Generally favorable reviews - based on 73 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 73
  2. Negative: 1 out of 73
  1. 85
    There are some things that feel completely out of whack though, such as the uncharacteristically cheap AI in 150cc, the lack of voice chat for an extremely social online game, reliance on friend codes, and "everyone's a winner" feeling you get when random items show up and completely turn the game upside down in an instant.
  2. Mario Kart Wii offers varied multiplayer and thoroughly integrated online modes that will keep you coming back for more.
  3. The core Mario Kart gameplay remains basically unchanged, but it’s well executed and slightly enhanced by minor tweaks and a variety of control setups. The online mode is the real star here, however.
  4. If anyone tells you they don't like the game, then they probably don't like chocolate, the Superbowl or comedies either. There is so much fun packed into the title that all but the most "alternative" of core gamers are bound to love it.
  5. This is a great game, single- or multiplayer, online or off.
  6. 90
    The offline and online content is extremely entertaining and the pursuit of casual and hardcore karting has never been this much fun.
  7. Ultimately, the sheer sensory pleasure of playing Mario Kart Wii - from the charming animations, to the bopping tunes, to the sugar-rush boosting, to the exquisite steering - far overcomes the few concerns we have about it. It still has to be docked a mark for the awkward structure and compromised multiplayer modes - but it's still unreservedly recommended to anyone for whom Mario Kart is a gaming cornerstone.
  8. 95
    The refined gameplay, the super slick presentation and the flexible controls all add up to one of the finest racing experiences ever.
  9. At its core, Mario Kart Wii is a simple, accessible title that lends itself to fun-filled evenings with friends on the couch or online games with racers halfway around the world.
  10. Mario Kart Wii is the penultimate multiplayer experience on the Wii, and a must-own title for anyone serious about gaming.
  11. The weapons can get a little overwhelming and frustrating at times, especially when you’re in the lead (and the frankly unfair brutality of the 150cc-class rubber-banding, curse-evoking A.I.), but most of what’s in place, both old and new, still makes for a romping good time, locally or globally.
  12. 83
    You'll assuredly have plenty of fun with this, even if Nintendo's play-it-safe, dumb-it-down approach will make many longtime players yearn for something more ambitious and risky.
  13. It's the ultimate Mario Kart package rather than the best, but it's still a lot of fun. [Apr 2008, p.47]
  14. Mario Kart boils down to a whole lot of luck and very little skill.
  15. 85
    The most solid, accessible and fun experience console gaming has seen in some time.
  16. It's a fast and fun racing game that is easy enough for beginners to pick up and enjoy while still a challenge for veteran players to master. The addition of online play (other than it's not so friendly friends system) and the introduction of the Wii’s motion technology add even more oil to what is already a pretty slick offering.
  17. Having sacrificed racing integrity in "Double Dash" to side with social silliness, Nintendo has turned 180 degrees into an awkward halfway house. [May 2008, p.86]
  18. It might seem like the most complete Mario Kart experience yet, but in reaching for a wider audience, Nintendo may have lost sight of what made the series great in the first place. [May 2008, p.112]
  19. 100
    Mario Kart Wii has more variety, more to do, and ultimately more to keep you coming back than any Mario Kart before it (and as a hardcore advocate of the SNES original, I never thought I would find myself saying that); but more than that, it is a flagship title for the Nintendo Wii. Not only is Mario Kart Wii the most important title that will be released on the format this year, but it will stand the test of time as one of the best games the Wii has to offer.
  20. An excellent return to form for the series and tremendous fun when played with friends in split-screen or online. The often infuriating Grand Prix mode is likely to polarise gamers though, with some loving the unpredictability of it while others will simply give up after being taken down at the last minute by yet another Spiny Blue Shell.
  21. While Mario Kart Wii is predictably similar to its predecessors, something has changed with this installment. Something that makes it feel subtly unlike other Mario Karts--and not a change for the better. [June 2008, p.73]
  22. Newcomers will find a fast-paced, easy-to-play title that relishes in its own ability to capitalize on the wacky approachability and fun of Nintendo’s mascot characters.
  23. In the end, Mario Kart Wii aims for a high level of fun and depending on how new you are to the franchise; it actually manages to do that. There's plenty of room for improvement though.
  24. With more features, modes and multiplayer options than ever before, fans should be revved up to get behind the wheel. [May 2008, p.86]
  25. Mario Kart Wii against 11 real opponents is intense and exhilarating. Sometimes it's also infuriating but in the end that too is mostly a good thing. Still, something should have been done to the power ups of old. Fire and forget weapons and small chances of escape aren't the best combination. While the multiplayer side shines the single player parts are a let-down. Driving against cheating opponent and being constantly bombarded is frustrating. [May 2008]
  26. Nintendo's draconian online service isn't a reason to dislike Mario Kart Wii in the same way that it's wrong to dislike a really beautiful woman because her husband is a complete tosser...As a Wii owner, we've got the definitive racing game on the console.
  27. 80
    One thing Mario Kart Wii features a lot of is multiplayer options.
  28. Mario Kart Wii is a great new game in the series. It still plays like a dream and is perhaps the most enjoyable game of the last few years. Even the additions of motorcycles, Wii-Wheel and online mode are suprisingly good. Mario Kart Wii even does something which most other games lack: It brings fun.
  29. Mario Kart Wii is ultimately much the same game as Mario Kart DS, but this is forgivable due to its drastically improved online functionality along with some welcome gameplay additions and tweaks.
  30. This is the first case of Nintendo not finding a happy medium between accessibility and servicing hardcore players. Yet if you get a group of people together on a Saturday night to play you'll be the only one complaining.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 606 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 206
  1. Jun 10, 2011
    This is the best Mario Kart Yet, from amazing tracks to amazing gameplay, to the bullet bills that can help you when youre doing bad, to theThis is the best Mario Kart Yet, from amazing tracks to amazing gameplay, to the bullet bills that can help you when youre doing bad, to the blue shells that knock me out of first a lot where it provides a challenge for me to get back into first, to the many fun gameplay modes in multiplayer, especially 3-4 players, is really fun. Its really fun to play with friendss. Its the best Mario Kart yet, and unlike some people believe, even though there are items that can help you, this game does take some skill Full Review »
  2. CallumM
    May 7, 2008
    I am a fan of most Nintendo products and mario kart Wii being one of the better games. As if you use the Wii wheel it add some more realism I am a fan of most Nintendo products and mario kart Wii being one of the better games. As if you use the Wii wheel it add some more realism into the game instead of using the joy stick. And it is a game you can play with most age groups. and i like how in incorporates most of the courses from the older games. this is a must have game for Wii gamers. Full Review »
  3. Jul 5, 2011
    Mario Kart Wii is one of the best racing games around. That said, I feel it is overrated. It's awesome, but Mario Kart Wii just relies tooMario Kart Wii is one of the best racing games around. That said, I feel it is overrated. It's awesome, but Mario Kart Wii just relies too much on pure LUCK. The items are pure luck, and are not even balanced. A person in last place could go straight up into the Top 3 with a Bullet Bill. And don't even get me started on that SPINY SHELL! My sister plays this game a lot, and, more than once, she was hit by 5+ items in a row just as she was about to win. Once, she was hit by a Spiny Shell, then a Red Shell, then another Spiny, then another Red Shell, then a Green Shell. So ridiculously ANNOYING! Luckily, Time Trials exist. In this mode, you can play on your own with no opponents, no item boxes, and 3 Mushrooms at the start. Multiplayer mode was nice, but it needed far more modes. Wi-Fi, too. The only thing that I still play Mario Kart Wii to do is race Time Trial ghosts. That was fun. So, in conclusion, this is a great game to get if you have friends who would be willing to play with you, because multiplayer is the reason to buy this game, and Time Trials is also great, but don't expect much more than that other than loads of frustration. Full Review »