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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Series) Review

Posted: 20 months ago, last updated 5 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Mario Kart is a go-kart racing game on Nintendo systems. You race against other Nintendo characters around different circuits, picking up power ups, attacks and speed boosts. It is frantic and chaotic, but still requires skills to do well at.

Mario Kart tries to balance things between different ability players. At the back you go a little faster and get better power ups. This results in good races for a range of players. Even so, experience players can stay ahead by slipstreaming other karts, skidding around corners to get a boost and learning shortcuts.
  • Super Mario Kart (1992) on SNES with two players.
  • Mario Kart 64 (1996) on N64 with four players split screen.
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001) GBA
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash (2003) Gamecube with two players on one kart
  • Mario Kart DS (2005) DS with online multiplayer
  • Mario Kart Wii (2008) Wii with motion controls
  • Mario Kart 7 3DS (2011) with 3D visuals and flight
  • Mario Kart 8 (2014) Wii U with anti-grav racing and flight
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017) Switch
  • Mario Kart Tour (2019) iOS

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 3-10 year-olds

Release Date: 27/08/1992, updated in 2018

Price: 26% off

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and iOS

Genres: Action and Racing

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)


Duration: It takes between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round of this game.
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 16 players online. On most Mario Kart games you can play 4 player split screen on one system. On Mario Kart 8 you can play online with up to 16 other people.

You can race again ghost laps of other players. These appear on the course when you race and represent the route the best recorded lap took. From Mario Kart 64, you can race the best times of the developers via the Staff Ghosts.

You have to unlock this in Mario Kart 64, with a fast lap time. Mario Kart DS offers one unlockable Staff Ghost per track. Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 offer two Staff Ghosts per track. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, there are two Staff Ghosts, one for 150cc, and one for 200cc.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe usually costs £49.99. 

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. This includes a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game. Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U offered in-game purchases, packs and a season pass for additional characters, tracks and vehicles. These are all included in the Switch version of the game Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. This game on Wii U and Switch supports Nintendo's amiibo, figurines and cards that can be purchased separately to unlock in-game items.

Mario Kart Tour on iOS enables you to start for free if you link your Nintendo account, it then offers in-game purchases to advance and upgrade in the game.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

This game was rated PEGI 3.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Skill Rating

3-10 year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. One family told us, "My niece (5-years-old) loved playing Mario Kart 8 with her dad using the acceleration and steering assists." This keeps you on track and makes the other karts easier to steer.


While all the games offer some difficulty settings and control options, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch offers the widest range. The game supports accessibility (as outlined by Special Effect's video).

You can opt for steering via D-Pad, Left Stick or Tilt. Smart steering assistance ensures you don't end up stuck banging into the barrier, and can even remove the need to manually steer altogether. Tilt to steer enables you to just tilt the controller to race. The game can be played with one stick, for steering, and one button, for triggering items. These options combine to enable this to be playable by quite young gamers and gamers with motor disabilities. You can take this further by setting the game up to be played with one button to trigger collected items.
Our Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Accessibility Report documents 27 accessibility features:

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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