When it comes to kart racers, there's one undisputed king of the crop on Nintendo systems, and we're not talking Crash Bandicoot. Let's not kid ourselves here — we all know what's sitting at number one on the list below of the best (and worst) kart racers on Nintendo Switch. With a record like Schumacher in his prime, it's a wonder that any other racers bother to turn up to the track at all with a certain moustachioed plumber so far ahead of the pack.
Still, there are a whole bunch of karts and assorted licensed novelty racers on the Switch starting grid, and while the winner might be a foregone conclusion, there's plenty of drama to enjoy in the lower ranks. Therefore, we've assembled this ranked list of the kart racing games on Switch — not all, but most — to help you sort the promising upstarts from the total non-starters.
If you've got racing in your veins, be sure to check out our selection of the best Nintendo Switch racing games (with or without a kart) and find out how many of the kart racers below survive against the more serious racers on Switch.
So, start your engines and prepare yourself for a whole bunch of kart racing games on Nintendo Switch, ranked for your pleasure and presented in descending order...
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25. Lawnmower Game: Racing (Switch eShop)
Let's cut (ahem) to the chase – Lawnmower Game: Racing is one of the worst games on the Switch. Its tracks are ugly and short, its vehicles are laughably unresponsive, its lack of any sort of progression system is an insult and the thing doesn't even have a title screen. Whether it's just a bad joke or a genuinely terrible game, our advice is the same: kick this one into the long grass and forget about it.
24. Garfield Kart Furious Racing (Switch)
Next up we've got a real hairball. We always knew Garfield was something of a rebel, but taking a bad six-year-old game, making it even worse to play, pretending it’s a sequel and charging Switch owners more than double the price to suffer it is some pretty subversive stuff. The original Garfield Kart is extremely cheap on Steam: considering Garfield Kart Furious Racing is a more broken version of the same game, you might as well buy that instead. Even if you don’t have a PC, you’ll have wasted less money.
23. Renzo Racer (Switch eShop)
Renzo Racer could have been worth a look if its handling had been greatly improved, its collision system wasn't a mess and its characters didn't have you terrified for your life. If those three simple things had been fixed, we'd be recommending you fork out the $20 it asks of you. Instead, we recommend you put that money towards fitting a nice strong lock on your bedroom door in case Renzo ever finds out where you live.
22. Nickelodeon Kart Racers (Switch)
There are far worse games out there than Nickelodeon Kart Racers, but there are far better ones as well. Given the tremendous opportunity represented by this IP, it’s hard not to be disappointed by the state of Nickelodeon Kart Racers; with more attention to quality and another year of development, this could’ve possibly been a compelling alternative to Mario Kart. Unfortunately, Nickelodeon Kart Racers is simply not good; derivative mechanics, a pathetic character roster and awful performance make this a bargain bin experience that you’ll be glad you missed. If you absolutely have to play a racing game with Nickelodeon characters, then by all means, go ahead, but we’d highly recommend you take a pass on this sorry effort.
21. Moorhuhn Kart 2 (Switch eShop)
Moorhuhn Kart 2 takes a game that's nearly two decades old, tweaks the visuals a bit, then actually removes elements from it (such as its character animations and speed settings). With only eight tracks on offer it would be underwhelming at a budget price, but given it's selling for $30 at launch there's nowhere near enough content or quality to justify that price.
20. Hello Kitty Kruisers (Switch)
We like Hello Kitty as much as the next person but unless the next person's seven years old, they're not going to be able to squeeze much fun out of Hello Kitty Kruisers. Nothing it does is particularly terrible (other than its odd drifting mechanic), but everything's so slow and so easy that a huge proportion of the Hello Kitty fanbase will be bored to tears within the two short hours it takes to unlock everything. Cats and karts seem to be an unpredictable mix, that's for sure.
19. Race With Ryan (Switch)
Putting our opinion on the cynical Ryan phenomenon to one side, Race With Ryan is nevertheless a slightly below-average kart racer that handles reasonably well but generally underwhelms, from the pitifully small number of tracks to the uninspired, floaty-light weaponry. Give your kids a Mario, Sonic or Crash racer instead; they may be young, but they aren’t stupid.
18. BIG-Bobby-Car - The Big Race (Switch)
If you've got a very young child and you're looking for a safe, harmless game to keep them busy, BIG-Bobby-Car - The Big Race is a perfectly fine option, especially because you can already find the physical version pretty cheap if you shop around. There really isn't a lot to it for anyone whose age is in double digits, though, and the whole thing is so poorly optimised that you're going to need a strong tolerance for jankiness.
17. Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway (Switch)
On paper, Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway does so much right, with a bigger roster of racers, more kart customisation, and the oft-requested addition of voice acting, which does add to the atmosphere considerably. But on the track it's hugely disappointing, with a severely reduced frame rate compared to its predecessor, making everything feel more sluggish as a result.
Team Sonic Racing, with its fast races, team mechanics, and enjoyable story mode, makes a nice change of pace from Mario Kart. Crash is a good game, but it looks a bit soft in handheld. I got it on launch, and the post-launch-added microtransactions left a bad taste.
"Best Kart Racers on Switch"
Half the list "this is awful, would not recommend."
Sounds about right.
How dare you put... HIM in the header image.
Gee i wonder who.
And Hello Kitty is better then Garfield, alright
..but worse then that Ryan thing ?!
Garfield not at No. 1??? UGH the anti garfield bias rears its ugly head again on this website.
There are only 11? That’s kinda shocking.
@dartmonkey Holy moly! Thanks Gavin and any other Ninetendo Life staffers for this article!
Wow didn't know there were so many 😮
So there’s Mario Kart, and 10 inferior rip-offs?
What a pointless listicle.
Did anybody buy Coffin Dodgers and like it? Since I had fun with Meow Motors, I've been thinking about buying coffin dodgers.
@playoldgames Crash Team Racing is an excellent game. It's single player content is an excellent companion to Mario Kart.
I've been eyeballing Coffin Dodgers for years now.
@playoldgames I was highly skeptical of Crash Team Racing, but it's REALLY good. I've been a serious fan of Mario Kart 7 & Mario Kart 8, and highly recommend CTR. There's no tutorial really. Playing adventure mode on Easy until I beat the first 5 races was enough to prepare me for Medium(default) difficulty. It may take an hour or so get used to how it turns if you have played a lot of Mario Kart, but it's totally worth it. I personally like CTR more than Mario Kart currently. If you've wanted a new new kart racer, CTR would be my first recommendation. (Sonic was decent, but didn't hold my attention)
Team sonic > ctr
1. Mario Kart
2. Who cares?
I respect NL's opinion in this list
But I'm all CTR over Mario Kart. Whether it's NF and 8, or CTR and MK64, I'll always love CTR more. Doesn't mean I don't have a soft spot for Mario Kart.
I was looking forward to playing CTR due to nostalgia for the original and its story mode but gotta say, I kinda hated it. Was fun back then but I don't think it really stacks up well now.
@Woomy_NNYes CTR is really good but unfortunately, for me anyway, it is badly let down by a few flaws such as terrible online play (it can take forever to find opponents) and lack of split screen online play. Sometimes it seem opponents are cheating online - you can have a really good race and end up finishing 25 - 30secs behind the winner. And I feel like there is a lack of variety as many of the characters have the exact same stats
I'd agree with the top 3
To be honest I didn't realise there were quite so many others available though
I played MK8D for the 1st time in forever and I can’t believe how slow it feels compared to CTR.
Let's not bother citing MK8 flaws or lack of content, right?
Not sure if you are being serious.
Top Kart Racers on Switch:
1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
That's it. Play that one.
@MeatSauce careful, I said that in a thread this summer and some thought I was insane If anyone played MK8 a lot, then only plays CTR for a good while, that is how if feels to go back to MK8, objectively speaking. CTR turns quicker (when not drifting); It's an observation, not slander. I still think MK8 is awesome, but it does take a bit to refresh your muscle memory if you've only played one of the games for a while.
Yeah exactly how I feel. Really liked it on PlayStation 20 years ago but couldn’t get into it now.
@Woomy_NNYes It was very jarring.I was a big fan of MK8 but after playing CTR its hard going back.CTR has it beat with the sense of speed and so many modes.
Didn't know about #7 or #4, but read 11-4 were subpar.
CTR > MK8 any day. Never played CTR on PS1 (didn't know it existed), but CTR drives circles around MK8; much higher skill floor and less chaos with items, drifting is a ton of fun and if you've got the right kart setup, snaking can be done. Shortcuts are more skill-based too. Monthly added content is high quality too (Ring Rally being a top-tier mode). Just sucks that the online infrastructure is trash because there's no dedicated servers or host migration (so lobbies crash when a host leaves).
@Chayshirin The MTX in the game are 100% optional and the devs didn't, I repeat did not, lessen the amount of wumpa coins you get when they added MTX, which only offers wumpa coins, so what are you complaining about exactly?
Can't wait to see what that dingus who actually defended racing with Ryan has to say about this list
90% are just garbage racers that no sensible person would recommend the top 3 are the only good ones.
@iLikeUrAttitude math police
A top three list with 7 random games to make up the numbers.
My new favourite is Sonic Team Racing.
Mario Kart is old, it is a Wii U game that has been played to death. The Switch has not had a new Mario Kart Racing game of its own.
Ok it's had a couple of updates and a facelift, but the tracks are still the same and it is going to be 6 years old next year. With the Switch sales compared to the Wii U I think Nintendo are treating this Mario Kart as a new Switch game, but us few loyal customers who bought the Wii U know differently.
I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo are working on three or four new tracks as downloads for this version to breath another few years of life into the game. But I hope not.
@Anti-Matter What? Why would you make that list?
Just give me MK9, Nintendo. I’m ready.
Where is Fast RMX and Horizon Chase Turbo?
Mario kart is an ace game but I hated the fact everything was unlocked from the get go on the switch( bar cars, wheels and gliders) no cups to unlock or characters.
CTR was ok, i didnt mind the raving but i didnt like the terrible rubber banding. Dont know if there has been any updates on that one.
I was really disappointed with Mario Kart: No single player mode with progression / achievement; just everything unlocked from the beginning. And then the same old items, with the same elastic-banding and the ridiculous blue shell. The game sure looked great, and control was awesome, but I didn’t enjoy it much.
@Kidfunkadelic83 There's no rubber banding. If you're in first by an inch or a mile, you're going to stay there until you drive differently. The different difficulties only change base speeds from what I've seen, not behavior.
@Mink Kart racers, those two are not.
I’m surprised race with Ryan and hello kitty are even considered ‘Good’ kart games.....
Mario Kart is the best kart game ever i hope Mario Kart Vr comes to the next nintendo console or they make it so we can buy a good Vr unit and connect it to nintendo next console so we could use a much in the future htc vive or another brand to connect to it.
Also i hope they make Mario Kart 9 for switch they could just put in lots of the app levels or make an all era mario kart with the app levels.
Seems strange to even create a best of list; when half of them are terrible..
Well, i played Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. 😏
I might consider Race with Ryan and Hello Kitty Kruisers because i have quite interest with them.
Maybe Race with Ryan and Hello Kitty Kruisers are terrible racing games for most peoples but for me, they are quite acceptable so i might consider both of them by any chance. Different peoples different judgement.
That top 3 I agree with though CTR gets closer each month to MK8 Deluxe. The microtransactions are the biggest flaw of CTR though it didn't take long for Team Sonic Racing's online to be inactive.
Fast RMX and Horizon Chase Turbo are Realistic style racing games without throwing silly objects like Mario Kart so they didn't include in the list.
"90% are just garbage racers that no sensible person would recommend the top 3 are the only good ones."
Oh, not everyone think the same way like you.
I think Race with Ryan and Hello Kitty Kruisers are acceptable enough for me. 😏
I didn't know half of these existed. Race with Ryan?
Beach Buggy Racing really is a good game. I haven't played it on the Switch but it was one of the very few mobile games I ever played that was honestly a good game and not just "oh, well, I have a few minutes to waste in line, might as well play something free on my phone". If you know all the MK courses by heart and want more karting, it's worth a spin.
All star fruit racing great weapon system mediocre everywhere else. Meow motors fun little kart racer in small bursts. Beach buggy racing same as meow motors but slightly better. Team Sonic racing I enjoyed in small bursts and it was just a placeholder till Ctr came out. CTR best alternative to MK8. MK8 is MK8.
Super Mario Kart should be here.
I vote for Hello Kitty because we dated for a couple years. She's a bad kitty.
Kind of a pointless list, honestly... the top 3 are the ones I'd actually play and enjoy, while the others look like rubbish.
@Anti-Matter At this point what mediocre kids game isn't acceptable for you?
Fine list. I would have put Sonic at no.2 and Crash at no.3 though. They're both decent but Mario Kart is still miles ahead.
Not interested with Nickelodeon Racing, Cars 3, all LEGO games with Western / Superheroes theme except LEGO CITY Undercover, Spongebob games, Adventure Time, Ben 10, Cartoon Network, Asterix, Scribblenauts, Rayman, Spyro, Shovel Knights, Yooka Laile, and still many more.
Mostly what is popular by mainstream peoples are not something i like, but what is underdog or not really popular sometimes i have interest about.
@Anti-Matter Whats wrong with mainstream tho?
Alot of games that can considered mainstream can be good.
Like pokemon, mario, zelda etc.
Not sure what the point of this article is. Just so you can once again remind everyone how much you love Mario Kart, as if we don't hear it every other day anyway. Let's face it, any other kart racer will always be regarded by you as worse, because of your Mario bias (whether consciously or sub-consciously). In my honest opinion, Mario Kart isn't very good, and I'd much rather play Team Sonic Racing or All-Stars Racing Transformed, and Crash Team Racing if it wasn't Activision at the helm.
I have interest also with some popular games like Mario, Pokemon, etc but only some of them. Still i have no interest with other Nintendo IP such as Kirby, Donkey Kong games, Pikmin, Smash Bros, Metroid, Xenoblade, Fire Emblem, Zelda games, Splatoon, etc.
My point was if everybody just only care with popular mainstream things, what about the underdog or not popular things ?
And you know not everyone have same taste with popular mainstream things. Because for me even they are popular by other peoples, but they are not something i like due to i have no interest to play games like that, just matter of taste like browsing the suitable outfits for my body and my personality. Do i have to play Zelda / Splatoon games if i have no genuine interest from my heart ?
Time for a Diddy Kong remaster (and it would push CTR to third)!
My top 10...
1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe v1.7.1
2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe v.1.7.0
3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe v1.6.0
4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe v1.5.0
5. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe v1.4.0
6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe v1.3.0
7. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe v1.2.1
8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe v.1.2.0
9. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe v1.1.0
10. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe v1.0
11. Mario Kart 8 running via Wii U emulator on hacked Switch
It's funny that there are exactly 10 versions of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch, so there is truth to my preferences.
Why bother making a list when there's only 3 games in the genre even worth playing?
Personally I'm in the camp that Sonic and CTR are both better than Mario Kart 8. CTR continues to get so much content through updates, and Sonic is by far the most balanced, fair, and nuanced of the three.
Mario Kart 8 is the best pickup and play game, and has the best roster.
Year of the cart racer!
You were better off not knowing.
@Tedikuma He is straight up terrifying.
@Anti-Matter I like the underdogs too, man. Have you played Wandersong?
Oh, i haven't but i will check from Youtube first.
Can't wait for Gensou SkyDrift.
@Mario_64 But it is, in the SNES Online App.
@Kilroy I thought I was being clear.
I don't buy full priced games that contain microtransactions as a matter of principle. Activision tricked me, reviewers, and others like me by launching the game without MTs and adding them after the review scores were out and those crucial week one purchases were made.
They probably thought they were being smart, but I (and other people I know) simply don't buy Activision-Blizzard games anymore.
@Chayshirin I get where your principle is, I just think it's misguided in this one specific case. I paid for a full game back in June, received a full game and haven't given Activision a dime since then, yet I have an even larger game that I still enjoy on a daily basis.
Companies do need a constant stream of revenue to survive/keep the staff that they have. Before DLC, sequels were more prevalent, but now paid add-ons are the norm. I don't have a problem with MTX if they're done right, which CTR accomplishes because all content is offered fairly without MTX. So for you to not buy this on that principle is your loss.
I just realized, Cars: Driven to Win was left out. There's already a NL review for it. I would think it's better than Garfield, Hello Kitty, Races with Ryan. But is it more fun than Nickelodeon Kart Racers, Coffin Dodgers, and Beach Buggy Racing?
If NL revises the list later, we should find a slot for Cars: Driven to Win. Or stealth edit
@KitsuneNight Regarding out comments above about Coffin Dodgers, It's on sale for 5$ here in the US. Maybe it's on sale for you too, if you're still interested. I just bought it. I'm going to try it in the morning.
@KitsuneNight So, I played the first 2 races of the single player mode, a few times. There is no drifting. The game is ok? It's all about taking the best line, not hitting the sides of the track(because that slows you down), hitting a boost pad if the track has them, Using your cane to hit who you're drafting, and using pickup weapons: boost, missile, machine gun, sheild. So, my initial thoughts are, I don't regret buying it, and I do want to do more races. I'm interested to see how I and the game progress.
It's on sale here too.
I wil buy it probably some time next week along with a few others
And will keep you posted what I think of it.
Mario Kart 8 is NOT the best, it is not even close, Mario Kart is great for those who suck at racing games, as it helps those at the back, and punishes the good players, the blue shell is by far the most pointless thing in the game, only acquired by those too rubbish at the game to be anywhere near 1st place, then it only attacks 1st place, Team Sonic Racing, and All Star Fruit Racing, are by far the best 2, Mario Kart 8, in many ways is the WORST of the bunch, so try redoing this list, only this time without a biased ***** writing it
Updated with the classic Lawnmower Game: Racing and, as suggested above, Cars 3.
Mario Kart number 1 and 2-17 ??????? Obviously not made by Nintendo, but all Forza Horizon games from 2 downwards!! Oh and Top Gear for the SNES on a serious note, there are a few good driving games out there for the Switch, but I can't understand how Renzo Racer with a score of 2 got into the top 17? Is there only 17 driving games for the Switch!?
Can't wait for the Race with Ryan, Renzo Racer and Lawnmower Racing crossover.
Idk... I’d almost put Crash as number one. Due to the online experience and how they handled continuously releasing additional content. The content as a whole is insane and includes way more than MK8D as it’s more than just a remake of one game. It even includes all the tracks of the second game and then some! But I’m slightly biased in that I’m tired of playing the same Mario Kart for... 7 years now? since I bought it back on the WiiU as well as it’s DLC.
1) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
2) Gensou SkyDrift
3) Team Sonic Racing
4) Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
5) Race With Ryan
The first four I enjoyed, but the fifth? Ha ha ha...
Edit: Glad to see Gensou SkyDrift on the list at last and while I would've placed it higher, at least it's #10. "Unfortunately, the lack of meaningful single-player content"...well, to be fair, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe kind of suffers from this as well...
1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
2. Crash Team Racing (which deserves respect)
3. Sonic Team Racing (big disappointment after Sonic & SEGA All Star Racing Transformed).
4. The Rest ......
Out of this whole list I think I would only recommend 3 or 4 to people, the rest just look like shovelware...
I'm surprised with Chocobo GP! I'll have to try it, although I think it will be better after some updates with additional content and so.
But I agree, appart from the first four, the rest of it looks like shovelware xD
Oh Crash Team Racing. I wanted to love this so much, the gameplay is great. But I'm a completionist, and the grindy unlocking system really kills it for me
@Neoicelord wait how
I like these racing games:
Race with Ryan
Hello Kitty Kruisers
Blaze & the Monster Machines: Axle City Racers
@Chayshirin I have Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled on Switch and on Xbox and you're right, it looks soft/blurry on Switch. It looks and plays much better on Xbox. Team Sonic Racing is a great game, more racing than the modern Mario Kart games and it runs at 60fps 4K on Xbox One X and Series X. I'm going to try the free version of Chocobo GP this evening.
Garfield Nickelodeon All Stars Racing Crash Team Racing Team Sonic and Mario Kart definitely deserve to be here. I'm not sure Chocobo GP does though as the game has only just come out and I feel it's really lacking in content atm. Unless they add to it I think it will die pretty quickly.
Well now I want to know your opinion on the cynical Ryan phenomenon.
For me it is
1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
2. The rest
Eventually it will be
1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
2. Disney Speedstorm
3. The rest
Speaking seriously, I'm realizing this time I'm not playing that many kart racers. I tried Crash Team Racing when it was available on the NSO Trials. I liked it but something about it didn't click with to get invested in getting it.
There's no way chocobo gp is better than ctr especially with all the extra free content updates ctr got
I think Race with Ryan looked decent enough for me.
All Star Fruit Racing at number 12??
Those other games must be really bad - I paid 99p for it and felt so robbed I deleted it after 1/2 hr. Baring in mind it takes about 25 mins for the game to actually get past the menus & into the game! Avoid!!
How is crash team racing not number 2?
I knew a guy called Big Boabie at University.
Been playing Chocobo GP all day, and it's a ton of fun and has some great ideas. But like, CTR is EXPONENTIALLY better.
I’ve never even heard of most of these. Race with Ryan? What?
I think there’s an argument to be made for the top 5 or so being switched around, depending on each players personal preference.
Like, Mario Kart is wonderful for players of all skill levels, CTR is great for those who prefer a test of skill, team sonic racing is great for teamwork.
So, there’s a case to be made for each of them, really.
Beach Buggy Racing 2 Island Adventure - HotWheels Edition is one of my favorite Kart Racers. It is made by Vector Unit. The same team that did Hydro Thunder Hurricane on the XBOX 360. This is really an amazing Kart racer with excellent racing, maps, and mechanics. What I think keeps it just shy of Mario Kart level is that is lacking online play.
But, if you are a solo kart racer or like to race with others in the same room you really can't go wrong with this game. And, adding in all the Hot Wheels cars and tracks makes it all the more enjoyable. And, BTW there are so many hidden shortcuts and items. Really great fun!
@JasmineDragon Truly an excellent racing game on the Switch. I give a review a bit further down. Love Beach Buggy Racing 2 Island Adventure. The HotWheels Edition is the version to get.
1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (best multiplayer experience)
2. Crash Team Racing (best single player experience)
3. Sonic Team Racing (good, not excelent.)..we have 2 Steam account, one Sonic Team Racing per account....on 2 high-end desktops...me and my wife love to play this game, but...today we prefer Mario Kart 8)
4. only garbage (including chocobo racing)
I respectfully disagree with Chocobo GP being #2. The steering doesn't feel as natural as Sonic All-Star Racing Transformed or even Nickelodeon Kart Racers 1, and nowhere near as good as CTR Nitro Fueled. My first impressions with the Chocobo and White Mage felt a bit clunky. I'll get back on the horse tomorrow, but it seems the controls feel more rigid than they should be.
@KitsuneNight Where is your art again? The animation is great.
I'm just waiting for diddy kong racing to be released on NSO... (and the dlc ofcourse)
I hated kart racing after playing Team Sonic Racing. You are forced to follow the path of the leading team member, if you don't the car will be very slow. Personally, I liked Crash. I was waiting for Mario Kart 9 but I might buy 8.
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