mode for multiplayer play.
Mario Kart 7 is a video game for the Nintendo 3DS. It has Metal Mario, Lakitu, Wiggler and Queen Bee as the newcomers. Unlike Mario Kart Wii, this game goes back to the original 8-characters per race, and the motorbikes from the said previous game are excluded. Many new features have been added to this game such as hang-gliding when doing a huge jump and being able to drive underwater in certain parts or the courses, as well as new items and characters. In Time Trials, players now have the option to race against seven different ghost datas.
In Online Multiplayer the player now has a new option to create or join a Community. Communities are a lot like the Grand Prix except the player can create a community with rules such as which courses other racers will play, what sort of items will appear and what engine class it will be, a lot like VS Mode. The player can join a community that has a name and a set of rules and play against other players, or he/she can create his/her own community and having racers play by the player's rules.
It has been recently announced that a new Mario Kart arcade title is being worked on, named Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, which is being developed by Namco Bandai Games in partnership with Nintendo. It features the return of gliders and underwater racing from Mario Kart 7, it was released in Japan at July 25, 2013.
It was revealed in E3 2013 that Mario Kart 8, the newest mario kart game will be released for the Wii U in spring 2014. The game will have 12 karts per race, and will include the bike options which were skipped in Mario Kart 7. Coins will also be back from Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart 7 which like Mario Kart 7, only ten coins can be obtained at a time. The game also features a new anti-gravitational mode in which players karts automatically change into hoverboard like vehicles. New items are yet to be discovered.
The Mario Kart series debuted on the SNES with the release of Super Mario Kart. The game is considered the foundation of the Kart genre, which has spawned hundreds of video games, most of which star popular characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man and Mickey Mouse.
The next installment appeared on the Nintendo 64, thus introducing the series to an improved 3D engine and various new characters such as Donkey Kong and Wario. The series' first handheld game was with Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! brought two characters for each kart. Probably the most dramatic update to the series was with Mario Kart DS, which allowed players to compete online with each other. Pac-Man and a few other Namco characters appeared in the first and second arcade Mario Kart video games, and the Wii Wheel is included with Mario Kart Wii.