Game Rant puts together a list of the 10 most desired newcomers for the next entry of the Mario Kart franchise on the Nintendo Switch, with one being a special guest.
The arrival of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch on April 28, 2017 marks almost three years exactly since the game originally launched on Wii U. To the company's credit, this will be the definitive edition of the well-received Mario Kart 8, but gamers the world over were hoping for a bit more from a brand new Nintendo console. While the inclusion of Splatoon's Inklings and several others are noteworthy, this got us thinking about which other mainstays deserve a chance to get behind the wheel.
The one catch, however, is that this list is comprised of characters that have never been featured in a Mario Kart game. This means that current favorites that are still missing in action (i.e. Diddy Kong and Petey Piranha) are not featured below. Keeping that in mind, take a look at some of Game Rant's playable choices for the next Mario Kart on Switch.
10 Professor E. Gadd
The cooky prof has been a desirable newcomer for Mario Kart ever since he had his debut in Luigi's Mansion on the Nintendo Gamecube. Providing the Mario Bros. with a number of wacky inventions in the years that have followed, the lack of E. Gadd's inclusion in the series thus far is a baffling one. Since the mad scientist's inventions (like the Poltergust 4000) have appeared in Mario Kart already as drivable machines, it's about time that Professor E. Gadd got to take on the products of his own design.
The crazy thing about this newcomer is that he actually almost made it as a playable character in Mario Kart 64 – albeit under the monicker of Magikoopa. Eventually the magic-savvy turtle was replaced by Donkey Kong, which was almost certainly for the best, but fans have been clamoring for the inclusion of the foe ever since. With the likes of generic baddies such as Dry Bones and Koopa, Kamek's inclusion seems like an inevitability, but for now he sits prominently on our list.
This thieving rabbit is one of Mario's newer frenemies, but his relevancy in the franchise has been more than a one-off since his debut in New Super Mario Bros. U. Making playable appearances in titles like Mario Golf: World Tour, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and Super Mario Maker, it is evident that Nabbit's stock is currently on the rise. With other cameos and nods to the character in some of the biggest Nintendo games (some even outside of the Super Mario IP), this purple rabbit is more than likely to find himself in a Kart sooner or later.
Let's preface this with the fact that Plessie, the rideable character that debuted in Super Mario 3D World, is absolutely massive. Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad have ample room to hop on the back of this character and slide down rapids together, but the sizing of Mario characters has a tendency to fluctuate (i.e. Bowser in any game he's ever been in). If the developers can fit the King of Koopas into a tiny Kart then sizing down Plessie to do the same isn't that much of a stretch. Besides, there's nothing wrong with having another playable dinosaur to accompany Yoshi.
Sticking to the Mario & Luigi RPG series, Fawful has quickly become a fan-favorite villain from the Mushroom Kingdom. Failing to establish himself outside of that particular line of games though, this could be the petite evil-doer's opportunity to make a name for himself with a broader audience. Given his tiny stature, he'd make for a welcomed addition to the Light or Feather Light weight classes, respectively. Besides, his cackling could make for a competitive taunt that gives even Luigi's infamous death stare a run for its money.
5 Paper Mario
The argument for keeping this version of Mario out of Mario Kart is paper-thin, because Paper Mario could be one of the more interesting additions to the racing series. Setting aside the fact that the character is made out of literal paper, Paper Mario (and his paper-ified brother Luigi) have been spotted driving a Kart before in Paper Mario: Color Splash, and although is likely just a clever nod to the racing IP, there's a chance it could be hinting at the character's future involvement in the Kart series. Whatever the case may be, the inclusion of Mario, Metal Mario, Tanooki Mario, and Baby Mario in Mario Kart 8 indicates that Nintendo has a near-absurd affinity for including multiple versions of the iconic plumber in the series.
As one of the most tragically overlooked characters on this list, Poochy's popularity has recently resurfaced thanks to his inclusion in Poochy & Yoshi's Wooly World for the Nintendo 3DS. Sharing the game's title with Yoshi, it seems evident that Nintendo wants to bring the friendly pup back into the fold. Considering that Poochy even has his very own amiibo, it isn't all that farfetched to suggest that the canine will get behind the wheel in a new Mario Kart title. Whether or not this will be the yarn-fashioned variant of the feisty canine remains to be seen, but Poochy could easily be a go-to for Kart aficionados.
It's almost criminal how little gamers have seen of Wart in the years following his debut in Super Mario Bros. 2. Admittedly, the origins of the villain are a little muddied in Japan, as the game he debuted in is officially known as Doki Doki Panic in the region – more so, it doesn't even feature Mario and friends. In a rush to capitalize on the popularity of Super Mario Bros. in other territories (and also keep the difficulty of a sequel in check), Nintendo slapped Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad into the roles of playable heroes in a game that initially had an entirely different cast of characters.
Despite this, characters like Birdo and Shy-Guy have managed to make the transition, eventually finding themselves puttering between rogue Koopa shells in a bid to cross the finish line first. If they can make the move over to the Mushroom Kingdom, then there's little doubt that Wart could do the same.
2 King Bob-omb
The king of the Bob-ombs will be familiar to anyone that has ever played Super Mario 64, as he sits atop the mountain in the game's very first level, Bob-omb Battlefield, as its very first boss. Following this appearance, the character has gone on to be a reoccurring misfit in the Mushroom Kingdom, but players have never been able to take control of this spherical and mustachioed member of royalty. Since this Bob-omb is in possession of two very important appendages (read: arms), steering a Kart seems feasible for the regal ne'er-do-well. Admittedly, there would be something disturbing about seeing the king lob his own kind at other racers, but we digress.
1 Captain Falcon
Now beloved for delivering Falcon Punches on the battlefield of Super Smash Bros., some could be forgiven for forgetting that Captain Falcon actually originated from a racing series of his very own. Hailing from the frantically fast-paced F-Zero franchise, Nintendo seems to have moved on from the IP in favor of maintaining others. Still, this didn't stop the company from honoring F-Zero in Mario Kart 8 by featuring a pair of courses from the franchise (in the form of Mute City and Big Blue) as DLC. Now that Inklings, Link, and Villager are getting in on the action, dedicating some roster space to Captain Falcon only makes sense.
That wraps up our most desired newcomers for Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch, but there are a number of others that fans would undoubtedly love to see make the cut. The best thing about Nintendo, however, is that there's no telling which direction the company will take the franchise next, and the characters that fill the roster are sure to follow suit. Whether or not these particular newbies make the cut in the next core iteration of the series remains to be seen, but we believe it's a great place to start.
Which newcomer would you like to see added to Mario Kart? Are there other guest characters that should make the cut? Get at us in the comments.