The Mario Kart franchise has been one of the most successful in Nintendo’s lineup, and pulls in evergreen sales unlike any other. Decades after making its debut, Mario Kart is more popular than ever, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues to make its way into new homes.

What is it that makes Mario Kart so popular? Nikkei asked Mario Kart Producer Kosuke Yabuki to get some insight. You can find his answer, as translated by NintendoEverything, below.

Generally speaking, you’re not trying to hinder your opponent in racing games, but in Mario Kart, you spend races throwing shells at them and trying to make them slip on banana peels. Those unique tactics are the core of Mario Kart’s appeal.

It’s both an accessible and deep game. There are people who only play the game on Christmas or New Year’s, while others work to improve their skills every day. We’re always mindful of balancing the experience for both types of players.

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Comments (5)


2y ago

I don't think there is a bad Mario Kart game. I only wish they would have made more rc cars for Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. Adding on additional cars like Peach, Toad, or Bowser would have been awesome.


2y ago

It's awesome that they aim to create one game that still appeals to all of these -very- different kind of players.


2y ago


I too think all Mario Kart games are great. I wonder where the series goes from here.


2y ago


Mario Kart Wii is bad. The item balancing is terrible and the AI are even more aggressive than in 64.

I probably had some of my best experiences with that game. A bunch of friends and I would get together online every Wednesday and play for an hour. Maybe not playing with AI opponents gave me a better experience.