Mario Kart Arcade GP

Mario Kart Arcade GP

The first in a Namco-developed spin-off Mario Kart series made solely for arcades.


Mario Kart: Arcade GP is a third-person kart racer developed and released by Namco (in conjunction with Nintendo) for arcades (using GC-based Triforce hardware) on October 10, 2005.

An arcade spin-off of the Mario Kart series, Arcade GP is the first in the series to be developed by a third-party studio and the first to be released in arcades. Up to four machines can be linked together for multiplayer support, and players can save their progress using each machines' dedicated card reader (which dispense reusable electromagnetic "Mario Cards"). Each machine also has a special camera that's used to show who is controlling which character.

The game itself includes 12 new playable courses (each of which can be played in reverse), 11 playable drivers (three of which are guest characters from Namco's Pac-Man series), and 93 total items (13 of which are available from the start). Unlike standard Mario Kart games, players must choose their three-item pool at the start of each race, with each item box giving the player a random item from the pool. Players can unlock new items as prizes for winning races (which they can save to their Mario Card).

The game later received two sequels (Mario Kart: Arcade GP 2 in 2007 and Mario Kart: Arcade GP DX in 2013) and a VR spinoff (Mario Kart: Arcade GP VR in 2017).


The game includes 11 playable characters (three of which are guest characters from Namco's Pac-Man series). Each character has their own stats (acceleration, body weight, and maximum speed). Lighter characters sacrifice their speed for improved handling, and vice versa for heavier characters.

Light (Better Acceleration)

Light (Better Speed)




The game includes 12 courses, each split into six Cups (or Stages in versus mode). Each Cup requires racing through both courses twice (with the second race having minor differences, such as weather) to complete. Each course can optionally be raced in reverse via versus mode.

Mario Cup / Mario Stage (Easy)

  • Mario Highway
  • Mario Beach

Bonus Challenge: Lead a giant watermelon to the goal.

DK Cup / DK Stage (Normal)

  • DK Jungle
  • Bananan Ruins

Bonus Challenge: Knock 15 Koopas using the Hammer.

Wario Cup / Wario Stage (Normal)

  • Diamond City
  • Snow Panic

Bonus Challenge: While driving backwards, reach the goal.

Pac-Man Cup / Pac-Man Stage (Master)

  • Pac Mountain
  • Pac Labyrinth

Bonus Challenge: Jump to evade the Ghosts' beam.

Bowser Cup / Bowser Stage (Master)

  • Bowser's Castle
  • Castle Wall

Bonus Challenge: While remaining still, destroy supports holding Bowser (or Mecha-Bowser) up with missiles while jumping to evade his fireballs.

Rainbow Cup / Rainbow Stage (Master)

Unlocked if the player has completed the first five Cups in Grand Prix mode.

  • Rainbow Coaster
  • Rainbow Downhill

Bonus Challenge: Reach the goal before Robo Mario.