Mario Kart is a series of go-kart-style battle racing games developed by Nintendo, using the Super Mario characters franchise. The series is associated with colourful cute Mario graphics, simplified physics and a weapons/item system that awards better weapons/items the worse the player's position is. The series is also famous for the battle stages, where players drive around in an arena, trying to shoot the opponents with various items.
The main series has in 2014 seen five games for consoles and three games for handhelds. There are also three arcade games, that are beside the main series.
The first game, Super Mario Kart, was released for the Super Famicon (Super Nintendo) in 1992, and used the famous mode 7 graphics mode, which was the Super Famicom's ability to real-time rotate and skew a bitmap. The actual player karts were hand-drawn sprites, racing on a flat ground that turned as the players turned. Apart from the usual weapons, players could pick up coins that added as a collision-defence, and also increased the karts' max speed. Super Mario Kart allowed for 2 players splitscreen play.
The second installment Mario Kart 64, was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1996 and was in full 3D (though the karts were pre-rendered), establishing the form of all subsequent sequels in the series. Tracks were longer, with mountains and valleys, and the item boxes now floated in the air instead of being symbols on the ground. This installment allowed for 4 players split-screen, although not possible in the main game "Grand Prix" mode.
The third installment Mario Kart Super Circuit was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001. This allowed up to 4 Game Boy Advanced linked together to play with each other.
The fourth, Mario Kart Double Dash was released for the Game Cube in 2003. This game featured the possibility of cooperative play, where one player was driving, and the other player played the co-driver, firing the weapons. This also allowed for 4 player split-screen.
The fifth game in the series, Mario Kart DS was released for the Nintendo DS in 2005.
The sixth game, Mario Kart Wii, was released for the Wii in 2008.
as a series of spin-offs from its trademark Mario series of platformer adventure-style video games. The series debuted in 1992 with critical and commercial success.
The seventh game was simply called Mario Kart 7, and was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011.
The eight game, Mario Kart 8, was released for the WiiU in 2014. In this, the three-dimensional sense of the tracks had been extended to the karts being able to go up walls and drive upside down in the ceilings.
There three arcade games were released in 2005, 2007 and 2013, respectively.
Super Mario Kart (1992) – Super Famicom / SNES
Mario Kart 64 (1995) – Nintendo 64
Mario Kart Super Circuit (2001) – Game Boy Advance
Mario Kart Double Dash (2003) – Gamecube
Mario Kart DS (2005) – Nintendo DS
Mario Kart Wii (2008) – Wii
Mario Kart 7 (2011) – Nintendo 3DS
Mario Kart 8 (2014) – WiiU