- Base-Breaking Character: Metal Mario. Japanese fans love him and regularly play as him online, while most Western fans see him as a Mario Palette Swap that took Waluigi's spot. The fact he's a Heavyweight racer with the smaller size of a Middleweight and little in the way of notable disadvantages hasn't helped matters, nor has his return in several subsequent games.
- Contested Sequel: While the gliding, underwater driving, and kart customization were all welcome additions, the snubs of fan favorites like Waluigi and Toadette in favor of characters like Honey Bee Queen and Metal Mario, as well as a lack of a single-player versus mode like in DS and Wii are decisions fans continue to question.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Rosalina, a blonde, regal woman dressed in blue, has her own ice world. This was a good two years before Elsa had her own ice kingdom.
- Most Annoying Sound: The various whoops and wails of the characters happen with such regularity it can grate if playing for longer periods.
- Most Wonderful Sound: The fanfare that plays when achieving first place. Especially satisfying if the player hears it after clawing their way back from last place in the space of a single lap.
- Replacement Scrappy: Three of the four characters in the bottom row (Honey Queen, Wiggler, and Lakitu) are typically seen as out-of-nowhere additions that took spots from regulars and/or fan-favorites, such as Waluigi, Diddy Kong, Bowser Jr. and Dry Bones. The remaining character, Shy Guy, usually manages to escape this not only due to being an iconic character in his own right who's been showcased in various other spin-off titles, but also because he already has a playable basis in the series, as he was playable in Mario Kart DS — the very same game in which Dry Bones first joined the races — as a download play-only racer before his proper debut here.
- Scrappy Mechanic:
- The much debated Blue Shell returns again, and has been reverted to how it was before Double Dash!! — in addition to being able to unblockably hit whoever's in first place, it can also knock over other unfortunate characters who happen to be in the middle of the track as it speeds by to home in on its target.
- Going through a cannon no longer protects you from items such as Lightning or Blue Shells. So if you get hit with either while gliding, you're doomed.
- The regular versus race mode, in which you can pick and race any courses in any order, was removed in this game. The only ways to do versus races are by playing multiplayer with others or by Streetpassing other players, and for the latter, you're only able to play the 4 courses they've selected for their cup.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Waluigi's removal was not well-received by fans.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: An odd example. Despite Waluigi not being playable within the game proper, his course from Mario Kart DS, Waluigi Pinball, does make an appearance, and he does make a cameo in the stage, which makes his exclusion all the more questionable.
YMMV / Mario Kart 7