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Mario Kart Wii

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Mario Kart Wii Game Poster Image
Fun family-friendly game that's hard to put down.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 35 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 161 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

Mild cartoon violence, including shooting items at rival racers.


This is part of the Mario brand of video games from Nintendo.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game is perfectly suitable for players of all ages. The ESRB warning of "comic mischief" relates to the combative nature of the arcade race, where players can shoot turtle shells at other go-karts to trip them up or when giant hammers flatten riders on their way to the finish line. The game can be played with up to 12 players online, but Common Sense Media doesn't recommend unsupervised online gaming for anyone under age 12.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydkoenig May 25, 2009

Caused more problems than I care to discuss

Yes, this game is very fun....and just as one youth reviewer said, "addicting". I want to warn parents that this game will cause more battles between... Continue reading
Parent of a 8 and 13 year old Written bysreybarreau February 20, 2009

great game for parents and kids to play together

My son and I really enjoy this game, although he is so good, sometimes it is tough to compete. A wide variety of racecourses (some more treacherous than others)... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old December 7, 2010
i play all the time but how do you get to mirror mode
Kid, 11 years old April 17, 2010

Better than Mario Kart DS

easy to play, fun tracks, a lot more fun than Mario Kart DS. One of my FAV wii games.

What's it about?

Nintendo Wii gamers with the need for speed won't be disappointed with the much-hyped MARIO KART WII, an incredibly fun and accessible cartoon racing game for kids and kids-at-heart. As with past games in the series, players first choose a familiar Nintendo character – such as Baby Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad, or even your own custom-made Mii character – before hopping into a kart car or motorcycle to enter a wild race. The goal of each match is to reach the finish line through speed and cunning use of weapons such as dropping bananas on the track to slip up opponents trailing behind or turning into a rocket for a temporary speed burst.

Mario Kart Wii ships with the small Wii Wheel, which houses the wireless and motion-sensing Wii Remote (sold seperately), so you simply hold this circular controller like a steering wheel to navigate corners while the button can be used to initiate your power-up (such as a weapon). Shake the wheel while you're in the air for a special mid-air move. Players can also choose from three other controller setups, but the wheel is the most intuitive.

Is it any good?

Not only can gamers play against savvy computer-controlled opponents or with up to three others on the same television, but for the first time in the series, you can also log onto the Internet via the free Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and engage in multiplayer games and tournaments for up to 12 players. The end result is a highly enjoyable game for both seasoned fans of the franchise and first-time players. The cartoon arcade action and the fast-paced racing combine to make for a thrilling solo diversion or head-to-head competition that's as easy to pick up as it is hard to put down.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the two new key features –- wireless, motion-sensing control (including the free wheel) and online multiplayer support for 12 gamers -– helps separate this sequel from the past Mario Kart games. Is this enough to move this franchise forward or is it more of the same but with a couple of extra bells and whistles? Also, is it possible for a game to live up to its tremendous hype?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii
  • Price: $49.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: April 27, 2008
  • Genre: Racing
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief

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