Feature: Top Eight Mario Kart Courses That Should Return!

My Classic Tracklist

With the recently announced DLC for Mario Kart 8, I’ve started to think about what retro courses should return. There’s going to be eight old tracks brought to the newest Mario Kart, and were I in charge, these would be the ones we would see!

Number Eight – Ribbon Road (GBA)

Mario Kart for the GameBoy Advance didn’t get a lot of love, and rightfully so. It is kind of the worst Mario Kart. But there were some really cool track designs spread throughout that deserve a second chance, and I think Ribbon Road is one of them. Dressed up in the gorgeous world of Mario Kart 8, and given a few zero-g curves for good measure, this could prove to be one of the most beautiful retro courses yet.

Number Seven – Bowser’s Castle (Double Dash)

I’ll be honest, we’re really just running out of good courses from Double Dash. The best ones have already been featured as retro courses in other Mario Kart games, but that doesn’t mean that we’re out of good courses. Bowser’s Castle has a lot of sharp turns and unique shortcuts that could be flipped on their sides to make for an even more interesting course in the the most recent Mario Kart style.

Number Six – Banshee Boardwalk (Mario Kart 64)

At this point, every N64 course has been used at least once in another Mario Kart game, but I still felt I had to pick something. In this case, I picked one of my absolute favorite courses, Banshee Boardwalk. This stage could be given an awesome (and very literal) twist by adding a corkscrew to the boardwalk section that makes you drive upside-down over the haunted waters below. The way the stage is structured gives a lot of room to play with the zero-g mechanics without altering the idea behind the track too much, and could really be used to give the stage even more of a ghostly feeling.

Number Five – Vanilla Lake (Super Mario Kart)

It’s one of the few courses out of the original game that we’ve yet to use, but is still an outstanding one. Add in a few cracked ice areas for underwater driving zones, and there’s some potential to really turn this map on it’s head with some new designs!

Number Four – Moonview Highway (Mario Kart Wii)

This stage is being selected based solely on how good it would look in the Mario Kart 8 visual engine. The best looking courses in 8 took place at night with a full moon, and had neon lights. This stage is exactly that. Plus there are some good walls for zero-g mechanics, so overall there’s no reason not to include one of the Wii‘s better Mario Kart stages. It certainly beats Grumble Volcano.

Number Three – Neo Bowser City (Mario Kart 7)

(Sorry for the bad video footage, it was literally the best I could find)

Neo Bowser City could really use some F-Zero treatment to turn it into an even more insane course with curves and turns. It’s also one of the best looking stages on Mario Kart 7, and that could easily translate over to Mario Kart 8 in a great way.

Number Two – Toad’s Factory (Mario Kart Wii)

This one is about 50% because it’s a great course, and 50% because a live, big-band rendition of the music would be phenomenal. There probably wouldn’t be a whole lot of change to it, save for maybe a little wall-running thanks to the zero-g mechanic, but otherwise the stage is already fine the way it is.

Number One – Waluigi’s Pinball (Mario Kart DS)

I don’t even care that we saw this one return in Mario Kart 7. It’s easily one of the series’ best courses. There’s tons of room for zero-g play, the music is ripe for a big band cover, and the neon lights and night sky would make it a visual feast to behold. It has every reason to be remade into Mario Kart 8.

What do you think of the list? Any glaring omissions I should consider? Please feel free to participate with your favorite courses in the comments below!

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