Mario Kart 8 originally released for the Wii U in 2014. Nintendo ported the title to Switch, in 2018, featuring all previously released DLC. The new version also included Battle Mode, pink mini-turbo drift, and a host of new additions and improvements. Ever since the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, however, Nintendo still has yet to announce a 9th Mario Kart title.
While Nintendo has focused heavily on Mario Kart Tour for mobile devices, the company likely sees no need to release the 9th game in the series. Thanks heavily to the title's steady sales, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues to top charts worldwide. Furthermore, Nintendo likely recognizes the title as a full and complete game built to last for a few more years.
In the meantime, rather than release Mario Kart 9, the company may benefit further in focusing its efforts on their sister racing series. It's been over 15 years since its release on GameCube. But Nintendo would certainly benefit fans by embracing the demand for a new Kirby Air Ride! However, there is also one more title that could use a new release as well.
Where is F-Zero?
All joking aside, Nintendo has vehemently neglected the F-Zero series for decades. While Nintendo continues the ever-often release of the SNES F-Zero for past-generation Virtual Console, SNES Classic Edition, and the SNES Switch Online library, Nintendo has not released a new game in the fast-paced racing series for over 16 years.
Unlike Mario Kart, Smash Bros. veteran Captain Falcon's series relies on incredibly fast-paced driving. Featuring a more mature take on Nintendo racing franchises, it features more realistic, defined characters including bounty hunters and aliens in a futuristic version of Earth. Furthermore, it's known to be far more difficult.
F-Zero does not use items but relies heavily on risky shortcuts using boost jumps as well as utilizing speed boosts. F-Zero allows players to spin into their opponents and possibly wreck them. Depending on the mode being played, including single-player mode, wrecking your vehicle means being ejected from the race.
The F-Zero's fastest and most popular entry was on the GameCube. Following the successful N64 title F-Zero X, GX offered some of the most beautiful visuals and fastest gameplay of any game in its era. It currently remains at the forefront of the series' standards.
Unfortunately, F-Zero has received little attention since its release. After two more GBA releases, one of which remained exclusive to Japan, Nintendo released the SNES, N64, and GBA titles to Wii and Wii U Virtual Console. Despite the myriad of references in Smash Bros., Nintendo Land, and Mario Kart, Nintendo seems to have little interest in reviving the series despite popular demand.
|Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled 2019 PS4/Xbox One/|
Other Kart Racers
For those who can't get enough of Mario Kart, or for those who want an alternative, this generation has also offered several noteworthy kart titles. Among them include Team Sonic Racing and Crash Team Racing. The former was developed by Sumo Digital who created Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and its sequel Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The latter features a remaster of the PlayStation title.
As it stands, Nintendo would likely develop a Mario Kart 9 regardless of other companies throwing their hat into the ring. However, it might create an oversaturation of the genre. Plus it's less likely for them to focus immediately on a new console title while Mario Kart Tour is still in its first year. Not to mention Nintendo recently announced a new toy inspired by the series.
As mentioned earlier, Kirby Air Ride has also not been seen or heard from since its 2003 release for GameCube. Unlike Mario Kart or F-Zero, this title featured a unique racing method: hold A to boost as well as to brake and drift around corners. Perhaps the most stellar accomplishment the series created was City Trial mode.
This allowed players to build up their vehicles and gain points by competing against up to 4 players before engaging in a final mini-game. Kirby Air Ride took many cues from Smash Bros. such as the menu AI. Likewise, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS featured the Smash Run mode which paid major homage to City Trial.
|Kirby's Air Ride 2003 Nintendo GameCube|
Due to Nintendo Switch's scant level of releases in 2020, it's completely unknown as to what they're working on. With the lack of news for games like Metroid Prime 4, it would be a breath of fresh air to fans worldwide if they announced a new F-Zero title for Switch. With the recent release of Kirby Fighters 2, it's doubtful that HAL Laboratories is working on a sequel to Kirby Air Ride.
However, fans will do best not to forget these wonderful titles. By continuing to request Nintendo to release new entries, it's worth not giving up hope that Nintendo will fill their library with more quality racers. Mario Kart may be their mainline racing title, but it does not have to be their only one. One of the things that made GameCube such an amazing system was how Mario Kart, Kirby Air Ride, and F-Zero all coexisted on the same console while released in the same year. It contributed to being one of the greatest systems for multiplayer gaming in history.
In the meantime, keep up with us on social media and follow our channels for the latest updates. We'll keep the site posts with any news regarding Nintendo's releases including any more demanded racing games. Until then, keep enjoying Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and dig up your GameCube or Wii and enjoy a game of F-Zero and Kirby for us!