Can you get Mario Kart on Xbox?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Mario Kart is exclusive to Nintendo consoles and not available on Xbox.
  • There are similar kart racing games on Xbox like Beach Buggy Racing and KartRider: Drift.
  • Other games with comparable gameplay to Mario Kart are available on Xbox, like Horizon Chase Turbo.
  • While you can’t play actual Mario Kart games on Xbox, there are alternative kart racers to enjoy.
  • Nintendo develops Mario Kart exclusively for its own platforms, so it won’t release games in the series for Xbox.


Kart racing games like Mario Kart are immensely popular, blending arcade-style racing action with colorful characters and power-ups. With its stellar gameplay and iconic characters, Mario Kart has long been a crown jewel franchise for Nintendo. Fans may wonder if there is any way to enjoy Mario Kart on other consoles like Xbox.

This article will comprehensively evaluate whether it is possible to get Mario Kart games on the Xbox platform. It will analyze the availability and exclusivity of Mario Kart titles, discuss similar kart racing games for Xbox, and recommend quality alternatives that capture the classic Mario Kart experience. Understanding the options for kart racers on Xbox, as well as Nintendo’s approach to the Mario Kart series, will provide valuable insights for both Nintendo and Xbox gamers.

With details on the exclusivity of the Mario Kart series, overviews of highly-rated kart racers on Xbox, and suggestions for suitable Mario Kart alternatives, this article will help readers discover how to experience thrilling kart racing action on Xbox. While Mario Kart games are not directly available, there are excellent substitutes that replicate the competitive and engaging kart racing that the franchise is renowned for.

Is Mario Kart Available on Xbox?

Mario Kart is exclusive to Nintendo gaming platforms. The hit kart racing series is developed in-house by Nintendo for its various consoles over the years, starting with 1992’s Super Mario Kart which released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Subsequent mainline Mario Kart games have launched on Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, and most recently the Nintendo Switch.

Additionally, there have been Mario Kart arcade games not developed by Nintendo, as well as Mario Kart-branded games for mobile and the Virtual Boy. However, the core Mario Kart series has only ever been available on Nintendo consoles. As a result, Mario Kart games cannot be played directly on Xbox consoles. The series is wholly owned and published by Nintendo for its own platforms.

Why Mario Kart is Exclusive to Nintendo Platforms

As one of its most popular and best-selling franchises, Nintendo reserves Mario Kart as exclusive content to drive hardware and software sales for Nintendo consoles. Releasing Mario Kart for competitor platforms like Xbox would diminish its value as a differentiating asset for Nintendo systems.

First-party exclusive titles are a key factor that set apart different consoles in the gaming market. Sony has God of War, Microsoft has Halo, and Nintendo has Mario Kart among other exclusive flagship series. These premier games help attract consumers and boost sales.

By retaining Mario Kart exclusively for its consoles, Nintendo has a powerful system-seller that maintains demand and relevance for new Nintendo console launches. Each new entry in the series is a must-have killer app tailored to showcase that Nintendo platform’s unique capabilities.

As a result, Nintendo will continue producing Mario Kart games only for its own current and future consoles to retain the series’ exclusivity, popularity, and sales power.

Similar Kart Racers Available on Xbox

While Mario Kart games are not playable on Xbox consoles, there are a number of quality kart racers designed for Xbox that offer comparable arcade-style racing experiences:

Beach Buggy Racing

Developed by indie studio Vector Unit, Beach Buggy Racing brings fast-paced kart racing action to Xbox One with colorful visuals and power-up-fueled competition. Players can take control of up to 40 outrageous customizable vehicles to race across a tropical island-themed environment. Features like split-screen multiplayer for up to 4 players provide family-friendly fun.

KartRider: Drift

This free-to-play kart racer from Nexon is filled with drift-fueled racing, extensive character and kart customization, and online multiplayer mayhem. KartRider: Drift captures the competitive and creative spirit of the genre when it launches on Xbox consoles later in 2023.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

A graphically-enhanced remake of the classic PlayStation kart racer, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled brings fast-paced skillful driving and zany weapons to modern consoles including Xbox One. With content from previous Crash racing games and local/online competitive multiplayer, it captures authentic kart racing spirit.

Horizon Chase Turbo

Drawing inspiration from classic 90s arcade racers, Horizon Chase Turbo provides fast arcade kart racing action to Xbox consoles and other platforms. Colorful stylized graphics, split-screen local multiplayer for up to 4 players, and a catchy soundtrack give the game an enjoyable and nostalgic feel.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Sega brings together an all-star cast from its franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, Jet Set Radio, and Golden Axe for over-the-top racing action. Unique transforming vehicles that shift between car, boat and plane modes during races help provide variety. Local and online multiplayer expands the competition.

Quality Alternatives to Mario Kart on Xbox

While no Mario Kart games are directly available to play on Xbox consoles, there are several quality games on the platform that offer engaging kart racing experiences highly comparable to the Mario Kart series:

Horizon Chase Turbo – Best Overall Alternative

With its colorful retro graphics, upbeat original soundtrack, and emphasis on split-screen multiplayer, Horizon Chase Turbo is likely the closest equivalent on Xbox to the quintessential Mario Kart experience. Responsive drift-focused driving mechanics and inventive course routes through jungles, deserts, and more make every race a joy.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – Best Character Variety

By featuring a diverse cast of popular Sega mascots and game characters behind the wheel, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed matches the lively personality and appeal of Mario Kart. Changing vehicle types mid-race substantially sets it apart with creative, transforming track routes.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled – Best Remake/Remaster

As an expertly-crafted remake of an iconic kart racing classic for modern consoles, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled exemplifies the established excellence in gameplay, controls, tracks, modes and overall polish that defines Mario Kart. Vibrant visual upgrades and abundant content additions make it feel fresh.

KartRider: Drift – Best F2P Model

Following a free-to-play model with extensive gameplay available without spending, cosmetic-only microtransactions, and frequent post-launch content updates, KartRider: Drift follows modern best practices for the genre much like Mario Kart Tour on mobile. Its drift-focused racing also looks to capture the competitive depth of Mario Kart.

Beach Buggy Racing – Best Multiplayer Focus

With an emphasis on 4-player local split-screen racing, Beach Buggy Racing embraces the social excitement and friendship-testing competitiveness that gives Mario Kart evergreen appeal. An excellent party game experience for all ages.


In summary, Mario Kart remains exclusive to Nintendo platforms and is not directly playable on Xbox consoles. Nintendo develops and retains each Mario Kart game for its own systems to drive hardware and software sales. However, Xbox players have great options like Beach Buggy Racing, KartRider: Drift, Horizon Chase Turbo, and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed to enjoy the thrilling pick-up-and-play kart racing action that Mario Kart popularised.

While no game perfectly replicates the precise driving physics, iconic characters, creative weapons, and finely-tuned tracks of Mario Kart, the best racing games for Xbox highlighted here capture a similar spirit of competitive fun. With quality kart racing alternatives now understood, Xbox gamers can still satisfy their need for speed with multiplayer mayhem.

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