Mario Kart 8 Review

In case you're the type of person who sees a wall of text and gets 'the fear', heed this, and heed this well: Mario Kart 8 is exactly what you want.

While many other franchises over-expose themselves with constant releases, Nintendo's most successful Mario spin-off has stayed relevant by dedicating itself to one outing per console and, more importantly, having a core idea that refuses to age.

With that in mind, 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.

It achieves this by ensuring any new additions don't cast an unwelcome shadow over what makes the franchise so good to begin with. Anti-grav may allow Nintendo the freedom to construct a track that goes upside down, but you'll never be completely aware that's actually happened; the camera stays behind your chosen racer wherever you may go. Although that may prompt cries of 'gimmick' from a few, it adds a nice sheen to an already brilliant concept.

This sense of progression without unwise evolution can be said for the new items, too. All exist as extras to toy around with, but relying on banana skins and red/green shells remains as important as any other tactic you could devise. The biggest change in this regard comes in the form of the soundhorn, namely as it can stop the dreaded blue shell (a well overdue inclusion), but even that doesn't influence proceedings to a huge degree. Like much of Mario Kart, it all depends on the cards you're dealt.

Throw in Mario Kart TV – allowing you to access other player's replays and upload your own to YouTube – and the returning online functionality (which is passable, if not a little outdated), and there's simply no reason not to own Mario Kart 8 if you own a Wii U.

Played for 8 hours

9 / 10

  • Still the best kart racer around.
  • Local multiplayer is untouchable.
  • Majority of new tracks are great.
  • Some poor retro track choices.

Click above for enlarged Mario Kart 8 Screenshots


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User Comments

wesleynintendo's Avatar


my feelings: this game is beautiful, the soundtrack is beautiful, but some of the tracks were made over complicated, and i wasn't crazy about some of the character choices. over all, though, a great game. best in the series.
Posted 01:38 on 24 November 2014

LORD7289@ MariosLoveChild

MariosLoveChild...Has Mario stopped paying your mother maintenance or something? Try as I might; I struggle to find any other possible explanation for your outlandish claims that Sonic took the kart racing crown.
Posted 21:12 on 16 May 2014
MariosLoveChild's Avatar


Still, the best kart racer around?

Meh, sonic racing transformed took the crown, and it's visuals probably give this a run for it's money too.
Posted 08:41 on 16 May 2014
sdavina's Avatar


I heard (as confirmed by nintendo direct) that the super horn can indeed stop everything including blue shells.
Posted 15:14 on 15 May 2014


also VGVS?
Posted 13:40 on 15 May 2014


Is there actually no spectacle to the anti-grav bits? Like in F-zero there was, you could see ships going across different parts of the track above you and stuff like that.
Posted 13:39 on 15 May 2014
smackybumbum's Avatar


9!!???!!, Miller you prick, I've seen a video of it and it's definitely a 10.
Only messing, great review.
Only 2 weeks to wait.
Posted 13:25 on 15 May 2014
Dwarph's Avatar


great review, looking forward to the inevitable vgvs of this
Is the new rainbow road any good?
Posted 09:44 on 15 May 2014

Game Stats

Mario Kart 8
Out of 10
Mario Kart 8
  • Still the best kart racer around.
  • Local multiplayer is untouchable.
  • Majority of new tracks are great.
  • Some poor retro track choices.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 30/05/2014
Platform: Wii U
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 276 7
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