Mario Kart 64 was originally released in Japan during the later part of 1996; but it was released in America in early 1997. This game was the first 3D Mario racing title to be released in the series and it would be safe to say that it had exceeded the expectations of many people following its release. Mario Kart 64 had included all of the elements in the Super Mario Kart for the SNES that made the game itself exciting but with the addition of new stages and highly refined 3D gameplay. Similar to its SNES predecessor Mario Kart 64 includes grand prix, time trial, and battle mode in which players can learn how to master their racing skills. However, a unique feature this game includes involves the introduction of “Mirror Mode” which allows players to complete a stage while racing backwards through whatever course they have selected.
Also, the addition of a new game level was added in Mario Kart 64 to make the game more challenging. In Super Mario Kart the most difficult level was 100cc while in Mario Kart 64 allows players to go up to 150cc. While some people consider the 150cc to be extremely difficult some people are pros and the game is virtually no different then playing on level 100cc. Aside from being a challenging game Mario Kart 64 has unique stages that has tough but exciting obstacles to it. Some examples of stages that were exciting included: Bowser’s Castle, Wario Stadium, and Banshee Boardwalk because there were many obstacles or large jumps in each course. However, depending on what type of gamer you are none of the stages were hard and was just as easy as Luigi Raceway. The soundtrack for Mario Kart 64 was great while the themes for each stage ranged from being adventurous to being relaxing. Some soundtracks that were memorable including Toad’s Turnpike & Rainbow Road; the stages themselves exciting while the soundtracks had captured the vibe of each race track perfectly.
Mario Kart 64 was highly praised by fans and critics alike along with receiving a five star rating from GamePro. This title had also been given an “A” rating by Electronic Gaming Monthly along with receiving positive reviews from numerous other publications following it release. Not only was this game one of the most fun 3D racing games of its time but it was also followed by many sequels that also proved be successful as time progressed.