Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 73 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 409 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The latest installment of the Mario Kart franchise brings Mushroom Kingdom racing fun into 3D. For the first time, drivers explore new competitive kart possibilities such as soaring through the skies or plunging to the depths of the sea. New courses, strategic new abilities and customizable karts bring the racing excitement to new levels. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 73
  2. Negative: 0 out of 73
  1. Dec 2, 2011
    100
    With almost ten years of thrilling races behind them, even the most fine-tuned racing fireballs can show signs of fatigue. But rather than risking a break-down, Nintendo was smart enough to dismantle its Mario Kart core formula in order to correctly refreshen each and every one of its clogs before putting them back together. As an added bonus, the mechanic repainted it nicely and added some of the latest technologies. The end result roars at soon as the engine starts, and promises to run nicely for quite some time thanks to solid online features.
  2. Dec 16, 2011
    94
    The greatest parts of the previous Mario Karts, crushed into a cartridge the size of DK's brain. [Jan 2012, p.78]
  3. 90
    Mario Kart 7 is a great evolution in the context of the portable console. It stands out with its graphics, being at that level one of the best games for 3DS, maximizing the three dimensional effect so as to provide a remarkable game in visual terms.
  4. Nov 29, 2011
    88
    Nintendo hasn't recreated the wheel with Mario Kart 7, but the time spent in the garage has paid huge dividends. With a console-worthy list of modes and options, brand new gameplay paradigms, the best track roster in series history, and new customization depth to plumb, it certainly makes a case to be the best Mario Kart yet. It doesn't turn kart racing on its end, but it finds a near-perfect medium of similarity and discovery as it walks the fine line of risk and reward without spinning out.
  5. Jan 10, 2012
    80
    Even with Retro Studios helping the 7th installment is pretty much the same game. At minimum unfair elements like the blue shells should be corrected. Still even with the ultra-conservative approach multiplayer is satisfying. [Jan 2012]
  6. Dec 2, 2011
    80
    It's frustrating, rewarding, addictive and entertaining in almost equal measure, and as much as you'll rant and moan when your lead is snatched away on the last corner, you'll keep going back for more. To call it the best original game on 3DS might be overstretching the meaning of the word 'original' but, all the same, this is something that no 3DS owner should be without.
  7. Nov 29, 2011
    50
    As derivative as a game can get, and while we pour scorn on so many other games for rehashing themselves, something tells me this will get a free pass from many critics and gamers. That strikes me as ironic since Mario Kart 7 is the one game I'd hold up as the least deserving of any kind of leniency. It being an unadventurous and predictable retread, however, is only half of Mario Kart 7's problem. The other half is the fact that it's a lethargic and mundane game, easily outpaced by games that could be considered knock-offs of the formula Nintendo itself perfected.

See all 73 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 3 out of 138
  1. Dec 26, 2011
    10
    I've played and enjoyed Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart Double Dash, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart Wii but this certainly my favourite of all of them. The items from Mario Kart Wii are ditched (because they would mess up gliding and Lightning is just enough) and three new items take their place. One is the Lucky 7 which allows for the usage of the 7 items in the game (this really isn't overpowered though), the Fire Flower (which is really a refined version of the fireballs in Double Dash), and the Tanooki Tail (which is useful for collecting coins that you cannot just reach, stopping the weaker items from affecting you and close range attacks). This is certainly my 2nd favourite game of the year, behind Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception but in front of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Expand
  2. Dec 5, 2011
    10
    I liked Mario Kart DS and Wii a lot. This game has the playing style of the DS Version but the graphics of the Wii version. It also takes some of the game mechanics of the Wii but has more of the elements that were in the DS version. It takes a lot from the previous versions of Mario Kart which is a good thing and it does not change much of the formula. I like the additions and the characters that are in the game. The online multiplayer is really good and I hope to use it a lot in the future. One of the best Mario Karts to date. Expand
  3. May 29, 2012
    9
    This is, without a doubt, the best Mario Kart so far. It would've been absolutely perfect on a console, so let's hope the next Mario Kart for the Wii U (Or whatever they'll name it) will be as good, or even better.
    Smooth, yet tight controlls, fun items and above average CP AI. Even the online gameplay works wonderfully!
    Expand
  4. Dec 4, 2011
    9
    After playing all the cups at least one, and some of the early ones a few more times with out kart configurations, quick synopsis of this latest Mario Kart is that it is tentatively brilliant.

    The first obvious change when start racing is the feel. It's closer to the Wii version with the sliding. There's no left-right wiggle as with the DS version; you hold the slide as long as possible to build the boost. Most obvious is that it feels so sluggish to the DS. There you can flick the kart all over the place. Also, driving on dirt kills you! It slows you down so much and can barely steer. This is where the "monster" tyres come in, if you choose to select. Obviously you lose general handling and acceleration.

    Equally with the Wii, tracks are quite elaborate, and seem generally brilliant. Need more time to decide - to see how they cope in full race mode once familiarity sets, push karts and tracks to their limits. Already it seems they have a good learning curve to really excel, especially with the karts with lesser handling and acceleration.

    Also new is when you hop at the crest of a jump, you get a small boost on landing. I believe something similar in Wii where you'd waggle for a trick. Works really well in 3DS.

    The glider addition works well. By hopping off jumps and angling the glide, allows some strategy in gliding, whether diving for coins, or creating lift to clear sections of track.

    The 3D is good. I use it all the time. Of course, it's not necessary to enjoy the game.

    Difficulty is much the same as other MKs - ie: easy! In my first go (150cc), I played all new cups for a 1st (two attempts), 1st, 3rd & 4th. On retro cups, did first two for 1st & 1st. A friend defeated both final cups on first attempt, the retro one winning all races. He owned Wii MK so was able to adapt easily to the handling. He raced with high acceleration and handling configuration. The big advice with the difficulty is to use heavier karts and fatter tyres - ie: reduce acceleration and handling. That, along with using a fatter character, will substantially increase the challenge. I've made this my personal challenge to defeat the game on standard kart and wheels. So far, in about 7 attempts, racing on the first 3 new cups, not even close to winning any.

    Best of all with MK7, standard MK cheapness is there. Meaning that while often it seems unfair, it never is. Racing to hold of the hoard and even winning against the odds, it's still so satisfying. Remember also that tables will turn. One race I was leading for most of the last lap, then got hammered with blue shell and fireballs, dropping to 7th. I was furious. Then picked up a lightning and glided over in first. If there's some criticisms, it's is that the fake item is no longer part of your arsenal. While 16 new and 16 old tracks sounds nice, why not 20 new and 60 old? Even easier, why not tracks to be raced in reverse (not mirror). Sure some will need jumps or zippers to make them work. So! Add it. That immediately doubles the tracks available. Also, how about a track creator like Mod Nations Racer? My only hope is that Nintendo will add this in time. At least DLC for new tracks. This fascist way that Nintendo works has bothered me for years. As the review says here, custom options should be any combination of items, not just a single item. I'd love to set triple-reds and tails in a custom race. Why can't I?

    Other changes are all positive. Gone is the horrible POW weapon introduced for Wii that knocked out everyone ahead of you. Add to the fact the grid is back to 8 racers from 12, it means for a far more fluid race. New weapons include the Tanooki Tail to whip nearby karts and block weapons, and a Fire Flower that allows shooting fireballs forwards or backwards. Both are great. The Lucky 7 (7 items all out your disposal) surprisingly doesn't over-power the game. In fact, often they are not all used for you lose them from someone else's attack.

    The next test is the online and just see how the game really excels and its overall balance - because the multi-player is the true measure of the game. While I rate MK DS as easily the best of the series, it was plagued with the "snakers" that could turbo-wiggle the entire course. The revised sliding method on MK7 means that MK7 has potential to be at least a close second if the balance no adverse exploitation is there. Right now, two friends that swore off buying a 3DS and MK7 already see the potential. One has bought the game and a 3DS with the other very much considering it.
    Expand
  5. Jan 12, 2014
    8
    This is a wonderful and probably the best racing game on the 3DS out here right now, and the quality of multiplayer greatly increases the amount of play value in this game, but it lacks two things that can make this game a wonderful one to play on-the-go. The first thing is that there is no VS mode (aka single player, choose your own options tracks). This is a huge problem with the game, as there is probably no wifi therefore no online play for you to play when you are away. The second thing is that battles have time limits, which isn't much of a downside, but if you remember MKDS, There was never a limit. You could play and have fun while screwing with the AI as much as you want. The roster is also quite small, but that could be changed with a dlc or update. This game is still a wonderful solid game that should be played by all mario-kart and racing game fans!

    Gameplay: 9/10
    Story: N/A
    Music: 8.5/10
    Presentation: 7/10
    Length: 9/10
    Overall: 8/10
    Expand
  6. Jun 16, 2012
    8
    Mario Kart 7 is another must have title for the 3DS. They all feel the same, I know, but it's a game that really benefits a lot and fun to play during your traveling time. For once though, the rubber band AI is slightly 'toned down'; a more hardcore experience for the fans (and still accessible for casual gamers as well) Expand
  7. Jun 21, 2013
    2
    Almost too slow to call a racing game. Instead of addressing the broken mechanics, Nintendo just adds more issues. Being in last place has become essentially the same as being in second. Get a power-up or two and you'll move right back to the front of the pack. Once the king of kart racing, Mario Kart's refusal to improve has left it at the back of the pack. Nintendo needs a blue shell badly. I highly recommend Sonic & Sega All-stars Racing Transformed (on anything but the 3ds). Its way faster, way more challenging and the races are frantic without having to boost all the players in the back of the pack, and punish the ones in the front. Expand

See all 138 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Ranked: Mario and Super Mario Games

    Ranked: Mario and Super Mario Games Image
    Published: May 20, 2010
    This weekend, Nintendo releases Mario's latest adventure, "Super Mario Galaxy 2" (Wii). It seems like the perfect time to explore the history of the Mario series, and rank the previous titles from best to worst.