Mario Kart has been the king of kart racers for the last few decades, but if you’re a PlayStation player, you’re often out of luck. Thankfully, the rubber has begun to turn on the PS4 and PS5, and there are some decent alternatives to Nintendo’s biggest exclusive series. From Crash to Sonic, here are a few stand-out kart racers like Mario Kart on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
Cars 3: Driven to Win
Believe it or not, Cars 3: Driven to Win is a decent kart racing game with over 20 characters to play, including Lightning McQueen, Jackson Storm, and Cruz Ramirez. You’ll be driving and saying “Kachow!” in locales based on highly popular movies like Mater’s home Radiator Springs and the Florida International Speedway.
Cel Damage HD
Love the battle mode in Mario Kart? Well, you should try Cel Damage HD. It has a whacky Saturday morning cartoon art style alongside an equally crazy roster of characters and weapons. Like the old Hanna Barbara cartoon Wacky Racers, each car is designed especially for the rider, and they perfectly match the personality of the character. But instead of a race, you must bash opposing enemies with whatever weapon you can find, like a saw blade, grenade, or a bat. Just be aware that this 2001 video game isn’t exactly for kids and is more for teenagers and up.
Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled
Arguably better than Mario Kart, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled delivers a compelling alternative with inventive stages, weapons, and characters to keep your interest for hours and hours. The drifting feels incredible at top speed, and the technical execution you need to get the best times requires practice. This remaster of the original PS1 game (and other titles in the series) is beautiful with eccentric animations and a wonderful cartoon-like aesthetic. It also has many different costumes and racers to unlock that regrettably are behind a games-as-a-service model.
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2
This racing genre is the best way to bring back old-school mascots into a new age, and Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2 was a nostalgia rush for many. Featuring over 30 characters from Spongebob Squarepants, Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and more, you’ll be racing to be the very best in Nick-themed courses. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any voice acting whatsoever, but there is some fun to be had in this blast from the past. We can’t wait for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl as well, a Nick take on the Super Smash Bros. formula that has Nigel Thornberry and Oblina among the roster.
Team Sonic Racing
Last but not least is Team Sonic Racing, a team-based kart racer that, unlike its predecessor, is purely focused on stages based on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Speed is king in the game as you and your partners use items, drifts, and drafting to be first on the runway. The music is outstanding as it remixes the original tracks from games’ past in a bombastic way, and the visuals are gorgeous as you speed through Seaside Hill and Casino Park. The power-ups are also inspired by Sonic Colors’ wisps, which is an awesome nod for die-hard Sonic fans.