I love it for several reasons, not least for how it’s an example of a dying form (and in the case of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch, relegated to the flipside of the cover itself, a boon for environmentalists but a blow to traditionalists like myself who get lost in fits of reverie at the mere sniff of a freshly opened manual). Mostly, though, I love it for what it doesn’t tell you.
So yes, in Mario Kart 8 the fundamentals haven’t moved on a jot since Nintendo first laid out the template in 1992. You take charge of one of a dizzying roster of familiar characters, collecting power-ups and drifting across heavily sugared landscapes in pursuit of victory. It really is that simple.
Yet there’s so much more to it all. Over 25 years the series has been retooled, rejigged and refined – with some iterations proving more successful than others – and in 2014 with Mario Kart 8 it flew as close to perfection as the series had ever been since its debut on the SNES with Super Mario Kart. Mario Kart 8’s genius lies in all the little details that add up to a dizzying whole.