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Most of us love a good Mario Kart session every now and then; there aren't many better things in life than ordering in a pizza, having some friends over, and proceeding to throw your controllers at each other in uncontrollable rage as the umpteenth blue shell of the evening comes hurtling towards you. One question always slows things down a little, though: which racer do you pick?

While we suspect many players will simply stick with childhood favourites for the most part, one man has worked out exactly which character is best for the job with real, actual science. The data has been collected by Henry Hinnefeld, who has used nineteenth-century Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto's concept of Pareto efficiency to work out precisely which racer should be number one.

The concept of Pareto efficiency can be used to analyse situations where a limited amount of resources can offer multiple competing outcomes, depending on how those resources are allocated. In this case, those resources are the drivers' weight handling, and traction, as well as the different vehicles, and tyres. The first step of the analysis involves generating figures for the characters' base speed and acceleration stats which you can see below - each character (such as Baby Mario) actually represents a collection of racers who fall under the exact same stats.


From here, further analysis is needed on the individual vehicle setups, and how these (which essentially act like stat multipliers) affect the base stats of each driver. When investigating each potential driver and vehicle part combination (of which there are a staggering 149,760) only 15 provide what Hinnefeld describes as an "optimal combination".


Essentially, what this data is showing us, is that the the best combo for acceleration is Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, Baby Daisy, Baby Rosalina, Lemmy Koopa, or Mii Light, driving a Biddybuggy, Landship, or Mr. Scooty with Roller, Azure Roller, or Button tyres. The best combo for speed is Wario, Bowser, Morton Koopa, or Mii Heavy driving a Gold Standard, Mach 8, Circuit Special, or Sports Coupe with Slick or Cyber Slick tyres. Phew!

So there we have it - the best Mario Kart character is... actually quite a few of them.

If you want to see the entire report, make sure to have a nosey here. Before then, though, let us know who you usually race with in the comments below. Will you be changing your style now that you know the best picks?