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The Mario Kart series is a large spin-series in the Mario series. There are a total of thirteen games (nine on Nintendo consoles, three for arcade, and one for mobile) in this series, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit being the latest. There is a wide variety of characters including some not even from the Mario franchise. The success of Mario Kart has spawned many cartoon-style racing games published by various gaming companies from the 16-bit generation onwards. It has also been referenced in the Paper Mario role-playing series and inspired several stages in the Super Smash Bros. fighting games. The games in the series have sold a combined total of over 150 million copies worldwide.

Console Games

Super Mario Kart

Super Mario Kart - North American Cover.pngSuper 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. A Koopa Troopa is also a playable character but didn't reappear in the series until Mario Kart: Double Dash!! as he's replaced by Wario. Super Mario Kart was heavily influenced by Super Mario World, with some graphics and locations taken from the platform game.

Mario Kart 64

MK64Logo.pngMario 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 sprites 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, which would also continue in future installments. This game features sixteen normal courses as well as four battle courses. Mario Kart 64 was later re-released on the Virtual Console for the Wii for 1000 points.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Mario Kart Super Circuit - North American Boxart.pngMario Kart: Super Circuit is the third installment in the Mario Kart series. It's also the first Mario Kart game in the series to be brought to a handheld system. It is compatible with the Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP, Game Boy Micro, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS Lite, and available only to those who purchased a Nintendo 3DS before the August 12, 2011 price drop. 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!!

MarioKartDoubleDash.jpgMario Kart: Double Dash!! is the fourth installment in the Mario Kart series. The game introduces new features such as two drivers per kart, which allows the characters to hold more items, and Special Items, an item that is only obtainable by a specific pair of drivers, 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

Mario Kart DS - North American Front Box.pngMario Kart DS is the fifth 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 twelve 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 Wii

Mario Kart Wii - North American Boxart.pngMario Kart Wii is the eighth installment and the sixth console game in the Mario Kart series, released for the Wii on April 10, 2008-April 30, 2009. Other than the Wii Wheel gimmick, Mario Kart Wii featured twelve characters in a race, rather than eight 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

MarioKart7CoverNTSC.pngMario Kart 7, the ninth installment and the seventh console game in the Mario Kart series, was released in December 2011. It has Metal Mario, Lakitu, Wiggler, and Queen Bee as the newcomers. Unlike Mario Kart Wii, this game goes back to the original eight characters per race, and the motorbikes from said previous game are excluded due to system limitations. 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 data. Also in this installment is the ability to race and battle in a first-person perspective.

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 they can create their own Community and having racers play by the player's rules.

Mario Kart 8

MarioKart8Boxart.jpgMario Kart 8 is the eleventh installment and eighth console game in the series. It was released for the Wii U in May 2014. It includes anti-gravity racing and returning elements from the previous games, such as twelve player racing from Mario Kart Wii and kart customization from Mario Kart 7. New characters introduced in this game are the Koopalings, Baby Rosalina, and Pink Gold Peach.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

MK8 Deluxe - Box NA.pngMario Kart 8 Deluxe is a remake of Mario Kart 8 for the Nintendo Switch. Battle modes and new characters are included, and everything is unlocked at the start except for the character Gold Mario. DLC packs from Mario Kart 8 are now playable for free.

Arcade Games

Mario Kart Arcade GP

MKArcGP.jpgMario Kart Arcade GP, the sixth installment and the first of the three arcade games in the Mario Kart series, was released in 2005. It features Pac-Man characters, as it was a collaboration with Namco.

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2

MKAGP2 Logo.jpgMario Kart Arcade GP 2, the seventh installment and the second arcade game in the Mario Kart series, was released in 2007. Like the previous one, it features Pac-Man characters. It added two new characters as well: Waluigi and Mametchi.

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX

MKGPDX.pngMario Kart Arcade GP DX, which was developed by Namco Bandai Games in partnership with Nintendo, was released in Japan on July 25, 2013, in the US in 2014, and in Europe on early 2017. It features the return of gliders and underwater racing from Mario Kart 7.

Other Games

Mario Kart Tour

Mariokarttour.pngMario Kart Tour is the latest game in the series for mobile devices. It features characters like Peachette, Pauline, Mario (Musician), Peach (Kimono), Mario (Hikama), Rosalina (Halloween), King Boo (Luigi's Mansion), Toad (Pit Crew, Peach (Vacation), Shy Guy (Pastry Chef), and much more characters coming. It also features a new gameplay mechanic, featuring the special items again and having (two weeks-lasting) tours, which feature new elements and tracks added to the game. It also contains a loot box system.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit


Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a virtual-reality version of Mario Kart.

=Appearances in outside games

The Mario Kart series has been referenced in three of the Paper Mario games. Luigi references it in an "adventure" of his which he recounts between chapters of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, where in the third of his stories, he states that he visited a location called "Circuit Break Island" where kart races are organized every day. Later, in Paper Mario: Color Splash, once all six Big Paint Stars have been retrieved, Luigi drives his kart on Rainbow Road to transport Mario to Bowser's Castle to defeat him and restore peace to Prism Island; when Bowser (who has been transformed by black paint) is reverted to normal upon his defeat, he asks Mario if they have a kart race scheduled. Luigi's kart also appears in Paper Mario: The Origami King several times throughout the game. Additionally, several stages based on Mario Kart have appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series: Super Smash Bros. Brawl features a Mario Circuit stage based on Figure-8 Circuit from Mario Kart DS, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS features a Rainbow Road stage based on its appearance in Mario Kart 7, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U features a Mario Circuit stage based on its appearance in Mario Kart 8, as well as reusing the Mario Circuit stage from Brawl. Although not actually shown in the first Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, the franchise (which at that time had been composed of just Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64) was alluded to in a promotional ad for the game in Nintendo Power, where it mentioned that Nintendo's famous cast had previously "raced go-karts" when announcing their new role in the fighting ring.

Mario Kart has also crossed over into the Fortune Street series, where its DS installment features a playable Mario Circuit based on its Double Dash!! and DS versions, and the Wii follow-up features a Mario Circuit whose design is based on Mario Kart Wii. There are also stages based on Mario Kart in the Mario & Sonic series; for example, Olympic Winter Games features Mario Circuit from Mario Kart Wii, Bowser's Castle from Super Circuit, and Sherbet Land from Mario Kart 64 in its ski cross, ice hockey, and curling dream events respectively. Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 64 is featured in F-Zero X; figurines of Mario, Peach, and Bowser racing in their karts appear as dog toys in Nintendogs; and the Animal Crossing series features Mario Kart items in City Folk and references the series in certain lucky tickets in New Leaf.

Other games that have referenced Mario Kart include Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot, Dig Dug: Digging Strike, Minecraft, Tomodachi Life, and Wii Sports Resort.


  • The Nintendo Entertainment System is the only Nintendo console that did not have a Mario Kart game.