Halo: Warthog Kart Racing has been created numerous times via forge mode. You could technically count that in worst list, but it's completely fan made and has way-too-many iterations and versions to narrow it down to just one.
Hey everyone, given I have a butt load of followers I want to do another Best/Worst list. Everyone likes those and it always gets me a lot of hits and comments but after spending a fair amount of time with Mario Kart 7, Little Big Planet Karting, and Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed it got me thinking, there's been a lot of Mario Kart clones out there. After all it's an easy formula to make a lisenced tie in but of course this leads to tons of horrid knockoffs so I want to recognize the best and worst of the MK clones but I haven't played all of them out there. This is where you come in. I need some input from the gaming community.
First off, here's some of the possible contenders for the "Best" or at least "Least Awful MK Clones"
Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed: I've gushed about this one long enough but IMO it is the best one I've played.
Diddy Kong Racing: Possibly the first of the "good" MK knockoffs. Yeah the story mode was a bit tedious making you play the same tracks 3 times but the edition of switching between planes and water hovercrafts would pave the way for future racing games.
Crash Team Racing: Never played this title but from what I hear it was the PS equivalent of MK64.
Jak X: Combat Racing: Should this be in the category of "kart racer" or is it different from that? Also anyone notice that Naughty Dog makes a triliogy of games followed by a kart racer. Does this mean we'll see Uncharted Jungle Racing?
And now the "bad" list which overflows with crap most of wich a lot of us haven't played though if you had the misfortune to play a bad MK knockoff, please share with me by all means.
Sonic Drift: You'll find defenders of Sonic Riders and even Sonic R but Sonic Drift is the definition of lame MK knockoff/cash in. Only released for the Game Gear, you had a whopping four characters to choose from. The screen is small and cut in half to put the map on the top half and the limits of the hardware make for pitful draw distance. Looking at "Transformed" Sonic's come a long way.
M&M's Kart Racing everyone loves to bash this title. The reviews made it pretty clear that this is a major pass. Not only is it one big commercial but it's bland and uninspired.
Wacky Races: Anyone who's familiar with the 1970s Hannah Barbera cartoon would know that it could make for an awesome racing game. It's a show about wacky characters in crazy cars constantly racing each other and a villian who's constantly setting up traps to stop the other racers from winning. My nephews had this game and while the premise could be awesome, the game is not because like most Wii shovelware lisecened games, it's done by a cut rate studio just trying to make a buck.
Kinect Joy Ride Some told me that this probably has more in common with Excite Truck than Mario Kart and maybe their right but seeing how this is the closest the Xbox will ever get to it's own mascot racer (unless they make Halo Warthog Racing), I feel it deserves the "worst" list because...well..it's a Kinect game that doesn't involve dancing.
So those are a few of my picks for best and worst but I want some other player input. Just a few guidelines:
1) Has to be a standalone game. If it was a mini game tucked in as bonus content, it won't be included because it wasn't the main focus of the game. However any downloadable titles can be included.
2) It would be nice if you actually played said game. First hand accounts are always nice and if you want to offer a video link, I have no problem with that. Seeing is believing after all.
3) It should be at least "inspired" by the Mario Kart formula in that it includes a collection of characters using items to trip up fellow racers. Of course the more blantant it rips it off, the worse it tends to be. A good MK Clone brings something new to the table.
Ok feel free to offer your input and I'll tabulate and make my "best/worst MK Clone list."
Those Sonic kart racing games on the GameGear have to be on the worst list. Those are horrible! But Diddy Kong Racing was surprisingly decent. I like it more than Mario kart 64, which wasn't all that good to begin with.
Crash Team Racing is, by far, the best Mario Kart clone. May I even go as far as to suggest it surpasses Mario Kart? I know it's a mad thing to say, but I really do feel Naughty Dog beat Nintendo at their own game with that one.
Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed definitely gets my vote for best "MK clone." It did almost everything better than the first and it also came up with better ideas than MK (like swarm, which is proof that you can screw over the guy in first without being too cheap like a certain blue shell).
I think the only bad clone I've played is South Park Rally on the Playstation. I'm a huge SP fan, but that game was just terrible.
Crash Team Racing was amazing. I was surprised in all that list you hadn't played it. You missed out on quite the game back then. I haven't played it in many years, nor have I played my copies of Mario Kart 64 or Diddy Kong Racing in a long time.
As far as Naughty Dog, they are doing The Last of Us as their fourth game this generation instead of a Kart Racing game this generation. I did make quite a few jokes about ND's legacy back in 2007 after Uncharted was first released, noting their fourth game per gen was a racing title. Back then, I said ND would be calling their fourth game UnKarted. Alas, it twas not to be, but of course Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin (ND's founders) are no longer with Naughty Dog having retired. They were the primary direction of the PSOne and PS2 generations.
Anyways, this may surprise you, but this was brought up in debates back then when the Sega Saturn vs N64 vs. PSOne debates were pretty hot topic in the late 90's- early 2000's. It was the fact Naughty Dog bested Nintendo's efforts critically on their first Kart game with CTR vs. Mario. I own every Mario Kart game, so it was quite interesting being around back then and chatting with gamers during that time period that loved Kart racing. Rare came close with Diddy Kong, but couldn't top CTR.
Mario Kart 64 :
I was a longtime Mario fan since prior to NES, having Mario Bros. on Atari 5200 back before the NES released in the West. Since NES, I was an uber Mario fan. I remember the day Mario Kart released on SNES as Super Mario Kart. What a great game. I was very surprised on what ND pulled off out of the blue back then having no experience in the Kart Genre. It was my first clue that ND was a better developer than I thought back then. Since then, I've grown to respect ND.
All I got are Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing (DS) and Crash Team Racing (PlayStation). They were good games.
I think Blur would count because of its arcade style and the fact that items or "power ups" or whatever they're called in that game are used. It felt quite a bit like playing Mario Kart because you can spin other drivers out with said items and block incoming items by tossing your own backwards and whatnot. So anyway I'd definitely put that one on the "good" list, though I'm still not sure if it can be called a Mario Kart clone. As for one to put on the "bad" list, I'd say Modnation Racers simply because I didn't the feel of it at all. Not an entirely bad game, but I just didn't enjoy it that much.
I recall playing a fairly decent MK clone for the PS1 themed after disney parks and where you used disney characters (with a lot of darker ones that I'm not sure if they were exclusively created for the game alone). It wasn't amazing, but the variety of tracks was pretty good. Another good one would be Toy Story racing, albeit the way they administrated the multiplayer was irritating as you could only choose a said set of tracks rather than choosing which stage alone you wanted to play. I'm not a fan of kart racers anymore, but I recall them being pretty decent entertainments.