Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is a video game for the Nintendo GameCube and the fourth Mario Kart game in the series. It was released worldwide during November 2003 and has been considered to some at the time to be the greatest in the series. This game became popular enough to come bundled with most GameCube consoles as a starter game, like the way the red Wii is bundled with New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The game marks the debut of Toadette.
While overall the game is conclusively not as original as previous installments, there is one addition that makes it unique, and that is adding two players to a vehicle, hence the name Double Dash. Characters are separated into three different weight categories - light, medium and heavy. The same goes for the multiple different vehicles that you're allowed to ride. The class of vehicle that one is able to choose depends on the heaviest character selected; while light characters can be paired with medium or heavy characters, they will hence be restricted to medium or heavy vehicles, respectively. Two light characters will only be able to choose a light kart. Each character has a special item shared with only one other character (the one in their conventional pairing), with the exception of two unlockable characters (to be found here and here), who receive any of the special items at random.
As mentioned above, there are now two characters to a kart.
Karts are no longer limited to generic designs; many unique designs have been added.
There are three times as many characters as the previous three games.
In this game, there are 20 characters found in 10 pairs. A character has the same special item as their partner. The eight playable characters from Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit return as well as Koopa Troopa returning after an eleven-year absence from Super Mario Kart, plus eleven new characters are added to the roster, including Toadette, who makes her first appearance in the overall Mario franchise.
On the North American box art, the "L" on Luigi's cap is backward.
This is currently the only Mario Kart game in which the Star Cup is available as default. In all other games, it needs to be unlocked first. This unique feature is similar to Mario Kart 64, where the Special Cup was available as a default in that game.
This Mario Kart game is the only one to have the Flower Cup picture to have the color of the Fire Flower switched.
This is also the only Mario Kart game where Toad is an unlockable character.