Mario Kart 8
Top Critic Average
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.
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.
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.
Intuitive controls, beautiful circuits, and a perfectly realigned power-up system – Mario Kart 8 has set out to top the 1992 original
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.
There is no reason to wait any longer. Get a Wii U and buy Mario Kart 8.
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.
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.
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.
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.