Mario Kart 7



A few innovations, but mostly the same (really fun) racer.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

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

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.

Not applicable

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. 

Privacy & safety

Minor Privacy concerns. Multiplayer races (up to 8 people) are a big part of Mario Kart 7. You can play locally against friends who have a 3DS, or you can play online via WiFi. Online matches can be against registered friends or against random opponents. Random players should see no more than your screen name, though. And there's no chatting involved.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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
Available online?Not available online
Release date:December 4, 2011
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old July 2, 2014

best mario kart ever

beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeest Mario kart
What other families should know
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Teen, 14 years old Written byKyle Fournier May 14, 2014

Mario kart 7= 2nd best mario kart game

Mario kart 7 is THE best mario kart game on an handheld. (The only game topping it is Mario kart double dash for the gamecube). It's simple and easy to play. Kids who are 5-7 will mostly play because it's charming but anyone older should try to complete it. (It takes about 8 hours ;) )
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Adult Written byJEDI micah July 13, 2013

Mario Kart lives on!!!

This is a really fun game to one of the most popular racing games ever! Now on this game, you can customize your own kart, with many different wheels, bodies, and gliders! And gliding through the air in some moments is really cool in 3D! Although it does have the same objectives like the other old Mario Kart games, it is still very fun to play! Mario fans, if you got a 3DS, don't skip this game!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Safety and privacy concerns


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