Mario Kart: Hot Pursuit 3
Mario Kart Hot Pursuit 3
Cover Art
Developer(s) Clover Entertainment
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Wii U, Neo
Release Date(s)
April 7th, 2013
Campaign, Multiplayer
Age Rating(s)
Genre(s) Action, Open-World, Racing
Series Mario Kart: Hot Pursuit (series)
Predecessor Mario Kart: Hot Pursuit 2
Successor Mario Kart Hot Pursuit: Unleashed
Media Included Disk
Mario Kart Hot Pursuit 3 is an action-open world racing game by Clover Entertainment. It was released on April 7, 2013 for Wii U and for the first time, on the Neo console by N Studios. It is the third game in the series. It is also the first to not have the cops. Other than that, the game's concept remains the same.  A more family-friendly modification, Mario Kart: Hot Pursuit 3.01, was created by Sprak Co.


The player controls either Mario or Luigi. You drive around in an open-world Mushroom City in real-world cars and race against other racers in order to earn cash and rep. The city is split into 4 boroughs: Mushroom City, Toad Town, Palm Harbor, and Interstate 96. The destructible short-cut buildings were removed and were replaced with Race Breakers, which are structures that you can activate by crashing into them. This will cause the structure to fall and crush any other racers nearby. As usual, objects and traffic are destructible, from fences to traffic and lamp posts as well as bus stops and telephone poles. Even trees are destructible.

The game allows players to select one car and compete against other racers in three types of events: Sprint races, which involves traveling from one point of the city to another, Circuit races, each having three laps total and Speed runs, which involve traversing through a course in the highest average speed possible. There is also a Road Rage event, where you have to smash as many of the other racers as possible within the time limit. Unlike the previous games, the cops do not return and there are now once again items, and 5 Karts called "Classic Karts" are added. 

There's now repair garages, where if you car is damaged and scratched up from smashing into things, you can go into a repair garage and fix it. The Crash Mode also makes a return, where you have to plow your car into highway traffic and cause as much destruction as possible.
Mario Kart 3 gameplay

A typical Hot Pursuit Street Race

Mushroom City is given a makeover. The city streets and routes were edited to keep the city fresh so the player doesn't feel like he's doing the same thing again. It's still a big city, but for example, there are Toads walking down the sidewalks (don't worry, they cannot be run over, they dive out of the way and yell at you). The only thing that hasn't changed is the real world cars. In fact, there are a lot more in this one. Ferraris are introduced into the series for example. Classic cars like the Camaro, Mustang and Dodge Caravan also return, as well as several new cars not seen in the previous games.


Free Roam

This is an open-world game, so of course there will be a free roam mode. This is the biggest open-world map in the entire Hot Pursuit franchise. Cruise around the city, explore, find different car dealerships to buy more cars, and of course, drive a complete maniac, smashing and totaling traffic cars and destroying things on the sidewalk as well as drifting and driving into oncoming traffic.


This is an average Hot Pursuit race. Get to the finish line before everyone else by any means necessary. Smash the other racer's cars up if you have to.


Smash your car into traffic on the highway and try to cause as much damage and destruction as possible in one pileup. If the Destructometer is fully filled, you can press a combination of buttons in the correct order to create a big explosion, causing more damage.

Ford F-150 Gameplay

A Scene of Vehicular Carnage in Free Roam Mode

Road Rage

It's sort of like crash, except different. Here, you have to plow through the streets and cause as much property damage and destroy as many traffic cars as possible within the time limit. Doing so will rack up how many dollars in damage you do. The more damage you cause, the better your chances of getting a gold medal.


It's another form of Hot Pursuit race. Here, you have to go through the cordinated number laps around the track before everyone else to win.

Rival Smash

Destroy as many of your rivals as you can before times runs out. You can only play as the same type of car as the cars you're trying to destroy in each of these missions.


This is the place where you go to modify your vehicles and switch cars. Modifiy the performance, change the tires and rims, add custom bumpers and more.  Also, choose the character behind the wheel. 

Mushroom City

Name Image Description
Downtown Mushroom City MKHP3
The downtown area of Mushroom City, it is the most populous area in the entire city.
Palm Harbor
Palm Harbor

Palm Harbor is where the ships from other countries deliver goods to the Mushroom Kingdom.

Toad Town
Small Town
Toad Town is the quite suburban area of the city. It is where citizens live so they can get out of the noisiness of the city.



Classic Karts

These are vehicles from the classic Mario Kart games. They will help you get started with your racing career. It's not much, but they have reasonable power and speed to get you started. Plus, they're nostalgic.


These are cars that you don't see every day on the streets, or pretty much ever. These are the fastest and most expensive cars in the entire game. Save up your cash and earn enough rep, and you may be lucky enough to own one.

Muscle Car

These vehicles are designed for performance. If you want to drift tight corners, A v8 engine, and great power for a reasonable price, a muscle car is the way to go.


Sedans are versatile vehicles. They aren't the fastest, but they are capable of balancing speed, strength and power reasonably. Plus, they are better suited for crashing into things than exotics and classic cars, but aren't nearly as strong as minivans, vans, or SUVS.


Sport Utility Vehicles, or SUVS, are pretty much the bodybuilders of the car world. They're big, bulky, and strong. What they lack in speed, they make up for in brawn. They're good at off-road racing too. They're stronger than minvans, but not full-size vans

Pick-up Truck

Pickup Trucks, like SUVS are great at smashing stuff and other racers. However, they are faster than SUVs and are great at off-road races.


Who says minivans are for "soccer-moms". They are like sumo wrestlers of the car world. However, unlike sumo wrestlers, they are not at all slow. They can bully traffic and other racers and smash them to pieces when used to their full potential. But, they are not recommended for off-road races and against exotic cars.


The strongest of all the vehicles in the game, these behemoths may not be fast. But, why outrun when you can overrun. These vans can obliterate other racers cars into scrap metal by plowing into them. They are good at offroad racing, but are not recommended against exotics.

Downloadable Content

Some Downloadable content for the game has been announced.

  • Pontiac Collection: This is a collection of some of the best Pontiac cars, including the Pontiac Solstice and the Pontiac G8.

Official Soundtrack

See here.


April 7, the official release date for the game, is also the date of Clover's birthday.

Sales Revenue

The game sold 1 million games on its opening launch, making it the #1 spot on the best-selling games of the week.

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