The best Mario Kart: Double Dash powerups, ranked

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The best Mario Kart: Double Dash powerups, ranked

It’s a tale as old as time. You’re in first place, on the last lap of a race. The victory is essentially guaranteed. But suddenly, you get a warning at the bottom of the screen: a blue shell is coming.

The shell hits you, and the vehicle spirals out of control. The competitors whiz by, and you watch first turn into second, third, then fourth...

There are many factors as to why some friendships and relationships don’t work out, but we cannot pretend like the blue shell doesn’t play a role. Mario Kart: Double Dash is full of many power-ups, some silly, some fun, and some just cruel.

This list isn’t necessarily a ranking of the most powerful, but the most fun.

19. Banana

This is pretty much standard fare for anyone in first or second place. It’s pretty boring, but sometimes if you place it well enough, it can knock someone into a short spiral.

18. Fake item box

Similar to the banana, this is an expected item if you’re in the top four spots in a race. Running into it causes the kart to flip, which is effective, but not all that common.

17. Green shell

The green shell isn’t a bad item, it just isn’t that exciting. If you’re close enough to the kart in front of you, you can probably hit them and make them spin out of control. But you have to aim carefully.

16. Triple green shell

It’s a green shell, but you have three of them. Enough said.

15. Mushroom

The mushroom gives you a great, quick boost of speed. Sometimes it can be enough to move you up a spot, but otherwise it’s just a nice little perk.

14. Red shell

The red shell is much easier to use than the green shell, as you don’t have to focus too hard on how you aim it. It can easily gain you a spot or two ahead. It’s effective and easy to use.

13. Triple red shell

I’ve gained as many as four spots ahead using the triple shell. It’s like the red shell, but three times as powerful.

12. Fireballs

This is a contentious listing, as this is a Mario and Luigi special item. But it’s really just the red or green shell, except it won’t break when it hits walls. Effective, but not extraordinarily thrilling.

11. Giant banana

The giant banana is much more difficult to avoid than an ordinary banana. When hit, it splits into three more bananas, which can take out even more karts. Personally, I love that the giant banana has a scowl while the normal banana has a smile. It’s the little things!

10. Triple mushroom

When timed right, the triple mushroom can really give you three needed boosts. It’s best used on a straight track, which means you have to be more strategic about it when using it in places like Rainbow Road and Dino Dino Jungle.

9. Golden mushroom

The golden mushroom is a Toad and Toadette only item. It has to be used in succession or it runs out, which means you also have to be strategic about using it on a straight track.

8. Heart

A Peach and Daisy item, the heart has no time limit, which makes it really valuable to the user. It isn’t invincible to every single item, but if you luck out, this protective shield can last you a while.

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7. Eggs

Another special item, the egg is far superior to the red shell. Once it hits its target, it explodes into other smaller items that can impact other players. So you might not just knock out the kart in front of you, but maybe others that try to pass you as well!

6. Bowser’s shell

The Bowser shell is terrifying, and almost impossible to avoid. It bounces off other items, ricochets off walls, and crushes karts in its path. You better hope you’re behind it.

5. Bomb

There’s really not much to explain here; imagine if NASCAR drivers used bombs (that didn’t kill their opponents) to get ahead.  

4. Lightning

Lightning is by far the most overall satisfying item you can obtain in Mario Kart: Double Dash. You single handedly get to impact the performance of every kart on the course. You get to speed ahead while everyone toils and struggles in their puny, slow state. Ha ha!

3. Star

The star is a great item. Not only do you speed up, but you become invincible against any item, glide across water, and even steal whatever items those have that you plow through.

2. Blue shell

It’s fast, it’s lethal, it’s effective. However, if you’re in last place or close to last place, it doesn’t really give you the ultimate satisfaction you crave. You might whiz up several places, but it’s not going to personally put you in first… Most of the time.

1. Chain chomp

There is nothing more fun than getting chain chomp. You sit back, relax, and just let it tear up everyone in front of you. It’s incredibly difficult to avoid getting hit, and even if you do, it’s going to pass you.

About the Author: Kelcey McClung is a freelance reporter who has been featured in a variety of publications. She loves Star Wars, Animal Crossing, and almost every PlayStation game ever made. If you think you’ve completed all the park objectives in Roller Coaster Tycoon more times than she has, she’ll take you up on that bet.

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