What’s your favorite new gameplay element in Mario Kart 7? Mine buys kart parts


Don’t you love diving into a new Mario Kart game? You get the fun of discovery, the return of old friends, the annoyance of that one guy online picking SNES Rainbow Road every single time

In this generally terrific game, I’ve discovered additions I like more than I thought I would (Lucky 7) and some not so much (Super Leaf). The return of Gold Coins, however–and their new effect on the entire flow of the game–is my pick for Mario Kart 7’s biggest gameplay improvement.

Coins increase your top speed, create new on-track goals to aim for, and turn simple banana peels into evil robbers. Coins also make Lightning Bolts laugh-out-loud funny.

The coins’ link to customization, however, reaches further and livens up the entire single player game. Since new karts, tires and wings can only be unlocked with coins, players have motivation to continue a cup series even when a gold trophy becomes hopelessly out of reach. Coins earned in online races also count toward the total, so even a last place racer can at least try to scoop up some additional cash before the competition ends.

This element, of course, will only be effective until all the parts are unlocked, but it definitely takes the grind-i-ness out of the single player completion phase. If you continually lose those last two or three 150cc cups (like I do), at least your kart options keep expanding.

So, I vote for gold as Mario Kart 7’s best improvement. How about you? Is there any particular feature you think makes this chapter stand out?


  1. None; I don’t have it. How can someone play such a controller-throwing game on a 3DS? I think they need to make rubber case for your 3DS.
    Sorry I had to say it.

  2. *Sigh*…

    Maybe I should’ve specified, “Please only respond if you’ve actually played Mario Kart 7.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    MK is clearly not for everyone, Grimreaper, but I’m one who counts it as my all-time favorite game series. Learning to laugh at the game’s chaos and not getting angry when fate deals your race a cruel blow…it’s a great exercise in self control!

    Mario Kart 7 is fun, fun, fun…but I like your idea about the rubber case. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I just like collecting coins! Even if they didn’t do anything, they’re fun to collect during the races.

  4. While still cheap, I love the changes made to the blue shell. I’ve found it much easier to recover from when I’m blasted with one. Also, the AI opponents are much smarter, and act strategically in the higher cc cups, making them much more fun to race against.

  5. Hang gliding.

    When I first saw it I thought it was going to be a real gimmicky cosmetic addition, but it’s anything but that. It’s a blast to fly, gather coins, listen to the breeze and your glider flapping, and even try to discover some new ways to shave off a second or two by mustering up some courage. It adds a new dimension, literally, being able to soar up and down.

    I love it.

  6. I love getting ghosts through SpotPass In the Mario Kart Channel

  7. I really love the gliding, first off. It’s really satisfying.

    What I’m really excited about is that they made Time Trials actually fun to do. Delivering the SpotPass ghosts everyday, with 7 per track is great because it makes it feel like an actual race. I’m looking forward to StreetPassing with someone and swapping ghost data. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Depends what counts. Do the new tracks count as a gameplay element? If so, them. If not, I Guess either gliding or the improved ranking system that’s not complete rubbish like the ones in the last two games.

  9. I love love love doing time trials via SpotPass. So simple but so brilliant.