Mario Kart 9 Should Use These New Twist Ideas

The GameSpot team has some thoughts on how Nintendo could shake up the kart racing formula.


It has been a long time since the last brand-new mainline Mario Kart entry, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch seemingly acting as a stopgap measure until a true sequel is released. Based on a recent report, it appears Mario Kart 9 could be on the way, and in traditional series fashion, it will apparently come with a new "twist."

But just what will that twist be? The GameSpot staff thought long and hard about how Nintendo could change up the formula, ranging from radically altering the races themselves to bringing other Nintendo franchises into the fray. These are--plausible or not--the new twists we want to see in Mario Kart 9.

Aerial vehicles with branching paths

This. Just do this.
This. Just do this.

Mario Kart has been one of Nintendo's most successful franchises ever, but there was another Nintendo kart racing game that doesn't get enough love: Diddy Kong Racing. Its blend of "traditional" kart action with flying segments and branching paths created a hectic and less-predictable racer than its more popular cousin, and it opened up races to strategic considerations that aren't possible in a standard Mario Kart match. Nintendo has dabbled in this for Mario Kart with gliders and occasional forks in the road, but designing an entire game with this in mind would make for the freshest Mario Kart since Double Dash. Just imagine avoiding a blue shell by transforming your kart into a plane just as it homed in on you! -- Gabe Gurwin, SEO Editor

Just make it Nintendo Kart already

This is admittedly a bit of a cheat, because Nintendo has been slowly inching toward this eventuality for a while now. Most notably in Mario Kart 8, the series introduced DLC that brought in non-Mario characters like Link from the Legend of Zelda and Villager and Isabelle from Animal Crossing. At this point, Nintendo should just throw open the doors to the broader Nintendo universe. I want Ganondorf riding a kart that looks like his fiery black steed, Samus in a kart modeled after her iconic Hunter-class gunship, and Pikachu with sick-ass lightning bolts on the sides of his motorcycle. Opening it up to the broader Nintendo-verse would also give the company more leeway to fashion tracks based on different types of environments, and to mix up some of the usual Mario-themed items with ones borrowed from other games. And before you ask, no, they don't actually need to change the name. The name "Super Smash Bros." has been a Mario reference from the beginning and no one thinks twice when we see Captain Falcon throwing down. -- Steve Watts, Associate Editor

Mario Kart Maker

I'd love to see Mario Kart 9 essentially be Mario Kart Maker. Just as Nintendo embraced level creation with the Mario Maker games, I want to see it do the same with Mario Kart, allowing players to create and share their levels online. We've seen a hint of this with Mario Kart Live in the real world, but I want full-fledged building tools for a proper MK game. Given that new entries are spaced so far apart, it would be a major boon for the game's longevity to have access to an effectively limitless supply of new courses--which would surely include some wacky and unconventional spins on what we expect from a Mario Kart track. I want to race as Waluigi around a track shaped like Tim Robinson in a hot dog suit, and I know the internet won't let me down. -- Chris Pereira, Senior Editor

Mario Kart goes live service

Totally real logo
Totally real logo

I can't even begin to imagine how many hours I have played Mario Kart 8, but as much as I love Nintendo's mascot racing game, I am eager to see what's coming next. And that's why the report of Mario Kart 9 being in development with a "new twist" had me so excited. I am personally hoping to see the next Mario Kart game adopt more live-service elements. I would love to see new courses added regularly, or perhaps a Mario Kart Tour approach whereby new courses are rotated in and out, with limited-time events to take part in. I enjoy learning the ins and outs of any given Mario Kart course--and there are always so many details to learn and secret paths to uncover--and having even more courses to play with is an exciting proposition in my eyes. I would also love to see additional live-service elements get baked into the next Mario Kart game, like new challenges to work toward or a battle pass-style system that helps me feel a stronger sense of progression and accomplishment. Nintendo rolled out numerous new characters and arenas for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and I'm excited to see how a similar live-service approach for the next Mario Kart game might shake things up in a new and interesting way. -- Eddie Makuch, Editor

Mario Kart Ultimate

If the madmen at Nintendo did it for Smash Bros., surely there's no reason it can't be done in Mario Kart as well, right? Keeping in line with Nintendo's current trend of making just about everything you could ever want available on Switch (and the game industry's trend of remastering and/or remaking things), I think there's a possibility that Mario Kart 9 could act as a sort of an extensive collection of Mario Kart's past, featuring updated levels from every game, all your favorite characters, and many of the series' beloved past gimmicks, such as Double Dash's team racing. It also wouldn't surprise me if we get a Racers Pass with this next game in an effort to regularly breathe life into it and keep players on the edge of their seats as they wildly speculate as to what character could be coming next. While Sora's feet might be about two sizes too large to stuff into a kart, the thought of racing around as Pikachu on 64's D.K. Jungle Parkway brings me almost as much joy as the thought of a Diddy Kong Racingreboot does, so I'll take it as a consolation prize. -- Jessica Howard, Editor

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