Mario and Donkey Kong’s Decades Long Battle

Mario and Donkey KongMario and Donkey Kong.
Two names synonomous with video games that have been around since before many gamers can even remember. Whether it’s Donkey Kong running through a jungle, Mario jumping over barrels, or the two of them racing go-karts, the Nintendo mascots have been locked in competition since the beginning of the Japanese game company’s storied history.
Since the release of 1981’s arcade classic title Donkey Kong, an oversized gorilla and an Italian plumber have been going at it for decades. Let’s take a look back at each and every video game featuring the duo going head-to-head.

 Donkey Kong (1981)

Donkey Kong 1981 Arcade

The very first game to feature the now-iconic duo was 1981’s arcade classic Donkey Kong. Nintendo became a household name with the release of Donkey Kong but it wasn’t until 1985 that the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) home console was released and the first Super Mario Bros. game came out that Nintendo became a gaming juggernaut. The original Donkey Kong would receive countless ports to a variety of home consoles, but the arcade version and the NES port are the one’s most gamers are familiar with today.

 Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)

Donkey Kong Jr 1982 Arcade

Capitalizing on the success of the first Donkey Kong, Nintendo released a follow-up a year later. Instead of Donkey Kong holding Mario’s friend Pauline hostage, this time Mario has captured DK and it’s up to Donkey Kong’s son to free him! Donkey Kong Jr. is a completely different game from the original Donkey Kong, featuring new gameplay, new levels, and a new protagonist, but still retaining the feud between plumber and gorilla.

 Donkey Kong (1982)
Game & Watch

Donkey Kong Game and Watch

Nintendo’s Game & Watch line of portable games came well before the release of cartridge-based games and the Game Boy. In a similar fashion to the Nintendo DS, the Game & Watch systems used two screens to play a single game. Donkey Kong made an appearance on the platform, emulating the gameplay seen in the original arcade game. These are hard to come by today and represent a section of portable gaming’s earliest days.

 Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)
Game & Watch

Donkey Kong Jr Game and Watch

The battle between Donkey Kong Jr. and Mario continued on the Game & Watch system. Replicating the arcade game, Donkey Kong Jr. on Game & Watch let players enjoy the classic arcade action on the go. Due to their age now, Game & Watch games are very hard to come by and are a treat to any collector.

 Donkey Kong Hockey (1984)
Game & Watch

Donkey Kong Hockey Game and Watch

Before racing go-karts, playing tennis, and hitting up the links, Mario and DK squared off in the ice rink. Donkey Kong Hockey is a unique Game & Watch title because it has two controllers that allowed for multiplayer portable gaming. One player played as the big ape and the other was Mario. Donkey Kong Hockey is the first instance the duo competed with one another.

 F-1 Race (1984)

F-1 Race Famicom

F-1 Race is a Japanese exclusive NES title (The NES in Japan is known as the Famicom), but a Game Boy port was released both in the US and Japan. The game is a racing game that features both Mario and Donkey Kong in the end credits. This game begins a long Nintendo tradition of having their famous characters appear in a variety of Nintendo games outside their own franchises.

 Tetris (1989)

Tetris NES Ending

The end credits of the NES version of puzzle classic Tetris featured many Nintendo characters. Mario and Luigi can be seen jumping around, while Donkey Kong is playing the drums. Who was better at their respective act I cannot say, but I will say that some foreshadowing is present: Donkey Kong would later appear in Donkey Konga, and rhythm game that featured the ape playing the bongos.

 NES Open Tournament Golf (1991)

NES Open Tournament Golf Donkey Kong

The golfing game is known for having a pin-striped Mario on the cover, but it also featured a tie-wearing Donkey Kong acting as a banker! Ridiculousness aside, this is a milestone for DK:It’s the first time we see him wearing a tie. The neckwear would go on to be synonymous with the big monkey, and although the tie he’s wearing here isn’t the same as the red tie we’re familiar with, it’s a start!

 Super Mario Kart (1992)

Super Mario Kart Cover

Super Mario Kart on the SNES began an entirely new franchise for Nintendo. Present at its conception is of course Mario, but also Donkey Kong Jr.! The loveable littler monkey beat out his older father the first round, but DK proper would appear in all other versions of the game. Though not directly referenced, we might be able to thank DK/DK Jr. for bringing the banana peel to the fray. The banana peel, causing fear in a drivers eyes since 1992!

 Donkey Kong (1994)
Game Boy

Donkey Kong Game Boy

1994 saw the return of the classic Mario vs. Donkey Kong game. Donkey Kong on the Game Boy is more than a port of the original game. A better description would be a re-imagining of the title. The game featured elements from Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Super Mario Bros. 2 and also had a variety of levels and modes to play through. This version of the game laid the groundwork for the upcoming spinoff series Mario vs. Donkey Kong on subsequent Nintendo handhelds. Also of note, this game was the first time DK is seen wearing his red DK tie!

 Mario’s Tennis (1995)
Virtual Boy

Marios Tennis Virtual Boy

Nintendo’s ill-fated foray into the world of virtual reality spawned a title that featured our beloved duo yet again competing in a sport. This time the game was tennis, and instead of Donkey Kong senior we have Donkey Kong Jr. squaring off against Mario. Though not many people bought or played the Virtual Boy, Mario’s Tennis was the console’s pack-in title, making it the likely game someone played if they actually did manage to get their hands on the “portable” console.

 Mario Kart 64 (1996)
Nintendo 64

Mario Kart 64 Title

Gone is Donkey Kong Jr. and in his place is DK proper. Mario Kart 64 featured different class sizes for racers, meaning the bulkier DK could easily roll over the tinier Mario by ramming into his kart. With the release of Mario Kart 64, Nintendo began creating many sports-themed games that would feature DK and Mario.

 Mario Golf (1998)
Nintendo 64

Mario Golf Nintendo 64 Cover

Not content with working behind the desk all day, Donkey Kong has stepped onto the links and tees up with Mario in this Nintendo 64 title. Mario Golf is the second golf game to feature the two competitors, but only the first where DK is fully playable. Donkey Kong is more powerful than Mario so he can drive the ball further, but is it enough to edge out the seasoned plumber?

 Mario Party (1998)
Nintendo 64

Mario Party 1 Title

When they’re not saving Peach from Bowser, the Mario brothers enjoy hosting parties in which all their former nemeses join in on the festivities. Apparently all things in the past are forgotten. The first Mario Party featured Mario and Donkey Kong as playable characters, and the mini-game infused title would go on to spawn several sequels.

 Mario Party 2 (1999)
Nintendo 64

Mario Party 2 Cover

A year after the original Mario Party a full fledged sequel was released, adding more characters, different mini-games, and plenty of DK vs. Mario action. The themed stages often had the characters donning unique get-ups, including the cowboy hat Mario’s sporting on the cover, and the wizard hat DK is wearing as well. For my money, it’s DK’s wizard hat the wins the day.

 Super Smash Bros. (1999)
Nintendo 64

Super Smash Bros Nintendo 64

In perhaps the most literal interpretation of the word battle, Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64 let gamers fight as Mario and Donkey Kong (as well as several other Nintendo mascots). Super Smash Bros. allowed gamers to punch Mario in the face repeatedly, or shoot DK with fire balls until he went flying.

 Mario Golf (1999)
Game Boy Color

Mario Golf Game Boy Color Cover

A portable version of the Nintendo 64 game, Mario Golf for the Game Boy Color of course let you play as Mario, but reverted back to having DK play a support role. He can be seen in the game but is not a playable golfer. Mario Golf is noteworthy for including an RPG-like mode in which you level up your stats on your golfer.

 Mario Tennis (1999)
Nintendo 64

Mario Tennis Nintendo 64 Cover

Donkey Kong Jr. misses out on the 64-bit tennis game, but in his place is our old pal Donkey Kong! Continuing the feud left on the hockey rink, golf course, and race track, Mario and Donkey Kong square off of grass, clay, hard, and composite surfaces in this excellent game of tennis.

 Mario Party 3 (2000)
Nintendo 64

Mario Party 3 Cover

The final party on the Nintendo 64 is everything you’d expect from a Mario Party game: mini-games, Mario-themed worlds, and a lot of hectic fun. Donkey Kong is again playable in the game.

 Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)

Super Smash Bros Melee Characters

For everything the original Super Smash Bros. did right on the Nintendo 64, Super Smash Bros. Melee on the GameCube did that much better. Allowing gamers again to duke it out as either Mario or DK (as well as many others), Melee would go on to become one of the GameCube’s best titles. Improved graphics and smoother gameplay meant this was the best looking title whack Mario into the ground!

 Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001)
Game Boy Advance

Mario Kart Super Circuit Title

The race on the Nintendo 64 wasn’t enough to quell the competition between Mario and Donkey Kong on the track, and the adversity spilled over onto the Game Boy Advance. With gameplay more similar to the SNES game rather than the N64 one, Mario Kart: Super Circuit was a bit of a step backward in terms of series progression, but a huge step forward for portable go-karting.

 Mario Tennis (2001)
Game Boy Color

Mario Tennis Game Boy Color Screen

What Mario Golf on the Game Boy Color did for Mario Golf on the Nintendo 64, Mario Tennis on the Game Boy Color did for Mario Tennis on the N64. The Game Boy Color version of the game featured similar RPG-style gameplay as the portable golfer, as well as allowing gamers to play as Mario and/or DK. If you have either both Tennis games or both Golf games and a Nintendo 64 transfer pak you can link the two games and unlock special bonus content like characters to play.

 Mario Party 4 (2002)

Mario Party 4 Title

The party has moved to the GameCube, but the competition is still on! Mario Party 4 is the last game in the series to feature Donkey Kong as a playable character. He would appear in every subsequent game (except 2005’s Mario Party Advance) as a non-playable character and special space on the game board, not unlike Boo, Bowser, and any other character that offers up help or a mini-game.

 Mario Party 5 (2003)

Mario Party 5 DK Stage

It’s Mario’s party so of course he’s playable, but DK wasn’t invited to the bash the fifth time. Donkey Kong still appears in Mario Party 5 and many subsequent games in the series despite not being playable. The brand new DK space on the board takes players to a special Donkey Kong themed minigame, and DK himself can help out players on the board. It looks like Mario has decided the ape wasn’t the best party goer.

 Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003)

Mario Kart Double Dash Ending

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! allowed two racers in a kart, so Nintendo paired everyone up with their most likely companion. Mario and Luigi, Toad and Toadette, and Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong! The Donkey Kong Country duo made their first appearance together with Mario here on the GameCube, and their massive bananas have been terrifying gamers since.

 Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (2003)

Mario Golf Toadstool Tour DK

Another console, another go at golf. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, like most previous Mario-themed sports games, had plenty of modes to play around with, including tournament games and a mini-golf course. But just like last time, the King of Swing Donkey Kong is capable of going up against the portly plumber Mario once again!

 Mario Party 6 (2004)

Mario Party 6 DK

Donkey Kong returns in Mario Party 6 in the same form we saw him last time. Acting as a special space for players to land on, DK has a few “hijinks” he throws your way, but ultimately helps out the players. Though not playable in the game, he’s still present to compete with Mario.

 Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2004)
Game Boy Advance

Mario vs Donkey Kong Game Boy Advance Cover

A sequel of sorts to 1994’s Donkey Kong on the original Game Boy, Mario vs. Donkey Kong is the perfect example of, well, Mario vs. Donkey Kong! The game takes the ideas of the original Donkey Kong (mainly Mario going up directly against DK) games and expands them to a more competitive field. Mario vs. Donkey Kong would become another successful spinoff series for Nintendo, featuring their two oldest mascots.

 Donkey Konga (2004)

Donkey Konga Cover

Donkey Konga is a unique rhythm game that uses a special bongo controller to keep the beat. The game is actually quite fun and had a couple sequels as well! For our purposes we’re looking at the Mario-themed level/song included, “Super Mario Bros. theme song.” It’s a Mario song in a Donkey Kong game in which one assumes you play as DK. Theoretically one could purposefully play the Mario song poorly, thus proving DK the superior…

 Mario Power Tennis (2004)

Mario Power Tennis DK

Mario Power Tennis on the GameCube was very similar to Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64. The new game added special “Power” moves that allowed each character to perform a super special shot during a rally. The game featured Mario, Donkey Kong, and Diddy Kong as playable characters too. A Wii port released some years later and supported motion controls.

 Mario Golf: Advance Tour (2004)
Game Boy Advance

Mario Golf Advance Tour DK

The GBA golf game advertises “RPG Golf” right on the front of the box, taking what many consider the best aspect of the previous portable golfing game and embracing it fully. DK and Mario are selectable golfers from the very beginning, meaning players can level up and dominate the other from the get go.

 Yakuman DS (2005)

Yakuman DS Cover

Yakuman DS is a Japanese exclusive early DS title featuring both Mario and Donkey Kong as playable characters. The game is a Mahjong game in which Nintendo characters take on the role of the players’ avatars. Since Mahjong isn’t incredibly popular in the States it’s understandable why the game hasn’t seen release outside Japan.

 Mario Superstar Baseball (2005)

Mario Superstar Baseball DK

They’ve played so many other sports, why not try their hands at baseball? Mario Superstar Baseball features some of Nintendo’s more popular characters (like Mario and Donkey Kong) as team captains, the leader of their team made up of other, sometimes lesser Nintendo characters. Baseball is hugely popular in both the US and Japan, so I find it surprising the game wasn’t developed much earlier.

 Donkey Konga 2 (2005)

Donkey Konga 2 Cover

The European release of Donkey Konga 2 has another musical reference to the Super Mario series. The “Super Mario Bros. 3 Theme” is playable only in that region. The game was released in Japan, the US, and Europe, but only the PAL release has the Mario themed song.

 Donkey Konga 3 (2005)

Donkey Konga 3 Cover

Shortly after we got Donkey Konga 2 in the US, a brand new sequel was released. Donkey Konga 3 only came out in Japan, and that’s a definite bummer. This version of the game has tons of cool songs, not to mention the most songs from the Super Mario series: “Super Mario Bros. main theme”, “Super Mario Bros. 3 theme”, “Dr. Mario theme”, “Super Mario Bros. Underwater theme”, and the “Mario Bros. theme.” Here’s hoping the game gets a US release!

 Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix (2005)

DDR Mario Mix Screen

Nintendo got in on the Dance Dance Revolution craze in the mid-2000’s by teaming up with Konami to produce a Mario-themed DDR. The result was Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, a dancing game identical in gameplay to other DDR games but not nearly as difficult. The title featured tons of songs available only on the GameCube, including tracks from the Donkey Kong and Super Mario franchises!

 Mario Kart DS (2005)

Mario Kart DS DK

The DS version of Mario Kart is considered by many to be one of the best in the franchise, and right in the middle of it all are Mario and Donkey Kong! The game was the first in the series (and one of Nintendo’s overall first games) to feature online multiplayer. Now gamers from all over the world could settle who was the better racer!

 Mario Party 7 (2005)

Mario Party 7 Title

Donkey Kong again didn’t get an invite to Mario’s latest party, and instead plays a minor role in Mario Party 7. Just like previous games, a special DK space can be activated by a player resulting in a DK themed occurrence. This is also the last Mario Party to be released on the GameCube.

 Super Mario Strikers (2005)

Super Mario Strikers Cover

“Mario and company haven’t played soccer yet, how about a soccer game?” I like the imagine the development meetings for Super Mario Strikers started out something like that. Regardless, Super Mario Strikers has some radically different art and character designs than we’re used to from Nintendo. In particular, check out Donkey Kong on the cover! He’s frothing at the mouth, just ready to annihilate Mario and his team! If that’s not a competitive spirit I don’t know what is.

 Mario Tennis: Power Tour (2005)
Game Boy Advance

Mario Tennis Power Tour Title

Mario Tennis: Power Tour is the follow-up to the Game Boy Color game Mario Tennis. Aside from improved graphics, the new game is more related to the GameCube tennis game, offering up different shots. DK and Mario can once again meet at the net and rally on the go.

 Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005)

Mario Kart Arcade GP Cabinet

Nintendo and Namco worked together to produce an arcade version of the Mario Kart franchise. Called Mario Kart Arcade GP, the game followed the formula you’d expect: a few races in the Mario Kart style for a few quarters. Mario and Donkey Kong are selectable racers, as well as other Nintendo favorites and even Namco’s very own Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and the ghost Blinky! The game features unique levels only available in the arcades as well.

 Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (2006)
Mario Hoops 3-on-3 Cover

Basketball has alleviated Mario and pals until 2006! With the help of Square Enix, Nintendo has put their stars on the court, including Mario and DK. Speaking of Donkey Kong, I think he has a semi-ridiculous look on the cover. Beyond that, the game is a bit strange and doesn’t entirely feel like basketball, but it is fun.

 Yoshi’s Island DS (2006)

Yoshis Island DS Baby Donkey Kong

The original Yoshi’s Island released on the SNES, but the sequel (sort of) came out on the DS. While the game is all about Yoshi and his platforming prowess, it also features Baby Mario and, for the first time, Baby Donkey Kong! It is revealed that he is one of the seven Star Children, a fact central to the plot, and he is the strongest of these children.

 Tetris DS (2006)

Tetris DS DK Level

The classic puzzle game makes a grand appearance on the DS. Considered by many to be one of the best versions of the game, Tetris DS wins over fans for its great representation of the puzzle game, and the inclusion of tons of modes, cameos, and Nintendo references. Included references are Mario (naturally) and Donkey Kong themed levels and music.

 Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (2006)

Mario vs Donkey Kong 2 DS Cover

March of the Minis extends the toy idea seen in the first game, giving us not only Mini-Mario but Mini-Donkey Kong as well. The sequel is more focused on puzzles than action, with the goal being to march the Minis towards the goal without being destroyed. Each stage ends when the goal is reached, which just so happens to be Pauline from the very first Donkey Kong, and there are even boss stages which pits the wits of Mario against the cunning DK!

 Mario Party 8 (2007)

Mario Party 8 Cover

The Wii is upon us! Mario Party 8 is the first game on the Wii to feature our battling twosome, albeit in the same way we’ve been used to in Mario Party games. The DK space returns and the party goes on around Donkey Kong.

 Mario Strikers Charged (2007)

Mario Strikers Charged Donkey Kong

Ready for a second go at soccer, Mario Strikers Charged retains the aggressive art style from the previous game on the GameCube. Once again DK and Mario are team captains, except this game features motion controls thanks to the Wii. Motion controls are the only real dramatic change to the gameplay here, as well as added online multiplayer.

 Mario Party DS (2007)

Mario Party DS Donkey Kong Board

The party goes portable and DK has a bigger role. Bringing his pal Diddy along for the ride as well, Mario Party DS has Donkey Kong playing board host to the rest of the party. The two apes also have an integral role in the plot, but who really cares about a plot behind a Mario Party game?

 Itadaki Street DS (2007)

Itadaki Street DS Characters

Itadaki Street DS is a Japanese-exclusive Monopoly-like game featuring characters from the Mario series and Square Enix’s Dragon Quest series. The DS game wasn’t released in the states, but the Wii version was released under the name Fortune Street (which you’ll see later in this article). In this version of the game, both Mario and Donkey Kong are playable, and you can determine which is the most successful businessman/businessmonkey.

 Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)

Super Smash Bros Brawl Donkey Kong

For nearly a decade gamers have been able to fight as DK and Mario and solve the hard way who would come out on top in a street fight. With the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, doing so has never looked better. Brawl might not be as refined a fighter as Melee, but it does offer up online multiplayer, Diddy Kong as a playable character, and the most gorgeous representation of the two Nintendo icons to date.

 Mario Kart Wii (2008)

Mario Kart Wii DK

Donkey Kong has this racing thing down, so on the Wii he decided to bring a few other Kongs to the table, namely Diddy and Funky! With three monkeys to deal with, Mario has his work cut out for him in winning this battle.

 Mario Super Sluggers (2008)

Mario Super Sluggers Stages

Taking the trimmings of the GameCube’s Mario Superstar Baseball and adding in the Wii’s motion controls, Mario Super Sluggers is part remake, part new game. Returning as team captains are Mario and DK, but also selectable players are Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, Funky Kong, Tiny Kong, and (oddly) Baby Donkey Kong! Time paradoxes abound, as baby versions of Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Daisy are playable right next to their adult counterparts.

 Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (2008)

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 Cabinet

The second arcade Mario Kart game was much like the first: a few quarters would get you a couple races in arcade-exclusive tracks in the same vein as console Mario Kart titles. The additions to this game include new levels, characters, and items to use. With arcades on the huge decline as of late, finding a place that has the game is becoming quite challenging.

 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009)

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Hockey

Though this may be the first time Donkey Kong and Sonic the Hedgehog have squared off, it’s not the first time the giant gorilla has played hockey. Way back in 1984 on the Game & Watch (listed above) Mario and DK squared off in the ice rink. Besides hockey, the two can compete in a multitude of winter-themed Olympic sports like skiing, curling, and snowboarding.

 Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again (2009)

Mario vs Donkey Kong Minis march Again Screen

The third title in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series was a downloadable only game available through the eShop on the DSi. The game once again pitted Mario and a factory of wind-up versions of himself versus Donkey Kong, who once again has captured Pauline. The game has a sort of mini-game like feel to it with its presentation of the puzzles, but is still regarded as a solid downloadable title.

 Mario Sports Mix (2010)

Mario Sports Mix Dodgeball

Rather than be confined to one sport per game disc, Nintendo decided to release one game that encompassed many sports. Thus, Mario Sports Mix was created. Featuring basketball, dodgeball, volleyball, and hockey, DK and the mustached man have more ways than ever to one-up each other.

 Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem (2010)

Mario vs Donkey Kong Mini-Land Mayhem Art

Yet again, Donkey Kong is up to his fiendish tricks and Pauline has been captured. You know, I think Mario really needs to stop building theme parks by this point. Or at least stop inviting Donkey Kong to their grand openings, as his attendance usually means disaster.

 Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (2011)

Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games 3DS Screen

The Olympics rolled around again and Mario and Donkey Kong have once more stepped up to the plate to test their skills. For DK at least this is his first time trying Summer Olympic events, including badminton, football, and track & field. Ridiculousness aside, the game actually offers quite a few different games to play, so if you’re looking for a variety of ways to prove Mario is superior (to both Sonic and DK), this is your game.

 Mario Kart 7 (2011)

Mario Kart 7 DK

Despite the name this isn’t the seventh title in the Mario Kart series. Including the arcade games it’s the ninth title, but without them its the seventh. Leave it to Nintendo to outright forget about two entire games! All grouching aside, Mario Kart 7 is perhaps the finest iteration of the Mario Kart series released to date, and one of the best racers on the 3DS.

 Fortune Street (2011)

Fortune Street Cover

The wackiness of the DS version of Itadaki Street wasn’t held back for Japanese audiences only, as the Wii version was retitled Fortune Street and released outside the island nation. I think the game is a bit misleading for American audiences: with Mario (and DK) on the front as well as dice it appears to be a Mario Party type game, but in actuality it’s not like that at all. Regardless, you can play as Mario and Donkey Kong, and that’s all that matters.

 Mario Party 9 (2012)

Mario Party 9 DK Jungle Ruins Board

Mario Party 9 gives us the biggest gap between releases (five years since Mario Party DS), and a lot has changed to the standard formula. While it’s still all about mini-games, getting to each game and traveling across the various boards has changed. What has remained the same though is the involvement of Donkey Kong and his challenges presented to the party. The DK Jungle Ruins stage lets Mario test out his skills in a Donkey Kong themed world as well.

 Mario Tennis Open (2012)

Mario Tennis Open DK

The latest in the Mario Tennis series comes to us on the 3DS and features online gameplay. Mari Tennis Open doesn’t do much to alter the near-perfect blend of authentic tennis and arcade tennis, but it is still a blast to play and addictive to boot. Donkey Kong is still a powerhouse, and Mario is as strong an adversary for him as ever so many years after their first encounter on the court!

 Mario Golf: World Tour (2013)

Mario Golf World Tour DK

Mario Golf: World Tour is an upcoming 3DS exclusive golfing game. It it expected to follow suit with Mario Tennis Open and be a continuation of the excellent simulation of the sport from the previous game in the series (2004’s Mario Golf: Advance Tour) with new features, visuals, and modes. Look for the game, which features Donkey Kong and Mario as well as other unannounced Nintendo faces, to release later in 2013.

 Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (2013)

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX Cabinet

A third arcade-exclusive Mario Kart game is in development and scheduled to be released in Japanese arcades in Summer 2013. A release date for the game outside of Japan is still unknown. Mario Kart Arcade GP DX will feature elements from Mario Kart 7, like the gliders, as well as brand new items, special abilities, and tracks. Here’s hoping we can race once again in the arcades as DK and Mario!

 Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (2013)

Mario and Donkey Kong Minis on the Move Logo

Being released on May 9th exclusively through the Nintendo 3DS’ eShop, Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move is the fourth installment of the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. Dropping the “Vs.” from the name appears to follow the plot, as there’s no mention of foul play as of yet with DK. Instead, the game is a puzzle game with various modes to play through, and dozens of puzzles to solve.

65 games and counting!

Donkey Kong and Mario have squared off in every single console and handheld Nintendo has ever released (yes, even the Virtual Boy). They’ve even managed to make it into most of the company’s arcade games as well!

Over 30 years have passed since the release of Donkey Kong in the arcades, and the duo haven’t stopped competing since. Who do you think is ahead in the head-to-head race? Will DK’s power save him, or will Mario’s all-around skill win the day? It’s something we may never truly know the answer too.

But so long as we get to keep playing excellent video games to find out, I’m looking forward to the next 30 years!


DownStab has been a personal endeavor of mine for many years. Please enjoy the content and let me know if you have questions, comments, or just want to connect. And as always, game on.

– Jason J

Original blue and red Nintendo Switch controllers
Game Boy  •  Game Boy Advance  •  Game Cube  •  Nintendo DS  •  Nintendo 3DS  •  Switch  •  Virtual Boy  •  Wii  •  Wii U

Arcade  •  Article  •  Collecting  •  iOS  •  PC  •  Retro

Support Downstab