Mario Kart Wii



Fun family-friendly game that's hard to put down.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness

Mild cartoon violence, including shooting items at rival racers.

Not applicable

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

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.

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.

Families can talk 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
Available online?Available online
Release date:April 27, 2008
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief

This review of Mario Kart Wii was written by

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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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Kid, 12 years old March 29, 2010

Mario Kart Wii Game Review

Mario Kart has been about for a while now and its newest release is Mario Kart Wii. This game comes with a specially designed Wii-wheel for a more life-like experience. There are many new things in Mario Kart Wii including motorbikes which come with wheelies for some extra speed, tricks which can be performed when jumping off a ramp and gives a small boost when you land again. There is also one new thing that was made to make the game fairer, instead of going left-right-left-right to get a mini-turbo you automatically get it after a duration of drifting (only on manual), bikes only get blue but karts get blue and red (this was made because of snaking and the Wii-wheel, it’s hard to go left and right with the Wii-wheel). Now onto the review... Gameplay: The gameplay is surely the best part of Mario Kart Wii because of the hard and annoying single player and the fun and addictive multiplayer. The single player is basically Grand Prix, Time Trail and unlocking characters and vehicles. The Grand Prix is made of 50cc (easy), 100cc (still easy), 150cc (hard) and 150cc Mirror (hard and made even more complicated because the track is the opposite). By finishing all of these you would have unlocked a lot of things already. And there are a lot of stuff to unlock. I give Gameplay a... 9.5/10 AWESOME Graphics: The graphics in this game didn’t get as much attention as it should have however it is still very good, there are some magnificent looking courses. The Retro courses look old and boring where as most of the new courses are beautiful (Maple Treeway and Grumble Volcano). When playing single player the graphics are very well done but when you play split-screen the graphics get much worse, especially with three or four people. The Graphics are OK and some courses look fine so I give it a... 8.5/10 Great Sound: The sound in this game sometimes is nice and peaceful but other times it’s just plain annoying. Each course has its own background music and some are pretty dramatic, there are also some nice sound effects (when you fly through the leaves in Maple Treeway there is the sound of whooshing leaves). But there are some bad things, each character has their own noises when they do a particular thing (get hit, bumped, pass someone, fall into a hole and so on...) this gets so annoying especially when you do wheelies and tricks all the time. The sound quality is great but sometimes it gets annoying so I give it... 8/10 Very Good Verdict: Mario Kart Wii is a great game, one of the best on the Wii even with its many faults. I give this game a... 9/10 SUPER! Recommendation: I recommend buying this right away if you haven’t gotten it yet, and if you don’t have a Wii, get one!
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.
Kid, 10 years old December 7, 2010
i play all the time but how do you get to mirror mode


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