Mario Kart 8: The Definitive Ranking of All 32 Tracks


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Who doesn’t love Mario Kart? Well, maybe the odd weirdo out there doesn’t, but we sure as heck do.

The latest installment in the series has been out for over a month now. That’s pretty much the perfect amount of time for us to deliver to you: The Definitive Ranking of All 32 Tracks from Mario Kart 8… under oprainfall’s guidelines… or more like this writer’s guidelines.

Mario Kart 8 | oprainfall

Image courtesy of Brodie Drayton-Mills

It’s pretty simple. The list will start from what I believe are the worst tracks moving up to the best. You’re probably not going to agree with me about most of these, but hey ho, it’s all part of the fun.

Gentlemen, and gentle ladies, start your engines!


32) Dry Dry Desert

Mario Kart 8 - Dry Dry Desert (GCN) | oprainfall

‘Greeeeeugh!’ That’s the sound I make anytime someone picks Dry Dry Desert in an online race. The remake of the GameCube track is so painstakingly dull, as was the original, that I almost forgot to actually rank it. Even the upgrade in visuals can’t save this bland, monotonous course. The music’s not much cop either*, which makes Dry Dry Desert truly worthy of last place.

*ED. NOTE: British-ism for “not very good”

31) Toad’s Turnpike

Mario Kart 8 - Toad's Turnpike (N64) | oprainfall

Another painstakingly dull track that got the remake treatment. Whilst the boost in glorious HD made the cityscape a lot prettier, it unfortunately didn’t improve on the excitement factor. The races go on for too long and it lacks any thrills, even with trying to avoid all the traffic. I was never a fan of the N64 original and reliving it hasn’t changed my mind. Boo you, Toad and your Turnpike. Boo you.

30) Bone Dry Dunes

Mario Kart 8 - Bone Dry Dunes | oprainfall

The first new track limps in at an embarrassing 30th place. Bone Dry Dunes continues to prove that no-one likes desert type tracks. NO-ONE! It does look prettier than Dry Dry Desert, and seeing Toad’s sailing through the sand dunes on pirate ships is quite entertaining. But that doesn’t make the actual race anymore fun. Next!

29) Grumble Volcano

Mario Kart 8 - Grumble Volcano (Wii) | oprainfall

Grumble is the key word here. Out of all the Wii tracks they could’ve brought back, they went and bloody chose the most annoying. Some might think it’s cool to have chunks of the track fall away with each lap. You might think it makes it more edgy and requires more skill to navigate the tricky course. Well, it doesn’t. It’s just plain irritating. And no, this has nothing to do with my inability in coming higher than 11th place every time I play. They should change the name to Go Away Volcano… *looks smug*.

28) Sherbet Land

Mario Kart 8 - Sherbet Land | orpainfall

Oh dear. When it comes to retro tracks, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! didn’t fare too well. The second, and final, GameCube track to be remade stalls at 28. My main issue with Sherbet Land is that I found it to be instantly forgettable, even when I played it on Double Dash!! Yes, it’s got some sort of whimsical vibe about it, but other than that, I don’t have much more to say. Seriously, Nintendo. No Wario’s Coliseum? That would’ve been amazing with the anti-gravity. Think, McFly, think!

27) Dolphin Shoals

Mario Kart 8 - Dolphin Shoals | oprainfall

I have to admit, I do feel pretty bad placing Dolphin Shoals so near the bottom. The music that accompanies the track is one of the best. Visually it is absolutely gorgeous, especially when you come out of the water and onto the anti gravity section of the race. But, I just don’t enjoy elongated underwater sections. They frustrate me to no end. Plus, every time I partake in a race I get completely shafted, which results in me storming off in a huff until I can calm down. EVERY TIME! I’m not joking.

26) Tick-Tock Clock

Mario Kart 8 - Tick Tock Clock (DS) | oprainfall

This is another track that I find to be largely forgettable. In fact, it wasn’t until it’s resurgence that I remembered it being a track from Mario Kart DS. The idea of racing on the innards and faces of clocks is quite novel, but, again, it lacks any real excitement for me to care too much about it. Although, using the clock hands as risky short cuts is pretty cool.

25) Music Park

Mario Kart 8 - Music Park (3DS) | oprainfall

Anything that reminds you of Wii Music should instantly be ostracised. That’s it. Some nice corners for drifting, though.

Up next, 24 through 17.

Pages: 1 2 3 4


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About David Rawlings

David Rawlings, or ‘Rawky’ as we like to call him, joined the Operation Rainfall Campaign at the beginning. He’s British and found solace with us as he was able to understand our pain about Nintendo and their localizing faux pas. He’s a big fan of the letter ‘U’ and refuses to remove them from words, even though we constantly ask him to. He also believes it’s about time Princess Daisy got kidnapped.