Mario Kart Wii
Nintendo Wii from 26.71 (including wheel)
Controls are intuitive and there are no gears to worry about. It's all pretty easy to get along with, especially the steering wheel, and there are no seemingly impossible hurdles to get over. Some races are far better suited to particular types of vehicles, so you may struggle to win them if you don't choose carefully.
Plenty of new tracks are opened up as you win trophies, so there's lots to keep you going. There's little opportunity to go 'off piste' from the circuit, but there are a few short cuts to find. Some short tracks mean races are over quickly, but others, such as the rainbow strip through space or Bowser's castle, take longer.
The Nintendo Wii isn't the most powerful games machine, so the graphics aren't as slick as those offered by the PS3 or Xbox. The graphics are bright, fun and massively quirky though.
This is as far from the real-world as you could possibly get, so it's one or five stars depending on what you're after! Choose from a number of different characters, including Donkey Kong, Mario and Toad, and drive anything from a pram to a rocket-bike. Get fired out of cannons, use power-ups such as toadstools and magic stars to boost your speed or tortoise shells and lightening bolts to stall your rivals' progress.
Off- and online
Computer opponents are pretty easy to beat, but the extremely busy online community offers up a real challenge. Accessed by a great interface, complete with the Mii characters of your real-world rivals, you start with 5000 points and add to them, or lose some, depending on results. Competition is seriously fierce and there's also the added challenge of suddenly finding your favourite tracks presented in reverse as a mirror image.