5 Best Kart Racers That Aren’t Mario Kart
Crash Team Racing
We’ve recently seen a resurgence of this iconic PlayStation mascot, as we’ve been gifted the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and now the remaster of Crash Team Racing will be releasing later this year.
Crash Team Racing brought the bandicoot that we know and love onto the streets to race against his other anthropomorphic friends and foes alike.
You could tell upon loading up this kart racer that it definitely took a lot of inspiration from a little other kart racer at the time **cough* Mario Kart *cough**. You had your special items, the Grand Prix mode, and a lovely cast of characters to choose from.
While Crash Team Racing didn’t turn the needle, this Mario Kart clone actually turned out to be quite a good time, and we have high hopes that the remaster will be just as fun.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed might be one of the longest titles for kart racing game but it totally deserves it, as Racing Transformed is one of the best kart racers out there.
It’s not only Sonic characters that are part of the roster as you can play as a whole bunch of iconic characters from throughout Sega’s history of franchises.
All of the tracks and music are inspired by these Sega franchises of video games and Racing Transformed just brings all of that nostalgia back in this racing game.
The transformed part of the title is speaking on the fact that your car can transform during parts of the race, throwing you onto the land, into the air, and down into the sea. There’s a reason that Sonic is choosing to drive a car instead of running on his feet, and that’s cause these vehicles are super rad.
Diddy Kong Racing
Some would say that Diddy Kong Racing was a little bit ahead of its time in the world of the kart racer genre. After Nintendo released Mario Kart 64, Rare would then put out Diddy Kong Racing, the racer that would allow players to choose between using an airplane, a kart, and a hovercraft.
Depending on your choice of kart, you would go faster/slower through certain sections of the map, making you think over each track as you choose the best vehicle for the situation presented to you.
Diddy Kong Racing’s power-ups were also superior to Mario Kart 64’s as you could upgrade your power-ups before dishing damage out to your opponent.
For example, you could upgrade a normal rocket by collecting extra balloons on the track to turn it into a special homing missile. Each item had their own specific upgrades, and that level of strategy was such a cool thing to see from this kart racer.
ModNation Racers is one of the PlayStation titles under that whole “Play, Create, Share” genre of video games that Sony started off with Little Big Planet.
It released for the PS3 and PSP back in 2010 and brought something really fun and interesting to kart racers. You were able to create your own character, your own kart, and the biggest part of the game, your own custom racing tracks.
The creation system was actually enjoyable and easy to use for people who are often intimidated by similar tools in other games.
You could then share your lovely racing designs with the community and check out the most popular tracks as well. The ModNation community created some pretty wild designs for people to race on, but unfortunately, the servers were shut down this past October –but hey, at least you can still enjoy the single-player modes.
Kirby Air Ride
Some people might not classify Kirby Air Ride as a traditional kart racer as you can ride on stars as well as other types of vehicles. But, since you are racing on flying objects, Kirby Air Ride falls into that category for us.
The City Trial mode throws you and up to three other players into a huge open area, giving you a set time limit for you to collect upgrades and powerups around the city. These items that you collect can increase and decrease your stats, which are then taken into a racing game of some kind.
You might partake in a normal three lap race, or you could end up doing a “how far can you fly” mini-game of sorts, but depending on the stats that you collected on the field, that will determine if you have an advantage or not.
The fun thing was that you had no idea what the game was going to throw at you, so when you were out there collecting the stat items, you had to be wary of what could come next.