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The illustrated history of Mario Kart

The 21 games you need to play to say you've seen it all

There are only a couple of weeks left until Mario Kart 8 is finally released.

There's a lot riding on this one. Not only is it the first console Mario Kart in six years, it's also the game many are hoping will finally kickstart the sales of Nintendo's struggling Wii U console.

It's understandable why this is the case. Ever since the SNES version, every single new Nintendo console and handheld has had one Mario Kart - and one Mario Kart only - graciously bestowed upon it (we don't count the Virtual Boy because, well, nobody did).

And ultimately, time after time, said Mario Kart always appears in lists of the best games available on that particular system, be it the SNES original, the GBA launch offering or the first online entry on DS.

To give you an idea of Mario Kart's long and glorious history, we've put together this little trip down Memory Circuit 1 to get you in the mood for the upcoming release of Mario Kart 8. Not only is every Mario Kart game featured here, we've also included other nods to the game that have appeared throughout the years. Enjoy!