When we look back at the launch of the Nintendo Wii, there are a few titles that immediately come to mind. They’re the ones that would go on to define the console throughout its lifespan. There’s Wii Sports, obviously, the pack-in that your grandmother probably still plays today. Then there is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Nintendo’s first cross-gen hit that was saved from the Wii’s poorly performing predecessor to find massive success in the new generation. Those two titles were enough to sell the console to millions of people and radically expand the market for console gaming. As much as I enjoy both them, when I look back at the Wii’s start and the titles it launched with, honestly, it’s Excite Truck that fills me with the warmest memories.
The Excite series has never been a priority for Nintendo. The NES original didn’t see a sequel for more than 15 years when Excitebike 64 hit the Nintendo 64 near the twilight of its life. In fact, I’d say more people know the game from its inclusion in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe than as its own franchise. I don’t think Excite Trucks did enough to move the needle in the franchise’s favor — and really, what do you expect launching alongside Wii Sports — but it did prove popular enough to give us a sequel that remains one of my most treasured racing games of all time: Excitebots: Trick Racing.
Source: Destructoid Revisiting the infinite joy of Excitebots: Trick Racing