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Diddy Kong Racing deserves a remake. Here's why

Racing games have been around since nearly the dawn of video gaming, stretching back to the 1970s. By the 1990s, between machines at arcades and Super Mario Kart on SNES, arcade-style racing games had truly hit their stride. And while many arcade racers from the late 90s pack a punch, including Mario Kart 64 and Crash Team Racing, Diddy Kong Racing remains one of the most beloved, yet most overlooked, arcade racers of its time.

However, that doesn't mean it hasn't aged a bit. While still very competent in mechanics and graphics compared to its competitors at the time, Diddy Kong Racing is a title that could easily benefit from the remake treatment, as seen with titles like Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled. It did re-emerge on the Nintendo DS in 2007 and nearly received a cancelled sequel, but the game is beyond worthy of a full-on remake that numerous 90s classics are getting these days.

An update to another 90s classic

Diddy Kong Racing remains a blast to play, without question. With three modes of racing, including by kart, raft, and airplane, the game was as diverse as kart racers come, especially in comparison to Mario Kart 64, whose only mode of racing was by kart. That's right — Diddy Kong Racing had more variety than Mario Kart 64. With some modern and necessary tweaks, it's conceivable that Diddy Kong Racing would be an instant go-to for rounds of multiplayer.

The diversity applies to environments too. From more tropical courses, reminiscent of Diddy Kong's adventures in the Donkey Kong Country series, to snowy settings, Diddy Kong Racing would benefit from a grand polishing that was applied to modern updates like Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited Trilogy. With a modern aesthetic, Diddy Kong Racing could theoretically become a formidable force in the racing genre overall.

A remake could help franchises reemerge

While a remake would bring the game to a brand-new audience, a remake could theoretically pump some life into some since dormant franchises. Save for appearances in spinoff franchises like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., Diddy Kong has largely been relegated to the back burner, along with Donkey Kong himself. A Diddy Kong-focused title, even in a remake format, could rejigger interest in the character and possibly foster the potential for more Donkey Kong Country titles after the excellent Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Donkey Kong Country SNES releases on the Nintendo Switch.

Further, Banjo, who first appeared in the original Diddy Kong Racing, last reemerged in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate after a nearly decade-long absence. Although a valiant effort for trying something different, fans have long clamored for a good old-fashioned Banjo-Kazooie title. With screentime in the form of a Diddy Kong Racing remake, demand could be increased for a new Banjo-Kazooie game. It could even possibly spark interest in remakes of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie

At the very least, it could also pave the way for a Nintendo Switch port for the beloved games.