Also: I was a ghost all along.
In going back over the series, I've realised that it was pretty much only Mario Kart Wii that I skipped altogether. I mean, obviously I bought it... but I made the mistake of buying it with that awful steering wheel thing. You know: the one you slotted the Wiimote into, which made it feel like you were a 5 year-old waving a paper plate around.
"Brrm brrm! I'm a car driver now!"
I hated the experience so much that it put me off the game altogether.
I'd even forgotten that I'd bought the various handheld instalments. I guess, for whatever reason, my stupid brain couldn't handle the notion that I'd played as many as eight Mario Karts. Regardless, ever since Mario Kart 64, the series stopped having an impact on me. In short: I hadn't truly loved a Mario Kart since the original.
Part of my problem is that much of the entertainment I got from that Super NES classic derived from the balloon-bursting battle mode. Making the series all polygonal buggered that up for me; you couldn't see your opponents until they were right on top of you, because the arenas were all sprawling and multi-levelled. How we'd chortle upon seeing a mate whizz past on the other side of a low wall, but not being able to get to them.
Tainted by all this, of course I skipped Mario Kart 8 when it first came out on the Wii U. Now that I've played Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, however, I accept that might've been a mistake. You see... it's really good. Like, really, really good. In fact, it had much the same effect on me as Breath of the Wild - plastering a massive, soppy, grin across my face.
It's basically the video game version of that ruddy Faceapp thing that's currently clogging up social media.
Oh look: It's Hitler as a grinning baby! LOL; Doctor Crippen is really smiling in this one! And here we have Pol Pot as a teenage girl! ROFFLES!!!!