- Author's Saving Throw: Though with some obvious downgrades, Nitros Oxide is Promoted to Playable in this title, having been strictly a non-playable boss character in Crash Team Racing.
- Awesome Art: This is the only post-Naughty Dog game where the franchise's original design team, Charles Zembillas and Joe Pearson, worked on it, leading to incredibly authentic visuals and lush looking race tracks.
- Contested Sequel: Fans of Crash Team Racing are rather divided in terms of if this game stacks up to the original, with the altered physics, different voice actors and several fan favorites being absent from the roster all being points of contention.
- Ear Worm: Most seem to think the soundtrack is quite forgettable, but the main menu theme may be the one exception. Especially because it's used to great effect in the opening sequence.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: The champion bosses in this game (Krunk, Nash, the two Norms and Geary) are quite popular with fans, especially Nash for having a design that could easily fit in with the evolved animals and Big Norm for being a surprisingly good sport. It's a pity that they're only playable in the GBA version. That said, when the bosses were announced to return in Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, fans were both dumbfounded and delighted.
- Funny Moments:
- In the intro, Crunch and Aku Aku are talking about a new fad diet. Several fans expressed interest in hearing the rest of that conversation because of how out-of-place it was in a racing game.
- N. Trance's mechanical body is so bulky that there's physically no room for a steering wheel in his kart. He gets around this by reaching his long arms down to the bottom edges of the kart and physically wrench it back and forth in order to steer.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: An anti-gravity gimmick in a Mascot Racer's sequel. Why does that ring a bell?
- It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Much like Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex was to Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, this game was accused of being a complete carbon copy of Crash Team Racing.
- Crash has an extremely high-pitched voice that doesn't really fit him at all.
- Some of the racing quotes are extremely wooden and cheesy compared to Crash Team Racing. For example, Tiny says, "Tiny win race now!" in a giddy and excited tone, which is somewhat Out of Character for him.
- Nightmare Fuel: Dingodile, strangely enough. While Polar and Pura, the other two members of Team N.Trance, look completely normal, being brainwashed has given Dingodile a crazed, manic look that's absolutely terrifying.
- Polished Port: The Xbox version has a leg up compared to the other two versions; aside from having better load times, the game is capable of going up to 720p using the Xbox component cables. This doesn't sound too impressive these days, but at the time, it was pretty much unheard of for console games to be ouputting that high of a resolution. Unfortunately, running the game in that mode does massively slice the frame rate down, and the game also does not accommodate for the change in aspect ratio either.
- The Scrappy: You'd be hard-pressed to find fans of Zem and Zam. With a lot of fan favorite characters from the previous game missing (and the more well received boss characters of this game being non-playable in most versions), and with these two getting no limelight in the game's story and serving no purpose other than to give Nitros Oxide two partners to race with, they're frequently derided as being wastes of space with no real charm or personality. Of the two, Zem is more hated, with his Fat Bastard Gasshole dialogue getting real old real fast.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
- Only the three main characters of Team Bandicoot and Team Cortex are playable throughout the main story. Oxide is Demoted to Extra and isn't playable in the Adventure Mode (and nor are his new minions Zem and Zam, castrating the opportunity to give them much personality), and neither are N. Trance, Dingodile, or Polar, which greatly limits the number of playable characters in the single-player campaign. N. Tropy, Pura, and Fake Crash are even absent from the story entirely and serve almost no role whatsoever in the game.
- A unique set of bosses are created for the games' story, though outside the Game Boy Advance version, they are ironically unplayable, and even Velo himself is only playable in his smaller, minion-esque form. That said, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled brings back all of the new racers from this game and appears to give them more fleshed-out personalities.
- Vindicated by History: Over time, the reception to this game has become far warmer with many people saying it stayed truer to the series' roots than the following Crash racing game, Crash Tag Team Racing (a Contested Sequel in and of itself), and this attitude only increased with the reveal of Nitro Kart content in Nitro-Fueled. The fact that all of the Original Generation characters from this game have been given more fleshed-out personalities definitely helps.
YMMV / Crash Nitro Kart