When it comes down to memorable racing classics from the late 90’s that appeared on the N64 one of the few titles that comes to mind is Diddy Kong Racing from 1997. Diddy Kong Racing was developed and published by Raveware and was one of the more high profile racing games of the N64 era. Diddy Kong Racing was released almost year after Mario Kart 64 appeared on the N64 back in 1996. In terms of gameplay Diddy Kong Racing looked and played similar to that of Mario Kart 64; except players could utilize vehicles including hovercrafts, airplanes and cars opposed to go karts. Also, unlike Mario Kart 64 one of the biggest things that stood out in Diddy Kong Racing was its “Adventure Mode”. The Adventure Mode in Diddy Kong Racing revolved around trying to defeat the main antagonist Wizpig through a series of races. Along with the “Adventure Mode” Diddy Kong Racing provided players with multiplayer gameplay that allowed up to four players with various characters to choose from. Players had the option of choosing characters such as: Diddy King, Timber the Tiger, Taj the Genie, Pipsy the Mouse, T.T., Banjo, Conker The Squirrel and others.
Diddy Kong Racing had about twenty different race tracks which were divided among five worlds. The overall game modes in Diddy Kong Racing were a bit more creative than those of Mario Kart 64 from 1996. The Adventure 2 Mode was basically a more difficult version of the original one while the Challenge Mode involving Taj the Genie was very interesting. In Challenge Mode players had to complete different races under a variety of circumstances; which were accessible after collecting a certain amount of Golden Balloons in “Adventure Mode”. The Tracks Mode allowed players to compete in Trophy Races from tracks unlocked levels in Adventure Mode. Battle Stages were also accessible in Tracks Mode and allowed multiplayer gameplay which was arguably more superior to that of Mario Kart 64. The world maps and level designs for each stage in Diddy Kong Racing looked impressive and the replay value for this game was very high. Diddy Kong Racing ended up becoming one of the best selling games on the N64 by reaching over 4.8 million copies in sales due the late 90’s. Despite, not selling nearly as much as the Mario Kart 64 game from ‘96 which reached over eleven million; Diddy Kong Racing was a game that most likely surpassed many people’s initial expectations in terms of popularity and quality following its initial release.