Mario Kart 64
Description official descriptions
Mario Kart 64 races eight familiar faces, including Mario, Bowser and Yoshi, on four progressively tougher four-track circuits. Wide curves and gentle banks mark the Mushroom Cup tracks. Your commute gets notably tougher on the Flower Cup, though. The player will have to dodge semis rumbling on Toad's Turnpike and bounding boulders on fogbound Choco Mountain! Star Cup tracks range from the icy surfaces of Sherbet Land to the lava lakes of Bowser's Castle. The true test of karting competence, though, comes on the four tracks in Special Cup. Zip through the dark caves and green hillsides of Donkey Kong's Jungle Parkway, cling to the sheer cliffs of Yoshi Valley and hustle over haunted Banshee Boardwalk before tackling the longest track in the game: neon-lit Rainbow Road.
The game offers two camera angles and three engine sizes: 50cc, 100cc and 150cc. You can gain even more speed by mastering the power slide technique or grabbing Super Star power-ups. Each kart has distinctive handling, acceleration and top speed capabilities. Light karts like Princess's smoothly steer through tight corners, but run the constant risk of getting flattened by heavy karts, like Donkey Kong's. Shells that you fire at rival racers, Bananas that make them skid out and Lightning Bolts that make them small and very slow are just a few of the game's unique power-ups.
- マリオカート64 - Japanese spelling
- 马里奥卡丁车64 - Simplified Chinese spelling
Credits (Nintendo 64 version)
54 People (43 developers, 11 thanks) · View all
|Demo Sequence Programmer|
|C.G. Character Designers|
|C.G. Map Designers|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 85% (based on 55 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 164 ratings with 7 reviews)
First of all if you've never played Super Mario Kart, go and pick it up. Seriously, it's so cheap these days you'd be silly to not have that must have piece of nostalgic brilliance alongside Illusion of Time, Super Mario World and Super Turrican.
Conceived originally as Super Mario Kart R and featuring Magikoopa some tweaking was employed and the finished product was released to pretty unanimous praise. It's easy to see why the game was initially praised. It's incredibly addictive and you won't be able to render yourself from the Nintendo 64 controller until you have had your fill of every track the game has to offer.
I have never been so compelled to stay up to ungodly hours, a bottle of beer in my hand, my friends by my sides on the couch. Raccuous laughter until the sun came up. Absolutely magical.
That's where the magic in this game lies. It really brings people together to enjoy themselves with some of the best multiplayer gaming ever produced.
Outside of the multiplayer there is a fleshed out single player mode. There are four cups to participate in with tracks that gradually increase in complexity as you complete each concurrent one. They are based loosely on characters or places featured in earlier Mario games and while imagination in one might be quite apparent in others there is no imagination at all. In general though, they are quite interesting and fun to drive around on.
Speaking of driving. The racing mechanics are improved, obviously, over the original Super Mario Kart. Each racer, like before, has their own statistics but within weight classes the changes are more or less cosmetic.
Items are much more potent this time around with a selection of items that might displace someone from first or form a shield of shells around your racer.
The graphics in Mario Kart 64 are simple, but traditionally the simplicity of the graphics in Mario games has been charming and it is no different here. Environments are richly detailed and the bright, vibrant colours give everything that warm, cartoon like quality that Mario games exude in spades.
It's hard to fault the graphics when they are so stylised, it's like calling the art director a failure for trying to make things look a little different, or in this case; consistent. Kudos.
Mario Kart 64 comes apart in only one instance; single play. When you're playing the Grand Prix mode and you're racing on the highest difficulty the AI will constantly ruin you. It stops being fun. When you see racers you blazed past using a golden mushroom rocket up behind you for absolutely no reason you begin to resent the game for cheating.
Rubber banding is cheating, in every sense of the word. In fact, at the climax of the last few races the only way you're going to beat them is by constantly restarting, or luck. Whatever works for you. The dire frustration I felt seemingly getting absolutely nowhere despite memorising every last turn and straight of a course almost ruined the game for me.
Put the difficulty back a couple of notches to 50CC and it's a completely different game. I don't know how they ruined the AI so badly.
The music is pretty hit and miss. Most of the time you don't even notice it, but when you do it's either sounding awful or good. It's really inconsistent.
Saving a ghost run of your best times requires the use of almost an entire controller pak. Buying a new controller pak just for Mario Kart 64 is a little ridiculous. It's like Knights of the Old Republic using up an entire Memory Unit or Jet Set Radio using an entire VMU to store Graffiti.
The Bottom Line
Playing Mario Kart 64, in any context, you're guaranteed to have a good time. With friends, it is an absolute gem of multiplayer mayhem with some brilliant arena's, addicting game modes and outstanding replay value on a whole.
Single player is inconsistent and unbalanced. While fun on lower difficulties when playing on higher difficulties the rubber banding of opposing racers becomes such an issue that it begins to suck the fun right out of the experience.
Balance issues aside, this is still a brilliant game. It looks fantastic, features really solid control and is packed with features, tracks and extras.
Nintendo 64 · by AkibaTechno (238) · 2011
This game is such an improvement of the first for the SNES back in 1992. The control stick provided smoother controls. The Multiplayer was fun when four people are playing. Most of the tracks were easier for kids and the Computer A.I was better.
There could have been hidden characters but you can unlock mirror mode.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is... If your looking for a great N64 game for your collection then this is a must for every N64 owner and other games. I'm sure your friends will have fun with you too. If you want it. Your going to buy the cartridge for a cheap price, download the ROM or buy on the Wii Virtual Console.
Nintendo 64 · by Mario Duenaz (19) · 2009
What did I like? What didn't I like? The music is on par with all the other Mario games, in otehrword's, it's great, the graphic's are the best of it's time and even by today's standard's arn't to shabby, the control's are excellent and are easy to master, you can always improve and get better. The items are clever and cool, the levels are very well done and well designed and there are eight different character's to choose from to race is, each with their own pro's and con's. There are 16 racing levels plus 4 battle mode levels, where you shoot shells at each other or attack each other with other items and you have three balloons and lose one each time you get hit. You die when all your balloons are gone. You can play with up to 4 player's and it's a great game for people of all ages!
I've mastered this game extremely well and even the Special Cup is easy to beat now. But whatever, it was still worth the money by far. Also, when playing with 3 or 4 player's there is no music and no GP, which sucks.
The Bottom Line
If you even kinda like Double Dash you'll love the N64 version!
Nintendo 64 · by darthsith19 (62) · 2006
1001 Video Games
The N64 version of Mario Kart 64 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
If you complete all the tracks in the 150cc class, the game opens up new tracks. The new tracks are actually reverse images of the original set.
In Mario Kart 64 in the Japanese version lots of the signs are take offs of brands, the only one apparent in the western version is the Koopa Air (Nike Air), but one interesting one is a sign that says MarioBro which was changed to Mario Bros. This of course was originally a takeoff of Marlboro cigarettes.
Originally, MagiKoopa (an enemy from Super Mario World) was intended to be one of the racers. However, he was later replaced by Donkey Kong before the game was released. You can still see MagiKoopa in some of the earliest screenshots of the game (back when it was still called Mario Kart R)
The game was originally going to be called Mario Kart R but was changed because Nintendo felt it was to similar to Sega's upcoming racing game Sonic R.
Virtual console version
For the Wii Virtual Console version of Mario Kart 64, the Ghost Trial Data, (which allowed players to race against a ghost kart of their best times), has been disabled.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly
- March 1997 (Issue #92) - Game of the Month* Retro Gamer
- September 2004 (Issue #8) – #80 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
- November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #49 (Best 100 Games of All Time)
- November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #5 (Readers' Top 10 Games of All Time)
Related Sites +
- MobyGames ID: 3535
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Chris Martin.
Game added March 29th, 2001. Last modified June 25th, 2023.