Mario Kart Double Dash
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! launched on the Nintendo GameCube 20 years ago today.

The racing title hit the console in Japan on November 7th, 2003, and would come to Europe a week later. The North American release took place on November 19th.

Double Dash!! was the first title in the Mario Kart series to utilise 3D visuals for all elements of its game world (Mario Kart 64 used sprites for the karts and drivers), but that wasn't the end of the game's innovation – each kart can carry two characters, with the ability to switch at any time.

The game sold one million units in its first seven weeks on sale, but it has gone down as the black sheep of the Mario Kart franchise. Reviews at the time were famously lukewarm, with the UK's EDGE magazine giving it five stars out of ten. However, time has been somewhat kinder to Double Dash!!, and, twenty years on, many fans have fond memories of the game and continue to play it, even today.

"Mario Kart is a staple in the Nintendo library, and Double Dash is a worthy successor to that tradition," said Nintendo Life in a review from 2009. "This franchise pre-dates the Smash Bros. franchise, and for many Nintendo fans this is the must-have multi-player title on any system."