We now know that the rumors are true and that another Mario Kart game is indeed on its way. We have little information by way of release date, but we do know that it could very well be on the shelves sometime this year.

Although it may be hard to believe, almost six years have passed since the release of Mario Kart 8, meaning that there will be legions of Mario superfans out there who are chomping at the bit for any and all information they can get on the next installment.

Given the runaway success of the previous titles, expectations will be high for MK9. While Nintendo have been pretty secretive about the project so far, that doesn’t stop us from speculating. Read on to see what our wishlist is for Mario Kart 9.

1. More Nintendo Characters

While MK8 offered more characters than ever before, we’d like to see some fresh faces in the next installment. Rather than sticking with the classic roster of Mario, Wario, Donkey Kong etc, Nintendo should dip into their rich trove of secondary characters to provide some totally new experiences in the next game. The full list of ones we’d love to see could go on forever, but suffice it to say that the characters at the very top of that list include Funky Kong, Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, Nabbit, Kirbie, and Birdo, for starters.

2. Seasonal Racing Events

The release of Mario Kart Tour whetted our appetite for seasonal racing events that allow players from across the Switch spectrum to battle it out with each other on a truly global forum. We’d like to see this feature brought back with extra gusto in MK9, with a regular roster of events that are themed around different events in the calendar. Not only would it be a solid strategy for Nintendo if they want to attract more loyal subscribers to Switch Online, but it would also extend the shelf-life and promo potential of the game considerably.

3. Character-Specific Items

This has been on the Mario Kart bucket list for quite some time, with the superfan community over at GameSpot pining for this feature since before the release of MK8 back in 2014. While red shells and banana peels are all well and good, it would certainly add more depth to the characters available if players knew that they could access unique items by choosing them. We’re not sure exactly which items we’d like to see, but we’d certainly be more inclined to opt for characters such as Princess Peach if we knew that doing so would give us access to a secret weapon or two.

4. A Return to Classic Casino Minigames

While casino minigames may not be a Mario Kart staple, they have been a beloved part of other Mario games since the franchise was first launched. The likes of Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario Bros ’64 DS both offered iconic themed slot games that would undoubtedly enjoy a new lease of life in 2020, given the widespread popularity of online casino slots. Mario minigame slots which are fan favorites, such as the Rainbow Road slot in Mario Party or the tropical beach-themed slot in Super Mario Bros ’64 already share a striking resemblance to the Starburst and Ariana slot games available at real-money online casinos. If the Mario franchise were to introduce these slots, they may find a receptive audience in the community of online casino gamers.

5. Create Your Own Race Track

Technically, this option already exists to an extent. As the gaming nerds over at Game Banana have demonstrated, it is technically possible to create your own racetrack, provided you have the technical skills and third-party software to do so. What we’d prefer to see is a built-in option that allows players to easily create their own bespoke racing tracks, that they can then allow their friends to use. A simple Minecraft-style mechanism that allows you to take different features and tools and put them together to create a truly bespoke racing experience, or even just augment the existing classic racing maps, would go a long way into ensuring MK9 goes down in history as the best chapter in the series.

6. More Third-Party Characters

Some are divided over the notion that third-party characters are a good thing in Mario, but we’d definitely like to see more non-Nintendo icons making an appearance. The inclusion of Metal Gear Solid characters went down a treat in previous games, so we’d like to see Nintendo expand on this to include others from the gaming universe, in a similar vein as they have done in Super Smash Bros. If they wish to attract fans from outside the Nintendo universe, this might be a smart move.

So which new features do you want to see in Mario Kart 9? Comment below to let us know!

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