It’s pretty much on its way out now, but the Nintendo 3DS (and its 2DS iterations) had quite a run. The two-screen handheld was home to a number of great first and third-party games, which only got better over time. It’s pretty clear, however, that one of the games that easily stands out in any 3DS library is Mario Kart 7.
This title was first released back in 2011 – over a decade ago! – and has since been, ahem, lapped by the likes of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch. However, that said, we can still say that Mario Kart 7 is an amazingly fun title. It’s got the gameplay that lasts, and, surprise, online still works! The thing that really stands out, though? While the tracks are pretty nice, there’s nothing like how the game feels on the 3DS.
Gameplay That Truly Matters
We’re still impressed by the way the controls are set up on the 3DS with Mario Kart 7. For example, you actually use the A button for acceleration, while utilizing the right shoulder button for drifting and jumping (for that extra speed burst off-ramps). The left shoulder button, however, lets you time your item attacks, be it from a turtle shell, a fire flower, or whatever else you get your hands on.
There’s just something awesome about the way this control scheme feels. It feels like second nature, with all buttons perfectly in place. Not to mention the way you can keep track of the opposition on the bottom screen while racing on the top. That’s a strategy that even Mario Kart 8 Deluxe isn’t able to effectively duplicate.
Plus, on top of that, with the different classes and types of races available, there’s a ton to do here. That’s not even counting the fact you can still enjoy this game online, albeit for a limited time – depending on when Nintendo opts to shut the servers off. No matter. This game is built on reliability and speed, and, after a decade, we’re happy to report it still has both. Yes, even in the face of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
The Presentation To Match
Not to mention that Mario Kart 7’s presentation holds up. Sure, the visuals aren’t as high-end as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch, or even Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U. They still look great, though, with a smooth frame rate, and awesome track design, and neat little weapon effects. Not to mention the frame rate is quite smooth, even with all the hectic racing going on.
That, and the music is still awesome. Pop on a pair of headphones and you’re likely to enjoy the array of tunes offered here, including some nostalgic favorites from earlier tracks. The character voices are a good time as well, with laughs, fearful noises (when you lose a place), and more from your favorites. We always choose Luigi but don’t tell Mario that.
Get Back On the Track With Mario Kart 7
Sure, the game’s a decade old, and it’s just a matter of time before Nintendo pulls the plug on online multiplayer. That’ll rely on you to try to connect to players locally. That said, though, Mario Kart 7 is a sheer delight that’s held up well over the past decade.
As we noted above, the gameplay is just right on the handheld. Not to mention the solid presentation, a wide array of Cups and tracks available, and the sheer thrill of beating others to the finish line. Don’t be surprised if Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has this kind of durability over a long period of time too. There’s just something about the series that holds up in general. If you’re getting a 3DS, though, make sure you get a copy of Mario Kart 7along with it. You won’t be sorry.
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