If you want to get ahead of the competition in the world’s most famous karting franchise, then you’ll need to know about the very best Mario Kart characters of all time!
Mario Kart isn’t just a game; it’s a way of life. I’ve spent most of my life playing this game on one Nintendo console or another, first coming to the game on the N64.
Since then, I’ve canvassed every title from the SNES to the Switch, honing what I like to call the Mario Kart Method.
That’s a scientific name for me absolutely owning players on the internet.
Still, the science is sound, and I’ve used it to determine the best Mario Kart characters for players to choose in Mario Kart 8, undoubtedly one of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time.
So, what are we waiting for; let’s dive in and find out which racers have the need for speed (and traction and handling, of course)!
NB – The following choices are based on character’s base stats, before kart, wheel, and glider choices on Mario Kart 8 come into play. All stats can be modified by changing vehicle and tyres, but the choices in this article will give you a good base-level to work from going forward.
Peach kickstarts our list of the best Mario characters of all time!
She’s always a great go-to character for first time racers, basically an all-rounder across the board coming in middle ground for all stats.
Don’t see that as a bad thing; at the base level, she’s a great character to get settled into the game with.
And, while not as fast as some of the other racers, she has a good skillset that can’t be ignored.
As Peach is not a baby character and not as heavy as Rosalina, she has a good weight stat that means she can stand her ground while not getting too bogged down on the corners.
She’s got a decent mini-boost too, one of the best in the game before the lighter baby characters come into play.
The biggest bruiser in Mario Strikers: Battle League is still the biggest powerhouses in Mario Kart 8.
You might not believe it, but Bowser has the fastest speed stat in the game along with Wario. I guess nice guys really do finish last!
Don’t get too excited though; Bowser’s handling is atrocious.
And, although his high weight stat means he can bash people out of the way like flies, it definitely works against him when it comes to accelerating past the smaller characters.
He doesn’t have a very good Turbo boost stat either, sitting middle of the pack. Still, if brute force is where your skillset lies, then you can’t go wrong with King Koopa.
The hero of Hyrule takes the 8th spot in our list of the best Mario Kart characters.
To be honest, and I know this is going to seem like an insane thing to say considering all the work I’ve done on this article, but sometimes I just race as Link even though I know he’s not the absolute best.
I mean, come on; you all know how much I love the best Zelda games, and that Master Cycle is absolutely incredible!
Link is fast, with a high speed rating and an acceleration stat that almost matches.
Lighter than Bowser, he has the edge over Mario’s nemesis in acceleration, handling, and traction, making him a great choice for overtaking on bends.
And let’s face it, he’s the coolest looking character in the game, especially when he pulls out the Master Sword while going over jumps!
7. Dry Bones
Dry Bones was always my go-to racer on Super Mario Kart Wii, one of the best Mario games on Nintendo Wii!
He has some of the highest handling stats in Mario Kart 8. With impressive traction and acceleration stats, he can move power ahead and hug corners like a pro racer.
The main thing about a character without any innards, however, is that they are quite light. With a low weight stat, Dry Bones often gets battered and buffeted about quire easily, a stat that counteracts that admirable traction level.
With some clever tinkering, Dry Bones’ stats can be levelled out by playing around with wheel and glider choice.
So, if you’re dead keen on our rattly friend here, take your time and check out all the options on offer.
Take a look at our choice of the best kart and bike below once you’ve seen who is at Number 1!
6. Metal Mario/Pink Gold Peach
Metal Mario and Pink Gold Peach might not look like the coolest characters, but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
They might look a little dull around the edges, but they’ve got some seriously cool stats, including almost top speed and high acceleration levels.
With middle-ground traction and handling, they can cope with corners fairly well, but the weight factors (because they’re metal) means they’re going to get floored by the guys lower down this list.
Still, I bet Pink Gold Peach would love to run over Toad every now and again!
Speaking of Toad, here he is!
If you’re asking yourself which are the best Mario Kart characters for just all-round great results, then Toad is your man… mushroom… you get the idea.
Toad has great acceleration, handling, and traction, making him a great choice if you’ve got to get back from behind to head to the front,
Like some of the other lighter characters in this list, low weight means that you will get bashed out of the way.
The high traction and low weight means that corners could be a little hit and miss, but if you’re clever with your tyre choice, you can give him a fighting chance of lifting the gold cup at the end of the match.
4. Baby Mario
Baby Mario has come a long way from being carried around on Yoshi’s back in Yoshi’s Island.
With pretty much maximum acceleration, handling, and traction, this little Marioling is super nippy when it comes to hurtling around corners and making those secret jumps.
That being said, Baby Mario’s low speed and weight make him an easy target for batting out of the way and harder to control when you want to go around corners.
Still, with a great little mini-boost, if you time those drifts right, then heading around corners will be a breeze.
Of all the biggest bruisers, Wario is the character with the biggest speed stat
He’s one of the best Mario Kart characters for natural speed out of the entire bunch. He’s also one of the heaviest, second only to Bowser, but that means he can just barge people out of the way.
With vehicle modifications, players can adapt the weight ratio and make use of Wario’s good traction.
Wario’s poor handling lets him down, probably because he is one of the heavier characters on offer.
Still, if you like to drift and can utilise those mini-boosts, you’ll have no problem placing highly in every race.
He might have won out in our article on who is the best character in Mario Kart 64, but Yoshi slips into second place here in our list.
Yoshi has great stats across the board, coming pretty highly acceleration, handling, and traction around those corners. He’s got pretty impressive speed stats too even without messing around with car parts!
This clog-wearing dino has always been one of my favourite Mario Kart characters; not only is he an absolute legendary Nintendo icon, but he’s also just super quick and has a beastly mini turbo too!
1. Bowser Jr.
If you want to get ahead of the competition and win every game, then Baby Bowser is the best Mario Kart Character.
Seriously, this little dude brings home the gold every single time.
With great handling and acceleration, Bowser Jr can shoot ahead of the competition even when far behind, quickly heading back to the front of the pack.
And if you hold the best item in Mario Kart 8 listed below, you’ll keep that lead too!
Bowser Jr’s speed is on the average side, but twinned with high acceleration and considering high handling and low-ish weight, he can move with ease and cut those corners tightly.
All in all, an absolute powerhouse. And he slaps his behind when going over jumps which always makes me laugh.
What Is The Fastest Kart In Mario Kart 8?
The pipe frame is the fastest kart in Mario Kart 8.
Because of the random unlock system, it’s impossible to say when the Pipe Kart will unlock for you. Some people have received it early on in the game, while others have reported it was the final cart that they unlocked.
I guess the more you play, the quicker you’ll get it! And if that isn’t an excuse to turn the game on now, then I don’t know what is!
What Is The Fastest Bike In Mario Kart 8?
The City Tripper, Varmint, and Mr Scooty are the fastest bikes in Mario Kart 8.
The City Tripper and Mr Scooty might not look as cool as the Varmint on the track, but all three of these bikes cut the mustard when it comes to impressive stats across the board.
Mr Scooty adds the most acceleration to your base-level stats of the three… Wario would look so funny on one of those!
What Is The Best Item In Mario Kart 8?
The Super Horn is the one item that can destroy a blue shell, making it the best item in Mario Kart 8!
That’s right, if you can fire a Super Horn at the right time, you’ll destroy a Blue Shell and save yourself from absolute annihilation.
That makes it the perfect item to hold while in first place! When you’ve got that lead, you’ve got to keep it!
Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.