Video Game History: Mario Kart Arcade GP

Mario Kart Arcade GP poster

While Mario has raced on the SNES, N64, GC, GBA, Wii, DS, and 3DS you’ve probably never seen this Mario Kart for arcades. In 2005, Nintendo let Namco develop a Mario Kart just for the arcades.

Mario Kart Arcade GP Mario driving Namco

It was basically the same concept. Race as a Mario character, use items, and get to the finish.

Mario vs Pac-Man Mario Kart Arcade GP Namco Nintendo

Namco also added Pac-Man characters to the mix. Making it the first Mario Kart to include characters outside the Mario series. Donkey Kong is technically part of the Mario series as he was Mario’s first antagonist before Bowser came along.

Wario driving Mario Kart Arcade GP Namco Nintendo

However while the game-play was praised, it faced pretty negative criticism for asking too much for quarters per play time. This led the game to be frankly ignored in the arcades, and forgotten in the media.

Toad Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 Japan

Namco did release Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 in 2008 (2007 in Japan) which fixed most of the original’s problems. The sequel received much better reviews, though a weak American arcade market limited the game’s reach. I once had the chance to try it out, but ended up passing on it. The next time I went in the same arcade, the machine was gone. Now I regret missing out.

Published by Adam (Neko Random)

Nerdy guy who loves video games, movies, history, tv, and trivia.

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