Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 73 Critics

Critic 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. Nov 29, 2011
    100
    It's without question the greatest handheld Mario Kart yet, and a welcome addition to a phenomenal series.
  3. Nov 29, 2011
    100
    Mario Kart 7 is THE game the 3DS has been in dire need of. Sadly, it raises the bar so high for almost everything else, most 3DS games don't even look like they belong on the same system.
  4. Jan 5, 2012
    96
    All in all, the multiplayer component of Mario Kart 7 is solid, addictive and fun.
  5. Dec 14, 2011
    95
    The deepest, richest, and greatest installment in the already-rock solid franchise, and it's the most compelling reason to go out and buy a 3DS. Now go do it already. I'll see you on the track.
  6. Dec 9, 2011
    95
    Cleverly balanced to entertain and challenge, with the ideal selection of tracks and items, an immersive online structure and all possible options of interaction between players, this title will be stuck to many 3DSs for years.
  7. Dec 7, 2011
    95
    From top to bottom, Mario Kart 7 stands as the best entry in the series.
  8. Jan 14, 2012
    94
    As complete a racing game as you could hope to play. [Christmas 2011, p.54]
  9. Dec 16, 2011
    94
    Mario Kart 7 could be the system seller Nintendo waited for. The online mode offers some great improvements so that you easily can join games of your friends directly from Nintendo 3DS friend list. The rest of it is pure Mario Kart fun.
  10. 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]
  11. Nov 28, 2011
    94
    The "7" that Nintendo 3DS deserves, with a extreme replayable value and the most funny and crazy races. If you wanted a game that justifies your 3DS purchase, this is the one you were looking for. As Mario Kart DS, a timeless game that we would recommend until the end of the days.
  12. 94
    As complete a racing game as you could hope to play. All that's good about the previous Karts, distilled and mixed with a trillion ideas of its own. Excellent.
  13. The best Mario Kart game yet with an online platform that'll keep you racing for years.
  14. Dec 14, 2011
    92
    If you have a 3DS, and can handle the idea of a cartoon-like racing game, you absolutely must get this game. Believe it or not, Mario Kart 7 is the very best version of the formula yet.
  15. Nov 29, 2011
    92
    Impeccable gameplay that will be loved by fans, in a great new entry of the Mario Kart series. We only miss some more options and flexibility in the online modes, and more content for the single player mode. A must-have for Nintendo 3DS owners.
  16. Dec 8, 2011
    91
    Even though Nintendo have used this formula for their latest Mario Kart game, they have added enough changes and tweaks plus the inclusion of 3D to truly make this title stand out from its predecessors. Gaming mechanics are strong and the controls work perfectly on the 3DS, although the gyroscope is a little iffy.
  17. Dec 6, 2011
    91
    You've got to own this game if you've got a Nintendo 3DS. If you find a shiny new 3D handheld under the Christmas tree, don't hesitate to pick this game up. It'll surely prove to suck hours and hours of your system's diminuitive battery life away, but once you plug in, you won't want to put it down.
  18. Jan 3, 2012
    90
    One of the strongest offerings on the 3DS. Despite the familiarity of its overall design, the old racer's still got plenty of juice left.
  19. 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.
  20. Dec 28, 2011
    90
    As an apology for Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7 gets high marks indeed, and it definitely has the depth and longevity to remain in constant rotation on my 3DS.
  21. Dec 16, 2011
    90
    With new driving mechanics to create a fresh feeling, refinements based on all previous games and a solid online system, this is the best entry in the Mario Kart series so far.
  22. Dec 13, 2011
    90
    Once again Nintendo delivers a great, addictive and extremely enjoyable racer. You can't go wrong with this one!
  23. Dec 12, 2011
    90
    This was always going to be good, it is Mario Kart after all, but I think Nintendo has exceeded expectations this time. The additions really do add to the game's format, and the improvements to the online system make it a joy to play. Best Mario Kart yet? Well that's a matter of opinion, but it's certainly up there near the top.
  24. Dec 11, 2011
    90
    The 3DS gains itself another must-have title – a solid combination of timeless racing and robust online multiplayer that will be enjoyed for years to come.
  25. Dec 5, 2011
    90
    Mario Kart 7 offers up some StreetPass functionality this time around. You can view stranger's profiles, stats, VR rating, and even acquire ghost data for you to beat.
  26. Dec 5, 2011
    90
    After Super Mario 3D Land, Nintendo has another hardware seller in Mario Kart 7. While Super Mario 3D Land redefined 3D jump'n'runs, Mario Kart 7 sets also new standards for fun and arcade racers. Mario Kart 7 offers the deepest multiplayer experience in the franchise, but that's not all. It's the cool mix of good old features and fresh gameplay elements, which makes the game so cool.
  27. 90
    With a good amount of unlockable content and plenty of multiplayer options, this is a biggest and deepest Mario Kart experience yet.
  28. Nov 30, 2011
    90
    Mario Kart 7 certainly delivers on that [novelty] front with some excellent track design, the solid controls that we've come to expect from the series, and some worthwhile additions (like added items and the ability to fly.) [Dec 2011, p.76]
  29. Nov 30, 2011
    90
    It's not brave, it's not innovative, but neither should it be casually dismissed as 'more of the same'. That winning formula has been prodded and poked and buffed until it gleams, leaving us with a game that is, at the very least, the finest Mario Kart since the original. For some, it might be even more than that.
  30. Nov 30, 2011
    90
    Nintendo has clearly been experimenting with how to better exploit its system's obvious potential, and its solution is a natural, graceful implementation of 3D that complements and even improves its games, rather than feeling tacked on.
  31. Nov 29, 2011
    90
    An exquisitely polished game with few flaws.
  32. Nov 29, 2011
    90
    Though the character roster should have been larger, and a cheap blue shell can still screw up an otherwise perfect race, MK7 still offers enough innovation to keep this old formula feeling fresh. With memorable new tracks, well implemented gyro controls, the triumphant return of coins and a handful of new modes, Mario Kart 7 is full of win.
  33. Nov 29, 2011
    90
    No one does kart racing quite like Nintendo and this seventh release in the beloved series really shines with its masterful track selection and impressive online package.
  34. Nov 28, 2011
    90
    Probably the best Mario Kart ever seen, with a careful balance of the new and familiar and the most complete online service ever from Nintendo.
  35. Nov 28, 2011
    90
    It seems that number seven is indeed a lucky number, because Mario Kart 7 is the best 3DS-game yet and the most succesfull Mario Kart-game in the series. Thanks to the superior additive of air gliders, which can be useful for navigating through the air, and of propellers to drive underwater, the levels are better than ever. We've got ourselves a new favourite Mario Kart!
  36. Dec 10, 2011
    88
    Mario Kart 7 is good enough to continue the success of the series and it's original enough to be played with satisfaction from who has played the previous chapters.
  37. 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.
  38. Dec 10, 2011
    86
    Mario Kart 7 is a strong follow-up in a series which has long straddled the line between mass-appeal shoo-in and nod to the nostalgia. It doesn't take many risks, but that rarely hurts it apart from a general lack of surprises and a disappointing presence of blue turtle shells. Regardless, it's an attractive, addictive, and accessible installment with some of the best online play we've seen to date coming from Nintendo. Don't expect to be surprised, but buy with confidence all the same.
  39. Dec 1, 2011
    86
    Despite the lack of innovation, all fans of the series will enjoy this seventh chapter and also in general 3DS owners should consider buying it, as it's one of the best chapters of the entire saga.
  40. Dec 27, 2011
    85
    If you haven't picked Mario Kart 7 up yet, you are going to miss out on such an amazing experience.
  41. 85
    Mario Kart 7 isn't a huge leap forward for the series. Instead, it's another damn fine iteration in a proven series.
  42. Nov 29, 2011
    85
    Mario Kart 7 isn't 100 percent golden, nor is it going to make believers out of anyone who wrote off the series years ago. Taken on the whole, though, this is one of the best entries in the series. As a fan, I'm thoroughly pleased.
  43. Nov 29, 2011
    85
    Though Mario Kart 7 invents nothing, the game works wonderfully today. 16 new tracks plus 16 remakes, many online matches and an idea that continues to operate successfully. 8 players, 3D effect, fun, and hang gliding.
  44. Feb 14, 2012
    80
    It's not doing anything revolutionary on it's own, but serves the loyal audience with the best offering Nintendo can muster – and that's pretty good indeed.
  45. Jan 17, 2012
    80
    Super gameplay that has stood the test of time bringing some news to give the actual experience another dimension. Mario Kart 7 is a must-have title for every single 3DS holder with the Internet / live buddies access – mainly due to its great multiplayer. It's a pity those are not included already.
  46. 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]
  47. Jan 10, 2012
    80
    This is still the same Mario Kart as you've played over and over again. You still drive in karts, trying (and failing) to avoid different projectiles while crying foul at the competition. It's also just as addicting as ever.
  48. Dec 14, 2011
    80
    The game doesn't re-invent the wheel, or even try to, but what it does, it does well.
  49. Dec 13, 2011
    80
    While the game is starting to show its age and display a slight lack of imagination, it's safe to say that there aren't too many Nintendo 3DS games that can match the enjoyment derived from Mario Kart 7.
  50. Dec 11, 2011
    80
    It's another Mario Kart game, through and through. The formula remains unchanged with Nintendo hesitant on adding anything more than minor details. Luckily, the formula's a good one.
  51. Dec 9, 2011
    80
    Solid gameplay, inspired design and great graphics. Mario Kart 7 is not a revolution, but it's exactly the racing game that 3DS needs.
  52. Dec 7, 2011
    80
    Strong racing foundations let down by a weak single player are quickly made up by some of the best multiplayer components found in any Nintendo game. Best played online and with friends, this is Mario Kart for the socialite.
  53. Dec 5, 2011
    80
    Mario Kart 7 is a solid Nintendo sequel. The only real obvious flaw is probably that the formula is starting to feel a little old. In most other aspects its a very good product, with great graphics, varied tracks, good online functionality and overall very entertaining gameplay.
  54. Dec 5, 2011
    80
    Mario Kart 7 is simply Mario Kart. The few differences from the previous games are just a soft change in the original formula. The new gliding experience is quite interesting and represents the best innovation in this franchise. This is an awesome game for the newcomers, but veteran players could be a little bit tired by the "new console, same game" strategy.
  55. 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.
  56. Dec 2, 2011
    80
    Mario Kart 7 is the same incredibily funny Mario Kart. The balance between driving ability and item usage is not perfect, but the formula still works.
  57. Nov 30, 2011
    80
    Mario Kart 7 features the best racing yet in the franchise, though it takes a step back in other areas.
  58. Nov 29, 2011
    80
    Yes, it feels pretty much exactly like 2005′s Mario Kart DS with better graphics. But it's still too good to put down.
  59. Nov 29, 2011
    80
    It is the quintessential Nintendo party game, and a recommended purchase if you happen to have a friend or two with a 3DS, which should be a bit more likely now that Black Friday is over.
  60. Nov 28, 2011
    80
    If MK7 is so brilliant, though, where's that fifth star? I'm withholding it because the best thing you can say about this is that while it improves on a near-perfect 64-bit game, it doesn't make any major advances. The 3D is excellently done, but totally disposable (in fact, you probably will dispose of it before you get your first cup).
  61. Nov 28, 2011
    80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  62. Nov 25, 2011
    80
    It's robust, but it lacks some creative effort on Nintendo's part. Newcomers will love it, while series stalwarts will find its novelties welcome, if largely inconsequential. But it's nevertheless one of the stronger entries in the series, balancing the orthodox precision of the original with the playful silliness of the more recent iterations more successfully than ever.
  63. Dec 6, 2011
    77
    When you're on the track, Mario Kart 7 feels better than any Mario Kart before it, and for most fans of the series that will be enough. But it's the same basic formula we've seen in every Mario Kart since the SNES original.
  64. Dec 12, 2011
    75
    Change, for Nintendo, comes in deliberate drips. And in the case of Mario Kart 7, slow and steady still manages to win the race.
  65. Feb 6, 2012
    70
    Unless you are a big Mario Kart-fan, this game might not be worthbuying. By all means, it's fun the way only Mario Kart can be, itlooks more stunning than ever before and if you need new tracks it caneasily offer hours of entertainment. But Nintendo must have made this game on autopilot.
  66. Dec 27, 2011
    70
    An old Mario Kart enhanced with a couple of details like gliding, swimming and customizing your vehicle. It seems Nintendo is running in circles chasing its own tail. [January 2012, p.75]
  67. Dec 9, 2011
    70
    If you didn't like the earlier Mario Kart games, then Mario Kart 7 most likely won't convert you. But for fans it's one of the best in the series especially while playing with friends.
  68. Dec 5, 2011
    70
    Whether you love this iteration or not relies entirely on your tolerance of Mario Kart being Mario Kart. Unbalanced, flukey, stagnant even, but still managing to offer plenty of fun.
  69. Dec 4, 2011
    70
    Fans of the games don't want an overhaul or drastic innovation but just an understanding that Mario Kart needs to shift forward with bolder moves rather than tentative baby steps. Nintendo need to be braver in their thinking and stop considering the franchise along straight lines.
  70. Nov 29, 2011
    67
    This time, the changes are a scattering of smaller ones. Track layout tweaks, customization quirks, 3D effects, first-person karting, and a power-up that adds to the general level of kart chaos by letting one player unleash seven items. MK7 isn't a kart game with a defining voice -- it's just a solid little kart game with a bunch of little tweaks.
  71. 60
    Arcade racing game cooked by well-tried foolproof recipe entertains you most of the time but there are a few frustrating moments too. [Christmas 2011]
  72. Nov 29, 2011
    60
    Despite the game's slavish adherence to the Mario Kart formula, Mario Kart 7 has moments where it shines simply by executing that formula really well. Still, other than your personal history with Mario Kart, your enjoyment of Mario Kart 7 will likely hinge on your continued appreciation of that formula, and friends to enjoy it with, more than anything else.
  73. 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.
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 523 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 167
  1. 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 someI 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. Full Review »
  2. 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 thisAfter 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.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 6, 2011
    10
    It's such a great game. I've played it over download play with my friends for the last two days, and honestly, it made me remember why I loveIt's such a great game. I've played it over download play with my friends for the last two days, and honestly, it made me remember why I love Nintendo's games. After the Strike that was Skyward Sword, and Super Mario 3D Land, this is the last part of the Nintendo Holiday trilogy.
    The gameplay is essentially fusing all the good parts of the DS and wii version, and the tracks are all powerful and memorable. My favourites from the Wii version and DS version have been carried over, like Koopa Kape, Mushroom Gorge, Waluigi Pinball etc. The cart customization options is cool, but i feel that while it adds so many cool possible combinations, it takes away some more memorable carts, too, so it's an even thing. Character choice could be better, but Im so happy about getting SHY GUY and LAKITU and WIGGLER tht I don't mind.
    Full Review »