7. Pinchcliffe Grand Prix (Switch eShop)

Pinchcliffe Grand Prix (Switch eShop)Pinchcliffe Grand Prix (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Zordix / Developer: Ravn Studio
Release Date: 3rd Jan 2022 (UK/EU)

Pinchcliffe Grand Prix is a charming little part-racing game, part-point-and-click adventure with a lovely art style. It's pretty light on content, though, and given its price it's only really essential to fans of the original 1975 movie. Should that price ever drop in the future, though, it's definitely worth a try if you want to play something that's more calm and heart-warming than your typical racer.

6. Beach Buggy Racing 2: Island Adventure (Switch eShop)

Beach Buggy Racing 2: Island Adventure (Switch eShop)Beach Buggy Racing 2: Island Adventure (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Vector Unit / Developer: Vector Unit
Release Date: 17th Mar 2021 (USA) / 17th Mar 2021 (UK/EU)

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.

5. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Switch)

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Switch)Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Velan Studios
Release Date: 16th Oct 2020 (USA) / 16th Oct 2020 (UK/EU)

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.

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4. Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix (Switch)

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix (Switch)Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix (Switch)
Publisher: Game Mill / Developer: Bamtang Games
Release Date: 6th Oct 2020 (USA) / 6th Oct 2020 (UK/EU)

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.

3. Team Sonic Racing (Switch)

Team Sonic Racing (Switch)Team Sonic Racing (Switch)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: Sumo Digital
Release Date: 21st May 2019 (USA) / 21st May 2019 (UK/EU)

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.

2. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (Switch)

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (Switch)Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (Switch)
Publisher: Activision / Developer: Beenox
Release Date: 21st Jun 2019 (USA) / 21st Jun 2019 (UK/EU)

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.

1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 28th Apr 2017 (USA) / 28th Apr 2017 (UK/EU)

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, 2020, and 2021. 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.