Looking back, Mario Kart 64 might not be the best installment of the entire series for many. In ranking lists, for example at Kotaku or Ranker, the game usually takes the back places – at most a midfield position. Even the nostalgia glasses don’t seem to help the second best-selling game on the console. Badly aged, boring tracks, annoying rubber band AI – the reasons for the poor ranking sound pretty similar everywhere. A gross misjudgement: In my eyes, Mario Kart 64 is not only one of the best games of the console, but also the best installment of the entire series!
On the one hand, this may be due to the fact that after Mario Kart 64, I never played another Mario Kart sequel for more than half an hour, so my opinion is not necessarily based on objectivity. But it’s also (mainly!) because back then I simply won every multiplayer cup against all my opponents. Always. I always won. I can’t remember any defeat. Sure… due to item luck I may not have finished every single race within the cup in 1st place. But driving mistakes or even tactical mishaps were never the cause. Just item luck. And after the final ranking of the Cup, my Toad was of course on top of the podium. Always. Before I knew that the internet would exist and that I would be able to compete with players from all over the world, I already wished for the internet. After all, at the time I was probably the best Mario Kart 64 player in the world. A feeling that I had in N64 times with several games. Definitely not without good reason.
When people accuse me today of being a bad loser, I can only reply succinctly that this is hardly surprising… – I just never learned to lose as a child. I simply always won. Against all my friends. And I don’t want to seem unsympathetic, but I can’t deny my qualities. That would be even more unsympathetic! These interviews with professional soccer players who have just scored the winning goal and at the end talk down their decisive contribution to winning the game: “It’s not important whether I scored the goal. What’s important is that we won the game!” Extremely unsympathetic! You’re allowed to be proud of your own performance, your own ability, your own invincibility.
I met my buddy Matze during my studies. At some point, we found out that we were both the best Mario Kart 64 players in the world. He thought it was a shame that there was no Internet back then. Matze used to beat all his friends. In every cup. Always. He always won. To make a long story short: After all these years, the poor guy wanted to finally clarify which one of us was actually the best Mario Kart 64 player in the world. We agreed to compete in one Cup against each other every semester. Whoever could win ten cups first was officially the world champion and would receive ten crates of beer from the loser. (Yes, a beer bet. That’s just how it was in the 00s!).
So we played a Cup every semester. I remember that I once stormed out of his apartment in a rage (including throwing the controller!) Shortly afterwards he wrote the following text message: “The police were just here! The neighbors notified them that there was a small child screaming and crying loudly in my apartment.” At that point, the score was 9-1, for Matze. It’s still 9-1 for Matze, because to this day I refuse to play the last Cup. He just has too much item luck.
Mario Kart 64 was released in Europe in 1997 for the Nintendo 64. Apart from great successes in the Battle mode, the author was able to set new standards especially in the GrandPrix mode.
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