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.
When gamers think of the great pilots from Nintendo’s history they think of Fox McCloud and the Star Fox team. Known for saving the world on more than one occasion, the furry commander and his loyal team have taken on and beaten some of the most vile and skilled pilots to ever enter the Lylat System.
Fox’s inclusion as a racer just makes sense given his knack for driving, and we have little doubt that he’d feel right at home dodging enemy projectiles in a zero-gravity atmosphere. We wouldn’t be opposed to the likes of Falco joining Fox either, but if the developers take this route then we’ll keep our fingers crossed that they forget about Slippy.
One of Nintendo’s most iconic characters is unquestionably Metroid‘s very own Samus Aran. Decked out in her intimidating Varia Suit, this femme fatale has gone head-to-head with some of the most terrifying monsters ever conceived – often facing off (and defeating, no less) a massive space dragon known as Ridley.
After piloting through the galaxy in a gunship, Samus’ driving ability is impossible to call into question. Yes, flying a space ship and driving a kart are wildly different, but Aran isn’t one to back down from a challenge. Besides, the thought of her cruising around in a mini Metroid-inspired kart would be too much fun to pass up.
Gamers have been longing for a new F-Zero game for over a decade in Japan (and even longer in other places in the world), but Nintendo doesn’t seem ready to budge. Now the Big N has taken the anti-gravity mechanics that helped to make the series so popular in the first place and added it to Mario Kart – making the franchise’s return even less likely for the foreseeable future.
Fans may not get the fast and frantic F-Zero followup they want, but the least the house of Mario could do is throw gamers a bone by including Captain Falcon as a playable character. Whether Falcon Punching opposing racers out of their karts or showing players online his moves, Falcon would make a perfect addition to the game.
Heck, the Blue Falcon is already included in the first content pack, so the Captain needs to get in Mario Kart 8 and pilot it once more.
That concludes Game Rant‘s list of the seven Nintendo characters we’d like to see added to Mario Kart 8 as downloadable content. Since the second content pack for the game isn’t even scheduled to launch until May of next year, we’re not overly optimistic about the addition of more content. That said, we’d welcome any of the previously mentioned protagonists to the roster with open arms.
Which Nintendo all-star would you like to see added to Mario Kart 8 as add-on content? Let us know in the comments below!
Mario Kart 8 is now available exclusively on the Nintendo Wii U, with DLC packs based on The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing set to arrive in November 2014 and May 2015, respectively.
Follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.