All-Star Fruit Racing takes a unique karting weapon system, throws it into a blender with some cute presentation ideas and an unfortunate series of technical annoyances, and ends up with a pretty mixed bag as a result. This is a competent racer, and there’s just about enough content to make you want to keep playing, but it never realises the potential that it could have had and doesn’t really stand up to the heights that other titles can offer. It’s just a little on the weak side to justify its asking price, so bear that in mind before jumping into a fruity purchase.
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Combining crazy physics and an even crazier story scenario, Coffin Dodgers has managed to do just enough to stand out from the crowd, offering a decent little kart-racer that should generate a laugh or two. A slight lack of content and a less-than-perfect overall quality prevent it from being something worth shouting about, however, so you might want to consider your options before jumping in with an immediate purchase.
Gensou Skydrift is one of the few karting games on Switch to come even slightly close to Mario Kart in terms of its racing mechanics, and when it all comes together it's a fun time. Unfortunately, the lack of meaningful single-player content and the fact that the online is dead on arrival means this should be strictly considered a local multiplayer game if you want to get your money's worth.
Beach Buggy Racing is a decent kart-racer; the driving is fun, the items are bonkers, and you’ll likely be playing it for some time. Perhaps enjoyed best in small bursts, and without the expectation of it being a mega-serious racer, the game does offer some easy-to-play fun for both solo players and groups of family or friends. It can’t steal Mario Kart’s pole position and it suffers from a couple of little niggles but for a fraction of the price it does offer an acceptable alternative.
Beach Buggy Racing 2 builds on the already decent first game to provide a genuinely entertaining karting title. It may come just short of competing with the Marios, Sonics and Crash Bandicoots of this world, but it's nevertheless a solid racer that runs smoothly, provides satisfying controls and has an enormous amount of things to do before you can consider it 100% complete. If you're looking for another karting game, you should really give this one some consideration, despite the lack of recognisable branding.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a startlingly authentic "mixed reality" recreation of Nintendo's most popular racing series which encourages you to be inventive with your course designs and does an excellent job of combining your real-world surroundings with the fantasy environments of the Mushroom Kingdom; add in a second player (or three, or four) and it becomes even more compelling. The tech side of things is undeniably impressive and it's impossible to not raise a smile the first time you play; the question is how long that magic will last, especially if your home limits your track designs and you've only got the budget to cover the cost of a single car. It's a wonderful, if impractical, karting novelty.
After the disaster that was the first game, Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix is a remarkable turnaround. With far more Nickelodeon series represented, improved track designs and a power-up customisation feature that lets you enhance your personal racing style, Nickelodeon Kart Racer has gone from one of the most disappointing racing series on the Switch to probably the best one that doesn't feature plumbers or hedgehogs.
Taken on its own merits, Team Sonic Racing is a fun karting game that doesn’t quite match Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in terms of either performance or sheer level of content, but still offers satisfying handling and should still keep Sonic fans entertained for a while. It’s impossible not to compare it to its predecessor, though, and in all the areas where Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed excelled, Team Sonic Racing is merely competent. By no means a bad game, then, but when we look back years from now it won’t be standing on any karting game podiums.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a visually phenomenal upgrade on a PlayStation karting classic, and one that faithfully recreates both its positives (its unique drift boosting system) and its potential irritants (30fps, tricky AI). It does bring a whole new set of issues – mainly lengthy loading times and the fact that playing offline stops you making any progress towards unlocking anything – but while these prevent the game from becoming an absolute must-have, they don’t sour the experience enough to stop us wholeheartedly recommending it regardless.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe delivers a huge amount of racing goodness right out of the box, and it's a polished version of a Wii U entry that was only a proper Battle Mode away from being top of class. Now that issue has been addressed, what we have is arguably the best Mario Kart release ever seen. It's the definitive Mario Kart 8 experience, content-rich and a delightful feast of comedic, cartoonish karting action. It's a game that continually raises a smile and, occasionally, induces that trademark Mario Kart rage as shells strike and positions are lost. It's addictive and unifying, unfiltered fun that draws in anyone daring enough to take up the wheel.
What do you mean you knew Mario Kart would be at number 1? Well, aren't you a smart cookie. Yes, the winner was never in doubt, but as you can see there are some great alternatives if you ever get bored of the same dude winning the race over and over again. Let us know how this grid of competitors stacks up for you with a comment below.
This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games, the Best Free Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Visual Novels, Fighting Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Run and Gun Games, Sports Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-builders, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch, and the Best Switch Collections And Compilations.
If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, as well as Every Nintendo Switch Online NES Game and Every Nintendo Switch Online SNES Game.