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Mario Kart vs. Mario Party: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on March 4, 2024
Mario Kart is a racing game series, while Mario Party is a digital board game series with mini-games.

Key Differences

Mario Kart is a competitive racing game that allows players to race against each other in various imaginative tracks using characters from the Mario franchise. Mario Party, on the other hand, is more of a digital board game where players move around the board and compete in mini-games for rewards. Both games are designed for multiplayer fun but cater to different gaming experiences; Mario Kart focuses on fast-paced racing action, while Mario Party emphasizes strategic board game play and mini-game variety.
In Mario Kart, players can use items to gain an advantage or hinder opponents during races, adding a layer of strategy to the high-speed competition. Mario Party's gameplay revolves around players taking turns to roll dice, move around the board, and participate in mini-games that require a mix of skill, luck, and strategy. The mini-games in Mario Party are diverse, ranging from puzzle-solving to action and skill challenges, ensuring a varied gaming experience that contrasts with Mario Kart's consistent focus on racing.
Mario Kart is renowned for its iconic circuits, imaginative vehicles, and the thrill of racing, making it a favorite among those who enjoy dynamic and competitive gameplay. Mario Party is celebrated for its ability to bring friends and family together in a light-hearted competition through its board game format and engaging mini-games, offering a more relaxed and social gaming experience. Despite their differences, both games are staples of the Mario franchise and are beloved for their ability to entertain and bring people together.
Mario Kart requires players to master driving skills and track layouts to succeed, Mario Party relies more on a mix of luck and quick mastery of varied mini-game mechanics. This difference highlights the unique appeal of each game; Mario Kart appeals to those who enjoy mastering a skill and competing in high-speed races, whereas Mario Party is suited to players who prefer a more casual and unpredictable gaming experience where anyone can win. Both games, however, excel in providing entertaining and memorable multiplayer experiences within the Mario universe.

Comparison Chart


Racing game with competitive tracks
Digital board game with mini-games


Speed, racing skills, and track mastery
Strategy, luck, and mini-game variety

Multiplayer Experience

Competitive racing against others
Cooperative and competitive board game play

Game Elements

Use of items to compete in races
Dice rolls, board game strategy, mini-games


High-speed action and racing excitement
Social interaction and varied game challenges

Mario Kart and Mario Party Definitions

Mario Kart

Features a variety of game modes, including time trials and grand prix.
I've been trying to beat my time trial records in Mario Kart all week.

Mario Party

Encourages social interaction and can be played by players of all ages.
Mario Party is perfect for our mixed-age gatherings; everyone can join in.

Mario Kart

Offers multiplayer racing experiences both locally and online.
Playing Mario Kart online with friends always makes for a great time.

Mario Party

A party video game series that combines board game elements with mini-games.
Mario Party is our go-to game for family game nights.

Mario Kart

A competitive racing video game featuring Mario franchise characters.
We spent the evening playing Mario Kart and competing in Rainbow Road.

Mario Party

Features a variety of characters from the Mario universe.
Choosing your character in Mario Party is half the fun, I always pick Yoshi.

Mario Kart

Known for its imaginative tracks and use of power-ups.
The best part of Mario Kart is using the power-ups to outsmart your opponents.

Mario Party

Known for its engaging mini-games and multiplayer format.
The mini-games in Mario Party always get super competitive among us.

Mario Kart

A series of go-kart-style racing games developed by Nintendo.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the fastest-selling game in the series.

Mario Party

Involves strategic movement around a virtual board to win.
Strategizing your moves in Mario Party can really turn the game in your favor.


How many players can play Mario Kart and Mario Party?

The number of players can vary by game version, but both typically support 4 players locally, with Mario Kart supporting up to 12 players online in some versions.

Can you play Mario Kart and Mario Party online?

Yes, both Mario Kart and Mario Party offer online multiplayer options.

What makes Mario Kart and Mario Party different from each other?

Mario Kart focuses on racing and skill, while Mario Party is centered around board game strategies and mini-games.

Are there any crossover characters between Mario Kart and Mario Party?

Yes, both games feature characters from the Mario franchise and occasionally characters from other Nintendo franchises.

What is Mario Party?

Mario Party is a party game series that combines a board game structure with a variety of mini-games for players to compete in.

Do Mario Kart and Mario Party require gaming consoles?

Yes, both series are available on various Nintendo consoles, including the Nintendo Switch.

Do Mario Kart and Mario Party have downloadable content (DLC)?

Some versions of these games offer DLC, adding new characters, tracks, or mini-games.

What is Mario Kart?

Mario Kart is a racing game series where players compete in kart races using characters from the Mario franchise.

Are Mario Kart and Mario Party suitable for children?

Yes, both games are family-friendly and suitable for children, though some mini-games in Mario Party may require adult supervision or assistance.

Can you play Mario Kart and Mario Party solo?

Yes, both games offer single-player modes, though they are primarily designed for multiplayer enjoyment.

Do Mario Kart and Mario Party games have themes or special editions?

Yes, both series have had special editions and themes, often coinciding with the release of new Nintendo consoles or anniversaries.

Is there a competitive scene for Mario Kart and Mario Party?

While Mario Kart has a more active competitive scene, both games are primarily enjoyed casually and socially.

Can you customize rules or settings in Mario Kart and Mario Party?

Both games offer some level of customization for game rules and settings, especially in private matches or parties.

Can Mario Kart and Mario Party be played on handheld devices?

Yes, certain versions of these games are available on Nintendo's handheld devices, like the Nintendo DS and 3DS.

What kind of mini-games are in Mario Party?

Mario Party features a wide range of mini-games, including action, puzzle, strategy, and skill-based games.

Have Mario Kart and Mario Party ever been combined in a game?

While both games share characters and elements, they remain distinct series without a direct combination game.

Are there any accessibility features in Mario Kart and Mario Party?

Nintendo has been improving accessibility in its games, but the range of features can vary between different versions of these games.

How do power-ups work in Mario Kart?

Power-ups in Mario Kart are obtained from item boxes on the track and can be used to gain an advantage or hinder opponents.

Do Mario Kart and Mario Party have any educational value?

While primarily designed for entertainment, these games can help develop reaction time, strategic thinking, and social skills.

How often are new Mario Kart and Mario Party games released?

New releases are not on a set schedule, but new titles or updates are announced periodically by Nintendo.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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