My Top 8 Mario Kart Courses

Posted: June 11, 2014 in My Top 8
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With Mario Kart 8 being released for the WiiU recently, I think we all knew that a “My Top 8” based on the series would be coming soon. This was tougher than I thought it would be, and pretty much all tracks prior to Mario Kart 64 were ignored. It’s not that they are bad, it’s that the limitations of the consoles meant that they just couldn’t compare with later tracks in the series. Mario Kart 8 is also missing an entry here, but I haven’t had very much time with the game just yet.

Close, but no points: Bowser’s Castle (MK64), Twisted Mansion (MK8), Mario Circuit 3 (SMK), Music Park (MK7), Maple Treeway (MKWii), Peach Gardens (MKDS)

8. Kalimari Desert (MK64)
I will always love this track for two reasons. The first is the star & train tunnel shortcut you could pull off. The second, and the main reason, is the fact that if you time it just right, you can break the rubber band effect of the other racers at the first railroad crossing. It was very freeing to be able to jet around the track without the other racers artificially catching you. I would regularly catch the last four racers or so and lap them. I owned this track.

7. Wario’s Goldmine (MKWii)
I can’t say exactly why I love this track, but I do. I think it’s the varied portions of the track as well as the side tunnel shortcut that you can take, provided the mine carts aren’t in your way.

6. Baby Park (MK: DD)
This is an amazingly frantic track. And the fact that you go more than three laps and someone is always nearby because of the tight quarters only add to the chaos going on. This is a track I would love to see revisited in a future entry. Online play on this track would be unreal.

5. Delfino Square (MKDS)
I’m one of those racers that love to cut right to the edge and enjoy tracks with many tight curves. Delfino Square is definitely one of those tracks. There’s rarely a moment that I’m not drifting at this track. Along with the numerous tight turns are the small alleys you race through, magnifying the danger of thrown items or banana peels.

4. Yoshi Valley (MK64)
I don’t believe there is any other track in the Mario Kart series that can offer what Yoshi Valley offers. There is truly no correct way to go around this track. I think I’ve found the quickest routes, but I’ll probably never be sure. Revisiting this track in Mario Kart 8 reminded me of just how much fun the structure of it was. I’d love to see another track that approaches races in this manner.

3. Waluigi Stadium (MK: DD)
The stadium tracks are always some of my favorites, but I think this one may be the best. Even with a very large track to cover, it still manages to be chaotic, constantly throwing obstacles in your way. Combine that with the other racers trying to take you out, and you have a great recipe for an amazing race.

2. Airship Fortress (MKDS)
This is another case of not being entirely sure of why I love this track so much. I think it’s the shifting background and track styles. You always feel like you’re in danger simply from your surroundings. I just know that every time I race on this track, I have a blast.

1. Rainbow Road (MK64)
In my mind, this is the granddaddy of all Rainbow Road courses, even if it wasn’t the first. It’s extremely long, full of opportunities to go flying off, and rolling balls to completely throw you off. My goal at this track was always to see how far ahead I could get. I don’t think I broke the rubber band effect here, but it did sometimes seem that way as I could generally get a very nice lead. This track also satisfied my itch to have races longer than just three laps. Yes, this was still a three lap race, but it felt much, much longer.

  1. connorbros says:

    It’s not especially amazing to play the level, but I just had a complete mind blown moment when I realized that I was driving up and then down a waterfall in Shy Guy Falls. There is something so beautiful about how natural Nintendo made that feel to me, so much so that I was in the mirror cup before I looked forward at the starting line and was like… NO WAY!


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