Mario is best known for his jumping abilities, but honestly, he spends just as much time in a kart as he does saving Princess Peach. Big Mazza and pals love to burn rubber and throw bananas, as the iconic Mario Kart series features an instalment on every console from SNES to Switch. So, if you want to discover the best levels from Mario’s blistering karting adventures, you can speed through our guide to the best Mario Kart tracks.
Before we set off at 200cc into the rest of this guide, be sure to aim your Luigi death stare at our other great content covering Switch games and beyond. We have articles for the best Switch games, best Switch fighting games, best Switch strategy games, best Switch simulation games, and many more.
Alright, red shells at the ready because we expect arguments as we head into our guide on the best Mario Kart tracks.
Maple Treeway – Wii
The soft autumn colours, the gorgeous views from the treetops, and the looming threat of giant Wigglers. Maple Treeway is an iconic track that stands out as one of the best titles from Mario Kart Wii. It mixes a cute and almost pastel look with thrilling vertical ramps and hidden shortcuts, meaning this beautiful location is surprisingly just as devious as any of Bowser’s Castles…
Delfino Square – DS
Super Mario Sunshine is all about great holiday vibes, and it’s all thanks to the sunlit beaches of Isle Delfino. Defino Square from Mario Kart DS captures that perfectly and treats players to a blistering tour around the docks and pier of the island. There’s even a gigantic drawbridge, and a well-timed jump from this landmark might just lead to victory.
Waluigi Pinball – DS
First appearing in Mario Kart DS, Waluigi Pinball is a beloved entry in the karting series that makes its most recent appearance in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Get knocked around a gigantic pinball board while avoiding the giant metal balls, and be extra vigilant for paddles and bumpers. This track is absolute chaos, but the addition of Waluigi’s trademark personality and great music keeps it in the hearts of many.
Toad’s Turnpike – N64
Yes, it’s tough, but… get good? Mario Kart 64 is a stalwart memory in the minds of millions, and we’d wager that Toad’s Turnpike is responsible for a few broken controllers. Taking place on a highway with oncoming traffic, this track demands vigilance as well as skill. Of course, getting hit with an onslaught of red shells, large trucks, and oncoming cars is enough to drive anyone mad. So, look both ways!
Ninja Hideaway – Tour
The newest track on this list, Ninja Hideaway, is from Mario Kart Tour but is also playable in the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Booster Pass DLC. Explore the Ninja Manor, avoid traps and shy guys, and battle to be the best on an ever-changing course. This track also features Wario iconography, such as his iconic moustache and garlic everywhere, is he a secret ninja?
DK Mountain – Gamecube
The dense foliage and luscious jungles of the Donkey Kong series always make for great tracks, but one stands out. DK Mountain from Mario Kart Double Dash blasts players out of a cannon and up to the peak of a grumpy volcano before you have to avoid falling rocks on the way down. With perilous bridges and constant falling debris, this is a tough track, and that’s what makes it so satisfying to master.
Rainbow Road – 3DS
It’s tough to decide on one Rainbow Road, as the Mario Kart series features a take on the concept in each and every entry. But Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 7 is a fan favourite, and for good reason. As well as the iconic Rainbow Road itself, this difficult level features the surface of the moon and the rings of Saturn, making it a truly intergalactic adventure. It’s also part of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Booster Pass DLC, so we can play it in full glorious HD.
Alright, that’s it for now, folks! These are our picks for the best Mario Kart tracks, but if you have a burning opinion for a track we’ve missed, be sure to head to the Pocket Tactics Twitter and let us know. For even more high-octane action, be sure to check out our guide to the best Switch racing games next.