With more tracks coming to Mario Kart Deluxe 8, we’ve been thinking about Mario Kart’s best courses over the years. From the heady early days of simple throwaway circuits surrounded by green barriers, to the space-age insanity of modern interpretations of Rainbow Road, there’s plenty to pick from, and we happened to think that we’re pretty well placed to do so.
So, we’ve had a long think, and we’re ready to come forward with our picks for the best Mario Kart courses, including one that was a particularly divisive topic among the Pocket Tactics crew. We don’t talk about Baby Park, apparently.
There are some ground rules – well, there’s one ground rule – in that we can only pick one instance of Rainbow Road for the whole list, otherwise, you won’t see much else but the classic multicolour course throughout this list. With that out of the way though, it’s time to fire up the old Waluigi Wiggler and get to the tracks.
Coconut Mall, one of the tracks added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as part of the new content rollout, is our editor Ruby’s pick, and it makes sense why. This course really is a modern classic, arriving via Mario Kart Wii and providing racers with the opportunity to blast through a Mushroom Kingdom shopping centre with reckless abandon. If you think Black Friday is a crazy time in a mall, you want to try this course in an online race.
Nathan, our resident Mario obsessive, chose not just one, but four courses for this list – thanks for that Nate – including Delfino Square, Maple Treeway, DK Mountain, and Waluigi Pinball. You can probably tell from that short selection that our Nathan is keen on the Mario Kart courses with an epic sense of scale, with most of these tracks sharing a pretty long runtime when compared to the simplicity of Moo Moo Meadows or Mario Circuit.
The most controversial pick for this list is from staff writer Ben who made the elite-level decision of opting for Baby Park as his favourite. Yes, Baby Park, the seven-lap oval loop that more often than not descends into drifting chaos with swirling green and red shells, which turned out to be a controversial choice among the team. Still, Baby Park has been present in every instance of Mario Kart since its debut in Double Dash, so I think we know how Nintendo feel about it, and Ben can enjoy his validation.
In my personal opinion, it has to be a Rainbow Road, and you can’t really beat the version found of Mario Kart 64. Sure, the technicolour track is a little more vivid, and much more twisty, these days, but there’s something about the architecture of this intergalactic course that I always go back to. You can still feel the DNA of this Rainbow Road right through to the modern interpretation, making up for the fact that Mario 64 also introduced the dreaded blue shell.
There you have it, our picks for Mario Kart’s best courses. To make some extra room on your phone for Mario Kart Tour, be sure to check out our guides on how to delete apps on iPhone and how to delete contacts on iPhone.