Mario Kart is a series of go-kart-style racing games developed by Nintendo as a series of spin-offs from its trademark Mario series of platformer adventure-style video games. To date, there have been four Mario Kart games for home consoles, three portable games, and two arcade games.
In the game, characters from the Mario series get together and race go-karts around a variety of tracks. Players can obtain items by driving through (or over in Super Mario Kart) item boxes or coins, which can be used for either defense, offense or by powering up the engine for a short amount of time (boost). Each Mario Kart game features several gameplay modes, which can be played in both single player and multiplayer.
Although the series has always been popular, with each system's Mario Kart title being one of its best sellers, the series reached new heights during the 7th generation of gaming hardware. Mario Kart DS and Wii have sold over 20 and 30 million units respectively, making them the most popular Racing games ever released.