History of cart racing games

Simplified racing with weapons: it's not all about Super Mario Kart. the genre is surprisingly diverse and persistent, all the way back to the mid-70s.

The genre got very crowded, very fast at the turn of the century. Roughly two dozen kart racers came out across all platforms from 1999 to 2001. Every man and his dog who had a decent character license decided simultaneously that a generic kart racer was the best video game investment. As a result, we had kart games for Woody Woodpecker, Mickey Mouse, Looney Tunes, South Park, The Muppets, LEGO, Nickelodeon, Star Wars, The Smurfs, Crash Bandicoot, Konami, and more.

Most of these were either irredeemably terrible

It got to the point where cart racers were as abundant and formulaic as MUGEN fighting games. But people were paying money for them! Until they weren't, that is.