The second entry in Nintendo’s Mario Kart series Mario Kart 64 is coming the Wii U Virtual Console this coming Thursday (21st January) in Europe. With this release, the original Nintendo 64 experience can be enjoyed from the comfort of the Wii U gamepad’s screen for £8.99/€9.99.
First released in US/EU regions in 1997, Mario Kart 64 was the first of the series to feature 3D tracks and introduced many of the gameplay staples we associate with Mario Kart titles today – Four-player battles, mirror mode, banana bunches, golden mushrooms, and the notorious blue shell were all added to the antics of the series’ races.
With only 16 courses to race on, Mario Kart 64 ties with the GameCube’s Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for the least amount of tracks featured in the series. But while its SNES predecessor Super Mario Kart featured more tracks, Mario Kart 64 improved upon the variety of course styles since it didn’t contain repeated level themes like Mario Circuit 1, Mario Circuit 2, etc.
Most of Nintendo’s gaming consoles since the Super Nintendo have had their own Mario Kart title; the series reached its eighth installment in 2014 with the release of Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U. With each game being a critical and commercial success, each iteration of Mario Kart has its own legion of dedicated fans who lay different claims about which title is the best of the series.
This release of Mario Kart 64 marks the fourth Mario Kart title available on the Wii U Virtual Console, with the SNES’s Super Mario Kart, the GBA’s Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and the Nintendo DS’s Mario Kart DS also available for purchase.
There is no US release date yet for Mario Kart 64 on the Wii U Virtual Console.