Mario Kart 64
System: Nintendo 64
Publisher & Devloper: Nintendo
Released: 1997
Capabilities: Controller Pak Compatible

The Game

Mario and the gang are back together again for another round of Kart racing, this game is the sequel to the smash hit, Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo back in 1992. In this edition everything is in 3-D, plus there’s new weapons and tracks, but will it live up to it’s predecessor? Let’s get onto the review to find out.


All the tracks are in 3-D, and all the characters rendered 3-D models. The tracks look beautiful, Rainbow Road is the most amazing track in the game, because it uses a wide variety of colors on its track, plus it has dazzling pinups of the whole cast of characters in the game in the background. Other noteworthy tracks in the game Koopa Troopa Beach, which features the most real looking sandbars ever, and a nice waterfall, and Kalimari Desert which has a train constantly intersecting the race way for added challenge.

Remember in the original Mario Kart, whenever you hit an opposing kart, the driver of it would always show this angry expression on there face, and the person who fired the weapon would raise there arms in joy and have a smile on there face, I always got a kick out of those, and was really disappointed that they weren’t in here, I mean it looks just plain weird when Mario gets hit by a shell and spins around with a blank face.


Sound rules for this game. Each course has it’s own tune, and they fit perfectly for each type of level, for example, you got this type of Ukelele tune for the Moo Moo Farm course, and a terrific futuristic tune for Rainbow Road. In fact, these tunes were so good, that Nintendo released a Mario Kart 64 CD soundtrack for the game which sports all the tunes featured in it. I love the voice acting in the game. Whenever a character gets nailed by a weapon, they’ll yell “Mama Mia” or if they’re the one that hit an opponent they’ll let out a cheer. But for the animal characters like DK(Me, Dale Kulas, just kidding, it’s really Donkey Kong), and Bowser they just let out some roar, but this really makes the game a lot more fun to play.

Game play

You pick one out of 8 characters from the Mario universe, and you can either do a time trial on any course, and you have the option of saving a ghost of your racer onto your controller pak, or you can go into the Mario Grand Prix, and beat all 4 cups in 3 different difficulty levels, when you beat all those tracks, then you unlock the “Extra” difficulty which makes you race all the courses in reverse, and all your opponents are faster than ever. If you happen to run across question blocks during the game, you’ll get a random weapon, new weapons to this game or the 3-Green Shells, 3-Red Shells, 6 Bananas, Temporarily Unlimited Mushrooms(turbos),and Spiny Shell(shell that only hits whoever’s in 1st place). All the old weapons are back from the original, with the exception of the feather, which made you jump really high.

Then there’s multi player mode. With 2 players you do a VS. mode where it’s just you 2 racing on any of the courses, but there’s kart bombs throughout the track for added challenge, then you could team up and both of you can do the Mario Grand Prix together, and finally you can do the battle mode, where you race on one of 4 different courses, using most of the weapons you use in VS. and Grand Prix mode, with the exceptions of the 3-Red Shells, Lightning, 1, 3, or unlimited mushrooms, and the Spiny Shell, and rules are just like in the original, you have 3 balloons attached to your Kart, and every time you get hit you lose a balloon, whoever loses all there balloons first, loses. There’s also 3 and 4 player modes where you can either do VS. or Battle modes, but in battle modes the first of the 3 and the first 2 of the 4 racers who get eliminated first turn into bomb karts, and they have one opportunity to nail another active kart.

The Cast: The cast to Mario Kart 64 is just about the same as the original, but Donkey Kong replaces Donkey Kong Jr., and Wario replaces the Koopa Troopa, at first it was going to be that weird purple headed goomba to replace the Koopa, but that changed in development, the other characters in the game are Mario, Luigi, Toad, Yoshi, Peach(Princess Toadstool), and Bowser.

Replay Value

Time Trials are really fun to do. If you finish Mario, Luigi, and Royal Raceway in record times then you unlock hidden ghosts to race against in that course. Also the game is really fun to play with your friends in multi player, and you’ll be going at it for hours. This is one of my favorite multi player games on the N64, and I’ve chucked in hundreds of hours playing it against friends, and so will you. And the courses themselves are very challenging, for example, just try racing on Toad’s Turnpike in the “Extra” mode, you’ll be going nuts for hours on end trying to finish 1st on that track.

But some people say they still like the original Mario Kart better than the N64 version, because of the awesome camera rotation on the SNES with the use of it’s Mode 7 capabilities, and I gotta admit, the tracks were impressive in the original, but they’re great in here too, plus this version can be played by up to 4 players, instead of just 2 in the original, so if you’re more of a party player, than this game has the upper hand.

In Brief

+: Spectacular Graphics, Awesome Sound, Up to 4 people can play!

-: No character face animation, minor slowdown in multi player modes

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 9.1
Sound: 9.6
Game play: 9.3
Replay Value: 9.2

Overall: 9.3

Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 9

Final Analysis

This is a great sequel to the original, and you simply can’t miss the game from your N64 library. This was my first game for the N64, and I still play it all the time! Plus it’s a Players Choice title, so you can buy it for just a mere $30-$40! Even though some still argue that the original is better than this version, both titles are great buys, and you go wrong with either one, but if you’re looking to have a party on your N64, don’t miss out on this title at all!