The lights are on
In the past, I've posted stories where I rank long-running franchises like Call of Duty and Tony Hawk. It wasn't too hard to put those together, as the quality spectrum was fairly wide. With Mario Kart 8 on the horizon, I've put together a similar feature that proved to be much more difficult. While I did my best to rank them based on my own personal preference, I found that even the entries at the very bottom were great games. Regardless, I gave it a shot. Here's my purely personal ranking of one of my favorite franchises.
Note: Yeah, I know there were a few Namco-developed arcade versions of Mario Kart. I'm not counting those.
8. Mario Kart: Super Circuit (Game Boy Advance)
I was excited about being able to take Mario Kart on the go with this Game Boy Advance entry, but it wound up being my least favorite in the series. Its visuals always looked a little muddy and cheap to me, and controlling the karts always felt a little loose. That said, it was still an entertaining first portable attempt for the franchise.
7. Mario Kart Wii
The Wii launched to a ton of fanfare and commercial success, but Nintendo's iconic plumber was nowhere to be seen in the launch lineup. In 2008, Mario and the gang arrived on their trusty karts, complete with a wheel accessory for the Wii remote. Motion control worked alright, but most players saw it as a gimmick and quickly reverted to the Wii remote and nunchuk scheme. Even though it's low on this list, this entry introduced solid new elements such as bikes and stunts.
6. Mario Kart DS
Considering how slow Nintendo has traditionally been when it comes to embracing online multiplayer, it's surprising that this DS debut featured it back in 2005. It was also one of the few titles to branch out with new game modes, such as the competitive multiplayer Shine Runners mode. A mission mode was also included that tasked players with completing tasks with with a set scenario and racer. Neither of these modes proved to be especially popular, but it was still nice to see the franchise try something new.