Decades in the making and multitudes of iterations later, it feels as if we’ve finally reached the pinnacle of Mario Kart.
Nintendo’s party-romp approach to Motorsport has always been one of the most enduring video game legacies ever since we first booted up our rudimentary consoles way back in yesteryear.
Now, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe released on the Switch, we have what is arguably the most fleshed-out version of Mario Kart to date. But we can’t help but wonder – what else could Ninty come up with?
So far, we’ve seen everything from double-racer karts to anti-gravity tires to the inclusion of a breakneck 200cc Grand Prix variant. It is undoubtedly the pinnacle of the franchise – but pinnacles are dangerous things.
After all, if you’re at the top – there’s no where to go but down.
As life-long virtual kart racers and fans of Mario Kart – seeing the franchise fall from the heights the developers have worked so hard to get to would be a pain that we cannot bear to imagine. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to probe the depths of our psyche to see what potential avenues Mario Kart could expand into without sacrificing the essence of the game.
First thing’s first: don’t take away anything.
It should go without saying, but we’re living in an era where developers will voluntarily exhume portions of their game that was previously added in favor of holding it at ransom for later re-release in the form of day-one DLC or some form of a “remastered” edition.
Nintendo has already offered the most feature-packed form of Mario Kart with 8 Deluxe – releasing anything short of is already available would be a low blow. If the only way is up, Mario Kart is going to have to see some big changes.
And, for the perfect addition: a “simulator” mode. We’re not talking Assetto Corsa or Project Cars here. What if we took the rambunctiousness of Mario Kart and expanded it into a fully-realized Motorsport within the world of Mario and Friends?
What if, we could have racing teams in the pits and racing teammates out in the field, tearing it up for dominance. Perhaps even a driver’s and constructor’s championships. Just imagine a pit garage full of Toad’s frantically scrambling to ready for the Head Toad’s pitstop so that they can swap out his Button tires for Cushion ones – quick inflation and all.
Races could be extended far past the three-race limit, and tire pressure, track temperature, and item statistics would play a factor in the race. Now, imagine if all of this wasn’t a complete re-do of the formula, but instead just a new game mode.
What if Nintendo could pull of creating two versions of Mario Kart that could co-exist peacefully on the same cartridge yet offer two drastically different and dynamic ways to play?