Mario Kart 7

mario kart 7 box art luigi bowser
9.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Controls: 9/10

Strong entry in a strong series

Limited only by the size of the 3DS

Game Info

Game Name:   Mario Kart 7

Developer(s):   Nintendo EAD Group No. 1

Publisher(s):   Nintendo

Platform(s):   3DS

Genre(s):   Racing

Release Date(s):   December 1, 2011 (Japan)/December 4, 2011 (US)

ESRB Rating:   E

mario kart 7 gameplay screenshot underwater

Go where no Mario Kart has gone before!

Rev those engines!  It is another round of racing for Mario and his frienemies.  The Mushroom Kingdom presents its biggest and its best for a race for the ages!  Mario and the drivers are striving for #1 and nothing else will suffice.

Mario Kart 7 was released for the Nintendo 3DS on December 1, 2011 in Japan before being released on December 4, 2011 in the United States.  The seventh entry in the Mario Kart series followed the release of Mario Kart Wii in 2008.  A glitch which allowed parts of a few tracks to be skipped was corrected by a patch that must be downloaded to play online.

The original Super Mario Kart was a game I played into the ground on Super NES.  I think I finished the game with all the characters, all the speeds, and all first place finishes…leaving me kind of burnt out.  I returned to Mario Kart with Double Dash and Wii, but always felt that there was something missing from the games which seemed too short and a bit too repetitive.  Mario Kart 7 I will say is one of the best entries in the series.

mario kart 7 rainbow road gameplay screenshot ending

Metal Mario goes to space!

The gameplay gets the right balance in length.  A circuit can be played relatively quickly so you don’t feel like you “wasted your time” if you play a circuit and lose.  The choices of the circuits are fun and there is a lot of variety to the levels which do recycle older (there are sixteen new courses and sixteen old courses).  It is just fun, quick racing with a few different modes of play (but for me the real game is the circuit races).

The controls also feel really smooth.  There is always the “why me” frustration of racing when it feels like you always get the brunt of every attack (and/or ending up getting knocked out of sky during a jump or bumped off the track), but the 3DS really gives you a nice, tight handle on the steering and driving.  A first person mode is also available that makes use of the gyroscope in the 3DS for its steering (similar to the Wii version).

mario kart 7 playable drivers ending

Y’all come back, y’hear?

The karts are pretty customizable.  There are gliders for the karts for long jumps and the karts can go underwater.  Like most Mario Kart games each driver brings a bit different skill with them and different weight class…I always like the heavier characters that take a second to get going but can plow through any enemies.  The full list of playable characters are Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Toad, and Koopa Troopa initially with the Mii, Daisy, Wario, Rosalina, Metal Mario, Shy Guy, Honey Queen, Wiggler, and Lakitu as unlockable characters.

Mario Kart 7 is a solid entry into the Mario Kart series and better than some of the other entries.  I feel it is less gimmicky than some of the other Mario Kart games (like Double Dash with the player sitting on the back), but it also feels unique.  The 3D aspect of the 3DS does actually help this game’s graphics and works well with the racing.  Mario Kart 7 was followed by Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U in 2014 (which was released in a deluxe edition for the Nintendo Switch in 2017).

Related Links:

Super Mario Kart

Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart 8

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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