Mario Kart is one of gaming’s greatest series. The little red capped plumber and his gang of friends first hit the asphalt in 1992, single handily redefining the racing genre. Throughout the years, the series has gone from strength to strength, racking up millions of sales and earning critical acclaim. As the series has progressed, each iteration has introduced new game mechanics, new characters and new features, each to varying degrees of success.
However, there’s one area where Mario Kart continues to shine – tracks. Each game in the series boasts an excellent range of courses, from the beautifully balanced classics in Super Mario Kart to the varied route wonders in Mario Kart 7. Of course we all have our favourite, but which truly is the greatest Mario Kart track of all time?
With last week’s announcement of a new Mario Kart for the Wii U, the 10th game in the series, I thought it would be fitting to name tracks that must appear as retro courses, and while I’m all for originality, some of the past tracks are simply too good to be ignored. With nine games and 120 courses to choose from, narrowing it down is no easy task. I specifically left out every edition of Bowser’s Castle and Rainbow Road as they are guaranteed to be included.
Also, they would probably take up at at least 6 of the 8 places, such is the standard of each track. So, with that in mind and after much debating with friends and hours of research (along with hundreds of hours of playing throughout my life), here are 8 tracks that must return for Mario Kart Wii U.
8. Airship Fortress (Mario Kart DS)
Mario Kart has always prided itself on unique tracks and Airship Fortress is certainly one of the coolest looking courses in recent times. This track has a little bit of everything – Bullet Bills, tight turns and plenty of short-cuts which provide a lightning quick pace on this exhilarating track.
Outside the ship, racers must dodge Rocket Wrenches that pop out from their trenches and at the same time, try and stay away from the edge. The aerial setting is best used with the main feature of the track – the cannon – which shoots players through a tower before the finish line. One of the best looking tracks in the series.
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This article was first posted on January 29, 2013