All Super Mario Kart Characters

Matt Kasper


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mario kart all characters

There are a few iconic games that shaped the history of video games moving forward and for me, Super Mario Kart is one of these video game icons. It was released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo system and was a pioneer for kart racing video games. The game features eight playable characters all from the Super Mario franchise each with their own unique abilities and characteristics.

Mario Kart has become its own franchise with countless spinoffs since its original release. In my humble opinion, none of them will take the crown from the original Super Mario Kart where countless amounts of hours were spent in battle mode playing against your friends and family. Of course, the game is nothing without the characters or drivers that brought this game to life. Let’s take a closer look at all the characters in Super Mario Kart.

mario super mario kart


Mario is of course the lead character for Super Mario Kart. He is the most balanced driver out of the characters and you can expect a standard performance from him. When you are not in control of him he will try and block your path to passing him.

Accerlation – Average
Top Speed – Very Good

luigi super mario kart


Luigi and Mario form, “The Bros.” racers. They are the exact same as far as speed ratings go. Maybe it was all in my head but I always felt Mario had just a little bit extra top speed than his brother but I guess we will never know.

Accerlation – Average
Top Speed – Very Good

donkey kong jr super mario kart

Donkey Kong Jr.

Donkey Kong Jr. along with Bowser are the big boys in Super Mario Kart. Because of their size, they have the fastest top speed of any other characters. Donkey Kong Jr. as an opponent can spit unlimited bananas at you so it was always wise not to trail too close to him.

Acceleration – Not So Hot
Top Speed – Best Of The Best

bowser super mario kart


Bowser, Mario’s main nemesis, is a tough opponent in Mario Kart. You bounce off of him like a ping-pong ball because of his size. When playing the time trails you are best served using him or Donkey Kong to try and achieve the fastest times.

Acceleration – Not So Hot
Top Speed – Best Of The Best

princess peach super mario kart

Princess Peach

Princess Peach is a top driver in the game and along with Yoshi has the fastest acceleration. She is great for wide tracks when there are not to be many collisions with other drivers. When facing her as an opponent she will launch deadly mushrooms at you. Her driving partner in the game is Yoshi.

Acceleration – Best Of The Best
Top Speed – Average

yoshi super mario kart


Yoshi like we mentioned has the fastest acceleration along with his counter pair Princess Peach. His favorite track is the Donut Plains and he is one of the best drivers to use in battle mode vs your friends.

Acceleration – Best Of The Best
Top Speed – Average

koopa super mario kart

Koopa Troopa

Next up we have the first of the little guys, Koopa Troopa. He along with Toad is generally considered two of the weaker drivers in the game. That being said they have excellent control around corners which can be used for sneaky passes against your opponents. Great racer to use as a beginner player in Super Mario Kart.

Acceleration – Very good
Top Speed – Not So hot

toad super mario kart


Last but not least we have the one and only Toad, who most consider one of the cutest characters in the Mario Franchise. You certainly don’t want to run into the big guys while using Toad as he is so small he bounces wildly off them. He is sneaky though as an opponent as he will drop poisonous mushrooms on the track in order to slow you down.

Acceleration – Very good
Top Speed – Not So hot

All Super Mario Kart Items

super mario kart feather jump


The feather is one of the most underrated weapons in Super Mario Kart, especially in race mode. The feather would allow you to make huge jumps that a racer would normally not be able to perform. This allows you to take tremendous shortcuts and leapfrog way ahead of your competitors. It’s especially useful on the Ghost Valley tracks.

mushroom super mario kart


The mushroom would give you a short speed boost that could propel you forward past opponents with ease. The burst would last around 1 second and is especially useful for cutting across terrains that would otherwise slow you down, such as grass or mud.

banana super mario kart


The banana was always one of my favorites once I learned how to use it properly. The banana could be planted on the track as a “booby trap” and if someone rode over it they would spin out wildly. An amazing weapon to get in battle mode as you could set all sorts of secret traps around corners. You could also toss the banana forward in an attempt to throw it out and in front of a driver ahead of you.

green shell super mario kart

Green Shell

The green shell had many uses but it was very hard to use as a throwing weapon. You could shoot it forward but it had no accuracy so it was incredibly hard to line up the other racers for a direct hit. I found the best use for it was to shoot it backward at unsuspecting drivers who were right on your tail. It would spin them out and leave them in the dust.

red shell super mario kart

Red Shell

Overall, I think the red shell was the best weapon in the game. This was a heat-seeking missile that would seek out your closest opponent and hunt them down. There was nothing more satisfying than watching it trail your opponent and nail them in the backside as you drove by them to seal the victory. In battle mode, it was the primary weapon to destroy your opponent’s balloons.

star super mario kart


The star performed traditionally to how it was used in the original Super Mario for NES. It would make you temporarily invincible and give you a little speed burst. You could run over opponents, bananas, terrains, and anything that got in your way. It was especially fun to activate in battle mode and then go on the hunt to run over your opponent.

coin super mario kart


The good old coin. There was nothing more frustrating than being in a heated, close race only to get a damn coin from the item block. They are said to slightly increase the speed of your kart but honestly, it is not noticeable. They are truly the worse item you can get from the question blocks and will drive you nuts getting them over and over again.

ghost super mario kart


The ghost item was intriguing and confusing until you knew the extent of its powers. Using it would make you temporarily invisible so no one could harm you or see where you went. It also, would steal your opponent’s weapon even if they were still choosing one. This was one of the most strategic items to use just at the right time.

thunderbolt super mario kart


The thunderbolt gave you Zeus-like powers in Super Mario Kart and was the only weapon that could affect all racers on the track. When used all drivers would shrink to a mini-size version of themselves. This would give you the ability to run them over and squish them like a bug. It was one of the funniest ways to beat your opponent hands down. The bolt was the rarest item in the game and you could play for hours before getting one.

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