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after 17 years how has Mario Kart 64 aged.

Updated on June 12, 2014

Mario Kart 64 review

I give Mario Kart 64 a 5 out of 5

5 stars for Mario Kart 64

More infromation

note I used a capture device to get all of these videos myself. However they were taken off of Mario Kart 64 which was made and owned by nintendo

Name Mario Kart 64

year released 1997

console N64

other information also released on the Wii Virtual Console

Sorry it’s been a while since I did a hub review. I have been learning on how to do YouTube videos like this one above, which should help I think spice them up. Anyways today I am going to be talking about an N64 classic called Mario Kart 64. It is one of my favorites in the series, the new Mario Kart 8 though is pretty great but it has no nostalgia value really pushing it, come back and talk to me in 10 years that might have changed.

Mario Kart 64 was originally released clear back in 1997 and was a sequel to the SNES big hit Super Mario Kart. And boy did this evolve the series. Now the original game used a semi 3d technique called Mode7. It gave the illusion to depth but it wasn’t real 3d (hence the tracks remained flat has a pancake) with Mario Kart 64 using real 3d engine Nintendo took it to the next level. Tracks were now more memorable with things like trains running through the middle of them, big jumps over river boats, and a Rainbow Road that all though a bit a bit tedious was just a really magical to race around at the time. And of course beating the heck out of each other with shells was made even more awesome.


For a 17 plus year old game playing this one the virtual console where the resolution is cleaned up a little bit the game still looks pretty good. While there are areas that seem flat, and if they were courses featured in Mario Kart 8 it’s redressing made them a lot better there is still something timeless about this games graphics. Yes the characters are pre-render are rarely animate but they still look good in spite of that. The tracks themselves also look good with not to many sharp edges or jagged edges to refer to. The frame rate is also pretty solid for a game its age. While Mario Kart 64 has indeed age, it has done so gracefully.

Peach racing on race way
Peach racing on race way


Some of the best Mario Kart music was done for this game and it’s very catchy. Also we see introduced for the first time is character voices. Nintendo made sure to give each character a few sound clip and memorable one liners. I remember my friends cracking up whenever someone with Wario won (I’ma Wario I’ma gonna win). The only time the sound gets annoying is when you get a Super Mushroom and you use it too much, the audio clips often times wind up on top of each other and it sound insane.


If you have never played a Mario Kart game before it is a racing game, but what Mario Kart brought to the racing game was a real way to attack your opponent. By running into power up boxes you will get a random weapon and you can use it to strike your opponent. Green shells fire in only direction but can ricochet around walls causing chaos on the field. Red shells are easily broken but they act heat seeking missiles to your opponent. In this one you can get power ups that allow you have to 3 each. Mushroom and super mushrooms allow you to get a boost of speed. Fake item boxes and banana peels allow you to set mine on the field. Lighting allows you to shrink all other players. And a star gives you a huge boost of speed plus the ability to hurt people by running into them and to bypass most obstacles on the course. The items in this one are pretty solid sure there is the blue shell that started in this one but it’s not a sure fire hit, and the CPU doesn’t to be able to use it very well. So no trolling at the end of the course by getting hit by one of those babies.

If you like to practice or most your best speed for your buddies to view (no online on this one) there is also time trail mode. The original N64 allowed you to save times and ghosts onto memory cards so you can take them to a friend’s house. This feature is not available on the virtual console. Small sacrifice if you ask me.

If you got buddies though you can race though a GP cup like normal, or pick your own course to race. You can also try something that was great in the original but even better now and that is battle mode. In battle mode the idea is to hit your opponents with weapons and pop there balloons, each time you take damage you lose a balloon last one standing wins. Also in this one if you’re playing 3 or 4 players a losing player will turn into a bob-bomb on wheels if you run into another player you can cause them to lose a balloon, perfect way to get revenge on the person who knocked you out of the competition.

Battle mode

it's about beating each other up.
it's about beating each other up.

Do I recommend Mario Kart 64 for the N64... HELL NO!!!!

Let me explain if you race with Mario Kart 64 on a 17 year old N64 controller has been used it will feel like you’re racing a go-kart that has a club anti-theft device attach to the steering wheel. I do recommend it on the Wii virtual console which will cost you 10 bucks. If you own an original Wii you can use a gamecube controller which is the best way to play Mario Kart 64 if you ask me.

People who own slim Wii’s or Wii U’s can still play this you will need a wii remote and a classic controller (I recommend the pro) and it is a fine way to play all though because it plugs into the back of the Wii Remote it does make it unnecessarily heavy (note don’t mistake the classic controller for the Wii for a similar one for the Wii U the perfectly wireless one for the Wii U will not work on the original Wii’s virtual console). Either way is a great way to get into this classic racer.


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