Mario Kart: Super Circuit

The majority of racing drivers learn their trade by go-karting. And it's no secret that several of the F1 drivers who currently follow each other around a circuit for 90 (typically very dull) minutes use video games to get a feel for a new track before unleashing their 1000bhp machines on the tarmac.

But what they should be playing is Mario Kart, a game that is as much about racing as it is combat. At the very least it would make for a far more exciting spectacle, as competitors from the Mario universe use the varied weapons at their disposal - homing turtle shells, banana skins and size-shrinking lightning strikes, to name just three - to gain an advantage over each other as they speed through candy-bright environments.

The tracks themselves range from the recognisable (tarmac-surfaced kart circuits) to the surreal (a floating rainbow road, anyone?) with just about everything in between. The majority of them include jumps, speed boosts, traps and shortcuts to further complicate matters, while encouraging the unpredictability of the events.

And it's that randomness which gives Mario Kart most of its appeal. Races tend to be quick and absurdly frantic affairs, with the action so close that it's impossible to determine a winner until everyone’s crossed the finishing line. There is obviously scope for bettering your skills both as driver and combatant, and the sense of achievement from outplaying the competition is immense, but ultimately Super Circuit's greatest achievement has to be how immediately and universally the game's exceptional thrills can be enjoyed.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Some of the best fun you can have on four virtual wheels.