Mario Kart 8 (JP) (also called MK8 and originally called Mario Kart Wii U) is a racing game developed primarily by Nintendo EAD, with Namco Bandai Holdings assisting, for the Wii U. It is the eighth installment in the main Mario Kart series (hence the game's name) and, including the arcade games, the thirteenth overall. This installment is the follow-up game of the Nintendo 3DS title Mario Kart 7. Like the other Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games, this game can be purchased both physically at retail and digitally through the Nintendo eShop, with the digital version requiring 4949.8 MB (approx. 4.83 GB) of memory to be installed. The game was released on the last three days of May 2014 worldwide.

A prominent new addition is anti-gravity, allowing players to drive on almost any surface. Elements from Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 are reused, such as 12-racer fields, Bikes and 2-Player online from Mario Kart Wii; and gliding, underwater driving, and kart customizing from Mario Kart 7. In addition, ATVs join the returning karts and bikes as a new class of vehicle. The game also features more detail in courses, specifically retro tracks, which appear more redesigned than their original appearances. The game is also the best selling title for the Wii U, selling 8 million copies as of September 30, 2016, surpassing sales of both Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

On November 7, 2017, Nintendo has terminated the Miiverse service, which makes it impossible for players to use this game's Miiverse stamps, upload highlight reels onto YouTube, and create new online tournaments (though it is still possible to attend the pre-existing ones).

A Nintendo Switch port titled Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was released in 2017, which retains much of this game's base and downloadable content while adding other new content.


The gameplay maintains the traditional elements of the previous Mario Kart games, mostly from the two recent installments on the Wii and Nintendo 3DS respectively. Players pick a character of three weight classes and drive vehicles of varying stats, strengths, and weaknesses around an obstacle course-like racetrack, in an attempt to finish first of the twelve racers, the number of racers used in Mario Kart Wii.[6] During the race, racers can pick up items from Item Boxes, where the probability of receiving items is dependent on the racers' distance from the frontrunner[7]; for example, first place typically receives defense items such as Bananas and Green Shells, while racers at intermediate distance from the lead receive more powerful offense items such as Triple Red Shells and Fire Flowers and racers far from the lead receive items that lead to an increase in speed or the possibility of going off-road without losing speed, such as the Super Star or Bullet Bill, to help compensate their distance. Players receive an amount of points depending on the position they end up with. Whichever player has the most amount of points wins the entire race.

Karts, which feature similar designs from Mario Kart 7, can be customized once again, alongside the returning bikes, which handle similar to the karts now and can only perform a wheelie via a boost, and the newly introduced ATVs. The hang-glider and underwater mechanics also return from Mario Kart 7, as well as Coins, with the player being able to collect up to ten in one race, and automatic drifting activated by steering in a direction for a certain amount of time, with a turning capability that, unless a Wii Remote without motion controls is used, matches the one while drifting (and even surpasses that in the case of sport bikes) and the ability to slowly charge Mini-Turbo and Super Mini-Turbo boosts, added in this game.[8] . Tricks and the ability to look behind also return in this game.

The newest feature for the series is anti-gravitational segments that not only allow for more dynamic track design, but also for racers to drive across walls, ceilings, and other seemingly unusual places. When in anti-gravity, if a racer bumps into another racer, the kart spins rather than just bumping and both racers receive a speed boost. This is called a "Spin Boost".

Two types of bikes return: standard bikes, that perform regular drifts, and sport bikes, that lean toward the inside of the turn instead of drifting.[9] While leaning instead of drifting, sport bikes lose less speed,[10] but have a lower turning capability with respect to outside drifting vehicles, this being a feature seen in Mario Kart Wii as well.[11][12]

The game also features Wii U GamePad integration. In addition to the standard Off-TV Play, players also have the option of displaying the course map, and when neither the television gameplay nor the map are being displayed, the GamePad can be used as a horn button. Players have the option to toggle between these features at will.[13] The GamePad can also be used to toggle on and off the gyroscopic steering, and in its default display and when displaying the map the GamePad also displays the current rankings.

There is also Miiverse integration, which allows players to share their replay videos and comment on others' videos, in a feature called Mario Kart TV.[14] Another change is that in 2-player mode, the screen splits vertically instead of the horizontally in the other console Mario Kart games, a feature that was originally intended to be in Mario Kart 64 but was removed from the final game. Additionally, if the player falls off the edge of the track, Lakitu will pick them up and drop them back on to the track more quickly when compared to how he did this in past installments. This makes glitches involving falling into areas impossible.

Point management works similar to Mario Kart Wii, except that racers below 3rd place get an extra point. Below is a chart of the point spread comparison between these eight games:

Point Spread Comparisons (GP)
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
Super Mario Kart
Mario Kart 64
'Mario Kart: Super Circuit
9 6 3 10000
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart DS
10 8 643210
Mario Kart Wii 15 12 10 8 76543210
Mario Kart 7 10 8 654321 -
Mario Kart 8 15 12 10 9 87654321
Grove-green bg signifies victory results (great clapping, character(s) cheering), unique finish music, and best after-race music
Yellow-limegreen bg signifies moderate results (mild clapping, moderate character reaction), same music in Wi-Fi as winner (different in MKDS GP)
Normal bg signifies losing results, losing music (no clapping, character(s) showing sad expression); - means not available
In Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart Super Circuit, 5th or worse forces the player to retry the race. If the racer fares this badly four times, the Grand Prix must be started over (except in Mario Kart 64, where the player gets infinite retries). Starting with Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, to recent installments including this one, the Grand Prix goes forth normally.


MK8 Mario


These are in order they appear on the character select screen. There are 36 total playable characters in Mario Kart 8, consisting of 16 default characters, 14 unlockable characters, and 6 characters obtainable by purchasing the DLC packages.[15] Including the add-on characters, there are 14 new playable characters, being the seven Koopalings (indicated by an * in the gallery), Baby Rosalina, Pink Gold Peach (indicated by an **), Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link, Villager, and Isabelle. Even though there are a total of nine groups of characters sharing the same statistics, the official site divides the initial 30 characters in three weight classes dependent on the weight of the character: light, medium, and heavy.[16] Unlike other Mario Kart games (barring the use of glitches), multiple players can use the same characters, both in local and online play.

The add-on packs contain three new characters each, (see here for more info) but if both are purchased, the player will gain access to eight new colors for Yoshi and Shy Guy as well. Updates have been released that allowed suits to be unlocked by using amiibo, which allow Miis to resemble characters such as Samus Aran and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Available from the start

Unlockable Characters




Mushroom Cup Flower Cup Star Cup Special Cup Egg Cup (DLC) Crossing Cup (DLC)
Mario Kart Stadium Mario Circuit Sunshine Airport Cloudtop Cruise GCN Yoshi Circuit GCN Baby Park
Water Park Toad Harbor Dolphin Shoals Bone Dry Dunes Excitebike Arena Wild Woods
Sweet Sweet Canyon Twisted Mansion Electrodrome Bowser's Castle Dragon Driftway GBA Cheese Land
Thwomp Ruins Shy Guy Falls Mount Wario Rainbow Road Mute City Animal Crossing
Shell Cup Banana Cup Leaf Cup Lightning Cup Triforce Cup (DLC) Bell Cup (DLC)
WIIMoo Moo Meadows GCNDry Dry Desert DSWario Stadium DSTick-Tock Clock WIIWario's Gold Mine 3DS Neo Bowser City
GBAMario Circuit SNESDonut Plains 3 GCNSherbet Land 3DSPiranha Plant Slide SNESRainbow Road Super Bell Subway
DSCheep Cheep Beach N64Royal Raceway 3DSMusic Park WIIGrumble Volcano Ice Ice Outpost GBARibbon Road
N64 Toad's Turnpike 3DS DK Jungle N64 Yoshi Valley N64 Rainbow Road Hyrule Circuit Big Blue

Downloadable content

Two different DLC packs have been released for Mario Kart 8.

By purchasing both DLC packs, the purchaser received eight alternative colors for both Yoshi and Shy Guy.

The Legend of Zelda x Mario Kart 8

Egg Cup

Triforce Cup


Animal Crossing x Mario Kart 8

Released on April 23, it includes for $7.99

Crossing Cup

Bell Cup



Mercedes Benz


MK8 Item Box

There are a multitude of different items listed below which can be obtained from item boxes scattered around the track, which randomly generate items to the drivers according to their position in the race. They can be used to help the drivers, or disrupt their opposition with varying effects. 

Name Image Ability
Super Mario Party - Item - Coin

Scattered heavily in plain sight throughout the tracks, Coins can also be obtained from item boxes by drivers leading well ahead in first place.

An individual Coin doesn't really serve much purpose on its own, but collecting up to ten of it will increase the driver's acceleration slightly.

Banana Peel Banana - Mario Kart Wii This can be placed on the road and cause drivers to slip around upon contact.
Triple Banana Peels Triple Bananas - Mario Kart Wii Ditto - the bananas can be dropped one at a time, or all at once.
Green Shell
MK8 GreenShell
This shell speeds forwards on the ground at a straight line, but can also deflect off walls. Drivers that collide with the shell will tumble over.
Triple Green Shells
Triple Green Shells (Mario Kart 8)
Ditto - however, initially they will rotate around the driver, acting as a shield from most attacks.
Red Shell
MK8 RedShell
This shell locks onto the next opponent ahead of the driver, and chases them to knock them over.
Triple Red Shell
Triple Red Shells - Mario Kart Wii
Ditto - like the triple green shells, they will initially rotate around the driver as a protection.
Mushroom (Mario Kart 8)

Gives a speed boost.

Triple Mushrooms
Triple Mushrooms - Mario Kart Wii
Super Horn
MK8 SuperHorn
This item will generate a loud blast of sound causing a shockwave which will spin out other drivers caught in its radius, and destroy their items - including the notorious blue shell.
Boomerang Flower
MK8 BoomerangFlower
This item enables the driver to throw three sets of boomerangs across the track ahead of them, which will tumble away other drivers upon contact. The extra benefit of them are that not only do they attack from behind, they will also curve around backwards - like real boomerangs - to hit other drivers from the front.
Fire Flower
MK8 Fire Flower
With this item, the driver is granted fire powers and can throw multiple fireballs one-by-one at other drivers, which will spin them out upon contact.
Bob-omb Bob-omb (MKWii) This can be thrown ahead (or be dropped just behind). The bomb will stay on the track for a few seconds, then explode - anyone caught in the blast radius gets thrown over. 
Blooper Blooper Artwork - Mario Kart Wii This pesky creature squirts black ink over all the opponents ahead, obstructing their view.
Spiny Shell
Spiny Shell MK8

This infamous shell will launch away and slide on the track, to chase the unfortunate driver in first place and explode onto them. As it slides along the ground, other drivers that get in its way can also get knocked over.

Piranha Plant
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Character Art - Piranha Plant 02
A highly lethal addition to the Mario Kart roster of items, this ferocious plant will sprout in front of the driver and snap at other drivers encountered along the way for a short period of time.
Star Star - Mario Kart Wii Makes the driver flash in rainbow and gives them invincible powers - any opponent that collides onto the driver will get knocked over.
Crazy Eight
MK8 Crazy8

This is a magic item that brings forwards eight items at once to the lucky driver. They include a banana, one green and red shell each, mushroom, Blooper, bomb, star, coin, and a blue shell.   This item borrows the same concept of its preceding Lucky Seven counterpart, with both items matching their titles' numbers.

Lightning Thunderbolt - Mario Kart Wii Shrinks all the drivers ahead. The drivers return to their normal size at a rate corresponding with their position i.e. the driver at first place will take the longest to return back to normal.
Golden Mushroom Golden Mushroom Artwork - Mario Kart Wii Serves as an upgraded form of a mushroom, which can be used to provide multiple boosts over and over again for a period of time.
Bullet Bill Bullet Bill Artwork - Mario Kart Wii

Arguably the most powerful item in Mario Kart, this is given to drivers floundering in the worst positions. When activated the driver is turned into an auto-pilot bullet rocket that boosts across the track at high speed, and will knock away any opponents upon contact. 

The items written in bold are newly introduced in this game.


Customzation returns from Mario Kart 7, now with alternative Bikes and ATVs in addition to Karts as the main body. Except for the golden parts and DLC, they are randomly unlocked through getting multiples of 50 Coins.






Game modes

There are various game modes for Mario Kart 8. All modes available on single player (some also on local and online multiplayer) are listed here.

Grand Prix

Mario Kart 8s Grand Prix works similar to past installments. Like past games the 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc engine classes are available by default, and completing 150cc unlocks Mirror; for the former three, however, Grand Prix rankings carry over to the lower engine classes after being completed on a higher engine class. In addition, and for the first time in the series, a 200cc engine class has been added as of the version 4.0 update, which is available by default alongside Mirror as of version 4.1. Players choose a cup, which takes them through four consecutive races of set order in that cup. Only the Mushroom and Shell Cups (and the DLC cups) are available at the start of the game, with the others being unlocked after completing the cup before, and are available in every engine class after being unlocked. Players now have the option to do a multiplayer Grand Prix up to four players, unlike in most previous home console Mario Kart games, where only up to two players can race in Grand Prix.

Time Trials

Time Trial mode lets the player complete a selected course in the fastest time possible. Among the other features, in addition to viewing ghost data, players can upload their own ghost data onto Miiverse, which other players can download and comment on. In addition, beating one of Nintendo's Staff Ghosts in a race earns the player a stamp based on the course they raced on which they can use in Miiverse posts. Leaderboards as seen in Mario Kart Wii also return.

VS. Race

VS. Mode can be played locally with up to four players. Players can set rules such as which items appear, the difficulty level of the CPUs, how many races to play, and whether to race on a Team or race Solo. Players can also set how the courses appear, choose a course after one is finished, or play all tracks randomly or in order. In this game, Mirror Mode appears as a default engine class, even if it isn't unlocked in Grand Prix. The point system is the same as the Grand Prix.


Battle mode now features race tracks remixed to fit battle mode rather than containing all-new separate arenas. Balloon Battle can be played in teams or in free-for-all mode. It combines survival battle mode from Mario Kart DS and earlier installments and the timed points battle mode introduced in Mario Kart Wii; all players start with three points and three balloons each. Successfully making an opponent lose a balloon awards the player a point, and losing a balloon through any method will cause the player to lose a point. Balloons can never be regained (unless one is stolen from another player with a Mushroom or a Super Star), and if all balloons are lost, points can no longer be lost or gained. Defeated players can still drive and attack players as a Ghost, although they cannot receive points. Players can also now adjust the time limit from one to five minutes, and they can set up to 32 rounds in set intervals.


As with Mario Kart Wii, one or two local players can play over the Internet against other remote players. Players can race and battle with up to eleven other players from around the world or in their region, and can join and race with friends from the Friends menu. Finally, players are able to join a worldwide room using custom rules. Players can also set up their own rooms for friends and can race with custom rules, such as engine class, whether items are on or off, vehicle types available, control method, whether to play with computer players or not. As of version 3.0, players can also toggle whether they want to play on just the original 32 courses, the original courses and one of the two sets of DLC courses, or every available course by pressing the plus button after selecting Worldwide or Regional,[17] as well as when setting up a room for friends. When playing online worldwide or regional, players once again earn VR points based upon their ranking at the end of a race or battle like in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7; like in Mario Kart 7 a player's VR starts at 1000, though like Mario Kart Wii players have different VR rankings for races and battles. Between 1000 and over 4000 VR when playing Worldwide or Regional VS. Race, players race at 100cc, and starting at over 5000 VR, players race at 150cc.

Players can also create their own tournaments, similar to the communities from Mario Kart 7. When creating a tournament, players can choose an icon and a name for their tournament as well as set the rules, including engine class, whether to play in teams or not, whether to have items or not, vehicle types, whether there are computer players or not, and, as of version 3.0, available courses (the original 32 courses, every course including DLC courses, just the DLC courses, or, as of version 4.0, the original courses and one of the DLC packs). Players can also set times in which the tournament is available (weekly, daily, or between a fixed period and at what day and time the tournament begins and ends), the number of races before scores are totaled, and whether the groups shuffle after every four matches or not. Finally, the availability can be set, including whether a code is required, or if it is open to anybody worldwide or regional, and whether only players of certain ratings can play. When looking for a tournament, players can enter a code, search by type, or look at active tournaments. In addition, playing in a tournament that allows the DLC tracks to be selected requires purchasing the DLC before the player can enter.

After entering a room, players can choose one of three predetermined tracks or "Random", which chooses one of any of the game's tracks at random if the player's option is ultimately chosen (this is to prevent people from selecting the same course repeatedly). When playing with friends, however, players can select from any of the tracks available depending on the settings. Once every player has selected a track, a roulette selects one of these options as the track to be raced on.

Point Spread
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
2 players 3 1
3 players 4 2 1
4 players 5 3 2 1
5 players 6 4 3 2 1
6 players 7 5 4 3 2 1
7 players 9 7 5 4 3 2 1
8 players 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1
9 players 11 9 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
10 players 12 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
11 players 13 11 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
12 players 15 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Mario Kart TV

Mario Kart TV is an Internet-based feature in which players can view and share highlights of their and others' race and battle highlights. In the Mario Kart TV menu, the game automatically saves the twelve most recent race and battle replays, and the player can favorite up to six at one time. Players can view and edit theirs and others' replays by changing the duration of the replay and the focus characters and actions and can slow down, speed up, and rewind the replay while watching. Players could also share their highlights on Miiverse and YouTube; only up to 60 seconds of video could be uploaded at one time, however.


The amiibo functionality is racing suits of the character for the player's Miis

Here are amiibo supported:

With an update in April, 9 more are supported:


Development for Mario Kart 8 started in 2012. Series producer Hideki Konno first revealed that he wanted to produce a Mario Kart game for the Wii U in late 2011.[18] A Wii U Mario Kart game was later revealed to be in development in the January 2013 Nintendo Direct and confirmed to be shown off at E3 that year,[19] with the game being officially revealed during the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct.[20]

Some ideas that were scrapped in Mario Kart 8 included a drill that made drivers drive into subterranean depths. The idea was scrapped because the developers thought it was not as interesting as the anti-gravity idea.[21] The anti-gravity concept stemmed from the Wii U being a powerful console, and with the upgraded hardware, the developers wanted to make courses with a 3D plane in mind rather than the 2D plane as the other tracks in the Mario Kart series.[22] The title, Mario Kart 8, also stemmed from the anti-gravity mechanic as, in addition to being the eighth main installment in the series, the "8" used in the official logo was stylized to resemble a Möbius strip.

Most of the game's musical tracks are orchestrated, making this game the first Mario Kart game to feature orchestrated tracks.[23][24][25]

Promotion and advertising

Collaboration with Pennzoil

Nintendo and Pennzoil teamed up to promote Mario Kart 8 by hosting an event in which participants were able to race on real-life modified karts on a specially-designed track.[26] Icons representing some of the items in the game were spread in the course as well.

Bonus/Free game promotion

Between May 30 and July 31, 2014, Club Nintendo members in North America, Europe, and Australia who registered Mario Kart 8 could receive a free download code for one of several Wii U games. In Europe and Australia, players had the choice of: Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, Game & Wario, Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Sonic Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Wii Party U, The Wonderful 101, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate[27] while North American players were limited only to New Super Mario Bros. U, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, and Wii Party U.[28]


Critical reception

Mario Kart 8 has received mostly favorable reviews, and has been lauded as one of the best games in the series to date. General praise has been given to the game's graphics, the tracks, the music, and the overall gameplay (both single-player and multi-player). The addition of anti-gravity has also been praised, as has the online mode. The roster, however, notably the amount of baby and metal characters and the lack of previous racer veterans has received some criticism. The battle mode, however, has a universal negative reaction among reviewers, with most of reviewers preferring the traditional battle modes that previous Mario Kart games did rather than this iteration. The incorporation of the Wii U GamePad has also been a point of contention.

According to Metacritic, Mario Kart 8 received "generally favorable" reviews getting a metascore of 88/100 based on 82 critic reviews.[29]


Over the weekend of its launch, Mario Kart 8 sold 1.2 million units worldwide, making it the fastest-selling Wii U title so far[30] and the best selling title for the Wii U as well, selling approximately 2.82 million copies worldwide as of July 30, 2014.[31] As of September 30, the game sold over 3.49 million copies worldwide.[32] In January 2015, it was announced that over 1.7 million total copies (both physical and digital) had been sold in the United States alone,[33] and by March sales had reached 1.9 million.[34] As of March 31, 2015, the game has sold 5.11 million copies worldwide.[35] By the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016, sales have reached to 7.24 million.[36] At September 30, 2016, Mario Kart 8 has reached 8 million sales, including digital, physical, and bundle sales;[37] as of March 31, 2018, it reached 8.42 million, although it was exceeded by its Nintendo Switch port Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which sold 9.22 million units.[38]


Mario Kart 8 won two awards at The Game Awards 2014, being the "Best Family Game" and the "Best Sports/Racing Game".[39]

References to other games

  • Famicom Grand Prix: F-1 Race - A sign in Water Park shows two submarines; one is of an "original 1987 model", which was the year this game came out, and the first time that Mario was in a racing game.
  • Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally - The Mario's Motors logo is seen at the starting line of Mario Circuit. In addition, Mario's artwork from the game can be faintly seen above the logo itself.
  • Super Mario Bros. - Various sprites of enemies and scenery can be seen on pots in Bone-Dry Dunes. Part of Cloudtop Cruise's course layout involves a large ? Block with a beanstalk coming out of it. Super Bell Subway features graffiti representing World 1-2 in the underground portion, along with an arrangement of the underground theme first heard in that level.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2/Doki Doki Panic - The Shy Guy Metals sign seen at Toad Harbor says that they've been around since 1987, which is the year of the Shy Guys' first appearance.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 - Many aspects of Cloudtop Cruise, particularly the airships, are inspired by this game. Bowser Statues that shoot lasers appear in Bowser's Castle. The sprite of the Angry Sun can be seen in the yellow ornamental fabrics near the start of Bone-Dry Dunes.
  • Super Mario World - Various advertisements seen throughout the game reference this game with the original artwork of Dolphins. Spinners appear in Bowser's Castle. Also, Cape Feathers appear on desks in Sunshine Airport. Also, Tanooki Mario's horn uses the same sound effect as the Spin Jump and Cape Attack.
  • Super Mario Kart - A portion of the title screen music is a cover of Super Mario Karts title screen music. The Coin item returns with the same function as it does in this game. The Pipe Frame returns as kart body, with the single exhaust design from this game. Donut Plains 3 returns as a retro track. Rainbow Road and N64 Rainbow Road have their design similar to the Rainbow Road from that game, which also appears as add-on content. The desks in Sunshine Airport have feather pens with the same design as the Cape Feather from this game and consequently Super Mario World.
  • Super Mario 64 - The merry-go-round music from Big Boo's Haunt can be heard when near the Aqua Cups ride in Water Park. Some of Tanooki Mario's voice clips are recycled from this game.
  • Mario Kart 64 - The game features engine sounds during the start-up screen, which is similar to this game's start-up screen. Toad's Turnpike, Royal Raceway, Yoshi Valley, and Rainbow Road return as retro tracks. In Toad's Turnpike, a sign shows a highway advisory radio station running at the frequency "64 MHz", referencing both the system and the game it came from. When in two-player mode, the screen splits vertically instead of horizontally, a feature originally intended for this game.
  • Super Mario Advance - Several of Tanooki Mario's voice clips are recycled from this game.
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit - Mario Circuit returns as a retro course. Cloudtop Cruise's name in Japanese is "Sky Garden", the same as a course from this game. Cheese Land and Ribbon Road return as retro tracks in DLC Pack 2.
  • Luigi's Mansion - The mansion can be seen in the background of Baby Park. The course Twisted Mansion contains a few elements related to this game.
  • Super Mario Sunshine - Sunshine Airport has a Shine Sprite in its logo. The European release date is used as a serial number on some storage crates in Sunshine Airport (55402MS= Oct 4th, 2002). Voice clips from this game are used for Tanooki Mario.
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - Like in this game, characters hold items in their hands and players can honk their horns when they are out of items (except for the Super Horn). Also, they hold items in their left hands instead of their right. Dry Dry Desert and Sherbet Land return as retro courses. Yoshi Circuit and Baby Park also return as DLC retro courses. N64 Rainbow Road takes place above a city, much like GCN Rainbow Road.
  • Yoshi Topsy-Turvy - Yoshi's artwork which depicts him using his tongue is used as a firework in N64 Rainbow Road.
  • Mario Kart DS - Cheep Cheep Beach, Tick-Tock Clock, and Wario Stadium return as retro courses. Also the B Dasher, a kart from this game, returns as a part of the first downloadable content pack. Also, this is the second 3D Mario Kart game where the players can also use the D-Pad to steer. In addition, the new Battle Mode system is also partially based from this game.
  • Super Mario Galaxy - An image of a Luma can be seen on an airplane (from Galaxy Air airlines) in Sunshine Airport, as well as on the Star Cup trophy. Also, part of Cloudtop Cruise's music is a cover of the Gusty Garden Galaxy's music. In addition, a large rotating Grand Star is featured in N64 Rainbow Road, as well as the Launch Stars. In Twisted Mansion, the arch leading to the underwater section bears Bouldergeist's likeness.
  • Mario Kart Wii - Twelve player races and motorbikes return. The ability to perform tricks on ramps and boost panels returns. Moo Moo Meadows and Grumble Volcano also return as retro courses along with Wario's Gold Mine which returns as add on content. The new Rainbow Road is set above the Earth, just like Wii Rainbow Road and both Rainbow Roads features a part that is similar; the road splits into two paths after a launch segment and also have prominent pink shades. Super Bell Subway has the Coconut Café and an ad for the Fountain Café, referencing two businesses found in Coconut Mall. Various characters have their voice clips reused from this game.
  • Mario Super Sluggers - Several voice clips are recycled from this game.
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii - One of the planes in Sunshine Airport has a logo for Propeller Toad Transport with an insignia of a Propeller Mushroom.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Part of Cloudtop Cruise's music includes a cover of the Sky Station Galaxy's music. The tunnel at the beginning of Dragon Driftway is modeled after Gobblegut.
  • Super Mario 3D Land - Goomba Towers appear as obstacles in Mario Circuit. The Biddybuggy resembles a Para-Biddybud. The Boomerang Flower appears as an item. A silhouette of Tanooki Mario's artwork can be seen on the back of the Leaf Cup trophy. Tanooki Mario is an available racer via add-on content, and Statue Mario is one of his tricks.
  • Mario Kart 7 - The title is a follow-up game of this installment. Gliders and underwater areas return. Music Park, Piranha Plant Slide, and DK Jungle return as retro courses while Neo Bowser City returns as a DLC retro course. Vehicle customization returns from this game. The beat that is added to the music when the player is in first place also returns from this game.[40] Mount Wario, N64 Rainbow Road, and Big Blue are split into three sections just like the three courses from this game. Electrodrome has some similarities with Music Park, which is when players drive on the instruments, they make their own sound. It also has Mario Kart 7s point system where each racer gets a point regardless of their position. Various kart parts that originated from this game return. The biggest difference is that the ability to retract the Gliders while in the air has been removed unless getting hit by items launched by opponents.
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 - Twisted Mansion's entrance has a statue of a Boohemoth above it, an enemy from this game. Bone Piranha Plants also make an appearance in Bone-Dry Dunes.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U - The Mecha Cheep appears in this game and there is a glider based on a Waddlewing.
  • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon - Parts of the Library Piano music can be heard in Twisted Mansion.
  • Super Mario 3D World - The Piranha Plant appears as an item. Furthermore, most of the fireworks in N64 Rainbow Road use stamp images from this game which replaces the neon-lit signs of the eight playable characters (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Toad, Yoshi, Wario, and Donkey Kong) and a portrait of a Boo and Mushroom in Mario Kart 64. An ad on Toad Harbor for Tropical Grocery has a Double Cherry on it. Cat Peach is an available racer via add on content, and the logo for the Bell Cup is the Super Bell.
  • Super Smash Bros. series - Captain Falcon's signature taunt, "Show me your moves!", which originates from this series, appears in several jumbotrons near the end of the track of the DLC course Mute City.
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong series - Mini Toads appear at the starting line of GBA Ribbon Road.

References in later games

  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Mario Circuit reappears as a stage. The songs "Mario Kart Stadium", "Mario Circuit", "Cloudtop Cruise", and "Rainbow Road" appear as music tracks for the stage; Cloudtop Cruise was remixed with both the regular and thundercloud versions mixed.
  • Yoshi's Woolly World - The Green, Pink, and Light-blue woolly Yoshi plush toys that appear in the background of GBA Ribbon Road resemble the Yoshis from this game and its compatible amiibo.
  • Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash - Various voice clips are reused.
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam - Various voice clips from the Koopalings are reused in this game.
  • Nintendo Badge Arcade - Various stamps of the characters and objects are collectable badges.
  • Super Mario Maker - The GLA body returns as a Costume Mario power-up. Some voice clips are reused in the eight rare death clips when falling into a pit, e.g. Mario yelling out "Ha, ha, ha! Bye bye!!" when slipstreaming appears in one clip. The Daisy costume also reuses voice clips.
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash - The Luigi "Death Stare" meme, which originated from this game, is mentioned by Huey. The title theme and the countdown timer sound is used when Mario and Huey are about to go to Rainbow Road.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - This game is an enhanced port of Mario Kart 8. All original and DLC contents are included, except stamps, Miiverse compatibility, and the ability to upload highlight reels on YouTube. The game also features a heavily revamped Battle Mode.
  • Super Mario Run - The final five seconds of a Battle Mode match is used in Toad Rally along with its sound.
  • Super Mario Odyssey - Some of the sponsors from this game appear on Mario's mechanic and racer outfit.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - In addition to the Mario Circuit stage and its aforementioned accompanying songs reappearing from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, "Excitebike - Mario Kart 8", "Dragon Driftway", and "Ice Ice Outpost" also appear as music tracks. Some of Daisy's voice clips are taken from this game, including her shouting "Yooooo!" in her battle entrance.
  • Super Mario Maker 2 - Some of Toadette's voice clips are reused in this game.

Pre-release and unused content

Mario Kart 8 has featured several changes from earlier builds to the final build of the game. For example, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 mechanics were used as placeholders in the E3 2013 build of the game. Several small changes, such as Twisted Mansion originally being called "Boo House" and Toad Harbor's racing banner originally having a Galaxy Airline logo were present in earlier trailers of the game. Several of the music featured in earlier builds, such as Mario Circuit's music, was more synthesized than orchestrated in final build of the game.


Spiny Shell Attacks Incorrect Racer

This glitch is most common in N64 Yoshi Valley due to the numerous paths drivers may follow, though it can happen under specific circumstances in other courses such as Bone-Dry Dunes. Occasionally when a Spiny Shell is deployed and the racers in at least first and second place are in a section where the road forks in two, the Spiny Shell may initially follow the racer in first place and then change its target to the one in second place or the highest place out of those in the other path. This is caused by some courses–in particular Yoshi Valley–having the checkpoint markers that determine the place of the racers being inadequately calibrated with the other routes. This is demonstrated by driving down the old bridge path while in first place: the player drops position while in the turn and then returns to first place once the paths join up again.[41]


Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development developed Mario Kart 8 in cooperation with Bandai Namco Studios, who made roughly half of the 3D visual assets of courses, characters and vehicle parts. Furthermore, an undisclosed number of 3D models for artwork illustrations have been made by Marza Animation Planet, a subsidiary of SEGA[42]. The music composition is credited to Shiho Fujii, Atsuko Asahi, Ryo Nagamatsu, and Yasuaki Iwata, with longtime series composer Kenta Nagata serving as sound director with the music performed by the Mario Kart Band. Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma were the general producers, though the latter goes uncredited, and Satoru Iwata was the executive producer.


  • Some of the playable characters' voice clips were later recycled in Mario Party 10 , Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, and Super Mario Party.
  • As the best-selling Wii U game with 8.44 million copies sold, it is also the only game for the system to surpass the average 5 million-mark.
  • This is the only Mario Kart game wherein the first racetrack (of the Mushroom Cup) is not a circuit course.
  • Unlike several previous installments of the Mario Kart series, the retro courses use their respective Mario Kart logo, excluding the DLC tracks GCN Yoshi Circuit, GBA Cheese Land, and GBA Ribbon Road; the tracks from SNES to GCN use an updated version of the classic logo, while the tracks from DS to 3DS, and the three DLC tracks mentioned, use the current logo.
  • Wherever text appears in the background elements of the game's racetracks (notably in 3DS Neo Bowser City and 3DS Music Park), it is generally written in American English, regardless of the language or region of the game itself.
  • In the Japanese version, the classifier for the Retro courses from Mario Kart 64 has changed to N64, from 64 which was used prior to Mario Kart 8.
  • This game received a browser game on the Play Nintendo website called Mario Kart 8 Party Starter.
  • This is the first and only Mario Kart game in which none of the courses shares the same background music.


  Main article: Mario Kart 8/gallery


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E3 2013 Trailer
Wii U - Mario Kart 8 Trailer

Wii U - Mario Kart 8 Trailer

Mario Kart 8 December Direct Trailer
Mario Kart 8 - More New Features Trailer
Main Page: Mario Kart 8/videos


  1. Ward, Jamie (May 28, 2014). Namco Bandai Credited On Mario Kart 8. Nintendo Enthusiast. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  2. List of products from Bandai Namco Studios. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
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  6. Mario Kart 8 at E3 2013
  7. Mister Wu (April 18, 2015). A look at the item system. MKBoards. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  8. Mister Wu's raw Mario Kart data (December 2, 2015).MK8 - angular velocity test part 5: autodrifting - outward drifting vehicles. Youtube. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  9. Alex Musa (May 30, 2014). There are actually two sub-categories of bike: standard and sport. Standard bikes drift similarly to every other body type. Sport bikes more or less commit to the turn during a drift, sharply cutting in the direction of the turn. . Mario Kart 8 Official Game Guide, page 28. PRIMA Games. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  10. Mister Wu (July 4, 2016). Outward drifting vehicles gradually reach a lower speed while drifting. MKBoards Forums. Retrieved january 25, 2017.
  11. Mister Wu (December 8, 2015). Angular velocity in steady-state drifting and autodrifting. MKBoards Forums. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  12. A transcription of the Actual in-game stats. Please note how inside drifting bikes always have a lower Drift - Manual and Drift - Auto values range than that of the karts. Custom Mario Kart Wiiki. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
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  16. Drivers section of the official North American site of Mario Kart 8.
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  19. [5]
  21. Scrapped ideas led to the anti-gravity idea in Mario Kart 8 - Nintendo Today
  22. E3 2013: Nintendo's Hideki Konno Pulls Back The Curtain On Mario Kart 8
  27. ,
  29. Metascore of Mario Kart 8Metacritic, Retrieved February 14, 2020
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  32. Makuch, Eddie (October 31, 2014). About Half of All Wii U Owners Have a Copy of 'Mario Kart 8. GameSpot. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  33. Makuch, Eddie (January 16, 2015). Mario Kart 8 US Sales Reach 1.7 Million, Amiibo Up to 2.6 Million. GameSpot. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  34. Duwell, Ron. (April 17, 2015.) Majora's Mask 3D edges towards 1 million sales in the States. TechnoBuffalo. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  35. Lee, Tyler. (May 7, 2015). Mario Kart 8 Sales Crosses The 5 Million Mark. Ubergizmo. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
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  37. Hansen, Steve (October 26, 2016). More like Mario Kart 8 million: Here are the Wii U and 3DS best-sellers Destructoid. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  38. IR Information : Sales Data - Top Selling Title Sales Units. Nintendo. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  41. YouTube - Mario Kart 8 - (N64) Yoshi Valley - Spiny Shell's Bad Day
  42. Mario Kart 8 | MARZA ANIMATION PLANET. Retrieved July 1, 2016.

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