To many people’s surprise, Nintendo announced additional DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in the form of tracks. That’s five years after its release, and while we aren’t getting a new mainline entry to the series, that’ll do for the meantime. We’re getting 48 new tracks in the span of the next two years, in batches of eight. As advertised, the courses we’ll be getting are going to be remastered versions from the past games of the series, fueling the nostalgia in many of us who grew up with the franchise. Here are the tracks from past games we’d want to see make a return in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Bowser’s Castle (Nintendo 64)
This track hasn’t seen the light of day since it was brought back in Mario Kart Wii. It was a very iconic level in the sense that it had blue Thwomps moving left and right as you enter the castle. Its layout showed a good tour of the interior along with its many hazards upon leaving it. You can’t forget the iconic shortcut while riding on the barrier on that last turn. Should this course make it back, hopefully, that shortcut stays.
DK’s Jungle Parkway
Another one of the iconic levels from the Nintendo 64 era. DK’s Jungle Parkway was also another classic brought into the Wii era. It had so much going on with the large jump over the cruise ship. If brought into Mario Kart 8, that can easily be redone to integrate the glider mechanic, adding more maneuverability on that iconic jump. That chaotic last bit would also be really fun. Seeing a possibility of 12 racers funneling into that narrow bridge would be amazing.
This gem from Double Dash really defined track length done right in Mario Kart games. It’s a long course with two laps instead of one, but it’s never a dull ride. All the sharp turns and boost ramps really force the best drivers to come out on top. Not to mention, the music encapsulates the mood when frantically trying to not fall off this bumpy track.
Dino Dino Jungle
This would be an interesting integration into Mario Kart 8 Deluxe if it makes it as one of the DLC tracks. Dino Dino Jungle had split paths midway through the level and has a lot of geyser ramps and logs that racers can potentially trick off of. While this game has made a return in games like Mario Kart 7 and Tour, it has to take one of the 40 spots left.
Mario Kart DS had so many iconic tracks including the likes of Tick-Tock Clock and Wario Stadium. The fact that Waluigi Pinball hasn’t made its return in the best-selling Mario Kart game yet is criminal. This course, if brought into MK8, has so much potential to make use of its anti-gravity after the iconic cannon shot. Plus, who can forget that awesome soundtrack?
Rainbow Road (Mario Kart DS)
Perhaps one of the better Rainbow Roads of the past Mario Kart games. It takes the elements of being difficult like past Rainbow Road levels but adds life into it. There are so many boost pads to test your lines on the first part, and then the iconic loops that you can easily fall off of. The chaos can be turned up to 11 with the integration into a modern Mario Kart game.
Mushroom Gorge is one of the first levels you play in Mario Kart Wii, yet its tricky layout stumped many. It had all the bouncy mushrooms where, if you landed on them a bit too close or far, you won’t reach the next. It was so fun adding that verticality in the game. That part can be fixed to integrate the glider at least on the cave bit. We also can’t forget that awesome gap jump on that final turn, having a high payoff for the risk of getting the right speed and angle.
Water levels are usually sluggish and lame in Mario games, but Koopa Cape from Mario Kart Wii was awesome. There were so many jumps leading up to the river section where driving on the current of the water made you drive faster. It would be such a worthwhile addition to Mario Kart 8. It could even integrate the underwater driving mechanic in the tube section.
Mario Kart 7 introduced large, single-lap courses that added a new layer of possibilities. Maka Wuhu definitely made its mark by integrating these into the mainline games moving forward (Mount Wario, Rainbow Road N64 remake). The transition for each section of the map makes it a refreshing one for every race, not only giving a scenic race, but also that flying bit at the end.
Yes, Dolphin Shoals exists, but Wario Shipyard mixes the grim atmosphere taking inspiration from a Bowser level and putting an aquatic twist to it. While this level is in Mario Kart Tour, that game is very limited to its autocorrecting controls that don’t allow the course to have its potential maximized. With possible tweaks to the level to make it more aligned with the mechanics of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, this could be an incredible track to race on.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is out now exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. The Booster Course Pass is set to release in March 2022 and will deliver new, remastered courses into 2023.