Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 58
  2. Negative: 0 out of 58
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  1. Yeah, we'll say it: Mario Kart: Double Dash is the most fun you'll have with a game this year. And probably next year. And maybe even the year after that.
  2. Nintendo Power
    The tracks are big, bold, colorful and widely varied...The graphics are 3-D perfection and the controls and game mechanics rival those of any GCN racing game. [Jan 2004, p.154]
  3. 100
    There are dozens of dazzling tracks, and the play gets fast, manic and difficult, but somehow always retains a magically fun ingredient.
  4. 100
    The gameplay remains fast and furious, and the simple controls do a masterful job of literally keeping you on track. The interplay between the characters in two-player mode is particularly impressive.
  5. 100
    Even the most cynical gamers will have a hard time not being won over by its charms. In short, it's the type of game you bought a GameCube for in the first place and, thanks to its excellent multiplayer modes, has a lot of staying power.
  6. 100
    An insanely well-made kart game with tight controls, great tracks, and some sweet multiplayer action...quite possibly GameCube's best game this holiday season. [Grade = A+; Dec 2003, p.72]
  7. 100
    A fantastic game that no GameCube owner should be without. I enjoyed it and my girlfriend absolutely loved it.
  8. Pure, exhilarating glee will envelop your soul, demanding that you keep playing "just one more game" into the wee hours of the morning. It's that good. [Dec 2003, p.230]
  9. With the excellent visuals, quality Nintendo charm, and hours upon hours of replay value, there's just nothing to hate about this game... except for Sherbet Land. So much hate!
  10. Its replay value is impervious to boredom – you will never, ever want to part with this game. It is a classic that will go down in gaming history as one of Nintendo's best offerings.
  11. For those of you that have sat behind the wheel of your favorite console racing game, STRAP YOURSELF IN! This is not your ordinary race-to-the-finish driving game.
  12. The track designs in Double Dash are positively bursting with activity. If you thought Mario Kart was intense on the N64 (with it's notoriously cheap catch-up AI-which I'm happy to report is noticeably absent this time), you ain't seen nothing yet!
  13. We say it's the best Mario Kart ever and if you disagree we'll just have to humble you at battle mode until you cry real tears. [GamesMaster]
  14. Double-Dash doesn't stray far from what gamers have come to love about the series -- if it aint' broke, don't fix it -- but the added refinements make it a must-play title, particularly with friends.
  15. The brand new 'Bob-omb Blast' is likely to be the best multiplayer kart game you will ever play.
  16. 95
    A joy to play, a frantically manic experience with enough depth to satisfy veterans without turning off newcomers and a multiplayer favourite.
    Easily one of the best multiplayer racers ever made.
  18. Raises the character-based racing bar yet again. It's also the must-have GameCube title this holiday season. [Dec 2003, p.152]
  19. Does an excellent job rekindling the fun and excitement found in previous MarioKart titles. The addition of some new gaming elements and awesome visual and audio presentations make this a quality title.
  20. I like it so very much and wish there was more to do once I made it through the 16 tracks. Buy this game, enjoy it and then sell it for the latest and greatest from the Big N.
  21. Nintendo has implemented new play mechanics, added fantastic new character-specific weapons, and thrown in some amazing new tracks to make Mario Kart: Double Dash!! the best multiplayer experience currently available on the GameCube.
  22. Play Magazine
    The look, feel, structure and incomparable Nintendo touch have been closely preserved, toyed with just enough to be labeled a substantial sequel. [Nov 2003, p.84]
  23. Weekly Famitsu
    9 / 9 / 9 / 9 - 36 platinum [Vol 778]
  24. Between opponents' backseat bombers, traps, and other natural threats (breaking waves, thunderbolts), you'll need much more than a good drift technique to finish first.
  25. With more battle tracks, a few more actual racetracks and four-player Grand Prix mode - and let us not forget Internet play, for those of us who will never have all the equipment to make use that tantalising LAN mode - Double Dash would almost certainly qualify for the top score. As it is, at times it's a hair's breadth away, and you're doing yourself a massive disservice if you don't race out and buy this the second it's available.
  26. Nicely presented (and there are no load times at all), it's packed with pure playability and has enough 'whimsical' substance to last just as long as the others. Fans of the previous games will relish the new challenges on offer, and anyone new to the series will no doubt have a whale of a time in multiplayer alone.
  27. Although the game is slightly disappointing on a couple of levels, the truth is its Mario Kart, who couldn't love it. The actual races are absolutely brilliant particularly in multiplayer, however the Battle Mode is surprisingly weak.
  28. 90
    It's not the most original game this year, but it's one of the best you'll play on GameCube.
  29. Utterly addictive stuff... this is a Nintendo product that can be embraced by those who don't worship at the shrine of Mario.
  30. As such a strong multiplayer game, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! deserves your money. Ignore those cynical, angry critics; this game might not be a revolution, but it's a hell of an evolution.
  31. 90
    The difference between unlocking things in a Mario Kart game compared to a random game, is that the unlockables in Mario Kart games are incredibly rewarding.
  32. If you've already played a Mario Kart game, Double Dash is still worth days of your time. However, it might lose its appeal sooner than other versions did, because for ninety percent it's just more of the same.
  33. Mario's shouts of excitement are much more subdued than we're used to, and there doesn't seem to be quite the usual level of ambience in general. Some will prefer this, but I didn't.
  34. Double Dash!!'s multiplayer craziness is unrivaled and one of the most fun games on the GameCube.
  35. The multiplayer is outstanding and there are tons of unlockables.
  36. A great game. Because of the differences from previous iterations it may be a little disappointing to die hard Mario Kart purists. But for anyone who likes the series in general, the decision to get this game is a no-brainer.
  37. Although Multiplay is probably the largest part of the appeal, single play also works well and races are kept fun and varied if not a little easy to win.
  38. netjak
    The unlockables really make this a sound purchase.
  39. The ultimate refinement of the Mario Kart concept; if you love that concept, you'll love the things Double Dash adds and enhances. If you were tired of the formula or never liked it to begin with, this game is not going to convert you.
  40. Entertainment Weekly
    The game really shines in multiplayer competition. [19 Dec 2003, p.L2T 20]
  41. Does little to improve on the franchise, but remains a highly enjoyable multiplayer title.
  42. By using the broadband adapter (yes, one does exist) you can connect some GameCubes together for an 8-player, tag-team match.
  43. 80
    If there is one thing Nintendo can be relied upon for delivering, it is the quality of track design and there is no disappointment within Mario Kart DD. Right from the start on Luigi Circuit, there is an air of simplicity and yet a multitude of hidden complexity, choice, racing line and shortcuts to choose from on the fly becomes evident over time.
  44. games(TM)
    As enjoyable as anything you'll play this year. The mechanics and weapons can leave something to be desired at times, but 'one more go' syndrome is seldom this acute and this is by far the game's biggest strength. [Christmas 2003, p.90]
  45. Fellas think about it, this might be a great way to get those non-gaming girlfriends to share in yet another one of your obsessions.
  46. While its sad to say that the two character carts in Double Dash is more of a gimmick than a significant gameplay enhancement to the Mario Kart franchise, the game is certainly entertaining in its own right, though a little more polish and refinement could have lead to a spectacular game, instead of a pretty good one.
  47. 80
    The single player mode is a joke, in terms of difficulty and while it was fun at first, the simple fact that you will have no difficulty winning later races makes the game boring.
  48. More characters, amazingly detailed courses, the Double Dash idea, unlockable vehicles, and other secrets prove that Mario Kart: Double Dash is a huge improvement over previous games in the series.
  49. 80
    The visuals and sharp and well animated but unlike many games aimed at the mass market the characters don't seem very cool or quirky. The Mario cast has been thrown into too many products for their appearance to hold much sway with this gamer.
  50. 80
    Crustier, more seasoned gamers may grumble a tad at the general lack of progress, but we'll bet they'll be up at ungodly hours playing Shine Thief, just like the rest of us.
  51. 79
    It's good, clean multiplayer fun but it doesn't progress far beyond the N64 version other than in the visual department...I expected so much more than this mediocre effort.
  52. The game looks and moves great, the controls are responsive, and there's a nice variety of gameplay modes available. Still, considering the seven-year gap since "Mario Kart 64" was released, it's hard not to be a little disappointed with the limited scope of the game.
  53. 75
    This is one of the most fun games I've played all year and for me it's definitely better than "Mario Kart 64," especially in the overall track design department, so if you loved that then you need this.
  54. Recaptures the simple magic that made the original a hit, but doesn't make much of an effort beyond that. The inclusion of two-seater karts is a nice touch and the multiplayer game continues to shine, but the single-player lacks substance and the track design is generally pretty bland.
  55. Cheat Code Central
    Like almost every other home made first party release for the GameCube with a few exceptions, MKDD feels like the same old thing with updated graphics and a few new innovations that unfortunately come up short.
  56. And once you learn to handle swapping positions at the tap of a button, you'll realize that beneath the cuddly, kiddie veneer lurks a fiercely competitive game that's all about spanking the baby powder off your opponents.
  57. Edge Magazine
    Mario Kart isn't a racing game any more. It is a party game, and anyone buying it for anything more than frantic, foolish, social fun will grow tired of being cheated very quickly indeed. [Christmas 2003, p.98]

Awards & Rankings

#2 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2003
#6 Most Shared GameCube Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 491 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 491
  1. Nov 16, 2011
    Solo mode is fun, but playing with others makes this game more fun! I like the whole idea of special items and 2 people of a kart! The tracksSolo mode is fun, but playing with others makes this game more fun! I like the whole idea of special items and 2 people of a kart! The tracks are amazing and there are so many things to unlock, constantly keeping you on your feet. I love how the character rooster was huge and the addition of some new characters such as toad and toadette. A must have for gamecube owners! Full Review »
  2. Nov 7, 2011
    It is one of the best Mario Kart games and the ability to have 2 players in each vehicle makes it even better. It really makes the game moreIt is one of the best Mario Kart games and the ability to have 2 players in each vehicle makes it even better. It really makes the game more customizable and unique compared to other racing games. Full Review »
  3. Nov 14, 2015
    Second best MK Game up-to-date! The graphics are great and a little beyond standards for the Nintendo GameCube. The Character Selection isSecond best MK Game up-to-date! The graphics are great and a little beyond standards for the Nintendo GameCube. The Character Selection is good except I like Mario Kart Wii's a bit better. The 2 character-in-1 Cart is awesome. The kart design is great especially the Yoshi one. The tracks are what I love the most about the game. The music/soundtrack is amazing. Mario Kart Double Dash is one of the games I got back to recently and you should DEFINITELY pick it up if you find one for a great deal. And if you hate MKDD, you're BEYOND silly as JB. Full Review »