Mario Kart DS (2005)

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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 543 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 8 critic

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Title: Mario Kart DS (Video Game 2005)

Mario Kart DS (Video Game 2005) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast overview:
Charles Martinet ...
Mario / Luigi / Wario / Waluigi (voice)
Jen Taylor ...
Princess Peach / Toad (voice)
Scott Burns ...
Bowser (voice)
Nate Bihldorff ...
Shy Guy (voice)
Kazumi Totaka ...
Yoshi (voice)
Takashi Nagasako ...
Donkey Kong (voice)
Deanna Mustard ...
Princess Daisy (voice)
Toru Asakawa ...
King Boo / ROB (voice)


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Hit the tracks for portable racing fun with Mario! See more »


E | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

14 November 2005 (USA)  »

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Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

0.67 : 1
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Did You Know?


GCN Yoshi Corcuit has the secret tunnel shortcut removed, but the jump across the moat remains intact. See more »


Waluigi: Let's go already!
See more »


Referenced in Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Easily the best Mario Kart game and a fantastic return to the form shown in the SNES and messed up by the other versions
13 February 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having seen this title listed as one of the best video games of 2005 by The Times, I decided that, despite not liking the N64 version or Double Dash I would take the risk and buy it. Of course this meant also buying a DS but I managed to get it as a pack and in a sale so I convinced myself it was a bargain! Luckily for me this is easily the best Mario Kart game since the original hit the SNES. The concept is the same as ever with a series of cups to compete in, with four races making up each cup and three speed classes to allow the game to grow with your ability.

The immediate first strength of the game is the amount of races to take part in. There are four main cups with a total of 16 new tracks but what was a great surprise was the addition of the retro cups, which were another four cups with a track from each version of the game (SNES, N64, Gameboy and Gamecube) making up the four races within each. This makes 32 tracks to race on as well as having the ability to play the "classic" tracks that I remember from years ago. Of course they were never going to please everyone and some of the choices of retro courses were a bit weak and other ones that I would have considered indispensable have been overlooked! However it is a very good idea and it adds value to the game that goes beyond just increasing the number of races. The new tracks are impressive, fun and imaginative; they are loaded with good visuals but not to the point where they dominate the screen and make the race harder.

The main improvement though is the gameplay, which was spot-on in the SNES but was flawed for every version I've played up till this one. If you drive a great race you can put distance between you and the other characters, unlike the N64 where the characters would just stick on your tail no matter what you did. This doesn't mean it is easy because often it is a challenge but the impact of the items also helps – no longer does a shell hit mean you are out of the race because the spin is not terminal and you can continue; plus the impact is fair across all the characters so it isn't just you getting hammered. The versus option is a nice way to practice the courses against opponents without playing a grand prix each time. The time trials are the same but the ghost data seemed easier to get at.

The battle was a great part of the SNES version but I thought the other versions took the skill out of it. Here some of the arenas are unhelpfully open but generally they are good. Of course what really makes the battles work is the ability to play against the computer, not to mention the number of characters in the arenas at one time. I hated the "blow the balloons up" idea but at least the select button does the same. The spread of characters is good and the option of different carts makes them a bit more variable so that I no longer felt that the advantage was to get the middle of the road cart and avoid the very light or very heavy characters. The function to play against other DS consoles is a good idea but I haven't tried it out so I can't comment.

Overall this is a great game that is a welcome return to form for the Mario Kart game. The buttons on the DS are a little small perhaps and everyone will have a classic track that didn't make it into the retro cups but generally everything else is an improvement and for my money it is more than enough of an excuse to buy a DS.

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