A lot of people remember Mario Kart 64 for its memorable characters, memorable music, and its battle mode. Mario Kart 64 is one of the most, if not, the most memorable game in the Mario Kart series. However, it is not the first game in the series.
That honor goes to Super Mario Kart for the SNES. The inaugural game in the series, Super Mario Kart is a game that has eight characters (same as Mario Kart 64) and takes you around 20 different tracks. You have four cups and three different speed classes (50cc, 100cc, 150cc). Your goal is to win each cup at each class, with the final cup being unlocked by beating all cups in the first two classes. There is one player absent from this game: Wario. He is replaced by Koopa Troopa, who is absent from the series after until Mario Kart: Double Dash.
The game contrasts quite a bit from its 3D descendant. The battle mode in Mario Kart 64 is much more exciting than the SNES installment with the tracks having more depth. The race tracks themselves are another stark difference, with the 3D courses having more depth and slopes as opposed to the simple layout of Super Mario Kart's tracks. Super Mario Kart is also split into two screens as opposed to Mario Kart 64, which has a map on the side that you can shift through (along with its own speedometer). You can also have up to four players in Mario Kart 64 as opposed to just two in Super Mario Kart.
Don't let that veer you away from Super Mario Kart, though. The game's tracks are still fun and require a bit of strategy and tactical thinking to maneuver around. There are also no Spiny Shells in the game and no AI rubberbanding in Super Mario Kart, meaning you don't have to sweat out a race if you're in first place (although the shells do make the races more fun in multiplayer mode in later Mario Kart installments).
Overall, Super Mario Kart may be forgotten by fans when it comes to the best Mario Kart games in the series. However, it is still a good game that you can give a try.
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