The game utilizes the rotation controls of the Sens controller. It can be played with the Assistive Controller, held vertically (using the analog stick) or horizontally (using motion control). Motion control and analog stick controls can also be used with the Expanded Controller. The EyeGear can also be used to steer, but it is entirely optional.
- Retro Mario (Super Mario Bros.)
- Retro Mario (Super Mario Bros. 3)
- Retro Mario (Super Mario World)
- Paper Mario
- Shadow Mario
- Dixie Kong
- World 1-1
- Warioware, Inc.
- Ob Main City
- Paper Plains
- Airship Escapade
- Yoshi Egg
- Fire Flower
- Chain Chomp
- Nabbit's Bag
One of the other new prominent features is Campaign Mode (see below).
Campaign Mode is a new mode in which the player chooses one character to use across twelve races. Each character has a perk (only in this mode). For example, Nabbit opens Item Boxes faster, and Bowser's Fire Flower lasts 10% longer. The character must fight twelve 1v1 races against villains from the series. Every time you lose a race, you lose a life. You start with three lives. The order is as follows:
- Lemmy Koopa (Bowser's Castle Snes)
- Wario (Wario's Goldmine/ Warioware Inc.)
- Shadow Mario (Delfino Plaza)
- Waluigi (Waluigi Stadium)
- Nabbit (Luigi Circuit/Coconut Mall)
- Bowser Jr. (Airship Escapade/ Grumble Volcano)
- Koopa Troopa (Koopa Cape/World 1-1)
- Wendy Koopa (Peach Beach/Rainbow Road)
- Dry Bones (Ghost Valley 2)
- Birdo (Maple Treeway/Peach Gardens)
- Bowser (Bowser's Castle DS/ Bowser's Castle 64)
- Dry Bowser/Giga Bowser (on Hard difficulty) (Random Map)
Mario sends invitations to everyone asking them to come go karting. Most people are happy to recieve their invitations. Bowser recieves his and devises a plan. He asks Wario and Bowser Jr. to help him assemble a villain team and take down Mario when he least expects it.
They arrive at the go-karting and have a few races. Eventually, as the sun sets, Bowser, Bowser Jr. and Wario slip away from the others and call their minions out of hiding. Together, they crash the party, destroying Peach's castle and imprisoning everyone in the castle dungeons. Your character, however, somehow escaped. You tell Bowser to let your friends go, but he swats you away. Finally, you agree that if you win a series of races, they are set free, but if you lose, Mario and all his friends must leave the Mushroom Kingdom forever. You agree.
After ten races, Bowser agrees to race you on one of his castle maps. After you win what was meant to be the last race, he becomes enraged and starts stomping up and down, causing the castle to shake. You bump your kart into a wall and the castle collapses. You just make it out as Bowser sinks into the lava.
However, Bowser turns into Dry Bowser/Giga Bowser, and grabs you and your kart. He challenges you to one last race, for the fate of the Kingdom. You have no choice but to compete.
When you win, Bowser becomes enraged again, but your friends are set free by the other villains and together they overpower Bowser, who is put into the Dungeons.
Mario Kart: Joyride recieved positive reviews from critics, especially because of the great steering controls and the addition of Campaign Mode.