Picking the best sports games in Nintendo’s decades-long history

Racing (including Kart Racing and Space Car Racing and, in an odd case, Unicycle Racing)

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Best Nintendo version of the game: Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003)

What is good? The 21st most interesting innovation in Mario KartThe venerable history of was not the move to two wheels, but to two people per kart: with the 2003 GameCube exclusive Double dash!!a series that often turns into “no more tracks, forever”, Nintendo actually found a way to make its core gameplay more exciting. Double dash!! might not have enough the variety of track Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (though we’ll be battling for the massive Wario Colosseum any day of the week), but its ability to pair two different drivers (and players) together for increased mayhem on the track makes it the crown jewel from Nintendo’s crown jewel racing franchise.

Is Waluigi in it? Don’t look back, dear reader; Waluigi may be right behind you (preparing to fire a red shell at your enemies).

Interesting too-rans: Land Races(ish) is the biggest entry in Nintendo’s entire sports catalog, courtesy of Mario Kart, F-zero, and a few other small franchises. With apologies to Captain Falcon (and uniracers crew), however, we will stay here for the Excite series, especially the massively underrated ExciteTruck and ExciteBot for the Wii. In addition to simply “steering by turning the Wiimote” as Nintendo ever did, both games also emphasize exploration and expressive play over pure speed, turning each of their tracks into great dynamic playgrounds for runners to turn around and race their way through.

List (slightly modified) of all Nintendo games with this sport: Excitebike (NES, 1985), RC Pro AM (NES, 1988), F-1 Race (Game Boy, 1991), Super RC Pro AM (Game Boy, 1991), F-zero (SNES, 1991), Super Mario Kart (SNES, 1992), Stunt Race Effects (SNES, 1994), uniracers (SNES, 1994), Mario Kart 64 (N64, 1997), F-Zero X (N64, 1998), F-Zero: maximum speed (GameCube, 2001), Super Circuit Mario Kart (GBA, 2001), Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GameCube, 2003), Kirby’s Aerial Ride (GameCube, 2003), F-Zero: GP Legend (GameCube, 2004), Mario Kart DS (DS, 2005), ExciteTruck (Wii, 2006), Mario Kart Wii (Wii, 2008), ExciteBots (Wii, 2009), Mario Kart 7 (3DS, 2011), Mario Kart 8 (Wii U, 2014), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch, 2017)

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