The legendary game was released in 1997
In 1997, Mario Kart 64 changed gaming forever when it was released on the Nintendo 64.
While it wasn't technically the first entry in the series, it is the one that most often makes long-time Nintendo fans nostalgic. Many millennials look back on Mario Kart 64 with a particular fondness, as it was the first to offer 4-player split-screen. Most 90s babies can remember endless sleepless nights spent playing against friends and family.
While the first to offer a variety of game modes and a 4-player split-screen, it was also the first entry in the series to offer weight mechanics, which meant that with multiple characters to choose from, weight helped to determine their skills on the track. Regardless of whether you prefer heavier or lighter characters, here are all the characters of the Mario Kart 64 universe, objectively ranked from worst to best in terms of skill.
Wario Mario Kart 64
While Wario may seem like a good choice for players in need of a heavier weight class, the Mario antihero is just not that exciting of a character. He cruises along just fine but offers no defining characteristics that you can't get from one of the game's other characters.
His frame is clunky, so he never quite revs up to be as fast as the other characters, and while he's smooth at turns, he has to sacrifice speed to do so. He simply is not that good unless you're a die-hard fan of the chunky boy himself.
Luigi Mario Kart 64
While one of the most iconic characters in the Mario universe, Luigi was thrown around every course in Mario Kart 64. He is so lightweight that he drives at times like a ragdoll.
With that said, he has solid handling, which makes it easy for him to rip around tight corners. However, it's hard for him to build up to top speed, so he wouldn't be the best choice if players want to play competitively online.
Princess Peach Mario Kart 64
Princess Peach is a great choice for those new to Mario Kart. She has fast acceleration, and her lightweight frame makes it easy to dash into an early lead. With that said, she is also quite flimsy and can be beaten back by other characters relatively easily.
Her frame is so lightweight that if she gets thrown around too much she will easily spin out, and frankly, she isn't quite fast enough to catch up to other players once she's behind. She's an easy character to just pick up and play as, but players will soon grow tired of her being thrown off the course so often.
Donkey Kong Mario Kart 64
Donkey Kong's hulking frame makes him a powerful driver, and one that takes a lot of manpower to drive off course.
He is also a lot faster than expected from someone of his size and can gain on players quite effectively. For fans of heavier weight classes, Donkey Kong is a great go-to. With that said, his beefy figure means he isn't the most agile driver, so he can sometimes bang up against walls when faced with tight corners.
Toad Mario Kart 64
Toad is often a favorite among longtime Mario Kart players, and for good reason. He is one of the most agile characters in the game and can slide and weave between players and around tight corners with relative ease.
The nimble little guy has amazing handling, and can oftentimes fare well against the bigger competitors. With that said, he moves quickly and requires quick reflexes in order to utilize his talents. For those who aren't fast with the joystick, Toad might be a little too lightweight for you. But if you prefer speed and agility above all else, he is a great option.
Mario in Mario Kart 64
Mario is probably the best-suited character for beginners. A well-balanced racer, he is an effective turner with great handling, as well as great acceleration and a fast top speed. He is also difficult to knock off a course, and it's really easy for Mario to catch up to first place no matter how big of a lead the winner has. It should surprise no one that the game's namesake is a well-rounded competitor in his own game.
Bowser Mario Kart 64
Bowser is by far the best heavyweight character in the game. A brutish force, it's nearly impossible to run him off the track. He is a difficult foe to face, not only because of his stocky build but because his top speed is really, really fast. His handling of tight corners is also impressive, making him an oddly well-balanced racer for those in favor of a heavier driver.
Yoshi Mario Kart 64
Ranking Yoshi as the game's top player should come as no surprise to longtime Mario Kart 64 players. He is one of the fastest characters in the game and can put some serious distance between him and other players with relative ease.
When knocked off course, he can regain ground incredibly quickly, and even on his top acceleration, can swerve around corners like it's no big deal. His only downfall is that tight corners sometimes slow him down when he's at top speed, but if you take time to learn how to control Yoshi, these setbacks are no big deal.
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