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The Wii was, without a doubt, a critical component of many people’s childhoods. From New Super Mario Bros Wii to Wii Sports, the Wii had and still has a long list of games for every audience. Better yet, after years of neglect, and perhaps years of household pets chewing on cords, most people can plug their Wii in to find that it still works. While it may not be as fancy as the Playstation 5 or even the Nintendo Switch, the Wii is great at what it does and many of its games are still incredibly enjoyable. One of these games, Mario Kart Wii, is still enjoyed frequently by speedrunners and casual fans alike.

Mario Kart Wii was astonishing for it’s time, with new and improved graphics alongside a remote with a motion sensor. From the Grand Prix to time trials, there was plenty to do and marvel at. In addition, speedrunners worked (and still work) hard to establish new course records, finding the best possible set-up and spending hours perfecting their technique. Many of these features are still captivating today, such as being able to play on a team with your friends or having to work to unlock additional characters and karts/bikes. If you find yourself with extra time this semester, consider picking up Mario Kart Wii and trying out some of the following:

Race with your friends, on the same team or not

Mario Kart Wii offers a multiplayer mode for 2-4 people. You can play solo mode, where it’s everyone against everyone, or team mode, where it’s the red team against the blue team. In team mode, there are 12 players total, six for each team. You can choose to play on either team, meaning you can play with or against your friends. Team mode operates at 100cc, or medium difficulty. You and your friends get to pick all four courses for your very own cup, and there are 32 courses total. That’s 35,960 different combinations of courses!

Unlock your favorite characters, karts, and bikes

By completing various tasks, you can unlock up to 11 different characters and 18 different vehicles. Some of them are easier (like winning the 50cc star cup), and others are much harder, like earning a rank of two stars or higher for every cup in 150cc. Personally, these missions alone have kept me busy for months, and I’m much better at the game now because of it. Many of the vehicles and characters you can unlock are considered “better” than those you start with. As a result, there’s a genuine reason for both serious and casual players to work for the unlockables.

Play minigames – alone or with friends!

Mario Kart Wii also has a minigame section where you can compete to see who can gather the most coins or who can pop the most balloons. Both still involve driving around in a vehicle, and like before, it’s the red team against the blue team. The minigames can provide a nice relief from the high-stakes environment racing fosters, and they are still fun to play. Again, you can choose to play with or against your friends, or even alone with other computers.

Even though it’s been almost 13 years since the original release of Mario Kart Wii, the game stands the test of time and continues to be enjoyable to this day. As the Wii is a sturdy console, this trend probably won’t change any time soon. Even with the closing of the Wii Store and the deactivation of online races, Mario Kart Wii continues to draw fans in long after its peak in popularity. So, if you find yourself with some free time, give it a shot! Boot up the old Wii and scavenge for that game disc. Relish in nostalgia as Mario starts the game by shouting, “Mario Kart Wii!”

Ashley is studying Genomics and Molecular Genetics alongside Nutritional Sciences with a focus in Biomedical and Molecular Nutrition. She is a member of Lyman Briggs and works with their Chemistry department as a Learning Assistant. When she's not studying, Ashley loves playing Minecraft, practicing trumpet, and looking at memes.
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