Mario Kart has been around for over 25 years, and there have been eight games in the franchise excluding the arcade versions. With so many games, there are dozens of tracks. Many of the tracks were originals in certain games and redesigned for later versions. From easy, enjoyable tracks to challenging, exciting ones, there are many fun options to choose from. Of course, every Mario Kart player has their favorite courses, but there are some that are generally seen as some of the best.
We’ve put together a list of the 10 best Mario Kart courses from all of the games and ranked them leading up to the best of them all.
The Mario Kart game for the Wii has a wide range of fun tracks. Being able to play the game using a motion sensor made for a fun game, especially since you could use a stereo wheel controller to play.
Maple Treeway is a really enjoyable track given the atmosphere and the music in the background. Players can race through a tree and drive through piles of leaves. Plus, this was a completely new track for this game that seemed fresh and fun.
Waluigi Pinball can be found in Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS as well as Mario Kart DS. This track is pretty simple in that it takes place inside of a pinball machine. This makes the graphics and the track really fun and dynamic. This isn’t a super tough track, but it's not an easy one either. Players have to maneuver around bumpers and flippers in the machine which means that good steering skills are a must.
Yoshi Valley was first included on Mario Kart 64 and later repurposed and included in Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. This is a track that most players are aware of.
It gives players a lot of choices as there are many ways you can get through the track. Plus, the huge, rotating Yoshi egg makes this track memorable. If you’re able to find the best path through this course, it’s actually pretty easy, and you’ll feel like an expert.
The original Mario Kart game, Super Mario Kart, has a vintage charm that just can’t be denied. This 16-bit game is so simple looking back, but it’s still a ton of fun to play. Donut Plains 3 is a fairly hard track, and playing this older game takes a good amount of skill. The wooden bridges make for a little more intricacy in this track than some of the others on this game. You can also play this track in Mario Kart 8 if you’re feeling nostalgic but have no way of playing the original.
Big Blue is a completely new track for Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U. This track is just a great time to play. It’s fast and includes water boosts and a dynamic feel. The track has three sections, so you won’t be doing laps which makes for less repetition. There are many sharp turns combined with the water slides which means that some good steering skills are in order. If you can ace this track, you’ll be flying through and having a grand old time.
Koopa Troopa Beach is a track from Mario Kart 64 that was one of the first to provide hills and ramps to climb making it an exciting introduction to the franchise.
Beach courses are often player favorites. One thing every serious player knows about this track is that there is a shortcut when you drive up the ramp and fly over the palm tree into a cave. This track is dynamic and offered a lot of interesting new features to the franchise.
As one of the first eight characters in the SNES, it’s fitting that Donkey Kong has his own course in Mario Kart. This course was put into the Mario Kart 64 game. This is actually a fairly hard track on this game as the steering isn’t super precise on the 64 version. One of the best things about this track is jumping over the steamboat and figuring out how to turn sharply on the hill near the finish line. You also have to navigate coconuts which makes this course even more difficult.
Mario Kart: Double Dash was the first game to have this short course with multiple laps. There is also a version included in Mario Kart 8. This course is rather divisive as some love it and some hate it. You have to go around the short course eight times which means multiple sharp turns over and over. While it can be a hard track, it’s a lot of fun and excitement if you can master it.
The courses on Mario Kart 8 look great and are some of the most fun to play because of all of the flying parts. Toad Harbor might not be the most difficult or even memorable course, but it’s one of the most fun to play. The course has a great soundtrack and the scenery is beautiful. It’s clearly inspired by San Francisco. Overall, Toad Harbor is just a good time and likely a favorite if you love to enjoy that Mario Kart atmosphere and feeling.
Of course, the number one track on this list has to be Rainbow Road, but it’s virtually impossible to pick just one. Rainbow Road is the track that people think of when they think of Mario Kart. The N64 version is full of images in the stars which makes for a pretty but also still slightly terrifying track.
The original Rainbow Road is really hard which is what makes it appealing. And the sleeker graphics of the versions on the Wii and Wii U are fun to play.