More than 25 years after its initial release, Mario Kart remains arguably the most beloved and iconic video game ever made. And while there is no shortage of reasons for the games’ success, one of the best parts of playing Mario Kart happens before the race begins: When players choose their character, usually for personal or arbitrary reasons. Now, however, science is getting into the “which character you should choose” debate.
A recent scientific analysis of the game put a racing value of each Mario Kart character. And while Mario might be the fan favorite, numbers suggest that his mischievous cousin Wario is actually the best bet for winning first place. Data scientist Henry Hinnefield conducted this unofficial study by using math to dive deep into the attributes assigned to every character and designate an overall value. As fans of the classic game know, each character is assigned speed, handling, and acceleration value, which is meant to give players a better idea of the how each will perform in the race. By measuring each character’s assigned value, Hinnefield was able to determine how they all stacked up against one another. In the end, it became clear that Wario was secretly the Mario Kart GOAT.
What makes Wario stand out among his fellow racers? A combination of speed and handling, along with a surprising ability to accelerate, are what set Wario apart. While it’s well known that heavier players, such as Wario or Bowser, have a higher top speed than lighter characters like Toad, that speed typically comes at the price of acceleration and handling. However, Wario has proven to be an exception to these rules, as he has strong handling and acceleration skills while also having one of the fastest top speeds in the game.