|Portal: Sports and Racing||Mario Kart series at|
The Mario Kart (series) began in 1992 with the release of Super Mario Kart for the SNES. It is considered by many to be the start of the now-popular sub-genre, Kart racers. Few clones of Mario Kart end up achieving the same critical acclaim. There have been 7 games released so far in this series, with the 8th on the way, not including the 3 Arcade Games.
Mario Kart games differ from traditional racing games through, light-hearted, unrealistic, arcade action and mid-race combat. This formula tends to make it easier for anyone to have fun and easily learn the ropes. Players first choose a driver, whos weight determines control, as opposed to vehicles (Although this feature is added in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!) Next, players choose a track, which are always set somewhere in the Mario universe, and feature offbeat obstacles and course design. Rainbow Road is a staple of all Mario Kart games, and is usually the hardest to race on.
Combat is one of the largest distinguishing features of the series. All along the track, regenerating boxes of power-ups and weapons are scattered at fixed points. A character can use the common green shells to knock down an opponent, the heat seeking red shells, use lightning to make all opponents small & weak, use a super star to become temporarily invincible, and much more.