Percentile Rank

Mario Kart 8 is ranked in the 98th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 72 critic reviews
Mighty Man

OpenCritic Rating

88

Top Critic Average

90%

Critics Recommend

Based on 72 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

Kotaku
Yes
Kotaku

Top Critic

Yes
May 30, 2014

Much more than a dolled-up version of its predecessors, Mario Kart 8's new features and refinements make a stale series fun again.

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Nintendojo
A-
A-
Jun 2, 2014

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.

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GameXplain
Liked-a-lot
Liked-a-lot
May 15, 2014
Mario Kart 8 - Video Review (Wii U) video thumbnail
The A.V. Club
Unscored
Unscored
May 30, 2014

Mario Kart 8 may look different from its pixelated forebears of the '80s and '90s, but it's infused with the same magical spirit and exacting craftsmanship. It's the kind of game that's bound to inspire nostalgia someday.

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Ars Technica
Unscored
Unscored
May 15, 2014

All in all, these missing features and changes for the worse are disappointing blemishes on what is still an incredibly enjoyable game. Mario Kart 8 isn't the best game in the series, but it adds enough new visual, gameplay, and track design flourishes to its well-trodden core kart-racing gameplay to be worth a look.

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Gamestyle
Unscored
Unscored
Jun 4, 2014

Much like Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8 shows that nobody makes games quite like Nintendo. A master class in design that shows how tragic it is that the Wii U finds itself in such dire straits. 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.

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VGChartz
Unscored
Unscored
Jun 24, 2014

Mario Kart 8 stands tall among the kart racing genre once again and is a must-buy game for Wii U owners.

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Scored Reviews

High-Def Digest
Jun 3, 2014

Considering that the majority of this review is spent going over the many marginal changes that accumulate to a massively entertaining whole, the bottom line is that 'Mario Kart 8' is 'Mario Kart,' just better, so the worst thing about 'Mario Kart 8' is it doesn't strive to reinvent much of anything. But then that's how the series has been ever since odd dog 'Double Dash' did its own thing.

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Eurogamer
10 / 10
10 / 10
May 14, 2014

Video game players are familiar with the law of diminishing returns. Even as new entries in a series tirelessly improve upon their predecessors, our interest nevertheless wanes; with games, improved is somehow less exciting than new. Mario Kart 8 is a rare thing, then: the best entry in a series and the most exciting yet.

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Guardian
May 15, 2014

Intuitive controls, beautiful circuits, and a perfectly realigned power-up system – Mario Kart 8 has set out to top the 1992 original

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Twinfinite
5 / 5.0
5 / 5.0
May 22, 2014

All in all, Mario Kart 8 gives seasoned players the game that they deserved when its Wii sibling hit the shelves, but also doesn't rely so heavily on past experience, keeping it open for new players. The 50cc class is a nice spot for beginners, and can be used to unlock any of the game's eight Grand Prix Cups for play in the tougher 100 or 150cc classes.

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Examiner
May 15, 2014

There is no reason to wait any longer. Get a Wii U and buy Mario Kart 8.

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Impulsegamer
5 / 5.0
5 / 5.0
Jun 11, 2014

I have to admit that this is arguably the best game on Wii U. Mario Kart 8 brings all the frustrating fun and friendly chaos that has been expected from the series, but this iteration is much more refined and well-toned. The controls feel really great, no matter what configuration you use. If there is any reason to buy a Wii U, let Mario Kart 8 be it.

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The Skinny
May 29, 2014

With the Wii U struggling sales-wise, and in danger of becoming a footnote of this current generation, a new Mario Kart is exactly the game Nintendo needed, and the fact it's perhaps the best iteration since the original doesn't hurt either.

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Forbes
10 / 10.0
10 / 10.0
May 16, 2014

The deeper handling, pop-out arcade style graphics on a scale unseen before in the series, the social network friendly Mario Kart TV and Miiverse features and of course the heavyweight Mario moniker itself are Nintendo's best chance to date of turning round the Wii U's fortunes. Quietly underpinning all this is the best Mario Kart experience I've has since it's revelatory introduction some 22 year ago.

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Game Revolution
May 14, 2014

I've played enough Mario Kart in my life to know that this is the best version of the venerable kart-racer since the Nintendo 64 era.

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Gaming Nexus
9.8 / 10.0
9.8 / 10.0
May 15, 2014

Mario Kart 8 is the new showcase title for the WiiU. If the fantastic visuals were never a hard sell for you, know that the gameplay really makes this game a must own for any WiiU owner.

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DualShockers
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
May 30, 2014

While I do wish certain mechanics such as two-racer teams and character exclusive specials would have made the list, and many gamers might be disappointed with the partial voice chat, 8 is still an excellent entry that should not be missed.

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Game Informer
9.3 / 10.0
9.3 / 10.0
May 15, 2014

Mario Kart remains pure fun, and it's never been better

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New Game Network
93 / 100
93 / 100
Jun 4, 2014

The best game on Wii U, and the reason you'll keep coming back to it. Grab some friends and Mario Kart 8 simply won't disappoint.

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Cheat Code Central
4.6 / 5.0
4.6 / 5.0
May 15, 2014

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. There is not a single blemish in the track design and detailing, and handling the vehicles is tight and responsive, whether using the analog stick or tilt controls. Mario Kart 8 is perfect in most respects, but a few features are still bound by Nintendo's restrictive hand.

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IGN
9 / 10.0
IGN

Top Critic

9 / 10.0
May 15, 2014

Mario Kart 8 is a fun kart racer that uses gravity-defying tracks and better item balance to build a better game.

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Metro GameCentral
9 / 10
9 / 10
May 14, 2014

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.

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Polygon
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
May 14, 2014

Mario Kart 8 doesn't mess with the formula much, but it left me smiling

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USgamer
May 15, 2014

Nintendo needed another great game to make the Wii U look as enticing as possible and Mario Kart 8 fits the bill. The anti-gravity gameplay slots in alongside classic kart racing, hang-gliding, and underwater action. All the tracks look amazing and Nintendo has a lot of fun making each track twist, turn, and soar into the sky. Robust online multiplayer, downloadable player ghosts, and Mario Kart TV add a bit of extra muscle. Mario Kart 8 is not the best in the series, but it does stand near the top.

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Destructoid
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
May 30, 2014

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.

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God is a Geek
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
May 15, 2014

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.

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VideoGamer
9 / 10
9 / 10
May 14, 2014

It may just be more Mario Kart, but that continues to be no bad thing.

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Game Rant
May 20, 2014

Nintendo has put a lot of effort into making Mario Kart 8 the best it can be, and it almost got there with the end result being a gorgeous kart racer that innovates while staying true to its beloved formula. If there wasn't previously a reason to own a Wii U then there is now, and gamers will be hard-struck to find a more complete Wii U experience than what's offered here.

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Telegraph
May 14, 2014

You'd be hard pressed to argue against the potency and sheer joy of Mario Kart 8's racing and track design. Likely to be more contentious is its resolutely, almost stubbornly, simple structure in both single and multiplayer.

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The Escapist
May 14, 2014

The core is the same as ever, but this is kart racing at its finest.

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ZTGD
9 / 10.0
Ken McKown

Top Critic

9 / 10.0
May 27, 2014

Mario Kart 8 is certainly more Mario Kart, but that isn't a bad thing. Any series that can last over two decades and still generate this much love from gamers has to be doing something right. While the latest entry doesn't set the world on fire with its innovation, it makes up for it by delivering some of the best tracks in the history of the franchise, and rock-solid visuals.

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TechnoBuffalo
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
May 15, 2014

Nintendo's created a heck of a Mario Kart game that's great for fans and newcomers alike. It's what this series should be.

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GameCrate
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
May 22, 2014

Mario Kart 8 feels like a re-definition for the series, without straying from its roots. The gameplay is fantastic, the visual presentation is stunning, and the social features will keep players coming back for more. The Wii U has a killer addition to its line-up that could easily drive sales of the console. Now that's something worthy of a victory lap.

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Reno Gazette-Journal
4.5 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
May 15, 2014

If you're a fan of Mario Kart, getting this game is a no-brainer. And if you're someone who took a break from the series, I still recommend trying Mario Kart 8 out. It just might rekindle your love for Mario-style racing.

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Nintendo Life
9 / 10
9 / 10
May 14, 2014

In years to come the debates over the best Mario Kart games in the series will, inevitably, feature this as a contender.

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Arcade Sushi
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jun 2, 2014

Even the most hardened kart-racing veterans would be hard-pressed not to consider Mario Kart 8 as one of the best, if not the best, entry in this phenomenal series. Mario Kart has long been known for bringing players of all size and skill together. This newest iteration, with its tightly balanced gameplay, giant content offering and lush visuals and audio, will have you and yours screaming, cursing and cheering through countless hours of play.

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We Got This Covered
May 17, 2014

Mario Kart 8 is a nearly flawless kart racer, which is only marred by its developer's confusing decision to alter its traditional Battle Mode.

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FNintendo
9 / 10
9 / 10
May 14, 2014

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.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

Nintendo Enthusiast
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
May 25, 2014

To say that Mario Kart is popular is an understatement. Few series have ever matched its twenty-year legacy of sheer popularity and critical acclaim, so needless to say, Mario Kart 8 has a lot to live up to. Expectations have perhaps never been higher, as this is the first entry on a high-definition, online-competent console, but the game pretty much fulfills all of them. It is classic Mario Kart and that means it\'s great — the game even throws in several cool improvements and additions to the franchise. But it is not quite perfect, and by no means is it a revolution.

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GameZone
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jun 2, 2014

It's not surprising that Mario Kart 8 is phenomenal. And while it's still not nearly as experimental as Double Dash, the new anti-gravity segments add enough skill-based gameplay to make even seasoned veterans rethink their kart racing strategies. In the realm of mascot kart racing games, there is no doubt that Mario Kart is still king.

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NZGamer
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jul 9, 2014

On the other hand, Mario Kart 8 is easy to pick-up, easy to enjoy, and no matter how good you are, there will be moments that make you smile. You don't have to spend hours perfecting your driving style, and memorising complex tracks; it's almost a 'Sonic Transformed lite'.

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CGMagazine
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
May 20, 2014

"Mario Kart might be a franchise that's old enough to drink now, but this latest chapter doesn't feel crusty in the slightest.."

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Hardcore Gamer
4.5 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
Jun 4, 2014

A combination of fun, fairness, beauty and joy, Mario Kart 8 is absolutely brilliant. A botched battle mode and some missing online features stop it short of perfection, but it's hard to imagine any Mario Kart game looking, playing, or sounding better.

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The Digital Fix
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jun 15, 2014

Ultimately Nintendo have again produced the goods and delivered another system seller. Many companies long for one true example of this in a console's lifetime; Nintendo now has two within a year of each other. The driving is exquisite, the track design is wonderful and the overall presentation is marvellous. We have here perhaps the finest Mario Kart to date, aside from battle mode, and an entry into the series which whilst being so special, only serves to highlight the series' flaw more prominently. Good job then that that flaw was never seen as one anyway as that's not what Mario Kart is about. This is what Mario Kart is about - wonderful, prolonged fun.

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Dealspwn
Jun 9, 2014

Mario Kart 8 is a great example of how to keep a 20-odd year old franchise relevant. It isn't shy to give you what you've already had before with it's predictable racing fun. But conversely it also offers up so much more with this latest installment thanks to brilliant track design, item tweaking, customisation and a strong online offering to keep you coming back for more for months to come.

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Cubed3
9 / 10
9 / 10
May 14, 2014

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 in the series so far.

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DASHGAMER.com
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
May 15, 2014

If there’s one thing to say about this title, it’s that Mario Kart 8 is the savior that the Wii U desperately needed. We’ve seen many key franchises release titles over the past year, but nothing comes close the amazing detail that Mario Kart 8 gives. From the characters, to the track, the full Nintendo experience is here, and it is glorious. Well done, Nintendo.

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COGconnected
89 / 100
89 / 100
May 22, 2014

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.  But don't get me wrong, there is also a bump or two that along the road to greatness as well.  At the end of the day if you have a Wii U you'd be crazy not to pick up this game.  If you're still don't own a Wii U Mario Kart 8 is yet another title to make you realize that Nintendo's "next-gen" machine is capable of great games that the whole family can enjoy.

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The Game Fanatics
8.8 / 10.0
8.8 / 10.0
Jun 8, 2014

Naturally every Wii U owner should pick this up but old fans should also consider it because it truly is the Mario Kart that you remember.

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Digital Chumps
8.8 / 10.0
8.8 / 10.0
May 14, 2014

Mario Kart 8 won't change your mind if you're against the series' basic conceptual design, of course, but for everyone on the fence who just wants a fun, skill-weighted, multiplayer-centric party racer, this is truly as good as it gets. The balance of luck and skill is very well done overall, and the selection of available features, items, and gameplay elements is the best the series has had to offer yet—not to mention the excellent track design. It's safe to say that this is the best Mario Kart since the SNES days, and that's a pretty heavy statement.

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GameTrailers
8.6 / 10.0
8.6 / 10.0
May 14, 2014

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.

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GamesBeat
85 / 100
85 / 100
May 14, 2014

Mario Kart is typically the best racer for most people. That's no different with Mario Kart 8.

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GamingBolt
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jun 16, 2014

Mario Kart 8 represents the best game currently available on the three next gen consoles, and is the best reason to get a Wii U if there ever was one.

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GamesRadar+
May 28, 2014

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.

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GameSpot
8 / 10
8 / 10
May 14, 2014

Mario Kart 8 shifts its focus from chaotic weapons to precise driving, and that makes this one of the most rewarding entries in the series.

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Giant Bomb
May 14, 2014

Excellent new courses and spectacular visuals go a long way toward negating the sense of over-familiarity that comes part and parcel with all things Mario Kart.

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Shacknews
8 / 10
8 / 10
May 15, 2014

Mario Kart 8 shows a playful spirit, refinement, and attention to detail that has been missing in the last few entries.

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Post Arcade (National Post)
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
May 29, 2014

The core racing, driving and course design in Mario Kart 8 is better than any of the seven games that came before it. But battle mode stinks

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GamingTrend
80 / 100
80 / 100
May 15, 2014

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.

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Digital Spy
May 14, 2014

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.

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Digital Trends
Aug 1, 2014

Mario Kart 8 is a sterling example of Nintendo at their best as craftsmen, a game whose attention to detail and joy is mostly unsullied by some unfortunate misunderstandings about how people communicate online.

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Critical Hit
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
May 15, 2014

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.

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Slant Magazine
Jun 12, 2014

The game's 30-character roster has its pros (all hail Metal Mario and Pink Gold Peach) and its cons (too many babies, and the Koopalings aren't all that special either), but there's enough dissimilarity in weight classes that there's always a suitable option in any versus situation.

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PCMag
May 15, 2014

Mario Kart 8 for the Nintendo Wii U is the best-looking Mario Kart to date (and the first with HD graphics), thanks to some fantastic new and remixed tracks.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
7.8 / 10.0
7.8 / 10.0
May 15, 2014

Therein lies "Mario Kart 8's" dilemma. The Wii U has the tools to make this a standout game in the series, but instead it's just a pretty look at more of the same. It's still all about racing friends in a chaotic battle for first place. That old form of fun is present, but this latest edition fails to drive the series forward with meaningful change.

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Kill Screen
77 / 100
77 / 100
May 14, 2014

Mario Kart 8 warrants another go.

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EGM
7.5 / 10.0
EGM

Top Critic

7.5 / 10.0
May 16, 2014

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.

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Operation Sports
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Jun 3, 2014

In its transition to high-definition, Mario Kart 8 preserves the series' strengths, but fails to correct any of its long-standing faults.

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NintendoWorldReport
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
May 15, 2014

I like playing Mario Kart 8. I think it's a satisfactory entry in the series, but nothing more. The final package ends up feeling like someone who covers themselves in makeup to hide the fact that they are 10 years older than they are pretending to be.

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Toronto Sun
May 27, 2014

I commend Nintendo for crafting a game that continues to cater to those who still love having friends over to compete, but Mario Kart 8 needs to step out of its comfort zone in other ways. Despite this game's gleaming high-definition sheen, there's little doubt this granddaddy of the karting genre is beginning to show its age.

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Digitally Downloaded
Digitally Downloaded

Top Critic

Jun 2, 2014

Mario Kart 8 is 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.

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