Mario Kart 7

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Mario Kart 7 Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
A few innovations, but mostly the same (really fun) racer.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 32 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The main message behind the game is "do anything to win." You regularly need to zap your opponents from behind in order to take the lead. It's definitely an aggressive driving game (albeit a very cartoony one).

Positive Role Models & Representations

There's nothing inherently wrong with these characters, but there's not much that stands out as particularly positive traits either. They're all just drivers in a race, each hoping to win. How courteous or aggressive they are during a race depends entirely on the player.

Ease of Play

Play control is pretty smooth and easy, but the AI opponents can be super tough to beat, especially on higher levels.

Violence & Scariness

You can use a number of fantasy weapons against your opponents, like flying turtle shells, slippery banana peels, shrink rays, and the like. Getting hit by one of these weapons generally sends a kart flipping through the air. No one stays down, though, since the karts just start up again after a pause.


This game is part of Nintendo's popular and long-running Mario Kart series of games, and features a large cast of beloved characters kids will recognize from various games outside the franchise. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mario Kart 7 is the latest installment in Nintendo's long-running racing series. The action is all very cartoony, but be aware that magical weapons (along the likes of turtle shells, banana peels, and ink blots) can be used against opponents. No one ever appears to get hurt in the game. There is online play, and the game will set you up with random opponents if you want, but those people should never see more than a screen name and there is no online chat. Also remember that Nintendo suggests children under the age of 7 do not play the game in 3D, as the effects can damage developing vision.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHolly R. July 15, 2019

It's bundled for free on certain 3DS and 2DS's for a reason...

It's a nice game but there's nothing much to it. It was a free download on a pre-owned New 2DS XL that I recently purchased and I got it through... Continue reading
Adult Written byquincy12 April 4, 2019

Younger gamers may not want to race online until they are more mature

Although Mario Kart 7 is generally okay for children, the online features are different from Single Player mode. When racing against other people online, don... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMarioKartWii December 23, 2020


This game is PHENOMONAL! I've always been a huge fan of the Mario Kart series. Even though I have the nostalgia factor for Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, DS, a... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bylitil dog September 9, 2018

what the heck

2+ not 6+ what the heck

What's it about?

MARIO KART 7, like all the Mario Kart games before it, pits the famous plumber brothers against their video game friends and enemies in a series of races through a cartoony fantasy world. There are new elements here, such as gliders to help you fly farther after a jump and the ability to drive underwater (and 3D graphics, of course). And a number of new courses as well. But this is very much the same Mario Kart experience players have come to expect.

Is it any good?

Mario Kart 7 is just as fun, fast-paced, creative, and generally enjoyable as all of its predecessors. But should it have been better? After a series has been around for this long, it could probably benefit from a real shake-up. That's not what you get here. Make no mistake, this is a very good game. The gliding and underwater driving are great additions. And it's nice that the Nintendo server will set you up with opponents who are around the same skill level as you. But if you've played previous Mario Kart games, you've already got the basic drift.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about competitive gaming. How can you play to win against friends and family members (or even strangers) and still show good sportsmanship? Can you still be sportsmanlike in a game that allows you to use sneaky weapons to get ahead?

  • They can also talk about how to set screen time limits. Why is it important to not spend too much time playing video games.

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: December 4, 2011
  • Genre: Racing
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief
  • Last updated: December 2, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Mario and racing

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate