User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 507 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 507
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  1. Sep 24, 2010
    10
    No question, one of the best video games I've ever played. I've played this game for nearly 5 years, and I'm still hooked on Mario Kart DS. I love it!
  2. Mar 28, 2013
    10
    The story behind it
    Mario kart is a racing game that was first launched on the super Nintendo entertainment system in 1962 which was known as Mario kart 64 and is also available via Google play store as well, to date there has been four Mario karts games for home consoles (ds and wii), three for portable games and 2 Namco arcade games. The most recent edition to the Mario kart series is
    The story behind it
    Mario kart is a racing game that was first launched on the super Nintendo entertainment system in 1962 which was known as Mario kart 64 and is also available via Google play store as well, to date there has been four Mario karts games for home consoles (ds and wii), three for portable games and 2 Namco arcade games. The most recent edition to the Mario kart series is Mario kart 7 which was released onto 3DS sometime last year, there are two more games in the Mario kart series in development which ach are one for the new wii u system and another arcade edition which could hit the shops any time now. The Mario kart games have developed so much over time and the producer has bought in many new things and changed the content every time this has included new items, new characters and many more as well as new tracks different elements, this was to keep the game play fresh and so people who bought all of them weren’t getting the same thing every time so if u has all of them you are never getting the same game on each edition because new content is always added. The one on the ds was probably one of the best racing games ive ever played. Each series contained at least 16 original courses and plus different versions of current tracks E.G. Rainbow road was included in the 16 but then rainbow road 2 was a sequel and not included in the 16 because this was one of the tracks that was released at a later date.

    Suitability
    The game is suitable for all ages as there is absolutely no violence involved and everyone can play it as it’s a family game which everyone one can play, it is quite addictive because you never know what is going to happen as there is many different tracks which contain many different obstacles so this game isn’t something you can really practice as there is so much content and so many obstacles involved within it. It doesn’t affect your social impacts because it is actually good because you are getting exercise whether you are playing it on Wii or DS. Why it is a good game
    It was a very good game as there is so much game play and technical ability involved within and is never boring because you never know what is going to happen. The game also tests how quick you are at reacting for example when the obstacles such as rocks are rolling down the track you have to react quickly in order to dodge them as if you get hit if you have any items these will be lost and also any coins that were collected along the track a 1/3 of them will be lost (Mario kart 7 only)I love the technical ability of this game and has got better and better every time a new one is released because this game is no ordinary racing game and is never boring because of all the different items and the different effects that the game unleashes in the middle of the laps, my personal favourite track is rainbow road because I love the colours as is a quick reaction track because the track has a very tight specific area you have to stick too and the layout of the track is consistent so this is also hard where as the others there is side bits that you can use instead of the normal section of the track to try and get more items and to try and get a head start on everyone else but rainbow road doesn’t and is just straight track from start to finish and also contains loops to try and distract you to try and make you fall off, the other reason is it’s a good game is because it enables you to race against other people all over the world using the built in wireless connection system which adds alot of excitement and pressure into the game which is another reason why this is probably why this is one of the best racing games around and will probably only get better when the new editions have finished development and are launched, I personally cannot wait.
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  3. Apr 9, 2017
    9
    This is the first Nintendo game I've ever played, and the reason I'm a Nintendo fan today. Back in 2010, I discovered this game thanks to some friends, and I liked it so much that I played it entirely with an emulator on my PC. Thanks to Mario Kart DS, and also to Zelda Phantom Hourglass, I decided to buy a Nintendo DS in christmas 2010, and played it again to get the true experience.

    I
    This is the first Nintendo game I've ever played, and the reason I'm a Nintendo fan today. Back in 2010, I discovered this game thanks to some friends, and I liked it so much that I played it entirely with an emulator on my PC. Thanks to Mario Kart DS, and also to Zelda Phantom Hourglass, I decided to buy a Nintendo DS in christmas 2010, and played it again to get the true experience.

    I think this is probably my favorite Mario Kart title. It has great controls, a good selection of characters and plenty of modes to keep you entertained for a pretty long time. The game has more characters than any Mario Kart before it, and it also introduces Retro Cups: 16 tracks from previous Mario Kart games, adding to a total of 32 tracks, more than any MK game before it. There's even a series of missions to complete, including a bunch of boss fights. What else can you ask from a Mario Kart game?

    The game is very fun to play alone. Another single-player mode that is worth mentioning is Battle Mode, which is surprisingly addictive and entertaining. Online modes are also present, and they're obviously a ton of fun. Playing Mario Kart DS with your friends is always a blast.

    So overall, this is pretty much everything you could expect from a Mario Kart game. Tons of fun, a good amount of content, great multiplayer options... definitely a must have for any DS owner. I really don't know what to criticize here. Maybe the graphics look a little bit unpolished compared to other DS titles, but It's no big deal. It doesn't detract from the experience at all.

    Score: 9.0
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  4. Richard
    Apr 11, 2006
    10
    Wow! This game definitely lived up to the hype! The graphics are smooth and slick and the controls are very simple easy to learn. The online experience is incredible and setting up is just as easy as turning on the game. There are tons of modes and stuff that you can do. In addition to the grand prix and time trials, you have over 50 unique missions that are designed to improve your Wow! This game definitely lived up to the hype! The graphics are smooth and slick and the controls are very simple easy to learn. The online experience is incredible and setting up is just as easy as turning on the game. There are tons of modes and stuff that you can do. In addition to the grand prix and time trials, you have over 50 unique missions that are designed to improve your skills offensively and defensively. Mario Kart DS is truly a masterful racing game; it is a Mario kart fan's dream come true. It has brought the Mario kart series into full gear and boy, what a rush of fun! Expand
  5. Jan 9, 2014
    8
    The best racer on the DS. Even though it's not my favorite Mario Kart game, this game is great for the DS. I had a lot of fun with this game, it's one of the best games on the DS.
  6. Apr 4, 2015
    7
    This game is decent. Not the best Mario Kart but pretty good. The graphics are okay for DS. The tracks were fine. The character selection is average. The gameplay is good. Mario Kart DS is a good Mario Kart game but there are other Mario Karts better. I would say it's worth getting to add to your MK collection.
  7. Feb 26, 2015
    7
    I find this game okay, The characters were great,the graphics were okay,the gameplay is okay,the challenge mode is fine. I conquered this game 100% and is definitely a must get. The stages and courses are great. Overall, it was awesome.
  8. Aug 1, 2016
    10
    Mario Kart DS is my 3rd favorite of this series cause the courses are amazing and the game has good variety as well as PERFECT gameplay. So this game is perfect.
  9. Apr 24, 2011
    10
    One Of The Best Games Ever Made! Great Great Great! I Was So Shocked How Much I Loved It!
  10. C.Henry
    Jul 21, 2006
    10
    All the best aspects of Mario Kart, and you can bring it with you. Local WiFi and worldwide online play is awesome (except for snakers.)
  11. Jul 20, 2011
    9
    Mario Kart DS offers all the polished gameplay and peerless multiplayer mode you'd expect from a Mario Kart Game. Ther's plenty of depth too with the excellent mission mode, battle mode, and tons of hidden karts and characters to unlock. Personally i would have liked a few more original tracks but you can't have everything eh?
  12. MichaelR.
    Oct 25, 2008
    8
    One word: over-rated. Reading that, you might be wondering why I gave it an 8. Simply put, this is a solid title, and certainly the best game in the Mario Kart series, but it simply does not live up to the hype surrounding it. What you have in this title is a simplistic, cute, and engaging racing game. Nothing more, nothing less. There are a number of options, but most do not add anything One word: over-rated. Reading that, you might be wondering why I gave it an 8. Simply put, this is a solid title, and certainly the best game in the Mario Kart series, but it simply does not live up to the hype surrounding it. What you have in this title is a simplistic, cute, and engaging racing game. Nothing more, nothing less. There are a number of options, but most do not add anything of substance to the title (the exception is the terrific missions mode, which adds some challenge to this title). This is a fun game that will entertain almost anyone (young and old, racing fans and non-racing fans alike; I personally hate racing games; but this is more skin to Wacky Racers than it is Nascar or Gran Turismo: it has a goofy sense of fun that makes it a joy to play), But do not approach this expecting the greatest title on the DS. At least in my opinion, it isn't. But it is a fun and simple game that has infinite replayability. Expand
  13. MathewA.
    Jan 8, 2006
    9
    Mario Kart DS is worth buying for the single player experience alone, but the addition of online gameplay and wireless multiplayer make it a must-buy for any DS owner out there. Not quite a ten, but pretty damn close.
  14. Aug 13, 2010
    10
    This is a brilliant racing game, the best on DS. With loads of characters and tracks, challenges, and battles it will really have you coming back for more. Very highly reccomended.
  15. Oct 16, 2010
    9
    This game goes perfect in every way almost. The drifting mechanics feel pefect if you dont drift at all you fell perfect the courses provide so much variety. your oppenets drive perfectly and put up a fight. But this game strives th most with multypler. It has single card ds download, multycard ds download, and it even has online multyplayer. The online multyplayer isnt as fun as the dsThis game goes perfect in every way almost. The drifting mechanics feel pefect if you dont drift at all you fell perfect the courses provide so much variety. your oppenets drive perfectly and put up a fight. But this game strives th most with multypler. It has single card ds download, multycard ds download, and it even has online multyplayer. The online multyplayer isnt as fun as the ds download thogh. Mostly because your sitting next to your freinds so when there pulling up to the finish line at moo moo farm and you use three perfectly timed mushromms to take the lead and break his hopes of breaking your 7 game win streak you can rub it all in your face. The career mode is nice increasing in difficulty not because you oppenets are getting better but you getting slower making you have to use you powerups more wisley. There is also missions that your character takes place in but i never realy got into these because there not actually races there mor varied but not as fun. The cast af characters and karts is great although it had to be cut down so the game could fit into the hardrive that the ds offers. THe only reason I gave this game a nine is because im harsh and the online multyplayer is choppy. Expand
  16. Jan 16, 2011
    9
    Shame this game has gone missing somewhere. Oh yes AnonymousMC. A PSP is a portable PS2. No wait. The games on it suck and there's only a few games worth playing on it. The DS is original and not like the Wii most of the games are not shovelware. Just what I'd expect from a Sony Guy. Oh the game. Sorry. The graphics are really good for a DS game, the game is really fun to play, theShame this game has gone missing somewhere. Oh yes AnonymousMC. A PSP is a portable PS2. No wait. The games on it suck and there's only a few games worth playing on it. The DS is original and not like the Wii most of the games are not shovelware. Just what I'd expect from a Sony Guy. Oh the game. Sorry. The graphics are really good for a DS game, the game is really fun to play, the multiplayer is really good, the tracks are fun to play on and some Retro tracks are back and the music is back and has not been messed around with too much. The only two bones I have to pick with it though is that there's not much tracks to race on and Shine Runners is just a stupid idea. If you own a DS and don't have this, this game needs to be added to your collection. Expand
  17. Aug 1, 2011
    10
    People can nitpick about minor issues, but here's the truth. Mario Kart DS is a great racing game, and that's hard to deny. It's addictive and very fun to play. Great game!
  18. Nov 27, 2011
    10
    Although there has been some complaints, I thought this was one of the best ds games ever!! You start of with 4 or 5 people, with only a few karts, so it is quite boring, but then if you get better, you get even more karts, I am now on one of the last things you can get, he is called B.O.B and he is great. You can also go online and race against other people from other parts of the world!!Although there has been some complaints, I thought this was one of the best ds games ever!! You start of with 4 or 5 people, with only a few karts, so it is quite boring, but then if you get better, you get even more karts, I am now on one of the last things you can get, he is called B.O.B and he is great. You can also go online and race against other people from other parts of the world!! You can also "link up" with friends or family if they don't have the actual game and you can have a blast! There is soo much to this game, I have lots of things to do on it aswell still! I would recomend it to children over 3 yrs old :) Expand
  19. JamesD.
    Jan 30, 2006
    10
    An excellent game to play both wireless and alone.
  20. Dec 14, 2011
    10
    For something made in 2005, this game is underrated. It may be one of the best video games ever produced that year. Nintendo has upped its game. Extremely recommended for 7+ kids and adults all alike.
  21. AlejandroG.
    Aug 10, 2006
    6
    It lacks the necessary variety in the single player mode. Overhandicapped in multiplayer mode.
  22. Apr 15, 2012
    5
    this game was fun but got tiring after wards and I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo gald they came out with the mario kart 7 game
  23. Adultgamer
    Dec 1, 2005
    4
    not a bad attempt but still nothing compairs to the original SNES version. i think its time to upgrade to a better handheld. and while we are hear have you seen the mess of burnout DS, this hand held is just not made to display 3D graphics.
  24. Nov 15, 2011
    7
    "Mario Kart" is a great multiplayer game with many characters and fun stuff to do...with friends!!!! Co-op rocks!!! BUT. It gets too repetitive due to the lack of single-player. If your fine with that, you'll live with the game.
  25. GeorgeC.
    Apr 7, 2007
    2
    I read the reviews and they were all good for Mario Kart DS. I thought that it would actually be a good game, since the DS doesn't have many fun games. I got my DS about a year ago and I got it with a game, Metroid Prime Hunters, which I didn't enjoy playing. I haven't touched my DS for about 6 months and I thought this game would change that, but when I got it, it was very I read the reviews and they were all good for Mario Kart DS. I thought that it would actually be a good game, since the DS doesn't have many fun games. I got my DS about a year ago and I got it with a game, Metroid Prime Hunters, which I didn't enjoy playing. I haven't touched my DS for about 6 months and I thought this game would change that, but when I got it, it was very dissapointing. The graphics are pretty bad. The handling for the cars is impossible to get used to. The sound is repetitive and I ended up playing with the sound off. This game has only a few tracks, and they got boring after the first or second time I raced on them (One track held my interest for maybe five races though). After a day of playing this game I am afraid to say that my DS will begin collecting dust on my shelf, until another game that looks fun comes around. Expand
  26. ZackP.
    Sep 29, 2007
    0
    This game is not that good it is way to easy.
  27. CaitlinA
    Aug 29, 2009
    4
    When I got this I already had the Wii version and I expected it to be great. It isn't really that good and you can get bored so easily that's why I'm only giving it a 4. I'd give Mario Kart Wii a 9 though =)
  28. DonaldR
    Dec 29, 2009
    2
    Talk about false advertising! I saw this game on one of ant and decs adverts being a big fan of ant and dec and britains got talent i presumed it would include stars from the show like susan boyle and paul potts but no all it has was some stupid italian steriotypes and poorly designed side characters Also this game is incredibly anti enviormental! oil spills are treat as if they are a Talk about false advertising! I saw this game on one of ant and decs adverts being a big fan of ant and dec and britains got talent i presumed it would include stars from the show like susan boyle and paul potts but no all it has was some stupid italian steriotypes and poorly designed side characters Also this game is incredibly anti enviormental! oil spills are treat as if they are a good thing! not to mention all the fumes from the cars honestly what sort of message is nontendo trying to give! do not buy this for you or your children it is downright terrible who wants to play as some guy called mario or luigi they dont even have number 1 hits! Expand
  29. May 7, 2011
    3
    Every Mario Kart game is biased. I was playing multiplayer with my friend and I noticed whenever she was first there was absolutely no blue shells. When I was first I got absolutely annihilated. Plus it's all the same and little skill is needed.

Awards & Rankings

1
1
#1 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
1
#1 Most Shared DS Game of 2005
Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 64 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 64
  2. Negative: 0 out of 64
  1. 90
    Everything about MKDS comes together into a surprisingly compelling package, a portable racing game on par with anything ever to appear on a console.
  2. Reason alone to own the DS platform. All of the fun that has been intrinsic to the series is intact, and the much-anticipated online component simply seals the deal. This is best game in the series by far, and perhaps the best kart-style racing game ever to come along.
  3. 95
    It's hard to imagine how Nintendo's going to improve on what they've done for this stunning portable rendition. There's so much gameplay and depth in this design, moreso than the series has ever had in the past.