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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.


Mario Kart 64 Nintendo 64 Mario in Koopa Troopa Beach
Mario Kart 64 Nintendo 64 Toad's Turnpike - Shot 2
Mario Kart 64 Nintendo 64 Wario in Toad's Turnpike
Mario Kart 64 Nintendo 64 Wario Stadium - Shot 2

Promo Images

Mario Kart 64 Screenshot
Mario Kart 64 Screenshot
Mario Kart 64 Screenshot
Mario Kart 64 Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "马里奥卡丁车64" -- Chinese Title (Simplified)
  • "Mario Kart R" -- Early pre-release title
  • "マリオカート64" -- Japanese Spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

An addicting, unbalanced kart racer. Nintendo 64 AkibaTechno (254)
The greatest version of Mario Kart out there! Nintendo 64 darthsith19 (70)
Feels like a more pretty, but slower version of Mario Kart. Nintendo 64 kbmb (435)
The best N64 racing game ever! Nintendo 64 Damian Armstrong (24)
Still my favorite Mario Kart game out there Nintendo 64 Pixelspeech (1006)
A Mario Kart game to remember Nintendo 64 Mario Duenaz (32)
Great multiplayer game but a bit of a bore while playing by yourself. Nintendo 64 Attila (588)

Critic Reviews

GamePro (US) Nintendo 64 Apr, 1997 5 out of 5 100 Nintendo 64 Dec 30, 2005 95 out of 100 95
Game Play 64 Nintendo 64 Oct, 1997 95 out of 100 95
Super Power Nintendo 64 Jul, 1997 94 out of 100 94
X64 Nintendo 64 Oct, 1997 91 out of 100 91
Gaming Age Nintendo 64 Sep 19, 2004 88 out of 100 88
Video Games Nintendo 64 Apr, 1997 85 out of 100 85 Nintendo 64 Mar 14, 2008 8 out of 10 80
Wiiloveit Wii 2007 19 out of 30 63 Wii Mar 12, 2007 3 out of 5 60


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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.

Bonus courses

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.

Japanese version

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)

Title change

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.


  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #80 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Chris Martin, Guy Chapman, MegaMegaMan and Warlock

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Contributed to by Corn Popper (69350), Michael Cassidy (21009) and Chris Martin (1204)