Our Top Picks: 15 Best Super Mario Kart ROM Hacks

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From crazy new levels to complete thematic overhauls and wild twists, ROM hacks for the SNES classic “Super Mario Kart” are plentiful.

Old-school graphics are much easier to mod so it’s no surprise that you can find well over 50 options for this game!

But to spare you the time of testing everything I’ve compiled my top picks for the best 15 rom hacks for this beloved retro title. So fire up your SNES emulator because there’s a lot here to test drive!

15. Super Mario Kart: F1 Tracks

Super Mario Kart F1 Tracks screenshot

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With tracks named after some of the sport’s greatest drivers, this F1 mod will have you and your friends flying around some of the world’s most well-known courses.

A fun mod for when you want to do away with the gimmicks and obstacles typical of most Mario Kart levels, and play in favor of minimalist race tracks.

Make no mistake: you will be testing out your driving ability on the F1 tracks and they do require a need for speed. Find out once and for all if you truly are the best Super Mario Kart player.


14. Super Pro Kart

Super Pro Kart romhack

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Super Pro Kart is one of those mods that only the masochists of the world will derive pleasure from.

A mod that tampers with the AI and make your fellow drivers uncharacteristically aggressive, and infuriatingly good, is just asking for trouble. This is for players who feel like they’ve mastered the original game and are looking for a greater challenge.

Having said that, this mod also includes 20 brand new maps to take on. The tracks have been changed so much that it’ll feel like playing a whole new game. And really, isn’t that the point of using mods?


13. Real World Imagined Tracks

Real World Imagined Tracks SNES rom

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With a bunch of new tracks creatively devised by one inspired user Theamdnator, Super Mario Kart: Real World Imagined Tracks brings a whole new lease on life to the classic SNES game.

After your 200th time completing the flower, mushroom, and special cups, you generally want something a little different.

Especially after playing through Rainbow Road for the billionth time in a row. Well if you’re getting tired of the exact same courses you might be in the market for fancy new levels—and that’s exactly what you’ll get in this rom hack.


12. Reversed and Remixed

Reversed and Remixed MarioKart Rom

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Do you love the gameplay but want to overhaul the Super Mario Kart experience?

Then the Reversed and Remixed ROM hack could be the perfect option for you.

The first thing you’ll notice about this game modification is that all 20 of the original tracks have been reversed, meaning you start at the end and work your way towards the beginning.

If that isn’t enough of a change to keep you interested – which it should be – the developers of this mod also took the liberty of tinkering with the AI. These changes make the game a bit tougher but still playable and still very fun.


11. Sour Music Kart

Sour Music Kart SMK romhack screen

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Made with the developer’s real-life friends as inspiration for character models, the Sour Music Kart mod is a fun twist on the original with totally new characters.

As well as these completely new skins for the characters, with this mod you also get new backgrounds for the tracks, new music for each level, and even a newly altered title screen.

The levels themselves are based on real-life locations relevant to the developer and their friends, which gives this game a more authentic flavor while retaining its wonderful silly nature as you hurl banana skins all over the place.

Plus there are minor tweaks in this one to keep you interested: small obstacles, new victory screens, and a couple battle tracks to play with friends.


10. The Impala Battles

The Impala Battles SNES romhack

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Super Mario Kart isn’t just about racing around tracks trying to get the best time possible and beat out the opposition.

It’s a game that’s also about destroying friends in crazy fun-filled battles.

With several balloons around your kart, the goal is to end the battle with more of them than your opponents while trying to pop theirs.

An engaging game mode and one which lends itself perfectly to playing with a group of friends, it only makes sense that there was a mod such as this one – The Impala Battles – to revamp the battle levels and give them a much-needed difficulty change.


9. Super NicoNico Kart

Super NicoNico Kart screen sample

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Sometimes you just fancy something completely off the wall and utterly insane.

Super NicoNico Kart pulls this off by completely changing the cast of Mario Kart in favor of poorly drawn characters, one of which is Ronald McDonald the clown.

But this rom also adds new level designs which take the shape of faces from shows on the Japanese streaming service NicoNico.

While you may not be familiar with the theme, the fun thing about this mod is just appreciating the wackiness of Japanese culture.


8. More Super Mario Kart

More Super Mario Kart screenshot

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Made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the classic game, More Super Mario Kart is one of those mods that pays tribute to what made the game great. And it doesn’t try to mess with a winning formula so this really feels like an expansion pack of the original.

Adding 20 new courses – to compliment the 20 existing ones – this mod aims to create levels as faithfully accurate to the original level designs as possible.

Playing through this mod feels like you got 2 for the price of 1 with your classic copy of Super Mario Kart.


7. Character Chaos

Character Chaos SuperMarioKart screen

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Playing as the original all-star Mario universe cast is great. But it’s definitely nice to revisit the classic games when there are completely new characters to play with.

Featuring iconic characters such as Bomberman, Pacman and a Cactuar, this character mod for Super Mario Kart will have you loving every minute of your race time.

Take on the same familiar tracks that you’ve always played, but now you can race through them with the not-so-nimble yellow blob that is Pacman.


6. Mario Kart R

Mariokart R screenshot

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Mario Kart R takes things to a whole new level with enhanced graphics, a handful of new courses, new music and introduces the lovable Kirby as a playable character in place of Toad.

Like an expansion pack for the original game, this mod will make you feel like you’re back in the original game but with a slightly more modern, updated feel to things.

To be honest though it almost feels like a “SMK 2” in a way. The colors and backgrounds are different, the graphics are quite different, and in many ways this feels like a true successor to the original. Just with its own sense of flair.


5. Crazy Tracks

Crazy Tracks screenshot romhack

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Altering the difficulty level of this already challenging game, the Crazy Tracks mod does just what you think it would: adds some infuriatingly difficult tracks to test your mettle on.

Another fantastic mod for finding out who has the best driving skills in Super Mario Kart, this will have you and your friends fighting it out on some of the craziest tracks you can imagine.

A good way to extend the replayability of the game significantly and this gives you something to really test your skills on.

This rom is worth considering if you can’t get enough of the Mario Kart series and want something a little more challenging. Or in this case, a lot more challenging.


4. Hyper Street Kart

Hyper Street Kart rom screenshot

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Hyper Street Kart is the mod that gives you the best game crossover you never knew you needed: Street Fighter and Mario Kart.

With renamed and redesigned courses like the cleverly named “Hadoken Cup”, this mod brings a lot to the classic game that’s perfect for Street Fighter fans.

The best part of Hyper Street Kart is obviously the character models.

If seeing Blanka and Guile race around Rainbow Road isn’t enough to convince you to try this one out, then maybe Zangief’s bulging biceps bursting out his kart will be.


3. Super Parigo Kart

screenshot sper parigo kart

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A complete overhaul of the game making it almost unrecognizable, yet keeping the addictive gameplay that we all know and love.

Super Parigo Kart is an amazing mod that you should definitely give a go.

Like Mario Kart R (number 6), this mod offers an incredible amount of new content ranging from an entirely new cast of characters, to new backgrounds based on real locations such as Paris and even new graphics.

One thing to note: this is a PAL rom hack only so you’ll need to patch an original PAL version to play. This is much easier on a computer so an emulator might be the easiest choice to test this out.


2. Super Mario Kart World

SMK world rom hack

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Like More Super Mario Kart (number 8), Super Mario Kart World looks to improve on an already amazing game with some minor tweaks.

The idea here is to make the gaming experience that much more enjoyable by slightly adjusting the classic formula.

Leaving no stone unturned, this mod edits all 20 racing tracks and even all of the battle tracks to give the original game a facelift.

Adding new shortcuts to give you more to think about for each track, this mod even adds the option to have infinite balloons in battle mode so you don’t have to worry about the duration of your next battle. As soon as you start playing you’ll see how crazy this can get.


1. Super SpongeBob Kart

Super Spongebob Kart rom

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Leaving the best for last, the rightful #1 spot on this list has to go to Super SpongeBob Kart.

Mixing two incredibly popular franchises often brings fans from both series together. And this SpongeBob mod is no exception.

Changing the title screen to feature Bikini Bottom and SpongeBob’s iconic pineapple house, this mod will make you feel like you’re really driving under the sea.

This mod really is a complete overhaul of all graphics, music, and levels. Super SpongeBob Kart adds all of your favorite characters from the show, all new battle stages and bonuses, new SpongeBob inspired level designs, and a whole lot more.

It may be true that SpongeBob never got his driver’s license. But that doesn’t stop him from burning rubber in this sleek rom hack!

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Samuel Christopher Dixon

Moving from England to Spain at the age of 22, Sam is a keen language learner and sports enthusiast. You can usually find him either playing a high-paced game of squash or chilling with a book outside.