Before the release of Super Mario Kart in September 1992, out favorite red plumber hadn’t really explored video game genres that were outside of the typical platforming fare. At this juncture, Super Mario World had just dropped the year before – why fix what wasn’t broken?
That being said, Super Mario Kart was one of the Super Nintendo’s killer apps. It’s a superbly fun gameplay experience that had quite a bit of single-player replay value. Of course, that wasn’t why you were playing it – you were playing Super Mario Kart with your friends at sleepovers until 3 AM. One of the first multiplayer racing games to appear on any home console, the game came at the right time with new processing and gameplay innovations that helped Super Mario Kart play better than most games at the time.
Notably, the game contained a battle mode as well as standard GP // single race modes. You could use items to knock off all of your opponents’ balloons on various courses, which provided even more hours of entertainment (and fights). Even today, with the obviously incredible racing games you can play today, it’s still relevant because it changed the way we play racing games and who we play them with. Obviously the series went on to sell millions of copies (Mario Kart 8 is a riot to play) and inspired other imitators as well.