Nintendo Releases Super Mario Kart for the SNES

Super Mario Kart (スーパーマリオカート, Sūpā Mario Kāto) is a go-kart racing game developed by Nintendo EAD for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The first game of the Mario Kart series, it was launched in Japan on 27 August 1992, in North America on 1 September 1992 and in Europe on 21 January 1993. Selling eight million copies worldwide, the game went on to become the third best selling SNES game of all time. Super Mario Kart was re-released on the Wii's Virtual Console in Japan on 9 June 2009.

In Super Mario Kart the player takes control of one of eight Mario series characters, each with differing capabilities. In single player mode players can race against computer controlled characters in multi-race cups over three difficulty levels. During the races, offensive and speed boosting power ups can be used to gain an advantage. Alternatively players can race against the clock in a Time Trial mode. In multi-player two players can simultaneously take part in the cups or can race against each other one-on-one in Match Race mode. In a third multiplayer mode – Battle Mode – the aim is to defeat the other player by attacking them with power ups, destroying balloons which surround each kart.

Super Mario Kart received positive reviews and has been praised for its presentation, innovation and use of Mode 7 graphics. It has been ranked among the best games of all time by several organizations including Edge, IGN, The Age and GameSpot whilst Guinness World Records has named it as the top console game ever. It is often credited with creating the kart-racing sub genre of video games, leading other developers to try to duplicate its success. The game is also seen as having been key to expanding the Mario series into non-platforming games; a diversity which has lead to it becoming the best selling game franchise of all time. Several sequels to Super Mario Kart have been released, for consoles and in arcades, each enjoying both critical and commercial success. Whilst some elements have developed throughout the series the core experience from Super Mario Kart has remained intact.