Super Mario Kart
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Release date Super NES:
Flag of Japan August 27, 1992
Flag of USA September 1, 1992, (then re-released on May 20, 1996 as the Player's Choice)
Flag of Europe January 21, 1993

Virtual Console:
Flag of Japan June 9, 2009
Flag of USA November 23, 2009
Flag of Europe April 2, 2010
Flag of Australia April 2, 2010
Genre Racing
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone (E)
Mode(s) 1-2 players
Media SNES Cartridge
Input SNES Controller (SNES)

Super Mario Kart is a racing game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System released in 1992 and re-released in 1996 as the Player's Choice. It is also released in Japan on June 9, 2009, in United States on November 23, 2009 and on April 2, 2010 in Europe and Australia as a Virtual Console. It was the first game in the Mario Kart series, and the game that popularized the kart racing style of video game.


As well as the eight playable drivers, various other Mario series characters appear in Super Mario Kart. Thwomps, Piranha Plants, Monty Moles and Cheep-cheeps are enemies that serve as obstacles in certain tracks, and Boos appear in the background of other tracks, as well as serving as a usable item.

As stated in the Super Mario Kart manual, Lakitu is the owner of the Super Mario Kart Race Track, and as such, he oversees all races. He holds up the starting signal and various other signs, and for the price of two Coins, he uses his fishing rod to lift any fallen drivers back onto the racetrack.


Super Mario Kart has eight available drivers, divided into statistically identical pairs of two. These four categories have no official name, but are referred in the manual as different classes. Later Mario Kart titles categorize characters into weight classes to organize their stats.

The Drivers
The Small Guys
These characters have very good steering, but only average acceleration and average top speed. They also get bumped around a lot, because of their low weight.
The Koopa Troopa is one of the basic enemies introduced in Super Mario Bros.. When the computer uses him, he will sometimes throw Green Shells towards the player. Super Mario Kart is, apart from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart Wii, the only game where the player or the CPU can drive with a Koopa Troopa. Toad is also another character introduced in Super Mario Bros, and one of few friendly characters from those events. When the computer uses Toad, he will sometimes throw mushrooms in front of the player that will make him or her shrink if he or she collides into them.
The Dino and the Lady
These characters have excellent acceleration, average handling, and medium weight, but suffer from poor top speed.
Princess Toadstool was also introduced in Super Mario Brothers. She is the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom. When the computer uses her, she will sometimes throw mushrooms at that player to make him or her shrink. Yoshi is a friendly green dinosaur-like creature, first introduced in Super Mario World. When the computer uses him, he will sometimes throw eggs at the player.
The Bros.
These characters are average in all areas.
Mario is the main hero of the Mario series, first introduced in Donkey Kong. When the computer uses him, he will sometimes use Star power (invincibility). Luigi, Mario's much less famous brother, who first appeared in the game Mario Brothers as a palette swap for use as a second player in multi-player games. When the computer uses him, he will sometimes use Star power (invincibility).
The Showdown
These characters have the highest top speed and heaviest weight, but suffer from poor acceleration and poor control.
Bowser is another character introduced in Super Mario Brothers, and the game's main villain, as well as the villain of most games in the Mario series. When the computer uses him, he will sometimes throw lava balls at the player. Donkey Kong Jr. is the son of Donkey Kong and one of the more obscure characters in the series. He made his debut in his self-titled game. When the computer uses him, he will sometimes throw bananas at the player.

Character attributes
Drivers Acceleration Top Speed Weight Handling
Koopa TroopaToadMediumMediumLowHigh
Princess ToadstoolYoshiHighLowMediumMedium
BowserDonkey Kong Jr.LowHighHighLow



Mushroom CupEdit

Flower CupEdit

Star CupEdit

Special CupEdit

Only available in 100cc and 150cc



Super Mario Kart has a different rival system from the rest of the series; the rivals contain one very fast driver, one fast driver, one medium driver, one slower driver and three very slow drivers. It is notable that when one of the three slower drivers gets hit, that kart will keep its place while when one of the faster cars gets shot, it will usually resume its previous place very quickly unless unable to catch up fast enough before the race ends. For this reason, the drivers (except the human racer) will (if unaffected) always finish in the exact same order. Also if the player tries to hit an opponent a majority of the time, they jump over the item.

The rivals for each driver is always the same, the list will be in the order the line up for the first race. It is possible to change the order if the rivals can't recover their place at the end, (Eg. If someone is playing as Luigi and Yoshi finishes last, Yoshi will then become one of the three slower drivers while everybody takes the next position up)

The rivals are determined by the current points standing, meaning that if Yoshi was still only second to the player, he will boost back to first position from the start.

Character Rival Order
Mario DK Jr, Toadstool, Yoshi, Luigi, Toad, Bowser, Koopa
Luigi Yoshi, Mario, Bowser, Koopa, Toadstool, DK Jr, Toad
Toadstool Bowser, Toad, Mario, DK Jr, Luigi, Yoshi, Koopa
Yoshi Koopa, DK Jr, Toadstool, Bowser, Mario, Toad, Luigi
Bowser Mario, Luigi, Toadstool, Yoshi, DK Jr, Toad, Koopa
DK Jr Toad, Bowser, Koopa, Luigi, Toadstool, Mario, Yoshi
Koopa Luigi, Yoshi, Toadstool, Mario, Bowser, DK Jr, Toad
Toad Toadstool, DK Jr, Mario, Yoshi, Luigi, Koopa, Bowser

References to Other GamesEdit

  • Donkey Kong Jr.- Donkey Kong Jr. makes his first proper appearance in some time.
  • Super Mario World- Yoshi returns, several sound effects from this game are reused, the music in the Bowser's Castle levels is the same music from the final boss in this game and Boos are identical in appearance to as they were in this game.


  • In the manual, the picture for Mario Circuit 1 is upside down.
  • All 20 of the courses appeared in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, but all of their track hazards have been removed, Item Boxes are at different places than where ? Panels laid, and some tracks changed a little. The music for all tracks were remixed to make the music sound exactly the same.
  • The game was placed 32nd in the 100th issue of Nintendo Power's "100 best Nintendo games of all time" in 1997.[1]
  • In the book, Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition for 2009, Super Mario Kart was placed as the #1 best console game.
  • The game placed 33rd in the 200th issue of GameInformer's "Top 200 Games of all Time" in December 2009.


  1., retrieved 6/4/2009