Few things in life match the simple, visceral satisfaction of firing a Blue Shell at the first-place leader and blowing past the explosion to win the race—except, perhaps, using Slingshot Boost from a nearby teammate to boost yourself ahead of everyone else to claim the glory for yourself and your team.

Both Mario Kart and Sonic Team Racing appeal to those that want a lighthearted, fun, pick-up-and-play experience with minimal time commitment. 

While the majority of people can immediately pick which of the two titles they prefer, newcomers to the Switch might struggle a bit. This guide can help. We will break down the differences in gameplay, mechanics, and several other factors that set the two games apart from one another. 

Which Is Better: Mario Kart Vs Team Sonic Racing?

Mario Kart is the better game, hands-down. This doesn’t mean that Team Sonic Racing is bad, but it’s a newcomer in the world of kart racers. Mario Kart’s long and storied history makes it stand out, but its true strength lies in how well-developed the game is overall. 

Which Has The Better Roster?

A racing game is typically about the cars (or the carts), but both Mario Kart and Team Sonic Racing allow players to take the role of their favorite characters from the respective series.

In Mario Kart, characters are divided into size types: small, medium, and large. They are then broken down into a series of stats including how they perform in ground, in air, in water, and in anti-gravity. For a full breakdown of character stats, check out the Mario Wiki

In Team Sonic Racing, characters are divided into Speed-type characters, Technique-type characters, and Power-type characters. There are five of each type, for a total of 15 characters—including Sonic, Chao, and Big the Cat. 

The character you choose matters, but none are inherently better than others. The games are more skill-based than anything else, so your character choice is more about personal preference. Compared to Team Sonic Racing’s 15 characters, Mario Kart’s roster of 41 playable characters gives players far more choice in who and how to play. 

How Does Gameplay Differ?

Both Mario Kart and Team Sonic Racing are kart racers, but their style of gameplay differ wildly from one another. Mario Kart is a solo racer. While there are team modes, they aren’t the same style of team race that Team Sonic Racing offers.

Mario Kart is great for playing on your own or going toe-to-toe with friends, but if you want a cooperative experience that challenges both you and your allies, Team Sonic Racing is the way to go.

Team Sonic Racing requires all three players to work together. One person can’t come in first and the other two come in dead last, as a point system is used to determine the overall winner. All players need to finish well in order to win.

Players can do this by riding in one another’s trails for better boosts, driving beside a stunned teammate to give them a “Skim Boost,” and activating the “Team Ultimate” to give all three players on the team a massive boost of speed that lasts for several seconds. 

What Are The Different Game Types?

Sonic Team Racing is focused solely on the races. There is a Team Adventure Mode that guides players through a story and a Local Mode that features a Grand Prix, an Exhibition Race, and a Time Trial. 

On the other hand, Mario Kart has all of those game types and more. Mario Kart includes a multiplayer mode where you can race against your friends as well as a Battle Mode that pits players against each other in different types of competitions, including a race to collect coins or to burst balloons attached to your opponent. 

Item Differences Between Games

Both games follow a similar pattern in how players obtain and use items. Items litter the various courses in floating containers that can be picked up simply by driving through them. In Team Sonic Racing, items are called Wisps and range from speed boosts to homing missiles that can slow down other racers. 

In Mario Kart, items are just called items and include classics like the Blue Shell, the homing Red Shell, and Mushrooms for speed boosts.

What Makes Mario Kart Better?

Team Sonic Racing is a fun game, but it’s just too new. It hasn’t yet had time to develop its own identity or build the rabid fanbase that Mario Kart has. In every aspect, from game types to items, Mario Kart is more fleshed out and better developed.

Of course, the current entry is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a remake of the original Mario Kart 8. Nintendo has improved upon the Mario Kart series with each and every iteration, resulting in the powerhouse the game is today. 

If you’re looking for the best kart racer on the market, Mario Kart is the way to go—but if you want to experiment with a fun, serviceable racer that can only improve from here, give Team Sonic Racing a try.