Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 82 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 82
  2. Negative: 0 out of 82
  1. Jun 12, 2014
    100
    Mario Kart 8 is a return of one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises, and is just as chaotic as ever.
  2. May 28, 2014
    100
    Mario Kart 8 embodies what Nintendo does so well. They take something that works well and they eventually make it smooth and great and absolutely irresistible.
  3. May 20, 2014
    100
    I probably don’t need to say this but Nintendo knows what it’s doing when it comes to the Mario Kart franchise. Time after time, they come back with exceptional racing games and Mario Kart 8 might be the best we’ve ever seen.
  4. May 16, 2014
    100
    What Nintendo's designers do with this new spatial freedom ranges from amazing to even more amazing.
  5. May 15, 2014
    100
    The best version of the venerable kart-racer since the Nintendo 64 era.
  6. May 15, 2014
    100
    Bold, accessible, deep and rich, Mario Kart 8 is premium video game development. It feels expensive. But this isn't the vacuous lavishness of the Hollywood blockbuster; its excesses and indulgences work towards a common goal - or rather, finish line.
  7. May 15, 2014
    98
    Mario Kart 8 is everything I could have hoped it would be. After feeling a bit jaded by Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7, it's great to see that Mario Kart 8 is quite simply the most fun I've had with a game in quite a long time.
  8. It's that confidence that encompasses everything here - Mario Kart 8 steps boldly out of the shadows of its predecessors, using their systems, ideas, even tracks, but adapting them to fit its own vision of a truly skilful game that people will obsess over, learning lines, kart set-ups and tricks, but never abandoning what it is people loved about the series.
  9. May 15, 2014
    96
    Extremely different from Super Mario Kart, this is the first episode that truly rivals it in terms of quality. It has a brilliant track design, amazing graphics and a surprising game balance. Mario Kart 8 is the Super Mario Galaxy of the series: a demonstration that Nintendo can still produce magic.
  10. Jul 31, 2014
    95
    A beautiful and fun racing game, which uses the possibilities offered by its host platform to emphasize and renew the truly universal appeal of the series.
  11. May 16, 2014
    95
    Mario Kart 8 is a beast: with great track design, plenty of characters, karts, bikes and power ups is the best Mario Kart of all time. Also thanks to revamped online modes and some gorgeous graphics, is the single reason you need to own a Wii U.
  12. Jun 7, 2014
    94
    This is Nintendo serving up unprecedented helpings of joy as only it can. [July 2014, p.57]
  13. May 20, 2014
    94
    Fast, stimulating and vibrant, Mario Kart 8 improves almost every aspect of the franchise. It's a shame that the Battle mode is now a watered down version of a normal race. The low frame rate during local 4 player competitions also affects an otherwise pristine experience.
  14. May 19, 2014
    93
    Mario Kart 8 is a phenomenal game. The game looks great, plays like a dream and is simply a whole lot of fun. No blue shield can interfere with that fact.
  15. May 15, 2014
    93
    The amount of options and modes is not as large as we were expecting, but when it comes to the game itself, Nintendo proves that they know how to make great games. A must-have for Wii U users.
  16. May 15, 2014
    93
    Mario Kart 8 is probably the best game in the franchise. Great and balanced gameplay, full of options and modes, brilliant online multiplayer and good visuals. It's another must-have for Wii U users.
  17. May 15, 2014
    93
    Mario Kart 8 should certainly be added to the list of top-tier entries, and none of the previous titles can boast the rock-solid total package that this one offers. Say what you will about Nintendo sticking with the tried and true, but I have no problem with that as long as it stays this fun.
  18. Jun 7, 2014
    91
    Even if you’re not a Mario Kart fanatic, I think you’ll still have a ton of fun with this entry. This is a Mario Kart that will be well-remember for years to come.
  19. Jun 3, 2014
    91
    MK8 is easily a top three contender for best Wii U game. Outside of a few niggling oddities and small blemishes, the pure bliss of soaring across MK8‘s wonderful courses is as close to gaming perfection as it gets.
  20. Jul 10, 2014
    90
    An amazing looking game with amazing gameplay.
  21. Jun 28, 2014
    90
    The best Mario Kart ever. All faults are forgiven when you're drifting the inside of a vertical corner. [Issue#250, p.58]
  22. Jun 16, 2014
    90
    Ultimately Nintendo have again produced the goods and delivered another system seller.
  23. Jun 5, 2014
    90
    A sure fire system seller that everyone who owns the console should buy, and if you don’t, now’s the perfect time to buy one.
  24. Jun 4, 2014
    90
    A combination of fun, fairness, beauty and joy, Mario Kart 8 is absolutely brilliant.
  25. Jun 3, 2014
    90
    The definitive kart racer you'll play this year, and in a market as crowded as this one's becoming, that's saying something. [Issue#148, p.97]
  26. May 27, 2014
    90
    MK8 is slowly becoming one of my favorites in the long-running franchise, and it is a must-own for those who have a Wii U.
  27. 90
    Vastly superior to all its karting competitors. Once again, Nintendo has filled its tank with the finest fuel you can imagine, and anyone who gives the gas pedal even the gentlest of squeezes will be hard pressed taking their foot off it again.
  28. May 19, 2014
    90
    This game is amazing and makes us wonder why Wii U is not selling well. If you are wondering what is the most fun game available on the next gen consoles, the answer is very simple: Mario Kart 8.
  29. May 19, 2014
    90
    This is the moment to buy a Wii U, if Mario Kart means anything to you. The game is gorgeous and very fun to play thanks to a high degree of polish. The lack of Battle-Arena's is a shame, just like the lack of support for the gamepad, but that doesn't keep it from deserving a high score.
  30. May 19, 2014
    90
    Two decades after the first Super Mario Kart the formula still feels fresh. Mario Kart is a must have for all Wii U owners and a good reason to buy one.
  31. May 15, 2014
    90
    We don't know yet if Mario Kart 8 will help Nintendo to sell millions of Wii U's, but it's the game you must absolutely have on this console. Everything's in it: good rhythm, more than precise gameplay, crazy items, some well thought new tracks and a very solid online mode. If Mario Kart 8 is not really the best installment in the series, it's only because there is a lack of gamble in its gameplay.
  32. May 15, 2014
    90
    In the end, there is only the certainty that Nintendo knows how to make good games and how this title can renew hope in a different way for Wii U. While connected to MK7 by its structure and main game modes, MK8 is the most complete, amazing and fun game of the series.
  33. May 15, 2014
    90
    It's everything the fans were asking for, and, finally, it shows some of WiiU's graphical muscles, running in stunning resolution and frame rate. Some small drawbacks are still there, regarding online infrastructure and usability, and a formula that sticks to itself through and through, but finally we have a piece of software that reminds us of that good old "Nintendo Difference".
  34. May 15, 2014
    90
    Mario Kart 8 is the perfect evolution of an excellent franchise. Nintendo has done a wonderful job creating a visually stunning racing game and giving players tons of fun. Is this the best Mario Kart ever? Probably not, but it's the best since the Nintendo 64 era.
  35. May 15, 2014
    90
    After two decades of racing, the Mushroom Kingdom crew have come together in a package that ticks a lot of positive boxes - tight controls, exceptional course designs, brilliant music and plenty of scope for high-octane online/local races and battles. Quite simply, Mario Kart 8 is absolutely sublime and the best overall installment im the series so far.
  36. May 15, 2014
    90
    Mario Kart 8 is the funniest and craziest iteration in the series. But its lack in innovation and gameplay modes is the only thing that keeps the game from being the best in the Mario Kart franchise.
  37. May 15, 2014
    90
    It’s a small step for Nintendo where its competitors have made deliberate and purposeful strides, but a step forward nonetheless. It might be too late to completely turn around the Wii U’s fortunes, but when Nintendo are releasing games as good as this, it may just have a chance.
  38. May 15, 2014
    90
    The best Mario Kart has ever been, with a near perfect blend of features and frequently astonishing visuals – despite some unnecessary repetition in track settings.
  39. May 15, 2014
    90
    The gravity-shifting sections spliced into existing and new tracks feel like a natural extension of the series rather than a gameplay-changing revelation, but it's a strong compliment to an already enjoyable experience. The social features are surprisingly solid and may even outlive the total course selection, but it helps that the new tracks feel as worthy of a revisit as the series' standouts.
  40. May 15, 2014
    90
    Mario Kart 8 is yet another overwhelmingly powerful argument in favour of the company’s idiosyncratic approach to design.
  41. May 15, 2014
    90
    Mario Kart 8 is my favorite series entry since Double Dash, and if it gets arena battle tracks at some point by way of DLC, it will be a near-perfect package. Its vibrant visuals will hold up for years to come, ensuring that the game will withstand the test of time, and it will be a staple in my household for a long, long while.
  42. May 15, 2014
    90
    With some new great features added to the classic recipe, with beautiful graphics and spectacular races, Mario Kart 8 looks like the killer app the Wii U was waiting for.
  43. May 15, 2014
    90
    Mario Kart's Wii U debut ticks all the necessary boxes. Drifting, weapons, the simple to learn yet hard to master handling, expletives your mother would be ashamed of, some of the best local multiplayer imaginable: all return. Taking an inspired approach from the DS iterations, the eighth entry in the series is easily among the best yet.
  44. May 15, 2014
    90
    Its gorgeous looks and tightly developed sense of speed ensured that I was never left unhappy after a race, even when I blew it and came in near the end. What more could I ask for than a game that keeps me smiling even when I lose?
  45. May 15, 2014
    90
    Like much about the game, it balances frustrating randomness with exercises of supreme timing and skill. It balances the old, iterative parts with the shiny and new. It is very much Mario Kart: Take it or leave it.
  46. May 15, 2014
    90
    The vehicles and racers have never handled better, the collection of courses is possibly the best yet, while replayability through Ghost Races or — primarily — online races and Tournaments is almost endless. A few design oddities aside, this joins the list of must-have Nintendo games on the Wii U; it’s an accomplished effort that pushes the franchise forward.
  47. May 15, 2014
    90
    Mario Kart 8 is not the best in the series, but it does stand near the top.
  48. May 15, 2014
    90
    It may not be revolutionary, but it adds just enough to pique interests while keeping the core experience we’ve all grown up with, regardless of age. Mario Kart is one of those timeless franchises that every age group can enjoy, and sometimes, that’s enough to celebrate.
  49. May 15, 2014
    90
    The best kart racing game Nintendo has made in a long time. It strikes a careful balance between refining old ideas while introducing fresh new ones. Admittedly, its gorgeous graphics and jazzy orchestrated soundtrack bolster its presentation, but you’re getting a lot more than just looks with this one.
  50. May 15, 2014
    90
    Nintendo promised and delivered. Mario Kart 8 is the shiniest star in one of the shiniest series in the world of videogames. Perfectly fine-tuned gameplay, a leap in the right direction for the online component, a magnificent audio-visual pillar worthy of the Wii U and an immensely fun and absorbing experience, whether solo or multiplayer, making Mario Kart 8 an instant and timeless classic.
  51. 89
    There is no doubt that Mario Kart 8 is a great game, plain and simple. With the power of the Wii U at their disposal Nintendo has been able to create some really great looking tracks, add a lot more racers for you to compete against, and there is a fairly robust local and online multiplayer component for fans to enjoy.
  52. May 15, 2014
    88
    It’s safe to say that this is the best Mario Kart since the SNES days, and that’s a pretty heavy statement.
  53. Jun 12, 2014
    86
    A very good fantasy karting game. Too bad you need quite a lot of luck to win, since you really can't avoid being hit by certain weapons. [June 2014]
  54. May 15, 2014
    86
    The overall high quality of the game is so impressive that it doesn’t really matter that much that the zero-gravity gimmick barely adds anything that’s truly new. Next time around, though, Nintendo might need to come up with new tricks if it hopes to keep us coming back for more.
  55. Aug 25, 2014
    85
    No revolution here, but still it’s an absolute must-have for every Wii U owner. [08/2014, p.68]
  56. Jun 7, 2014
    85
    There's nothing really innovative in Mario Kart 8, but there's a ton of fun to be had, whether you play alone, with your friends in the same living room or even better online.
  57. May 26, 2014
    85
    Mario Kart 8 is one of the best Wii U games out on the market so far. Everything you would expect in a Nintendo game is in it. The lack of innovation is probably the only downside of this game, nevertheless this could be a worldwide hit when it arrives at the stores.
  58. May 26, 2014
    85
    Awesome track design and fun extras make Mario Kart 8 an instant party classic. Nonetheless the single player “campaign” could be more progressive.
  59. May 15, 2014
    85
    Mario Kart is typically the best racer for most people. That’s no different with Mario Kart 8. Nintendo has combined its classic gameplay (finely tuned as ever) with beautiful visuals, and the result is something that I love playing — and so will most people.
  60. May 15, 2014
    85
    Mario Kart 8 does everything that fans would be clamouring for from a sequel, and it is very well designed. But it does feel like Nintendo isn't really trying to bring us something new here; 'more of the same' is always a great thing when it comes to Mario Kart, but it's not enough to sell consoles, sadly.
  61. May 15, 2014
    84
    Despite my criticism of some of the modes and gameplay mechanics, Mario Kart 8 is still an amazing game, and as intense and addicting as its predecessors. I may wish for a better Battle Mode and more online features, but I have happily raced hundreds of matches, and expect thousands more for many months, and even years, to come.
  62. Sep 18, 2014
    80
    Mario Kart 8 is pretty great in many ways, but undoubtedly moreso with a collection of friends to play with, or when facing off against other players online.
  63. Jun 12, 2014
    80
    If Super Mario 3D World wasn't enough to make the Wii U that much more of an enticement, this game, now the golden yardstick by which all future Mario Kart titles will be measured, just might do the trick.
  64. 80
    Same as the last time but the graphics are beautiful, the tracks varied and online play works like a charm. [Issue#242]
  65. Jun 3, 2014
    80
    Mario Kart 8 is the end result of years of refinement. It zeroes in on exactly what we want from Nintendo.
  66. While Mario Kart 8 wasn’t what I was exactly looking for in an MK game, it works well on its own terms, even if Battle Mode is the worst.
  67. May 27, 2014
    80
    Mario Kart 8 is offering a great deal of racing on well-designed tracks, and the game is sure-footed especially in its multiplayer. Don't expect anything revolutionary, expect "just" great fun.
  68. May 27, 2014
    80
    Mario Kart 8 follows the well-known structure in the series and gives us a steady amount of game modes, even though Battle Mode isn’t nearly as good as it used to be. With a bunch of new and memorable courses it’s hard to not recommend Mario Kart 8, both for the fans of the previous titles as well as for newcomers.
  69. May 15, 2014
    80
    It largely does what it needs to do, what you would want it to do, and does so with just enough distinction to make it stand out among the many other sequels in this series.
  70. May 15, 2014
    80
    Mario Kart 8 is a conservative update, choosing to polish and refine rather than reinvent, but it's still as alluring a racer as it ever has been.
  71. May 15, 2014
    80
    On the track, it shines with its charms and its finely tuned balance between diligence, precision driving and luck.
  72. May 15, 2014
    80
    If you’re looking for a whimsical and accessible racing game to play with your friends and family, Mario Kart 8 is one of the best. Just don’t expect any additional content outside of the most basic modes.
  73. May 15, 2014
    80
    It shows how Nintendo can put its experience, even with some dips in quality, to use making a standout game. With the addition of new visual capabilities, stellar track design, and a continued slow march toward modern online functionality, this is the best the series has been since the GameCube era. If Mario Kart 8 is showing its age, it’s a spry octogenarian if I ever saw one.
  74. May 15, 2014
    80
    What it lacks in raw innovation it more than makes up for in pure joy. Mario Kart 8's bare-bones presentation is offset by its solid core racing, and is an essential purchase for every Wii U owner who appreciates fun.
  75. May 15, 2014
    80
    Mario Kart 8 is a slick and gorgeous-looking kart racer that's perfectly solid but not always as exciting or addictive as we've come to expect from the series.
  76. May 15, 2014
    80
    I wont be suprised if this game boosts the Wii U sales. Mario Kart 8 is as much fun as Mario Kart games have always been, but never before has the world seen a more beautiful game in the Mario series. The innovation that lets players drive upside down doesn't really influence the experience, but this game is sure to provide hours of joy.
  77. May 15, 2014
    80
    I do admit that my first impression of Mario Kart 8 was pretty close to a yawn. Mario Kart is one of my favorite franchises, but it's hard to get excited for the same old thing. But the more I played, the more I appreciated the many small changes, and grew to love my time in the Mushroom Kingdom. And now that yawn has changed to a shout of joy. It's more Mario Kart! I'm happy Nintendo still understands what makes this series so darn fun.
  78. May 15, 2014
    77
    After two weeks of playing (and watching) Mario Kart 8, I want to slo-mo everything now.
  79. May 17, 2014
    75
    Mario Kart 8 looks spectacular, sounds impressive, and delivers solid racing action worthy of the series. But it’s also that rare Nintendo game that manages to be less than the sum of its impressive parts thanks to some ill-advised design choices, half-baked ideas, and gimped Battle Mode.
  80. 75
    If there’s one word that can quickly sum up Nintendo’s latest entry in the Mario Kart series, it’s beautiful. From top to bottom, this is a gorgeous game, likely the best-looking one Nintendo has ever made. Even the soundtrack is superb, with amazing songs that call to mind past Mario games in new musical styles. Behind that beauty, unfortunately, is a degree of vapidness.
  81. 70
    Another decent, if unspectacular effort from Nintendo. The series needs better balancing if skill is to ever become a factor again and the single player mode may be a total slog, but Mario Kart is still a hit where it always mattered: with friends.
  82. May 27, 2014
    70
    Despite this game’s gleaming high-definition sheen, there’s little doubt this granddaddy of the karting genre is beginning to show its age.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 793 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 253
  1. May 30, 2014
    10
    Simply fantastic! Ladies and gentlemen, GO BUY A WII U FOR THIS GAME. Highly recommended for a fun gaming experience. Nothing on PS4 or XB1 comes close. 10/10 Full Review »
  2. May 30, 2014
    10
    Fantastic game with an abundance of gorgeous looking courses and awesome music, this game will being you hundreds of hours of fun whether you are playing alone or with friends...the ONLY complaint I have is that the Battle Mode tracks could use some tweaking... All in all a fantastic experience Full Review »
  3. May 30, 2014
    9
    Mario Kart 8 doesn't really add much either than some new characters and useful new items(finally can block the flying blue shell!). But it holds on to what makes every Mario Kart game so great: Rock Solid gameplay, well designed tracks and lots of charm. Full Review »