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 best kart racing games on Switch (well, all the kart racing games on Switch, actually) 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 out 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 every kart racing game on Nintendo Switch, ranked for your pleasure and presented in descending order...
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another cat-filled karter, Meow Motors won't blow your socks off but it's a decent little racer if you're a cat person who enjoys drifting. It's not going to trouble the kart-racing big boys, and the visual feedback is lacking when it comes to using projectile items, but drifting is fun and if for some reason you're bored of the obvious Nintendo-branded alternative and you see this cheap, you could do a lot worse. The 2-player mode may keep you occupied for a while after the campaign's over and, generic presentation aside, we certainly didn't have a bad time in the company of these felines (which can't be said for Garfield or Hello Kitty), even if we knew we could be having it so much better elsewhere.
Cars 3: Driven to Win is more novelty racer than kart racer, but we welcome all sorts in this ranking (if its presence irks you, simply remove it from the running with the power of your mind and voilà). This Disney-licensed racer featuring Lightning McQueen and the gang suffers from the issues you might expect of a game released to coincide with a movie's arrival in theatres. It feels rather rushed, rough around the edges and with minor but persistent annoyances, and older players will certainly recognise the symptoms that indicate it could have done with more time in the workshop.
That said, it hits top gear in some respects: its gameplay mechanics are rather fun once grasped; there are a variety of modes and tracks to master; and despite its side note of a narrative, it goes big on the film series' charms. Young gamers and fans of the films will likely get beyond its flaws and simply enjoy what it does well. Yes, it comes across as a game that was pushed out the door early but, nevertheless, it was developed with some pride. Much like the Pixar movie it's based on, Cars 3 is a bit of a 'banger' in the scheme of things, but it has a nice lick of paint, a decent engine and is not without heart.