The final wave of DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is here, and while not everyone’s favorite tracks made the cut (rest in peace Airship Fortress) there are still some damn good ones out there. Here are the top 20 tracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to race around in circles on with your friends.
#20 — Piranha Plant Slide
Diving in with what is objectively the best track that takes place inside a Mushroom Kingdom water treatment plant, Piranha Plant Slide won’t crack many top ten lists, but it still deserves some love. Plus it’s a loving homage to the underground levels from Super Mario Bros. Kind of.
#19 — Shy Guy Falls
A perfect proof of concept for Mario Kart 8’s anti-gravity feature. Leave behind your Mario Circuits, your Toad Harbors, your Wario Stadiums. Let’s make like salmon and drive up a goddamn waterfall.
#18 — Yoshi Valley
In preparation for this article we sent our intern down to Yoshi Valley to figure out what the most optimal path through this clusterfuck is, but we haven’t heard from him in a few days. Jared, if you’re out there, stay strong. And stay away from the giant rotating Yoshi egg, whatever you do.
#17 — Superbell Subway
There’s plenty of Mario Kart tracks where you have to weave in and out of traffic, but only one where you’re drifting between two subway cars like some tweaked out New Yorker. Try not to delay commuters by ramming into the train with a bullet bill.
#16 — Big Blue
One giant track so loaded up with boost pads and conveyor belts that your ass will be clenched the entire ride, almost like you’re vying for first place in F-Zero 99. Impressive, but (spoiler alert) we think there’s another giant track that does it just a little bit better.
#15 — Moo Moo Meadows
Probably the least exciting pick on the list, but come on. Wouldn’t you give it all up to drive go karts around a farm at sunset? If you don’t like Moo Moo Meadows you have a problem. Or maybe you just never got a Wii as a kid. Sorry.
#14 — DK Mountain
DK Mountain is for real gamers. This one starts off by shooting you right out of a goddamn canon. Then it’s a race back down to the finish line. Watch out for falling boulders and some seriously unforgiving turns that are more than happy to launch you off a cliff.
#13 — Dolphin Shoals
Make sure to wear protection while racing in Dolphin Shoals, because that saxophone lick might just get you pregnant. Oh, and hitting boosts off the giant eel is pretty fun too.
#12 — Grumble Volcano
Grumble Volcano doesn’t want you here. Fuck around and you will find out. Balls of fire are raining down. The track literally crumbles around you. By lap three, things have fallen apart more than my last relationship.
#11 — Music Park
A 3DS banger, Music Park is a tight track that’ll have you drifting along pianos and bouncing off of drums. Along the final straightaway, you can hit some extra jump boosts, but only if you can keep a beat. Super Mario Bros. Wonder trained me for this moment.
#10 — Yoshi Circuit
What is likely the result of some poor game designer who had to come up with one more idea before lunch, Yoshi Circuit is just a track shaped like Yoshi, and miraculously, it works. It’s the kind of genius/stupid idea that I love Nintendo for. An answer to the age old question: “What if it was Yoshi?”
#9 — Ribbon Road
A remake of the GBA track, but not really, because Ribbon Road takes the original concept and blows it wide open. It’s the Ship of Theseus of Mario Kart. So much has changed, can you really call it the same track?
#8 — Bowser’s Castle
Bowser’s Castle goes hard, but you knew that already. The music rules, there’s lasers, lava, and a giant Bowser statue punching the track like a straight college kid who just got cheated on.
#7 — Wild Woods
Wild Woods has nothing to prove. No flashy gimmicks, no eye popping set pieces, just a perfectly executed track that you’ll never get tired of. Hit that drift down the waterslide just right, and ascend.
#6 — Animal Crossing
Is it fair for Animal Crossing to get such a high ranking when it’s basically four tracks in one? Not really. But it’s also not fair how much my little nephew brags about being good at Mario Kart even though I secretly turn on the steering assist for him. That’s life.
#5 — Yoshi’s Island
The newest track on this list, Yoshi’s Island has only been around since March but has 200cc’d its way to the near top. There’s custom coins with Yoshi’s face on them, Shy Guys standing on stilts, and a secret sky bridge. It’s pure delight cooked down to a race track.
#4 — Baby Park
I know, Baby Park sucks. I hear you. But do you remember that one time? You invited a few friends over to play four player Mario Kart. It took awhile to connect all the controllers. Someone picked the Crossing Cup, and the war was on. Everyone was screaming by the end of lap two. Baby Park became a battlefield, bombarded with green shells, banana peels and boomerangs. And it was a mess. A beautiful mess.
#3 — Mount Wario
Mount Wario isn’t the only giant race track with no laps, it just does it the best. Unlike N64 Rainbow Road or Big Blue, Mount Wario didn’t set out to be a showstopper, but it is anyway. There’s so many ideas crammed in here: the ski slopes, the dam, the forest. You couldn’t fit it all in a normal sized track if you tried. Combine that with custom music for each section, and you have one of the greatest of all time. But we still have two to go.
#2 — SNES Rainbow Road
We’ve traveled along many Rainbow Roads since, but none have passed the original. Not much has changed here since 1992, just a gorgeous upgrade to HD. With only 90 degree turns and not a guardrail in sight, it’s go-kart heaven. Except there are no gods up here, only rainbow thwomps.
#1 — Cheese Land
It was always Cheese Land. A total rehaul of the GBA track, Cheese Land is Nintendo choosing fun. Take a shortcut through a giant wedge of cheddar, hit a speed boost off the holes of swiss, just go ahead and fly over the entire third section if you want. Completely unrecognizable from the original, Cheese Land fulfills the promise of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: take the old, and turn it into something new. And put giant slices of pizza in the background.