Rogue Racers: 11 Of The Worst Mario Kart Characters Ever

the rear view of a mysterious mario kart character

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Many avid gamers today owe their backstory to the Mario Kart franchise. Rightly so, considering the games have been pretty awesome. Whether it’s placing a well-timed banana peel or hurling a lighting bolt and squashing opponents as you race to the finish line, the series brought a new dimension to kart racing. 

However, while most characters have brought their unique flair to the track through the years, some seem to be driving on the wrong side of Toad’s Turnpike. Obviously, this ranking is a subjective opinion, so don’t take it too seriously if your favorite is on the list. Without further ado, here are the worst Mario Kart characters ever.  “Let’s-a go.”

1. Pink Gold Peach 

Pink, gold and metal — what an uninspiring combination. It’s like someone at Nintendo thought, “Metal Mario is cool, but you know what we need? A metallic princess!” Enter Pink Gold Peach, the most redundant character since… well, since ever. Her heavy metal nature makes her slow and cumbersome, more akin to driving a gold-plated tank than a kart. The robotic drawl in her voice is also a miss, as it sounds quite drab for a fun game about speed and finesse. Overall, Pink Gold Peach feels like an unnecessary addition to the roster, especially since the original Princess Peach already has many alternate costume options. 

2. Honey Queen

The fair ruler of the Honeyhive Galaxy maneuvering through the race course is badass, but something feels a tad out of place. Perhaps it’s how the game designers had to resize her frame to fit on a kart. Her tiny fluttering wings also look off — like, why is she driving when she can fly? Racing as Honey Queen is not half as bad as you’d expect, but you often feel she’s better off thriving in her kingdom than on the tracks. 

3. R.O.B.

R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) is a relic from Nintendo’s past that should have stayed in the archives. The fuzzy robot first appeared in 2005 as a playable character in Mario Kart DS. As a racer, he’s stiff and awkward, lacking the flexibility to navigate Choco Mountain, Frappe Snowland and other treacherous tracks. R.O.B was instrumental to the growth of the video game industry, but nostalgia can’t save him from being a clunky driver.

4. The Baby Brigade

The Baby Brigade — Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, Baby Daisy, Baby Bowser, Baby Wario and Baby Rosalina — are collectively the cutest racers. It’s a shame they’re also among the worst Mario Kart characters. 

They’re not terrible on the tracks or anything, it’s that they’re an unnecessary addition. They’re miniature versions of the regulars, so there isn’t much intrigue there as you would with a brand new character. Besides, who wants to race against babies and launch honing blue shells at them? 

5. Waluigi

Waluigi toy figure

Tall, lanky and always scheming, Waluigi is a fan favorite for his weirdness but not for his racing prowess. Overall, the character feels boring and overrated, as if he was only included so Luigi wouldn’t feel sad about not having his own archrival. In fairness, he’s proven to be a worthy adversary off the tracks, but on them, not so much.

6. Tanooki Mario

Everyone loves Mario, but his Tanooki counterpart feels like a lazy Halloween costume — he’s just Mario with a tail and ears. While the Tanooki suit is great in platforming games for its fluttering abilities, it adds nothing special to Mario Kart. It’s as if Nintendo ran out of ideas and slapped on a fursuit. He brings no unique advantages and is essentially just a cosplay version of Mario. Next!

7. Lakitu

It’s a bit odd to see a Lakitu as a playable character when there’s also one that serves as the referee of the races. What’s that about? Also, gamers are used to seeing these guys floating on clouds, so seeing one racing on the ground and being fished out by one of their own is weird. 

Ultimately, Likatu is one of the most forgettable characters in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, even when playing the 48 additional courses from the game’s paid DLC.  

8. Villagers

The Villagers from “Animal Crossing” are adorable in their own game, planting flowers and catching bugs. However, they seem ill-suited for the fast-paced, high-stakes world of Kart racing. Their generic driving style and lack of any standout traits make them unmemorable. 

Part of the appeal of special characters from other franchises is their unique appearance. However, players don’t get this option in Mario Kart. Instead, the two Villagers seem unremarkable in a game where character value comes from the personality of its design.

9. Wiggler

Wigglers are formidable foes in “Super Mario World” and return in “Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2,” but perhaps that’s where their cameos in the franchise should have ceased. The playable character looks so out of place astride a kart, making it a bizarre addition to the roster. Plus, seeing the forearms flailing during turns and jumps on the tracks is distracting. Stick to squishing him in the platformers.

10. Shy Guy 

Shy Guy might be a cute underling in the Mario series, but he actually has some pretty decent racing stats, especially when you equip the Leaf Tyres. The simple character design with their ominous masks also has enough mystery to make you want to try it out. But why would they call him “shy guy”? Additionally, his small stature and light vehicle make him easy to push around, making him largely unremarkable as Mario Kart Characters go. 

11. Koopa Troopa

Koopa Troopa might be a classic character, but he offers nothing new or exciting to the roster. While his balanced stats make him an all-rounder, they also make him utterly ordinary. He doesn’t have the mischievous charm and flair of the rowdy koopalings. Playing as Koopa Troopa is often like choosing vanilla ice cream at a gourmet dessert buffet — safe, predictable and not very exciting.

The Worst Mario Kart Characters 

So, there you have it — the 11 worst characters across the Mario Kart gaming universe. Sure, some of these racers might have their quirks and charms, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of kart racing, they come up short. 

Whether it’s their awkward handling, lackluster stats or just plain redundancy, these characters are better suited as background cheerleaders than main competitors. Next time you’re gearing up to take on Rainbow Road or dodge shells in Bowser’s Castle, steer clear of these lackluster choices. 

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