- The items are far more balanced. Instead of a million Bullet Bills and blue shells flying at whoever happens to be winning, powerful items are rarer and can even backfire (Lucky 7). This means that skill is more important.
- Customizable karts. Most racing games already had this, and it's odd that it's taken Mario Kart this long to catch up. It adds an element of strategy and experimentation to the game.
- Also, Shy Guy (which makes up for losing my MKW main, Dry Bones)! I don't really mind some of the odder choices--babies get old, and I was never a Waluigi fan anyway.
The first reason was my main problem with MKW.