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Videogame Playlist: Mario Kart

On February 5, 2016

by John Lora

Few games know how to ruin friendships quite like Mario Kart, and the blue shell is often the match that lights the fuse to blow up bridges. But damn are those songs good.

Nintendo has a knack for pumping out the catchiest, most memorable video game tunes to date. From the 8-bit ditties of the late '80s - early '90s to the full orchestral pieces of today, Nintendo has maintained their notoriety of having beautiful soundscapes befitting their games’ overarching emotion. Since Mario Kart is a series that has spanned multiple generations of gamers, anyone could look back and hear the leaps of musical creativity that have occurred over the years, and even more conveniently, the series continues to remake popular racing tracks from previous installments, which so far has given us eight different Rainbow Road theme songs to play on loop.

You may be wondering why I would want to make a playlist for a game that already has great music. Well, for one, variety, and secondly, I created a playlist with songs meant to pay homage rather than act as a replacement of the original tracks. When games could only fit a few tones into the miniscule storage of a cartridge, they had to get creative with arrangements in order to fool our minds into thinking that the music is more than a collection of beeps and boops (technical terms). This creativity of computer generated soundscapes has spurred a new generation of music production that combines musical theory and computational expertise. The songs collected in this playlist exemplify a sweet spot with that creative combo as well as the sense of fun that emits from any Mario game.

So next time you’re sitting on the couch waiting for that countdown to kick your friends’ asses, in the most friendly way possible, be sure to boot it up alongside this modern variety of beeps and boops.


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