Poor Wii U owners didn’t have much in way of new games to play over the holidays, but the arrival of Mario Kart 64 on the Virtual Console changes things a bit. Widely regarded as one of the best Nintendo 64 games ever made, there’s a good chance that many Wii U owners have a lot of fond memories with this game. You can relive those memories without having to plug in a Nintendo 64 by paying $10, or a discounted rate of $2 if you owned it through the Wii’s Virtual Console.
With Mario Kart 64 being as popular as it is, one has to wonder why it took Nintendo so long to bring it to the Wii U. One theory might be that Nintendo didn’t want Mario Kart 64 to compete with the Wii U’s own Mario Kart 8, but both games are different enough that it shouldn’t have been much of a worry. Moreover, Mario Kart 8 is good enough to stand on its own, and is frankly a must-have for any Wii U owner.
In any case, this is likely to be one of the last significant releases the Wii U gets, Virtual Console or otherwise. Assuming Nintendo slows the re-release of classic titles from here on out, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the last big game the Wii U will receive. We don’t have a release date for that yet, and by the time it finally launches, many may have already made the jump to the Nintendo Switch.
With Nintendo priming the Switch marketing engine as we head into 2017, the Wii U will quickly fade into obscurity. It seems somewhat fitting that one of the Wii U’s final hurrahs comes in the form of Mario Kart 64, one of the most beloved Nintendo games of all time.
Make no mistake: if you’re looking for a big dose of nostalgia on these cold winter nights, Mario Kart 64 has you covered. It’s available on the Wii U Virtual Console today, so go forth and once again attempt the skip on Rainbow Road, only to fail and mess up the race entirely. Happy drifting!