Another strong and innovative addition to the Mario Kart series.

User Rating: 9.5 | Mario Kart 7 3DS
Mario Kart 7 is another great addition to the Mario Kart series. It keeps the great gameplay from previous titles in the series while introducing some new elements such as gliding. It has also expanded on online multiplayer from the previous handheld title, Mario Kart DS.

Gameplay: The game is easy to learn for newcomers while introducing new techniques for more advanced players. The gameplay remains the same for the most part as previous installments. The controls are easy to learn, but effective. A new control system using the 3DS motion sensor is also available, but most people will stick with the classic controls. While the single player VS mode from Mario Kart DS is no longer there, the upgrade of online multiplayer more than makes up for it. No longer do you have to face off against CPU opponents, you can battle online opponents real time. More detail on Online play will come later.

Graphics and Sound: The graphics are sharp and detailed and continue to impress. You may find yourself not using 3D most of the time, but it's a fairly useful addition. The sound is realistic and the new soundtracks are very good.

Replayability: Mario Kart 7 is designed to be replayable and this game is no exception. Even when you finish GP mode, you can collect more coins to unlock kart customisation options; try and score the best times in Time Trials mode; and battle against your friends or other online players.

Online: Online play is the biggest strength of this game, especially with the recent patch that fixed easy shortcuts. You have a choice of playing against friends; in various communities or against random players in the world. Random Battle is a reasonably good challenge, but it's not for everyone. Communities allow you to play with some degree of customisation, such as limiting items. It would have been good to allow customisation of each item individually though, but that's not a big deal. You can also get Time Trial data online, which is a nice bonus.

Overall: If you're a fan of the Mario Kart series, you'll definitely enjoy this game. Even for people new to the series, this game provides a good experience, and will provide a challenge for veterans of the series. The evolution of Online mode provides a great boost to the game. This is a game that you'll probably come back to play, even when you finish the GP mode.

Gameplay: 9/10 - The only real criticism was Battle Mode, which could be expanded, but it isn't much of a loss.
Graphics/Sound: 9/10
Replayability: 10/10
Online: 9.5/10
Overall: 9.5/10