This is Objection Network’s countdown of the top 25 video game series of all-time. We’re counting down to the best franchise ever on March 31. For more info on the voting process, click here.
9) Mario Kart (3 votes, 149 points)
Chris: There’s a decent chance that this is the series I’ve played the most in my life.
That’s actually a pretty surprising thing to think about, but I’m pretty sure it’s true. Sure, I’ve poured hours into Zelda and Mario. I’ve gone through almost every Tales game, which are usually 50+ hour endeavors. I spent more time on Ragnarok Online and Rock Band than I’d care to admit.
But Mario Kart has been a constant in the last two decades, starting with the Super Nintendo original. My dad and I poured hours and hours into that game, to the point where we knew where to drop items on the track to hit the AI opponents every single time. We sort of took a co-op approach to it, where whoever won the first race tried to win the cup and the other person did their best to take out their opponents and finish second.
Mario Kart 64 also ate up a ton of time, but the true black hole was Double Dash. Forget homebrewed co-op — now you could team up for realsies! We didn’t even do the switching mechanic; it was just dedicated driver and full-time item chucker as we raced for glory. There was many an evening with freshly baked cookies and four people trying to work together to put up 160 points in the mirror mode grand prix.
Every title in the series has been good. The most recent, 8, might be the best in the franchise, just because it’s beautiful and has about a million tracks and characters. We’re getting close to the point where we’ll see what’s next for Mario Kart (although this Deluxe version of 8 on the Switch will probably buy Nintendo a couple years), but I’m sure it’ll be fun no matter what.
Michelle: I’m honor-bound to put the Mario Kart series high on the list, but I’ve never personally been very good at the game. And not for a lack of trying! I just suck, which sucks for a super competitive person like myself. It activates my Game Rage when I inevitably end up in last place, and take my word for it when I say that it’s never much fun for anyone involved. Not my favorite game to play, but I will admit that the game is Ol’ Faithful levels of consistent across its titles (with Double Dash!! almost unanimously declared the best in the series), and it’s slick. It really excels as a party game, and can provide hours of entertainment. Also the Luigi memes that came out of Mario Kart 8 were incredible.
But can we talk about post-64 blue shell? Seriously… even though it’s rare for me, getting Blue Shelled is the Worst Thing Ever. It’s too OP, it’s so annoying. Please nerf (even more than they were nerfed in 8).
Christine: I’ve played a little of the older and newer Mario Kart games, mostly because I have a good number of friends who are really into games. Hang outs at friends’ places almost always involved video games. I’m not really the best at Mario Kart. I tend to have a really hard time controlling the vehicles I’m in and it gets much worse when I encounter those sharp turns on the tracks. I would almost always come in dead last, but it didn’t matter. There was something really exhilarating about speeding along on the tracks and trying to get ahead of your opponents. I also liked exploring the different courses each game had to offer and the level of difficulty they provided. For me personally, Rainbow Road is one of the most visually pretty courses to feast your eyes on and one of the most frustrating ones to drive on. When it comes to games to play as a group, Mario Kart is the best of the bunch to play.
(10) Smash Brothers
(11) Fire Emblem
(12) Street Fighter
(13) Batman: Arkham
(14) Metal Gear
(18) Saints Row
(20) The Sims
(21) Grand Theft Auto
(23) Animal Crossing
(24) Silent Hill
(25) Donkey Kong