It doesn’t really seem like anyone can agree on which is the best Mario Kart game, I probably couldn’t make a definitive decision all on my own even. But, Double Dash would likely be in the running.
While Mario Kart 64 mostly just took the core ideas of the original Mario Kart and put it in a full 3D environment Double Dash actually made a lot of changes. The biggest and most obvious one being the addition of a second kart rider, which doesn’t seem like much at first. But in reality, this really mixed up gameplay since you could now mix and match riders who had different weights, special power ups and mix and match kart sizes. Each character had their own special power, and each one paired with a secondary kart rider’s power could make for a good defensive or offensive approach to riding. Plus the different cart sizes provided an approach that required some tactical thinking since weight and speed played a role in your offense and defense as you drove around the track as well.
Besides these changes I just always loved the speed in Double Dash which seemed like such a large improvement over the previous two titles. This was improved even more by the really exciting tracks, some of my favorite tracks exist in this entry of the series. They are hard hitting, compact, have lots of boost areas and more. Top that all off with the awesome slide and boosting methods in this game and you were always driving at top speed. Kart’s aren’t actually speed machines but in a game that is so loose and fun a bit of extra speed keeps the flash going and it is really needed.
People had their complaints about Double Dash, the biggest one being the “rubber banding” from the CPU players, and yeah this problem certainly exists. Sometimes in fact it seems no matter how often you knock down specific racers they will always be right back at your side and maintain their rival status. Oddly enough for me this adds just a little bit more excitement and challenge to the game, but yes the game is in fact cheating, you either won’t care or you will hate it.
Double Dash remains a staple in my gaming library and in my multiplayer lineup as I feel like it should for any Gamecube or Wii owner Yes even for Wii owners who have their own Mario Kart entry to play, because Double Dash is drastically different in just about every way that counts; concept and control. As with all Mario Kart games (or Mario games in general) it can demand a bit more of a premium then it deserves (based on how available it really is in the wild) but it is still worth just about every dollar. If you love Mario Kart games or good titles for gaming nights, you need to give Double Dash a chance if you never have.