Nintendo surprised many fans when the company casually announced that it plans on releasing downloadable content for Mario Kart 8 that features characters from additional Ninty-owned franchises. Two content packs have been announced so far, one featuring The Legend of Zelda‘s Link as a playable character and the other starring Villager and Isabelle from the Animal Crossing series.
This got the gears in our head turning about what other all-star mascots could possibly be thrown behind the wheel via DLC. With so many franchises in Nintendo’s library, it was hard to even know where to start, but after a quick peek at the allegedly leaked Super Smash Bros. roster we think we’ve got a good idea of which characters should round out our list of the seven drivers we’d love to see added to Mario Kart 8.
Admittedly, we’ve already made a list of ten Super Mario characters that should be in Mario Kart, but with the doors now blown wide open as a result of the latest downloadable add-ons the possibilities have widened significantly. Now, get ready, get set and scroll on to see which beloved Nintendo characters made our list.
One of the main protagonists from the Pikmin series, this adventurous employee of Hocotate Freight has appeared in every single entry in the franchise to-date. While he wasn’t afforded a playable role in Pikmin 3 on the Wii U, we still believe that he’d be a perfect candidate for Mario Kart 8.
Overlooking the fact that the name ‘Olimar’ (Japanese name is Orimā) is already an anagram for ‘Mario’, the fearless and intelligent Captain is known for racing against time and overcoming challenging obstacles to reach his goal. Add in the potential of a lush and vibrant Pikmin-themed track, and there’s very little reason why Nintendo shouldn’t throw the astronaut in a kart.
The young psychic may not have starred in his own game since 1995, but the character’s popularity has been maintained by a very loyal community and appearances in every single Super Smash Bros. game ever released. Ness’ original game, Earthbound, even saw release on the Wii U’s Virtual Console after Nintendo finally caved to fan demand.
Having him join as a playable racer would be a massive deal for fans of his franchise, and it’d be great to see the character decked out in a coat of that glorious Mario Kart 8 shine. It’s also not hard to imagine all the ‘Earthbound and Down’ memes that would accompany Ness’ arrival in the racer either and we’d be lying if we said we wouldn’t find them amusing.
Hailing from the ever popular Pokemon series, the first Pocket Monster that would get the call-to-arms from Nintendo is without a doubt the franchise’s mascot. Some may find Pikachu an odd choice, but the character would be far from out of place amongst the likes of karting Koopas and intelligent fungi.
Getting Pokemon on the roster requires a few more hoops to jump through than a character from the The Legend of Zelda, Pikachu and friends are technically a second-party property, but the DLC pack would sell incredibly well. Fans are always trying to catch ‘em all, after all, but we’d imagine it’d be pretty hard to catch the lightening-fast Electric-type in a kart.
The lovable pink puffball Kirby may not give off terrifying glares like Luigi, but he certainly knows how to handle himself on a race track. Starring in Kirby’s Air Ride, the gluttonous blob tore up the track on a number of different vehicles and we think it’s about time he tested his mettle in a Mario Kart game.
During Rosalina’s reveal trailer for the new Super Smash Bros. games, Kirby was shown racing along Rainbow Road. For a brief moment some gamers believed that Kirby would be joining the initial MK8 roster, and while that didn’t come to fruition, the idea of having the character join the fast-paced action of Mario Kart would be a Dream Land come true.