Mario Kart is one of Nintendo’s best selling franchises, coming in below Pokemon and Super Mario. It also contributes to Nintendo’s highest selling Franchise, “Mario”. The Mario franchise tallies up Super Mario, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Sports, Mario RPG, and Other Mario games. (So it’s probably safe to say that it’s cheating a little bit)

What started on the SNES in 1992 as a go-kart style of racing has evolved into a sophisticated racing game for recent consoles. With Mario Kart being as influential as it is, and keeping a firm grasp on the go-kart genre, it was only fair we take a look at some of the top tracks they’ve released.

From handheld titles to console titles, each track has been taken into consideration for the list. Below are some of the tracks that, although maybe not the most balanced, are certainly fun to play. Let us know in the comments below if we missed any of your favourite tracks!

Daisys Cruiser Mario Kart

#10 Daisy Cruiser

Game: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Cup: Flower Cup

Daisy Cruiser was one of the most unique settings in any Mario Kart game, and it was just the beginning of appearances for Princess Daisy’s cruise line. The ship has appeared in many other titles, with one of the more notable appearances being Mario Super Sluggers.

You can see the ship sailing by in several other courses as well, including Peach Beach, Yoshi Circuit, Mario Beach, and Daisy Circuit. The course was a big step for the Princess, who is constantly overshadowed by Peach. By giving her a bit of her own brand, Luigi’s Princess finally started to get a more established name in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Besides being great for establishing a character, Daisy Cruiser had a great setting. Taking you all across the ship’s deck, and even inside buildings, it gave you the feeling that you were actually racing on a cruise ship. Using the open water to influence how the course works, you’ll have to avoid sliding boxes and tables throughout the course.

Filled with sharp turns and some not so short shortcuts, Daisy Cruiser makes it onto the list for a more inventive setting.

wario's goldmine mario kart

#9 Wario’s Goldmine

Game: Mario Kart Wii
Cup: Flower Cup

Wario’s Goldmine hasn’t only appeared in Mario Kart Wii, it made a come back in the Triforce cup for Mario Kart 8. The DLC featured Wario’s Goldmine, Rainbow Road(SNES), Ice Ice Outpost, and Hyrule Circuit.

Wario’s Goldmine features a course with missing rails, obstacles, Swoopers that can slow the player, and boost pads. The design choice to include boost pads on a course that is partially missing walls offers a risky decision to the player, stay the course as best they can, or try and use the boosts to get ahead.

With boost pads, missing railings, and things to run into, Wario’s Goldmine has a higher skill cap then other Mario Kart courses. With more to learn about the course, the longer you’ll want to play it – making Wario’s Goldmine a solid #9.

Moo Moo Meadows Mario Kart

#8 Moo Moo Meadows

Game: Mario Kart Wii
Cup: Mushroom Cup

Moo Moo Meadows is based off of the very similar Moo Moo Farms, with both featuring lots of cows and fields. Although considered an easy course, Moo Moo Meadows keeps players together, allowing for more item interaction then on most courses.

Moo Moo Meadows also plays as an easy to learn, hard to master course. Like most tracks featured in Mario Kart, learning where to use items and how to take the corners is an important part of the course. A small mess up can be the difference between 1st or 2nd place.

toads turnpike mario kart

#7 Toad’s Turnpike

Game: Mario Kart 8
Cup: Shell Cup

Mario Kart 8 is easily one of the best Mario Kart’s ever released, as is Mario Kart 64. So it only make sense that a remake of the N64 Toad’s Turnpike would make it onto the list.

What started off as a N64 course made its way back into Mario Kart in 2014, beautiful graphics to boot. The course requires an ever vigilant racer, as cars are everywhere. Located on an expressway, Toad’s Turnpike takes the evil necessary of traffic and turns it into a obstacle.

Although the cars may have set patterns, Toad’s Turnpike is unique in the sense that the things you want to avoid are roaming the course with you. Their are walls, jumps, and even riding on top of other cars will help you turn this turnpike into a victorious course.

 

Rainbow Road Mario Kart

#6 Rainbow Road

Game: Mario Kart 64
Cup: Special Cup

Arguing that Rainbow Road deserves to be on this list is tricky. After all, this list is about fun, isn’t it? Rainbow Road may be one of the most recognizable tracks in the Mario Kart franchise, but most of the times it certainly isn’t regarded as fun.

With almost no walls to keep you on board, the N64 version of Rainbow Road is arguably the hardest version of the course. When it was reintroduced in Mario Kart 8, Nintendo had to “tone it down” so that users could enjoy the course. With cuts possible on the track by purposely driving off, Rainbow Road is more about the skill then it is the luck of items.

Toad Harbor Mario Kart

#5 Toad Harbor

Game: Mario Kart 8
Cup: Flower Cup

Toad Harbor is the course I’m most surprised made it onto the list. Mario Kart 8 is full of fantastic tracks, and when thinking over every great course, Toad Harbor didn’t really come to mind. It wasn’t until reading through a list of all Mario Kart tracks that I remembered how much fun it actually is.

The course has a refreshing setting, taking place in a (surprisingly) clean city, Toad Harbor is a good introspective of the happy-go-lucky character. With several off to the side shortcuts, the course shows a stark contrast to tourists and resident drivers. By offering small side streets to take, you really know who’s experienced on the course by how, and when, they take those short cuts.

Bowser's Castle Mario Kart

#4 Bowser’s Castle

Game: Mario Kart 8
Cup: Special Cup

There is no way Bowser’s Castle wasn’t going to make it onto the list. Being one of the most iconic antagonists in any Nintendo franchise, Bowser has had a course dedicated to him in every Mario Kart game. With small changes being made to each one, the best version is hands down from Mario Kart 8.

Mario Kart 8’s version of Bowser’s Castle offers a great mechanic during part of the course. When Bowser goes to punch the course, it sends a ripple down the section that players can use to get a speed boost, if they time their trick right in the air. But proceed with caution, if you take the wrong side you’ll end up getting flattened by the Koopa King himself.

DK Mountain Mario Kart

#3 DK Mountain

Game: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Cup: Star Cup

DK Mountain has a lot going for it. Being shot from a canon, and most importantly, the music. Paying homage to the older, and more classic DK games, the music feels fit for a jungle. Or in this case, a mountain.

Starting off in the jungle and ending up on top of an active volcano, players will have to dodge falling boulders as they had towards the start of the course. Perhaps what makes this course so great is that it was originally created for Double Dash, one of the most unique, and best, Mario Kart games created.

Music Park Mario Kart

#2 Music Park

Game: Mario Kart 8
Cup: Leaf Cup

Music Park was originally introduced in Mario Kart 7, but was quickly ported over to Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U version of the game. Using the music to set the stage for the course, Music Park has a musical piano that players drive across.

With drums to bounce you, and giant notes to crush you, it is no wonder how this course made it onto the list. By timing your jumps right you can score boosts off of said jumping notes; having them serve as a benefit to racers.  Music Park boasts one of the most unique settings in all of Mario Kart, and certainly the most unique for Mario Kart 8.

twisted mansion mario kart

#1 Twisted Mansion

Game: Mario Kart 8
Cup: Flower Cup

Twisted Mansion has the perfect amount of innovation, nostalgia, and mechanics to take the number one spot on the list.

Hailing back to the days of Boo’s haunted mansions, including Luigi’s mansion, the course will prove to rest well with any fan. Starting the course off is a statue of Boohemoth, the largest Boo in the Super Mario series. Using the new gravity aspect in Mario Kart 8, players can race on either wall in the dining room.

With secret boosting areas and short cuts available for all, the course is easy to learn, but hard to master. Twisted Mansion’s atmosphere tops everything off as the most memorable course created in Mario Kart history.

  • rafael

    no mount wario? didnt like this list

    • Alana Fearnall

      I’m sorry to hear that, rafael. Mount Wario is definitely a good course, there are just so many great courses in Mario Kart.

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