Super Mario Kart review - Super Nintendo

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Super Mario Kart box artEveryone seems to think that Mario, Bowser, the Koopas and Donkey Kong are the deadliest of enemies. But this is patently not so, for they can regulary be seen go-kart racing with one another. Yes indeed, our heo the mighty Mario and his friends enjoy nothing more than a relaxing whizz around the tarmac with the enemy of all Mushroom World and his cohorts.

Now, courtesy of Nintendo comes your chance to join in this Sunday league of racing fun and frolics, not to mention thrills and spills. You choose to play the part of anu one of eight Mario-related characters, including the U-bend fixated one himself, in a bid to out-kart your enemies - and your friends!

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" Who'd have thought that the race game to supercede F-Zero would come in the form of a Go-Kart racing gane? But still, if ever a game was going to topple F-Zero from its perch as a no-frills racing game of the highest order, Super Mario Kart is it. The graphics are nothing short of spectacular, from the detailed sprites and backgrounds, the super-smooth and rapid scrolling to little animation touchers such as your driver glancing behind when he (oe she) passes someone. The sound is also great, with a variety of cutesy (what else do you expect?) tunes which are strangely in keeping with the high-speed action.

The gameplay is the most startlng aspect of the game however. The game moves at a cracking pace with a smoothness not yet seen since the ultra-brill F1 Exhaust Heat. There are tactics to learn and weapons to use, plus a number of leagues to test your racing mettle. However there is one small fly in the ointment. With two players, Mario Kart is the most racing fun to be had anywhere. However with only a single player the enjoyment is severely reduced, although it's still great funn to play. A few more courses and a tougher difficulty setting would have improved things for the single player, but as it stands, Super Mario Kart is still a highly polished soft-ware classic. "

" Super Mario Kart is undoubtedly a stunning game. The graphics and sound are both superb and the gameplay s incredible, particulary the "feel" of the karts (believe me I've raced real go-karts and these handle exactly the same way)! But it is a game of two halves. With two players, the game is amazing. There are three modes of simultaneous play - Mario GP, Time Trial and Battle Mode. Time Trial is a fairly simple chase game where each picks a driver and course and battles head-to-head to the finish line.

Battle mode is much better, with the players driving around an arena trying to take each other out - very competitive and brilliant fun! But Grand Prix is where the game really comes into it's own - it's astonishingly good fun. Not only do you battle your opponent, you've also got all the other computer players to contend with. The end result is fast, furious and highly addictive racing action - the best yet seen on the SNES. "


Overall Score92%

Retrospective comments


What can be said about this game? I imported the Japanese version in 1992 and played it over and over again with mates. This has to be the most played title I have ever known. Even in more recent days we have dug out this game on an old yellowing SNES and relived the fun.

The secret of this title which in my opinion the N64 and Gamecube instalments did not catch is the tightness of the tracks. Taking the best racing line usually ensured victory. No cheap blue shells to take out the leader of the pack either! The GBA version came close and the DS version is almost on a par; the wifi mode ensuring multi-player goodness for even the loneliest of gamers.

Nintendo really struck gold with this title. Many clones have been spun out since this title. None have come close to matching the unbridled pleasure of trailing your opponent for 3 laps and then coming back at the last minute due to a lucky red shell or a well placed banana skin on the previous lap. Genius! Nintendo we salute you!

Have your say about this review

asad - 10 Mar 2009, 14:54 GMT

Many a late night wasted on this absolutely stunning game. Nintendo's ability to see a niche in the market and get everyone onboard is unquestionable.
Before purchasing this game I read a review for it in CVG, and was skeptical, it just didn't look right to me, Mario in a racing game. But how wrong I was. Its the best Mario Kart made, with great graphics, tunes that just stay stuck in your head all day and a great difficulty curve thats just right. I still remember the night me and my brother completed the game on 150cc Special Cup, what a moment, at about 3 a.m. in the morning. Another classic Nintendo game.

Nathalie Gibson - 06 Jun 2009, 17:56 GMT

i thinks its good

Jaz's Sheep - 26 Apr 2011, 14:18 GMT

Another one of those games everyone loved but which I hated. It really, reeeaaalllly bored the pants off me.

Each to their own tho, and to be fair racing games aren't really my cupa cha anyhoo.

Rachael - 24 May 2011, 04:38 GMT

A truly excellent game. Along with Super Mario World, this game set me off on a lifelong love affair with Nintendo. The original Mario Kart has never quite been matched, but I'll keep on buying them in the hope it will be one day.

the retro king - 17 Sep 2011, 14:48 GMT

Who is whistling super mario cart right now.I no i am.Yet another snes classic and in my opinion the mario kart series just got better and better hooray for mario kart and do you no what i think super mario kart is the reason i aint got a tidy job in life because in school thats all i could think about is this and street fighter 2.What a brilliant child hood i had thank you super nintendo you are worth every penny my oldman spent on you.LOL.

Jayk - 11 May 2012, 23:49 GMT

This still ranks as the best 2 player game of all time for me. I knocked many times more value out of SNES mario kart than any other game I've ever owned. Pure genius.

Mario games - 26 Jan 2013, 14:32 GMT

I played this one several days ago by the Virtual Console from Nintendo Wii system I must say that it felt just as alive as it did decades ago when i first played it in an cyber cafe on SNES

mario jocuri - 09 Mar 2013, 14:10 GMT

Unfortunately this game was not available in my country back when I was just a kid. The original SNES consoles where almost imposibile to have so we played all kind of remakes and ports on some clone consoles. I remember watching at an old tv promotion running on cable about SUPER MARIO KART an wanted to play it so much.
I must say that I'm very glad now that I can play almost any classic game hit the help of emulators, and now SNES are available here for very reasonable prices.

Ninjah1982 - 17 Apr 2013, 15:12 GMT

This game deserves at least 95%, it was one of the most played games on the SNES after SFII & Mario World.

mario kart games - 03 May 2013, 12:13 GMT

I'm a big fan of Super Mario Kart, this title should be crowned as the best racing game for kids.

jocuri cu mario - 18 Nov 2013, 19:28 GMT

Even in more recent days we have dug out this game on an old yellowing SNES and relived the fun.

cantece de copii - 24 Aug 2014, 08:41 GMT

The secret of this title which in my opinion the N64 and Gamecube instalments did not catch is the tightness of the tracks.

Mario - 19 Sep 2014, 08:33 GMT

It is a nice game but the old Super Mario Bros was and will be the best game of Mario collection. I remember when I was kid playing' all day that game on my Nintendo console, sweet memories, it was so fun.

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