The latest entry in the Mario Kart series has rolled up to the Nintendo Switch, introducing the massive lineup of playable characters available and a whopping 48 tracks for you to challenge your friends on. While a few gameplay tweaks like the ability to carry two items at once and a completely revamped Battle Mode have taken center stage, nothing will ever be more important in a Mario Kart game than the collection of tracks you’ll be racing on.
While Mario Kart 8 Deluxe doesn’t add any new tracks outside of Battle Mode, it includes every single track from Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U, including the DLC courses. Narrowing down the best tracks in the game, however, is always a matter up for debate depending on what you enjoy as a player. So, with that in mind, here are our favorite ten tracks to race on in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
10. Mute City
Mute City is a relatively simple track designed with one key goal in mind: getting players going ridiculously fast. This entire course is covered with speed-boosting opportunities you can use to get in front of your fellow racers in a matter of seconds. Just be sure not to boost too hard into a corner or off an edge while drifting around. Fast, straightforward, and fun — that’s Mute City in a nutshell.
9. Twisted Mansion
Even though Twisted Mansion doesn’t necessarily excel at one thing like many of the tracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe do, it’s a fantastic mix that touches on every element present throughout the rest of the collection. There’s a large underwater portion, a few flying moments, and some animated parts of the course that make for a really balanced experience.
8. Dolphin Shoals
While the concept of driving your kart underwater is a relatively new idea many fans aren’t always happy about, Dolphin Shoals is a track built to sell how awesome the concept can be when the entire course is built around it. With a handful of nice drift turns you can easily nail and music which comes out muffled as you’re racing underwater, it’s a fun course to play with great animated action in the background.
7. Dragon Driftway
Host to what I would argue is one of the best pieces of background music in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Dragon Driftway is a track built to challenge even the most experienced of drifters with constant hard turns that require precision breaking at higher speeds to successfully pass. These, combined with well-placed jumps and sections which force your kart upside down, make Dragon Driftway a joy to play and practice drifting on.
6. Baby Park
If you’re looking for complete chaos without diving into Battle Mode in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Baby Park is the track of your dreams provided you’re playing with a group of friends. This tiny, simpl loop is built for item usage and features an extended seven laps for you to shell, banana, and ram your way to victory while screaming as you friends pelt you with shells of their own.
5. Cheep Cheep Beach
Much like Dolphin Shoals, Cheep Cheep Beach is a track that shows off how much fun a perfectly balanced land and underwater map can be. Instead of taking place entirely underwater, Cheap Cheap Beach has you skirting around it along narrow clumps of sand and jumping over gaps filled with water. But, even if you manage to slide off the shore and into the underwater sections, you’re in for a good time.
4. Shy Guy Falls
If I had to use one word to describe Shy Guys Falls, it would have to be happiness. Thanks to this tracks’s upbeat soundtrack that speeds up with each passing lap; being bombarded with Red, Blue, and Green Shells right before finishing a lap doesn’t hurt your attitude before the next race. With a great combination of wooden bridges for drifting, dirt-covered roads for jumping, and waterfalls with speed boosts, Shy Guy Falls is a track which won’t leave a sour taste in your mouth if you don’t come out on top.
3. Mount Wario
Most tracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe feature a set of three laps across the same terrain, but Mount Wario obviously opted to change that base formula up by introducing three completely different laps that send you down a snowy mountain. While it may be one of the game’s more difficult tracks because you can fall off on nearly every turn, it’s a blast to play due to the constantly changing scenery.
2. Wild Woods
Throughout Mario Kart 8 Deluxe there’s a handful of tracks that simply feel good to race on, but none are quite as natural as Wild Woods if you’re up for a bit of properly executed drifting. Nearly every turn across Wild Woods is designed with a smooth drift in mind, whether it’s the large waterfall towards the end of your lap or the wooden catwalks scattered about the beginning of the course. Plus, there’s tiny toads cheering you on, and it just doesn’t get much better than that.
1. Moo Moo Meadows
Easily the best retro track available in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Moo Moo Meadows is actually a revamped version of a track from Mario Kart Wii, which in turn was a remake of the original Moo Moo Farm from Mario Kart 64. Covered with the same tunneling moles, tight turns, and cows which get more and more in your way as the laps pass, there’s no questioning why this track has been around for the past 20 years.Photos via Nicholas Bashore, Nintendo