We don't claim to always be correct here at Nintendo Life, but we certainly will fight just as hard to defend our terrible opinions as we do the good ones. Today, thanks to the recent re-release of old Mario Kart tracks in the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass, we're thinking back to Mario Karts of old... and that means discussing our feelings on Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the surprisingly strategic double-driver kart racer that flipped the Mario Kart formula on its head way before Mario Kart 8's gravity gimmick. Spoiler alert: We love it. Mostly.
Is that a good opinion, or a bad one? We'll never tell.
We will, however, tell you our detailed thoughts on why we love Double Dash so much, almost 20 years after its initial release. It may not have the sharpest graphics, or the widest range of playable characters, or a huge selection of courses (but why would you need anything other than Baby Park, really?) but it still stands as a pretty brilliant entry into the Mario Kart series that wasn't afraid to shake things up.
So, get your engines revving, because it's time to wave the big flag that makes races start. Heeere we go!
Kate Gray, Staff Writer (Baby Mario/Baby Luigi)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is perhaps the only time that a Mario Kart game has had an extra layer of strategy, with the addition of double drivers. There's plenty of strategy in the games already, of course — between the racing, the shortcuts, and the items (and when to use them!) the games are basically a three-lap competitive puzzle.
Double Dash's drivers can be switched over at any time, and they can also hold items, which means that you can essentially bank an item for later. There's also the extra strategic option of choosing two drivers from the same "team" — Baby Mario and Baby Luigi, for example — to unlock an extra optional item that's unique to each team. The Babies Mario, for example, have access to a Chain Chomp, which can catapult you into the lead while also chompin' on all your foes.
Which brings me to the other reason I love Double Dash (other than Baby Park, the GOAT track): More than any other Mario Kart game, it's easy to claw back victory after being unceremoniously shunted to the back of the pack with a well-timed banana-lightning combo. Several of the items, especially the unique team items, are designed to push you forwards by several places, or at least to severely damage the chances of the other drivers. Or both.
This dynamic rubber-banding means that 1st Place never feels locked down, like it does sometimes in Mario Kart 8 — anyone, at any time, can suddenly end up ahead of the rest, only to drop back down to 8th thanks to an unfortunate late-lap mishap. It's tense right up until the end of each race, which is something I can't really say about MK8, where I'll often be in 1st for nearly 3 laps without much challenge. Is that a brag? You bloody bet it is. (*Toad voice*) I'm the best.
Ollie Reynolds, Staff Writer (Bowser/Bowser Jr)
Nearly 20 years after its release, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is still probably the biggest shake-up the franchise has ever seen. Mario Kart Wii introduced motion controls and brought the surprisingly intuitive Wii Wheel into the limelight, but as someone who once worked in video game retail, you can bet I've seen some pretty grubby Wii Wheels in my time - so I could do without them.
Meanwhile, Mario Kart 8 has its fun anti-grav features, but honestly, beyond the speed boosts you could get by slamming into other players, it didn't really add anything unique to the overall gameplay. Double Dash, however, introduced an incredibly unique, strategic element with its two-person karts, allowing you a level of control over item usage that hasn't been matched since.
On a more personal note, however, Double Dash contains some of my favourite elements from the entire series. The combination of Bowser and Bowser Jr nets you an awesome spiked green shell which, if you're lagging behind the rest of the racers, will wipe out several in one go if you're accurate enough. Not only that, but the game includes one of my all time favourite tracks with Waluigi Stadium, a course teeming with obstacles and ramps that I've replayed more times than I'd care to admit (Nintendo, you need to bring this one to the Booster Course Pass!).
Double Dash had its fair share of naysayers upon release; its somewhat awkward drifting mechanic took a bit of getting used to and some of the courses feel a tad simplistic by today's standards, but for me, it was the first Mario Kart that I properly got into and will remain a firm favourite. Am I blinded by nostalgia? Maybe. But I'm also right.
Gavin Lane, editor (DK/not-DK)
When it comes to the 'best' Mario Kart, I'm of the opinion that it's invariably the one you've played most with three pals and perhaps a few frosty beverages. In that scenario, it's tough to go wrong with any of them, and for me it was Double Dash at university.
I adored MK64 (my first Mario Kart), but the mixture of incredible new courses and fully-3D characters in Double Dash really made an impression. DK Mountain and Baby Park stick in my mind as classic tracks: the former remembered for the race to the barrel, the cute buck-toothed volcano, and that perilous shortcut before the final bridge (not to mention the incredible viral video this track produced — see below); the latter for its frenzied item-heavy mania.
Simply switching characters and items was a joy which really made this entry feel deeper than the others. Tapping 'Z' to change driver and watch them hop between seats really made the upgrade from MK64's 2D sprites tangible. Slide into a corner, drop a trailing banana skin to foil someone on your tail, switch characters, activate your saved Starman and boost out of the drift, ploughing through a carefully-laid trap and into some poor soul who was about to cross the line — what a feeling! It upped the strategy in an incredibly satisfying way that I've never experienced in any of the other entries.
Double Dash could still be unfair (again, see below), but it gave you a fighting chance to outwit your opponents if you were canny through its namesake gimmick.
Alana Hagues, Staff Writer (Toad/Toadette)
I spent a ludicrous amount of hours on Double Dash as a kid. Really, the GameCube on the whole is the console where I formed a lot of my most-formative gaming memories, and I cherish that era deeply. And really, my love for Double Dash has just bloomed over the years.
Double Dash feels like the last Mario Kart to have a really distinctive gimmick. Sure, anti-gravity is fun and allows for creative course design, and things like Mirror Mode, customisable vehicles, and paragliders have all been seen in every game since their inclusion. So why oh why won’t Nintendo bring back having two racers!? You could do your standard versus races with a friend or three, but why not team up with one of your buddies and have them sit on the back and throw items for you? When someone is controlling the back character, they can also swipe at another kart if they’re close enough and steal their item. Brutal!
I always picked Toad and Toadette, who made her debut in this very game! The mushroom-headed duo were a pretty noisy pair, which always used to annoy my friends, especially whenever I got their signature item the Golden Dash Mushroom. This gilded fungus gives you infinite speed boosts for a set period of time, so those sneaky blue shells that pushed me four places down the ranks felt like nothing.
I still have my original copy of Double Dash and a launch-day GameCube, so I booted it up after playing through the Booster Course Pass - and geez, am I rough! My old save file from 2008 (how is that 14 years ago?) has every single mode fully completed, with King Boo and Petey Piranha to boot, and despite being twice as old, I could only manage one first place in 150cc in the 12 courses I replayed. Phew. Good thing it wasn’t a LAN party, but I didn’t love getting whooped by NPCs for a few hours. This is what Mario Kart Wii’s bikes have done to me.
If you still need convincing that Double Dash is the best Mario Kart game, I mean, c’mon, it has DK Mountain, Dino Dino Jungle, Baby Park, and the best Bowser Castle in the series?
Tom Whitehead, Deputy Editor (erm, see below)
I was asked to contribute to this because I'm strange and didn't have a GameCube. No, really, and I still don't, I missed that entire generation of consoles (PS2 and OG Xbox too) and played pretty much exclusively on a creaky PC back in the day. It's just how it was.
For me, then, Double Dash!! has always looked like an oddity, having only played it briefly at some get-togethers many years ago. I've had to ask others to explain the whole point of having two characters in the kart; it sounds cool from a single player perspective, to be fair, with strategic options adding to the racing thrills. In Co-Op though? As the younger brother I feel like I would permanently be in the back throwing items, which has zero appeal to me.
My experience with the series has been with its Nintendo 64, Wii, 3DS, Wii U and Switch entries, then, in which I've devoted hundreds (actually thousands) of hours. In those games Mario Kart isn't just a jolly time, it's a brutal 'only the strong survive' struggle. Play a bit of MK8 Deluxe online nowadays and it's a humbling, bruising experience that nevertheless keeps me coming back. Part of what I love is the simple formula at play - it's just you, your vehicle of choice, and whatever items the RNG Mario Kart gods give you. It's basic and classic, with anti-grav and all that jazz really just making the tracks more exciting. The core gameplay loop, and how items are used, has been unchanged for me over decades.
I'm sure Double Dash!! is awesome, but maybe there's a reason Nintendo only went with that approach once and hasn't returned. Sometimes perfectly tuned simplicity is better.
We're not all in agreement about whether or not Double Dash!! was a great spin on an established series, but there is at least one thing we can all agree on: Mario Kart rules. Whether or not we're all aligned on which one rules most is unimportant, as long as we can keep playing together!
But now is your time to voice your opinion, and we expect it to get spicy in the comments, too — so let us know your thoughts on whether or not Double Dash!! was a triumph or a misstep in the poll below!
Here's some more light Mario Kart reading for you, as well:
Was playing the new MK8D tracks last night (no DD!! tracks yet, sadly) and thinking that if Nintendo just gave us a raw port of DD!! with online play, I'd just as soon play that.
It's a shame we'll probably never get a MK like this again, anytime soon.
No it isn't the best.
I have never played the game but given by only 16 tracks and quite outdated graphic, i'm not sure I want to get that game.
At the very least, it has the... second best Rainbow Road. The character items were a nice way to make you try different combinations
You guys know that you don't need to pick matching teammates to get access to the special items, right? My go-to combo is Wario and Paratroopa and I be dropping bombs and firing off triple shells, both unique to their sets, as I cruise around.
I am more of a Mariokart Triple Tasche kinda guy. It is the oft forgotten entry where Waluigi never became a playable character. But the Tasche trinity of Mazza, luigi and Wazza was good enough for me.
I don't know what I can vote. For me, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! are all two best opus.
Rather than a port, I would like to see a new game with the two person mechanics.
I've got a lot of nostalgia for double dash, but the best? No.
It’s nostalgia for sure but it’s probably my favourite bunch of new tracks. But 8 Deluxe is maybe the best game in terms of just sheer content.
Mario Kart DS.
That is all.
Great game, but MK8D far surpasses with the sheer amount of content and tighter controls. But yeah, I had a lot fun with this back in the day and it was great for its time.
The best Mario Kart is always the most recent console entry.
I agree, Double Dash is the best Mario Kart game ever!!
Recent replayed this after more than 10 years and played Co-op with my nephew, who was just playing for the first time. We both had a blast and it still holds well.
Afterwards we played some Battle Mode against each other.
Strongly dislike Double Dash. It really seems that Mario Kart was in a rut on GameCube and Wii and they couldn't find a way to make it work. On GameCube they tried the 2-character gimmick. On Wii, they added bikes and way too many characters. Neither solution brought any life back to the series. People may not remember but the Wii game was seen as a real low point - low quality graphics, and dull wide tracks. The series only really got back to form with Mario Kart 7 (though DS was good too).
As an aside, Super Circuit is highly underrated.
I'll be honest, I don't think Mario Kart lived up to the hype for me until DS. I mean, I never played much of the original and in 1992 SMK must've been awesome but Mario Kart 64 was blown out of the water by Diddy Kong Racing, Super Circuit is not how I want racing games to control. And Double Dash was the best Mario Kart at the time sure but its so lacking in content. You got your 16 courses, a reasonable amount of characters for the time, and a few battles maps. And that's it. You have the almost bare minimum of ways to play those same 16 courses (GP/Time Trial/Multiplayer). That's about it unless you're into LAN parties. (and considering the GCN's popularity...good luck with that)
Just within months before Double Dash's release, on the same console, you got Need for Speed Underground, and F-Zero GX, and Kirby Air Ride. All of which had more going on that Mario Kart. There was a level of interesting variety that Mario Kart lacked, and no amount of clever co-op ideas in Double Dash can make up for that imo.
But then DS came out 2 years later, had a fun extra single player mode with some original challenges and even bosses, doubled the courses (to be fair, Super Circuit did have SMK courses to unlock, but I feel like most people never unlocked them), and had online at all for a 2005 handheld game (which yes was limited, but was still more ahead of the curve than I often expect Nintendo to be about online gameplay). It also felt like they finally nailed play control for Mario Kart with DS. So while its not been perfect since then, it feels like just the simple act of playing Mario Kart has been nearly perfected since. (though Double Dash plays way better than either of the 2d games, I feel confident in saying that)
All that being said, that makes me think a Double Dash follow up could be amazing. Because it was a cool idea that changed things up for Mario Kart in interesting ways. My issues with Double Dash has to do with content, not the actual main gimmick of the game. With the changes made to Mario Kart since, why not bring it back?
My personal favorite Mario Kart. It will never be topped imo. I just loved how the game handled!
I enjoyed Double Dash when I was younger, but honestly the older the game has gotten the less I've enjoyed it. Something about the controls stopped clicking with me eventually, probably a result of getting so used to how the more modern Mario Kart games feel... DD just feels kind of slippery by comparison. Even my friends don't like it, so I can't really give the game a chance under its ideal local multiplayer circumstances, either. Oh well! Truth be told far as Gamecube racers go I'd really rather Play F-zero GX or Kirby's Air Ride anyway.
DK mountain. Throwing a shell behind as you cross the line in first over the bridge. Hearing screams from your friends. Followed by items being thrown at your head. Happy days!
Mario kart 7 and 8 are much better than double dash it’s good but it’s just not the best at the time I remember a lot of critics were putting it down saying it was a gimmick and now people are remembering it fondly I think it’s just nostalgia talking
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is easily my favourite Mario Kart though Double Dash is definitely top 3. My rankings are:
1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe/Mario Kart 8
2. Mario Kart Wii
3. Mario Kart Double Dash
4. Mario Kart DS
5. Mario Kart 7
6. Mario Kart Super Circuit
7. Mario Kart 64
8. Super Mario Kart
Haven't played Tour but not interested in playing either because microtransactions, thankfully its tracks are coming to 8 Deluxe.
I've never played double dash.
Mario Kart: Double Dash is such a wonderful gem of a game, not only did it introduce the badass "doubles" mechanic but was also so fluid and loose in gameplay. Mario Kart 8 is great but I miss the innovations Nintendo used to go for
My fave MK, loved the strategy of it and the little buggys. Plus it had Diddy Kong!
Plus I don't like that everything is unlocked in MK8, I liked working to unlock mirror mode etc in the previous MK titles, had a good sense of achievement
I would have to go with MK DS. It had such amazing tracks in my opinion. Being able to play wirelessly and online was so cool at the time. And of course the Mission Mode !
Uh boy this feels like some sort of quota for content. Guess the pollsters see super circuit as the better game.
For sure this game is special to me as it wasn't only my first Mario kart, it was my first gamecube game, and gamecube was my first Nintendo console.
I don't know why the poll joked about Super Circuit when it's indeed better than double dash. It's fake 3D is a work of art, and the track design is flawless (unlike Double Dash that tries to be goofy or something like that).
Also, all previous entries of MK had to work hard around hardware limitations, Double Dash was the first free from that, and it didn't make the game more fun to play than the oldies.
I think it controls weird and while it has its standouts I think overall the stage selection of the game is pretty lame and I think at that point 16 stages just wasn't cutting it either. It is fast and zany though which I like in my Kart racers.
It is on the lower end of the series for me but that doesn't mean its bad.
I think Mario Kart Wii was my favorite, the online racing in that one was so goshdarn fun and chaotic. DS was also great and 64 is a nostalgia overload always though I freely admit that even at the time it was inferior to fellow kart racers Diddy Kong Racing and Crash Team Racing.
You must be clairvoyant Kate because I was only playing Double Dash on my Gamecube recently.
I love how fast paced the game was even when you got hit you get back into the race hardly loosing speed instead of being stuck for a good time in the newer ones
Rank one for me, though 8 is a close second.
Probably an unpopular opinion, but 64 ranks last for me, with Wii just in front of it.
8 (Deluxe) is the best for multiplayer, DS best for single player IMO.
And I'd put Double Dash!! right behind those two. The two drivers mechanic still feels great today, and the game has a great roster and set of tracks. That said, while it excels in quality, I think it's missing out a bit in quantity compared to more recent Mario Kart games.
Not the best, but from what I remember (it's been quite a few years now!) the first to perfect the immensely satisfying sliding/skidding round corners game mechanic. And for that alone it gets my vote.
Double Dash is extremely unique, but I still think the best Mario Kart is Wii. It has the best controls and physics by far IMO. Also has a great character roster, a robust kart selection, and a fantastic pool of maps.
My only problem with the game is how OP Funky Kong with the Flame Runner is.
I absolutely loved MKDD, I must have spent 100+ just racing through all tracks (16) with my young daughter, this was well into the MK Wii years. I would always drive and she loved chucking the items to disrupt the other drivers, and even more she loved "punching" the other drivers as we passed them and stealing an item once in awhile.
The double pilots was a nice thing indeed, that said Double Dash, is one my least favorite of the series (but I still love it). Because the soundtrack is really bad, the course design isn't that great either, and I think the new drift system introduced in Mario Kart 8 Wii is much better than the terrible one used before which broke the online of MK DS.
That said it's still Mario Katt, the formula and base gameplay is gold so it's still a very fun racing game.
My fav combo was flying koopa trooper with diddy kong in toads car. Triple red shells for the offense and the huge *** bananas for defence. Loved placing one of those on the bridge of DK mountain.
I don't like Double Dash.
Sure, I tried to convince myself I liked it in the GameCube days when it was the new 3D Mario Kart that it felt like we'd waited forever for, but I don't like most of the tracks, I don't like the handling, there are no words for how bad the music is, and the emphasis on overpowered special items like giant bananas and humongous Bowser shells sucks all the fun out of racing; I feel totally the opposite about those to Kate. Add to that the most unfair blue shell in the series, which doesn't even attempt to hit anyone except the person in first, and you've got a frustrating and often unfun experience.
I realise it's a lot of people's favourite, but I don't think I'll ever go back to it. Wii, 7 and 8 are all miles better as they each get the balance between items and driving pretty much bang on and have more than four decent tracks. (And what is this weird obsession with Baby Park? If there's one track I never wanted to play again its that one.)
Let's face it: You only believe is the best because it appeared on Gamecube. If it was on Wii you'll hate because because "duh kazualz" or some other stuff.
Nintendo fans have this weird tendency of putting in high pedestals things that FAILED and revile the ones that succeed. You guys are predictable.
I looooooooove Double Dash. Tightest driving feel of all MK‘s, the extra items were so fun (Giant Banana and Shells of course), and one detail: items would remain on the track indefinitely as opposed to later games where they’d quickly disappear.
It’s crazy how flat and dull Baby Baby Park turned out in MK8, if you’ve played it before on the GameCube. That course makes no sense at all without the item chaos of DD. Throwing a Giant Shell through the mid barrier into the oncoming traffic? That’s why this course exists.
Wish I could play DD on the Switch! But I guess GC games will never be possible.
@DK-Fan So, have you played it? My flatmate and me played it like maniacs, whenever one of us got home he was greeted by the Time Trial results screen, with another few hundredths shaved off of Bowser’s Castle… left with no choice but to sit down and beat it again. Good times, I’m telling you. The game’s foundation is amazing.
I have such found memories of the GameCube. What a wonderful machine. Graphics on DD still stand up (no matter what the usual dullard posters say). Gameplay is fun. I’m not the biggest fan of the antigravity/flying gimmicks in newer MKs…. I still love MK…. But the foundations of the series are still my fave
@Ruthven Right, totally forgot about that! Such a good coop mode, my girlfriend loved co-driving and laughed her ass off punching everyone off the roads. And with some practice the co-pilot could actually be helpful with corners and avoiding obstacles.
I adored Double Dash and played a ton of it. The tandem gimmick was like special sauce that all the vanilla Karts since have lacked.
Cmon Nintendo, give us the damn sauce! 😆
Dino Dino jungle 150cc time trial. Spent a lot of time on that one.
Drift left. Tick tick tick.
Drift right. Tick tick tick.
If you know. You know
It is a classic. Many great tracks, some of which have returned (Baby Park, Mushroom Bridge, Mario Circuit, Sherbet Land, Yoshi Circuit and Dino Dino Jungle) and some which should have returned (Wario Coloseum, one of my favorites).
The main problem with this game is that you are always a victim of too many itens. Otherwise one of the series' finest.
But the coolest thing by far here is that some of the tracks make reference to other tracks, feeling like a one world.
Objectively it's MK8D, subjectively it's MKW for me. MKDD had damn good items and super cool tracks, but it also had not many tracks in comparison to the games after it.
I liked the gimmick and teaming up different racers. Also thought the drifting mechanic was the best here. Took skill, but wasn’t broken like MKDS.
absolutely not. mk8 dx is the best ever
Double Dash probably is one of the most unique MK games, which makes it worth being played today.
In general, Mario Kart is evolving with every game, and Double Dash has added a lot to the series. And while I love the two-character karts, they added some chaos and complexity to the game and it was good to remove them in MK Wii.
MK Wii, 7 and 8 were much better, but I probably would not play Wi and 7 again, because you get the same experience in MK8D.
Double Dash has the fewest number of tracks tied with Mario Kart 64 at 16, but they're all so fun, especially Daisy Cruiser, DK Mountain, Mushroom City, and Wario Colosseum. Plus, I love all the crazy items and the All Cup Tour. It's my second favorite Mario Kart after 8 Deluxe.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is definitely my favorite
MK8 for me but Double Dash certainly has the most personality and charm of the Mario Karts. And probably the best character roster of the console games (Bring back Diddy, Toadsworth and Birdo!)
Always the I keep going back too. I bought an emulation device solely so I could play GameCube games I love it that much.
I enjoyed Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8/Deluxe a lot more. I can't say that Mario Kart Double Dash!! ever really did it for me. I will say that it has some really fun tracks that I've enjoyed translated into Wii and 8.
The article surprised me as Double Dash has always been my least favourite. I liked it but not as much as the other entries. Definitely the version I’ve played the least. There no bad Mario Kart though, you can’t go wrong which ever you play.
Its tied with 8 deluxe for me.
The L on Luigi's hat is backwards on the cover, it's the worst from that alone.
In all seriousness, I've never actually played Double Dash (I started with Wii, please don't hurt me) but I've always thought it was the most interesting MK from an onlooker's perspective. 2 character per kart was such a cool idea and they fleshed it out exceptionally well from what I've seen.
Also, it's the game that gave us Baby Park, one of the best MK tracks ever made (fight me) so that's an easy S right there.
Never much liked it compared to the others, even if it felt like an easy must-buy in a generation mostly devoid of other (good) kart racers. 2 characters with swapping and unique weapons might have added some tactical depth, but it made the multiplayer a much tougher prospect for people coming over for a quick play: DD owners tended to rule the roost (not great for a party game). It looked a bit weak graphically (but ran at a great framerate, so forgivable!). But what really killed it for me was the paltry track selection. 16 tracks, of which a good 5 (I think?) are just an oval. Dull ovals or circles! Baby Park works much better among 32-48 varied tracks (as in MK8) than that set, where it annoys me to have another dull go-around! Battle arena were a bit guff too I thought. DS and Wii got the series back to the 64 days for me, and MK8 is a gem!
Once more Mario Kart Wii will rule the galaxy, and we shall have...jams.
Co-op gameplay was the best. So, yes.
Double Dash is great, but 8 Deluxe just has so much content and variety in its courses and modes, so I think that’s the best one
Had DD on my GameCube day one. Great game but prefer MK8 48 plus tracks now and online.
More importantly are we going to get Super Mario Galaxy 2 port this year on Switch.
It needs to happen, we have a lack of new 3D Mario platform or DK game and that would be the easy and cheap thing to do for this year 2022.
It was my least favorite, until I played the Wii edition. 😂
One of the worst Mario Karts IMO.
It’s been over 15 years since I played Double Dash, but the game never really sat right with me back in the day. I didn’t like the forced double drivers thing, it should have been an optional mode instead.
I didn’t like the tracks very much either, I remember feeling like most of the track were far too wide for some reason.
Still a good game overall though, there isn’t a bad Mario Kart out there, but probably my least favourite in the entire series. And I’ve played every entry except Mario Kart Wii and the arcade games.
Double Dash was a wonderful racing game whose potential was cut short by Nintendo’s insane decision not to have some sort of universal online infrastructure with the GameCube.
Many a GameCube game would have benefitted from having broadband only online play. Instead it was just used for Phantasy Star Online.
I’m not saying they needed something like Xbox Live or Sega Net (both of which were way ahead of their time) but they could have at least went the Sony route on the PS2.
Kate doing Kate things. Love it.
I admit to having never even heard of Mario Kart Double Dash so I can't vote. I just looked at a list of all Mario Kart games and of the 15 releases I think this is the only one I didn't know of, although I haven't personally played every game.
It was an excellent concept, but there is no way that this is the best Mario Kart. One thing I can say Double Dash is the best at is items. The strategy involved with the doubles, as well as special items, makes it the best in that respect. However, there’s also only 16 tracks. I mean, with the exception of Rainbow Road and the Mushroom/Wario tracks, the selection is also pretty mediocre. And, as good as the character roster is, Wii’s and 8’s are objectively better. N64 and DS beat its battle mode. Finally, crucially, it is not the best controlling game. The controls are touchy, which is fine, but DS, Wii, and 8 do this concept much better. I would like a remaster/sequel, but Mario Kart Wii, DS and 8 are much better games and Double Dash probably takes 4th spot, better than the 2D games by default and N64/7 for being somewhat archaic to control.
Nintendo could easily bring back Double Dash in future Mario Kart games but not as a remake or a remastered but as a separate mode. There should be single dash mode, double dash mode, match race, time trial, and battle mode. That should be enough to satisfied the DD crave or even the newcomer who has never play Double Dash. I'm still surprise Nintendo hadn't implement Double Dash mode in current Mario Kart games yet. It should be standard in all MK games going forward just like gliding, gravity, blue shell, motorcycles, Mirror Mode, and 200cc.
Double Dash is the last game in the series to have that classic mario kart feel
I got a GameCube really late in the generation, the Christmas right before Metroid Prime 2 came out; the platinum GameCube bundle with Double Dash included, a platinum Wavebird controller that I wish I still had, and Wind Waker.
I was in college at the time and would bring my system with me, and had plenty of good rounds there with friends, and "3 hours of Baby Park" became a late-night staple with my friends back home during summer vacation. I look back at the GameCube as having one of the most creative lineups of Nintendo franchises when they still tried to compete in the same race as Sony and Microsoft.
That said, I wouldn't say Double Dash is the best Mario Kart. The two-per-kart mechanic really was fun, but not a one of my friends ever wanted to use it, so it wasn't really relevant to my experience, so it was just "the next Mario Kart" to me. No hate to anyone who feels that way though. The game really is great, but some folks hold on to it like some Smash fans treat Melee like the Holy Grail and raise their noses at other entries that have done things better. It's like time ceased for folks like that.
whenever family get togethers happen, still to this day, they always tell me to boot this specific mario kart up. i'm always happy to do it too.
Loved it. Would love to see a re-release. Playing the courses again in MK8D is welcome, but I want the full mechanics back. Fingers crossed for GC games on the Expansion Pak at some point.
I feel like it was the best for its time. I remember when we hooked all four controllers and played through an afternoon, thinking "this is the one right here." Looking back, it really is quite limited.
Back in the day, the game felt huge...like it was everything 64 was supposed to be, and refined to perfection.
I really do hope the next iteration could bring back some of the features like unique character specials and the buddy mechanics. That would perhaps properly rend this game obsolete.
(Honestly, thinking of this game makes me sad. We had such good times with it back in the day).
To me, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best Mario Kart in every aspect except pure gameplay, and Double Dash is definitely my favorite in that regard. It just feels more fun to control and is a lot more exciting. Also has the best battle mode in the series as it's the last one that was exclusively designed around four-player split screen. The later games all accounted for online in their battle modes which means the arenas are way too big for local play.
Diddy Kong Racing is the best Mario Kart ever. Great single player adventure, and awesome power-ups mechanic that feels 100% fair
Never played Double Dash, but I've played all the others cuz they were either rereleased or I played their native console from Wii onwards. Didn't even have the version of the Wii that can play Gamecube games.
I play all the Mario Kart games regularly, except the arcade ones and the mobile entry, and my favourite titles are Super Mario Kart and Double Dash.
Double Dash has the best physics and controls. It's the most immersive and the most fun. The most real. The two-drivers gameplay might seem a gimmick but it provides some strategy depth. A HD port would awe everyone.
Anyone else get tired of the endless praise the GameCube and it's roster gets? Like it wasn't deeply flawed? Every time I hear about it now, it makes me think of Sega fanboy's obsession with the Dreamcast. Why do people love lost causes so much?
MK64 right here. Nothing better than playing 4 player battle with 3 of your friends shoulder to shoulder. The courses were top tier. I'm still waiting for the N64 version of Wario's Stadium course to be added to MK8.
Mario Kart DS is by far my favorite. I doubt I have put in over a hundred hours combined in every other game. But have played several thousand hours of DS. The gameplay is smoother than the rest and bumping people off of ledges with mushrooms is the most fun I've ever had in the series, a shame they removed it in later entries.
I don't think Double Dash is the best Mario Kart game but its a darn good one. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best of the Karts. The Ninja Hideaway track from Mario Kart Tour that was added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in the first bunch of tracks from the Booster Pack is probably the absolute best Mario Kart track I ever played.
thought it was a tad overrated but i admit part of that is that it is SO hard to go back to the games before DS/Wii style drifting for me now (barring 64)
This is the only Mario Kart game I never played (beside the Arcade ones). I wish the would either do a Remaster of it or add a "double dash" mode in MK8D. I would like to try it myself since everyone claims it's the best MK.
No, Double Dash is not the best Mario Kart.
It's a great game, probably my favorite Gamecube game, but Double Dash!! is at best fourth for me personally. It's not on the podium. Mario Kart DS is my favorite Mario Kart with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe closing that gap just through sheer content that will come from the Booster Course Pass. After those two, it's Mario Kart 7, because it would be my favorite Mario Kart game if not for the biggest screw up in Mario Kart history. It just had to be the Mario Kart with the best track selection that would have Versus removed.
I would say DD is the most fun MK. The dual characters and items, and the super items, are so irresistible, and the driving mechanics were good too (no more wiggling left and right). On Baby Park, it was extra special. We'd play that over an over again with first to 9 wins.
In terms of best Mario Kart, that's DS. The tracks were so good and the racing was thrilling. It lent the balance slightly towards skilled driving so you could conceivable stay ahead if good enough, or make gains on just a few corners if no item available.
In third is 8 Deluxe, then 7, then SNES, N64, SC on GBA and Wii. SC was a bit under appreciated due to it on that system and multiplayer wasn't easy. Whereas DS, and especially 7, made it viable with download play via a single copy of the game. Wii was too chaotic with all the new items and 12 racers, plus I hated the wii-mote waggle crap over jumps.
@I-U I agree with your top 3 of DD, 8 Deluxe and 7. Nailed it! What do you mean MK7 didn't have a versus mode, or am I misunderstanding?
After years of experience on MK64, going to Double Dash wasn't the best transition. The handling was weird right from the start, which made tracks like Rainbow Road and Dino Dino Jungle nearly impossible to master. Plus, this was the first MK game to really overwhelm you with a barrage of items at once (plus the first exploding shell). This is where the AI really got cheap. If Petey Piranha was a rival racer on All-Cup Tour 150cc, you might as well quit and try again.
I remember that me and my friends absolutely beat the brakes off this entry and would own LAN parties. I remember destroying GC controller sticks with our powersliding mastership. Yoshi's Circuit anyone? Man... Good times. Top tier MK indeed, two characters with two items and specialized items per character made for some VERY cunning races. I think it was the first MK to actually go online, though it was very limited in scope. Good times and set the stage for better, I think.
Honestly I just wished the double characters setup as well as unique items would return. (as in every character and their counterpart had a unique item) I kinda miss that...
That said, I think DS is my favorite, followed by either this or 64.
Mario Kart 8 is objectively the best one but I still love playing Double Dash with friends of that era. I can't go wrong having them side by side depending on my mood or company.
YES. One of the best!
1º Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)
2º Mario Kart Double Dash (gc)
3º Super Mario Kart (snes)
@HalBailman Versus mode is where you can select basically whatever track you want to race on against the computer and choose from a variety of options like wins, races, computer difficulty, etc. In Mario Kart 7, that single player experience is absent. Its exclusion is baffling considering DS, Wii and 8/8 Deluxe all have that experience.
Double Dash was my favorite because of the co-op and LAN play. We'd get some GCs and some people, randomize teams, and scream at each other for hours.
I loved double dash back in the day and it was my favorite kart game at that point but with 8 deluxe now, I’m just fine with it. I’d say there’s a reason this gimmick didn’t last. Mario karts many for multiplayer and with a high player count you would lose the full experience with the a.i. being removed. I think it did have my favorite roster tho with birdo, Diddy Kong, and petey tho. Also DK mountain is a favorite of mine.
The custom track community and advanced driving mechanics make Mario Kart Wii easily the best game in the series. Double Dash has its charm but the drifting isn’t nearly as satisfying as other games.
Double Dash is a great Mario Kart game. Not tops though- probably my 3rd favorite MK game. MK8D=64, then DD, and DS.
Besides the obvious features that make Double Dash unique, something that I truly miss though is the short recovery period after getting hit. Like, if you get hit by a green/red shell in MKDD, you still have a little forward momentum as you tumble and get up quicker. You don't feel as "frozen" as in modern Mario Kart games. Also had some excellent courses, great battle, and the All-Cup tour was pretty cool. Also, inexplicably, the last console Mario Kart to have the option of untimed survival balloon battle. How in the flying F did Nintendo still not include that option back, THREE MK's/console gens later???
Best? Nah. The most personality, charm, and a damn near perfect game? Yeah!
It's in third place behind MK8D and MK7 for me.
My kids are 7 years apart. While we had the Wii version of Mario Kart, we would often play Double Dash instead so that my youngest (who couldn't drive the kart yet) could be in back throwing items. It was a great way that we could all play together as a family even with the great age difference in our kids.
Of course, the fun part was when everyone complained I played too well. So what we did was that my daughter (who was in my kart) was actually part of the other team. And she would throw the items in front of us, trying to make me crash. Or . . . would do a bump to try to make me fall off a bridge. LOL.
Eventually we would have us parents driving, and our co-pilots were both trying to make their drivers crash. LOL.
Lots of ways to have fun with 2 drivers in 1 kart.
Baby Park is one of my favourite courses. But my absolute favourite track on Double Dash is Yoshi Circuit. It is a very driver-oriented course. Very technical. And the crazy short cut through the waterfall is really fun when your opponent doesn't know about it. There is also a goofy part where you fly off the cliff into a tunnel down below. Not sure why that is there. I think (if I remember correctly) I actually made that jump once. It was just one of those, hey, let's see if I can do it sort of thing.
Also . . . on Mushroom Bridge . . . I used to try to make it over the bridge along the top of the supports. Not on the road. LOL.
If Nintendo brought Double Dash out for Switch, I'd get it. Even though we still have our copy of Double Dash and we can play it on our GameCube or Wii. Being able to play Double Dash with wireless controllers would be nice.
Important to note that it has, by far, the best victory results theme of the series (look it up if you don't know immediately what I'm talking about; it's still surviving on YouTube), and the recurring use of melodic whistling throughout the OST gives it the most distinctive musical style of all of the MK OSTs (rivaled only by the killer jazz band that was featured on many MK8/MK8D tracks).
Lastly, after hearing Ryukahr complain about Baby Park at every opportunity for the last year or so that he's been playing MK8D off and on, it's nice to see so many Baby Park shoutouts in the article. I've always loved the course and the accompanying theme (the constant increases in both musical key and tempo make a course that's already chaotic into something completely mental and sensory-overloading by the time the final lap comes around, and it's amazing).
It’s a little slow for my tastes but the co-op is brilliant fun.
The best Mario Kart is still the SNES one if only because the 2-player battle mode has never been beaten.
I think 8 is probably the best but Double Dash is closest to my heart.
I enjoyed this title in its time, and really was a great game that still I want to play it again.
This title was a great change to the franchise, and no only because the Double players in kart, also, another changes that today are part:
No repeat race if you arrives in 5th or lower, and, therefore, continuing the cup, even with 0 points!!
Bye items if lightning, or blue shell KO to you, then, can you lose defense and easily lose positions.
With the graphics improved, the characters have more personality, and, well, this, and for the moment, the only version where every character have a lot of voice lines, especially, arriving to the goal.
The mechanics of getting team specific items (which I saw someone already mentioned you didn't need both members to get, I always mixed too) and being able to store an item for later I think should make a return. You've always had the ability to have two items, sure, but to continuously bank a red shell in first place while you keep getting coins and bananas is surely missed.
As someone who owns 2 GC's with modems, 2 copies of the gane and 8 controllers, I definitely enjoyed it a lot!
Though I would've enjoyed it more if I would've had friends...
I mean, I never played it, so I can’t really judge.
But, I’ve seen enough rose tinted goggling to doubt
Finally some sense on this site.. the idiotic love for boring 64 ( especially without mentioning diddy kong racing) shoud be stopped.. dk mountain and baby park are the best tracks ever.. and then daisy cruiser…
DD!! definitely stands out from the pack due to the awesome new features it introduced.
No other Mario Kart game has changed as much, to date, whether for good or bad, so for me, I agree that DD!! is absolutely the best Mario Kart.
I have a good feeling that the next Mario Kart will be great though... it kinda has to otherwise what's the point in it versus MK8D?!
DD is my most played Mario Kart by a long shot.
Mario Kart 8 deluxe is by far the best Mario Kart game in my opinion. Double dash is fun but far from the best one. Those why say otherwise is probably blinded by nostalgia.
People are showing here that they generally prefer raw content over unique mechanics. More power to you, but DD is still the most fun experience of the lot, so long as you aren't attempting to have four hour play sessions.
Mario 64 has always been where it's at, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, along with all the upcoming DLC, is probably the title that offers the most in terms of value & replayability for me.
I'm not a fan of Double Dash, it was the start of the common problem of being near the finish line and being hit by a Blue Shell that costs you the whole race. It doesn't seem very fair to have been in the lead the whole time to end up in 6th like that.
I personally like Mario Kart 64 the best, it has always felt "fair" to me, especially as the Blue Shell travels along the ground and hits everyone, rather than allowing 8th place to penalise first place like happens in many of the other games. I wish they'd bring that back.
I do like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe quite a lot, but races do feel a bit boring when all it gives you in first place is coins. I know the further back you are the more powerful power-ups you get, but it's boring being in the lead and sometimes not even being able to drop a banana skin on the person behind who's flush with red shells.
It's definitely top tier material, but in all honesty Mario Kart 8 is perfection, especially with all the bonus tracks being added to it, it's a bit like Smash Bros Ultimate. The most complete of them all in terms of roster and circuits.
Getting two CRT tellyboxes, two GameCubes, two copies of the game, two broadband adaptors and an ethernet cable, and 8 controllers / 8 people in one room to play 8 player MK:DD is the absolute best thing about this game. A nightmare to arrange, but the best thing. Yes.
Double Dash is the best because of one particular element that both Nintendo and the writers of this article seem to have forgotten about: Birdo. (Seriously, what’s up with the Birdo erasure Nintendo?)
I genuinely play and love Super Circuit the most - and find you using it as a poll-joke mildly hurtful
But in all seriousness MKSC is a very good game despite it unjust reputation.
The best Mario Kart is probably the one you grew up with during your childhood/teen years and especially the mario kart you played the most with your friends. So in that regards yes, Double Dash is the best Mario kart, though Mario Kart 8 is a close second.
I love Double Dash more than any other Mario Kart, but with how smooth Mario Kart 8 Deluxe plays, and with how much content is has, it's definitely the best Mario Kart at the moment.
It's an incredibly fun and good Mario Kart game. I really enjoyed playing it on the GameCube a long time ago.
I don't know if it's the best Mario Kart game, but none of you is off the mark. It did a lot of fun things with the Double Dash partner feature and the tracks were good, including the popular Baby Park track.
I prefer the Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7, and Mario Kart 8 to Double Dash.
I only played a few Mario Kart games so I'm not in a position to say where Double Dash ranks within the series, but I did enjoy it a lot. It was the first Mario Kart for me and came at the right time for me. I was enthusiastically into the Gamecube at that point and Mario Kart was one of my favorites for the system. I had no frame of reference as to whether the gameplay changes were a step up or down, so taken completely on its own, I found it to be a highly-enjoyable mascot racer.
@I-U Thanks. I didn't even realise, presuming only multiplayer had this feature. So I checked it out last night and loved the options. I've always been critical of Nintendo that they omit basic options in so many games so you can add and extend gameplay variety, yet here they offer it. Yes, it's odd that MK7 would dump it.
Baby Park + Frantic Mode + Random Character Selection = best and most insane battle mode with friends ever.
We played sooooo many 8 player double dash games in my living room as students.
4 players per screen. Was just amazing. The 2 network cards for the Game Cubes were the best investment ever.
Playing online is just stupid. Sitting with your friends together is the best.
Easily the best MK. Sold 8 because it was a huge disappointment coming from this.
MK8DX is easily the best because it combines everything great about all previous entries, BUT I really miss the special item mechanic locked to specific characters.
I don't care much about the two drivers thing, but the special item was awesome. Using DK's big bananas and Bowser's gigantic spiny shells were funny as hell. I wish that mechanic came back.
MK8 is my fav, as much as I loved DD back in the day. I remember that one always feeling pretty slow.
I have fond memories of double dash. It was the first mario kart I really got into. My friend and I were pretty good at it and could play both roles well enough to switch places in co-op while driving and knew when to punch to avoid obstacles etc.
I think the only negatives for me on it were: the slidey powerslide rather than the traditional jumping powerslide. The game felt very slippery too compared to every other entry. As much as I liked unique weapons they were very unbalanced and so were the characters and karts too. It needed more content as well.
I would love them to bring back the co-op aspect in a mariokart game, but it would need to be balanced so it doesn't ruin the online play. Even if they just made it an optional mode it would be fun.
My favourite!! MK8 is a pretty damn great MK for a single character and I think that game could live on for years to come. What we need is a MK9 to be a brand new Double Dash that could could do the same.
I think it's fine if you want that added layer of strategy, but very bland if you don't. I'm one of the latter, couldn't care less for it, but how, in all the Mario Kart games since, has Double Dash not been added as a permanent toggle in grand prix, vs and online play? It would satisfy both camps, and brand new courses could even feature alternate routes if Double Dash is enabled, it could be brilliant!
(by toggle I mean selecting 50cc, for example, whilst holding down a shoulder button that changes the overlay to 50cc Double Dash, enabling brand new karts, new kites, new tag teams and new tag team items)
I grew up with the Wii and ds entries and have put the most hours into 8 deluxe so I would have to put those above double dash, but I do commend it for being the most unique.
My favorite thing about Double Dash was the option to play all 16 tracks back-to-back in a sort of mega cup. I wish they would bring that option back in the newer entries that have many more tracks.
No way. It looks dated, the controls are not that good and most notably it lacks online play.
The best Mario Kart is either 8 or Wii.
I absolutely love this game. I've had played nights long with the snes and n64 ones, but here my family went wild! You know how many times we played the app cup tour?!
Good this game was great! 😂❤️❤️❤️
Objectively probably MK8D is the best Mario Kart with online play, tons of characters and courses (especially with the incoming 48 DLC courses), which would make Double Dash the 2nd best. But subjectively I've gotta give it to Double Dash.
As some of the people in the article said, your favorite Mario Kart is probably the one you played the most, and Double Dash was during college for me and we played the hell out of it. It very likely is the video game I've played the most in my life.
I remember when it first came out everyone was saying 64 was better, but over time that changed as you go back and play 64 after falling in love with DD and you realize 64 doesn't hold a candle to DD. MK Wii was a fine game but it just didn't have the spirit of DD. MK8D obviously dominates in terms of quantity of content but I've never had nearly as much fun playing 8D as I have DD, though granted I'm old now lol and have mostly just played 8D alone or a little bit online and a few times with friends, whereas DD literally spent hundreds of hours playing 4-player in college and a lot playing 2-player as well with a roommate post-college.
Also in DD you could like custom choose your cup size so you could do all 16 courses as one mega cup which was very cool for an ultimate showdown with your friends. The courses were fantastic in DD. And the two-character karts concept was great. While I doubt very many people actually played two people per kart (we sure the hell didn't cuz who wants to only be in charge of weapons?!), it allowed switching between items and also due to the character specific super items it gave the game more strategy than any other MK game has ever had.
Speaking of which, the character specific super items were so cool and it is a travesty that concept was dropped after DD as all the later Mario Karts feel like they are lacking something without it. Other than the idea of bringing back a bunch of old MK tracks in the more recent games, character specific super items combined with switching between two characters on a kart was definitely the coolest addition to MK.
In terms of innovation DD blows 8D out of the water as I think the only thing 8D introduced was anti-gravity parts which don't really do much to add anything to the game. The double characters and character specials of DD is the best gameplay innovation any single MK has had. Honestly the main reason why 8D is probably objectively better is because it has 48 (now 96) courses as opposed to DD's 16. But I'd rather play through all 16 courses on DD than any 16 courses on 8D.
For me personally Double Dash is definitely #1 of all time, with MK8D in second. MK64 is third for how good it was at the time but that game has not aged well with the odd looking character sprites, the pretty uninteresting courses compared to later games courses, and the now very weird feeling controls.
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