30. Bowser’s Castle
Bowser’s Castle in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe does everything one would expect from a Bowser’s Castle track. It has plenty of tough obstacles to crowd up an already-cramped track design, meaning you can never get too comfortable. That giant Bowser fist has thwarted way too many of my would-be first place finishes.
29. Sunshine Airport
With a few hidden jumps to take advantage of and a very narrow shortcut to try and ride across, Sunshine Airport is a stage where skilled racers can, well, shine.
28. Rainbow Road (SNES)
Very tight turns and lots of Thwomps. For its simplicity, it is quite a challenging stage, especially if you plan on drifting as much as possible.
27. Cloudtop Cruise
Driving along a giant beanstalk and an airship makes for one heck of a track. One of the more inventive designs in the game, Cloudtop Cruise starts the Special Cup off with a bang.
26. Mount Wario
Wario’s ridiculously extreme stages are always great, and Mount Wario does not disappoint in this regard. A hectic downhill race down a very tall mountain, Mount Wario has lots of exciting speedbumps to master.
25. DK Jungle
While I wish we could have seen DK Mountain instead, DK Jungle is a solid stage with a very challenging shortcut at the end. Plus, the course brings some much-needed Donkey Kong Country vibes to the game, and that is always appreciated.
24. Sherbet Land
It’s slippery and it’s pretty. The ice adds some extra challenge that necessitates careful drifting and a knack for avoiding skating Shy Guys. Try not to get stuck beneath the ice!
Visually, this is an extremely cool track. With flashing lights and split paths, there is a lot going on in Electrodome. This is one of several stages with a wide open final area that lends itself perfectly to high-stakes finishes.
22. Excitebike Arena
A stage with some random generation means it will feel a little different every time you try it. Watching out for the oil puddles while trying to catch as many of the ramps as possible makes the track a worthy Excitebike representative in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
21. Ice Ice Outpost
Ice Ice Outpost has claustrophobic tunnels, tight shortcuts for the daring, and lots of twisty, split paths to separate the action. It is a challenging course and one of many fantastic additions from the DLC.
20. Dragon Driftway
I found this to be the toughest track in the game when I went through and 3-starred all of the 200 CC cups. It is incredibly hard to maintain your speed through many of the tightest turns on this track. Outside of a healthy challenge, it also has Gobblegut. More Gobblegut is always a good thing.
19. Mute City
In standard F-Zero fashion, this track is absolutely bonkers and focuses on hitting super high speeds. Exploration stages like this made the DLC great and Mario Kart‘s scope feel that much bigger.
18. Big Blue
The F-Zero courses are pretty similar to one another, but I just barely prefer Big Blue and its crazy ending area. Every race I have on this track comes down to the wire.
17. Animal Crossing
The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC added several new Nintendo franchises to the big race. Animal Crossing was probably the most surprising addition, but its stage is wonderful, especially with the different seasons.
16. Yoshi Circuit
A high-intensity track with lots of great drifts, boosts, and one dastardly shortcut. Its Yoshi shape is also always a pleasure.