Originally known as Super Mario Kart R, Mario Kart 64 was released in the United States on February 10th, 1997, following a late 1996 release in Japan.
Mario Kart 8 is coming to Nintendo's WiiU video game console on May 30th. Take a look back at how the series began on home consoles.
Super Mario Kart was where the series began, on the Super Nintendo, releasing in America in September of 1992. The game brought characters from the popular Super Mario universe to a racing title for the first time, and featured a simulated 3D effect, rare for the time, thanks to a technology known as Mode 7. In the game, characters raced along stylized tracks, and could use items such as mushrooms and bananas to gain speed or even attack other opponents. The game was a massive hit and remains popular and critically-acclaimed to this day.
Mario Kart made the leap to 3D with the Nintendo 64 in the aptly-named Mario Kart 64. This game hit the states on February 10, 1997. This entry in the series added 3D graphics for tracks, although the characters were still rendered in 2D. New items introduced include the blue shell, an item which targets the lead player directly. This item is the source of debate and derision for some long fans of the franchise. Like its predecessor, the game was a hit with both players and critics alike.