Excite Truck was released for the Wii on November 19, 2006 (making it one of several Wii launch titles). Excite Truck was developed by Monster Games and published by Nintendo. It is the spiritual successor of Excitebike and Excitebike 64. Because of this, Excitebike was released on the European Virtual Console to correspond with the release of the game. Excite Truck was relatively well-received, with a 75.5% rating on Game Rankings and a 72% rating on Metacritic.
Excite Truck was the very first Wii game that allowed players to play custom music from an SD Card. It allowed MP3 files to be played in the background, rather than the songs default to the game.
Excite Truck is controlled by holding the Wii Remote horizontally; it does not use the Nunchuk. The game is controlled as if using a steering wheel. Before the game actually begins, the player is required to go through a series of practice runs. After this, the single-player and multiplayer game modes are unlocked.
Excite Truck differs from other racing games in that rather than winning by crossing the finish line first, the player must win by gaining an amount of stars. Stars are awarded for various things, such as placement in the race, jumps, drift, and air time. Despite this coming in first or second place gives the player an obscene amount of stars so placement does still matter somewhat. Depending on how well the player does in the rest, a corresponding letter grade is given. Getting the highest rank (S) on all races unlocks the harder "Super Excite" difficulty, and gaining S ranks on all of those unlock Mirror mode. In the single-player, each race has a set amount of stars that the player must gain to proceed.
- Excite - The default race type. There are a four cups that the player can participate in, and defeating them unlocks more cars, tracks, and modes.
- Super Excite - The harder version of Excite. It can be unlocked by getting an S grade on all Excite races.
- Mirror Mode - The hardest difficulty, in which all of the tracks are done in reverse. It can be unlocked after getting an S grade on all Super Excite races.
- Challenge - A mode where the player must do a variety of challenges based on gates, rings, and crushes.
- Super Challenge - A much harder version of the regular Challenge mode.
- Versus - The multiplayer mode in the game, which is not that different from the single-player mode (save for the two players).
Excite Truck features tracks from six locations around the world. There are several tracks for each of theses locations which include China, Mexico, Finland, Fiji and Canada. The Diamond Cup only features the fictitious planet Nebula, a planet seemingly made entirely out of crystal or diamond. There is only one track in this location (plus its mirror version).