It took five years, but we finally received Mario Kart 8 DLC tracks. The Booster Course Pack will release 48 maps, releasing eight maps at a time across eight different DLC packs. The first finally dropped recently, which means we dove right in to explore the new courses.
After much deliberation, testing, and delight, we’ve come back to rank the new tracks from worst to best. If you’re looking for the original list of every Mario Kart 8 track ranked, that’s still there! We’ll be sure to update that list as well for you.
One of several Mario Kart 8 DLC tracks from Mario Kart Tour, Tokyo Blur is uninspiring. The concept of each lap taking a different route is intriguing and impressed us upon the first reaction. Sadly, the more you race here, the staler it becomes.
There’s a lot of untapped potential in Tokyo Blur. What could have been a scenic, sprawling, and fast-paced race is the exact opposite. The pace feels surprisingly slow, especially on the third lap when traversing through a highway. What should have been a spectacular finish as you fly through the finish line is instead anti-climatic.
Interestingly, Mario Kart 8 seems to have an issue with highway-type courses. Tokyo Blur is no exception.
What makes Sky Garden so disappointing is the strength of another GBA track, Ribbon Road. While its short and sweet length could have led to memorable races, it’s instead one of the weaker of the Mario Kart 8 DLC tracks.
As Cloudtop Cruise proved, a course in the sky can work wonders. Sure, half of the track has players racing through an airship. Still, racing through the clouds is chaotic, frantic, and intense. It’s an enjoyable rush as everyone jockeys for position.
Sky Garden’s clouds offer the exact opposite: cozy, open, and forgiving. It’s a simple course that leaves much to be desired.
Choco Mountain is one of my favorite courses from Mario Kart 64. I was super excited when I heard that it was one of the upcoming Mario Kart 8 DLC tracks.
Unfortunately, there was a loss in translation. The new version of Choco Mountain lacks some of the exciting features of the old one. The N64 track felt fast and dangerous. The Switch version feels a little too roomy and safe.
A direct comparison can be made with Wario’s Gold Mine. While they’re not carbon copies, Choco Mountain doesn’t offer the same sense of speed that Wario’s Gold Mine. It’s like updating the classic course to join the roster of Mario Kart 8 DLC took away its magic.
This isn’t a bad track, but it’s still disappointing to see it not live up to its full potential.
Unlike Sky Garden, Toad Circuit is a Mario Kart 8 DLC track where short and sweet works in its favor. It has an arcade feel to it that offers plenty of excitement. There’s nothing new or revolutionary here, but that wasn’t necessary either.
Toad Circuit knows what it’s about: a simple track layout that offers exciting racing. Nintendo knows what works here, as some of the other best tracks in Mario Kart 8, such as the SNES Rainbow Road or Animal Crossing. What makes Toad Circuit stand out is the lack of theming. Sure, there are a bunch of inflated Toad balloons throughout the track, but that’s it. You’re not racing on a rainbow road or through the Animal Crossing train. It’s more akin to Luigi Circuit or Mario Circuit.
Given that it’s literally called “Toad Circuit,” I should have realized that earlier.
Out of the bunch, Toad Circuit is one of the best of other circuit tracks. It doesn’t overstay its welcome while offering an excellent track design that focuses everything on racing instead of gimmicks. It’s a very welcome addition to Mario Kart 8.
Originally appearing on Mario Kart Wii, Coconut Mall has a cult following. Listen to the excitement in the narrator’s voice during the official track announcement from Nintendo.
While it’s a worthy addition to Mario Kart 8 DLC, I’d argue that Coconut Mall hasn’t necessarily aged too well. The mall layout offers several paths for players to take, which remains a hallmark of Mario Kart’s track design. Still, it pales compared to the design of tracks like Sunshine Airport.
Coconut Mall was ahead of its time in 2008. Nearly a decade and a half later, track design has arguably surpassed it. The fact that it ranks in the top half of this list shows how enjoyable the course still is, especially when played online.
Another port from Mario Kart 8, Paris Promenade, is the Bizzaro Tokyo Circuit, in which it’s actually good.
Like Tokyo Circuit, Paris Promenade features a different track layout on every lap. Unlike Tokyo Circuit, it dramatically alters the lap experience. This results in its spectacular track design, where the difficulty of the course leads to spectacular racing. It’s the opposite approach of Toad Circuit, where simplicity leads to excellent gameplay.
Major kudos need to be given as well for featuring the city of Paris prominently, or as prominent as possible in a Mario Kart game. Traversing through the streets of France, Arc de Triomphe, and the Eifel Tower is an absolute delight. It’s just as enjoyable as the course progresses into complete mayhem.
This is also the only track out of the Mario Kart 8 DLC to make me audibly gasp in delight. The new layout has players do a massive U-Turn during the third lap before flying over oncoming traffic. As someone who didn’t play much of Mario Kart Tour, it caught me off-guard in the best of ways. The fact that, despite that moment, it still ranks third is a testament to how strong the remaining two tracks are.
Comparisons are going to be made between Shroom Ridge and Yoshi Circuit. Both offer plenty of twists and turns through the track. Both offer various shortcuts for players if you know where to find them. The one key difference is that where Yoshi Circuit is about pure racing, Shroom Ridge is actually a public road where little kart racers are weaving in and out of traffic.
Online racing offers a sense of speed and excitement that you wouldn’t expect from the unassuming Mario Kart 8 DLC track. Like Toad Circuit, Shroom Ridge proves that big things can come in small packages. It’s a joy to play that combines top-notch track design with an environment that encourages excellent racing.
In terms of “realistic” tracks in Mario Kart 8 DLC, it’s the best.
I was shocked when I discovered Ninja Hideaway was in Mario Kart Tour. I could have sworn that this was an original track for Mario Kart 8 DLC. It’s that good. If Shroom Ridge is the best of the “realistic” courses, then Ninja Hideaway is undoubtedly the best for “over-the-top” tracks.
The best way to describe Ninja Hideaway is that it’s a nearly three-minute thrill ride that takes your breath away. It’s Bowser’s Castle kicked up a notch and turned up to eleven. It is a master class in racing, track design, and gameplay.
The course already has a wide variety of available paths to take before even considering various shortcuts. I’ve never enjoyed losing as much as I have on Ninja Hideaway.
It’s nearly impossible to race on Ninja Hideaway without having a smile on your face.
That’s our current list of Mario Kart 8 DLC tracks from worst to best, do you agree with our ranking? Sound off in the comments.