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43. Diddy Kong Racing
Nintendo 64, DS (1997)
Rare Ltd.

There's a few times where I've been wowed by a video game. That moment where you turn a console on and are immediately floored by what stands before you. Diddy Kong Racing was one of those games. How so? Well, back when I was a wee lad, my parents bought me a Nintendo 64 for my birthday in August 1998 (I was late to the party). The game that would accompany the system? Diddy Kong Racing. I quickly set up the system, put in the cartridge, and booted it up. What happened next was my first ever experience with 3D gaming. And it was glorious. But DKR isn't all fond memories, as it's a great game to boot. It's a unique take on the kart racing formula with a hint of classic adventure characteristics (exploring an overworld, objective based missions) that really give the game its own feel. That coupled with a fantastically addictive multiplayer mode and 3 ways to race (kart, hoverboard, plane) give this game such diversity in how you play. Diddy Kong Racing was one heck of a birthday present.