Mario Kart 64 is one of the greatest video games of all-time so let’s rank all of the Mario Kart 64 tracks. It’s a difficult task, but I’m up for the challenge. Let’s start with the bottom eight.
16. Rainbow Road
I have played thousands of Mario Kart races and can honestly count the number of times I’ve played this place on one hand. F*** this place. North Korea, you want a place to nuke? Have at it.
First of all, it is absurdly long and boring. Nobody has time for this s***. Second, you’ll end up getting symptoms of vertigo after like two laps because it’s just so goddamn bright. It’s like they designed this course while all the developers were simultaneously having a terrible acid trip. Third, random chain chomps show up OUT OF NOWHERE and run you over. Beginners typically like playing this place and enjoy attempting the much fabled “shortcut” of flinging themselves off the track on the big jump and down to the track below. Doesn’t work. It’s pure suicide.
15. Banshee Boardwalk
The Star Cup is an unmitigated disaster and contains the two worst tracks in the game. There’s nothing appealing about Banshee Boardwalk.
Bats fly in your face. You’ll fall in the water at least six times. Your opponent will lightning you into the water as you’re making that harrowing sharp left, then sharp right turn and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Mushrooms are worthless until the very end. A big fish flies overhead and does nothing. Boos show up and try to scare you. It’s a downright depressing course and you know Rainbow Road is the next course up so that makes it even worse.
14. Frappe Snowland
Easily the most forgettable course in the game. If you ask a person to name all 16 Mario Kart courses in any order, this one will probably be last.
It’s kind of cool to get a star and explode the snowmen, but that’s about it. You’ll probably get hit by some dope who fired off a random green shell in the ice tunnel and if you really suck then you’ll fall off the bridge into the ice water as you’re approaching the finish line. The most memorable part is when you need to avoid all the snowmen that were inconveniently constructed in close proximity to each other. It’s not too difficult for experienced players who have memorized their alignment, but saving a star for this part can still be a game-changer. The moving snowmen are a different story though. Those just suck.
13. Moo Moo Farm
Shortest track in the game. You can lag behind, pick up a star, run through the gophers, and come in first. A staple of how easy the left, left, left, left Mushroom Cup is.
12. DK Jungle Parkway
The only course that bludgeons you with s*** if you drive off-track. It’s not enough to just drive slower, but you need to get hammered with coconuts too. That makes attempting to strategically cut corners using mushrooms a bad idea. That first turn adjacent to the river can be a problem if you happen to get lightninged at the wrong time or just suck at driving. If you’re not careful, you could end up getting stuck on the fence at the bridge part towards the end. You really need to lose focus to do this though. The cannon part is pretty cool especially for a game made in 1996, but there’s just not too much to like about this course. The coconuts really suck.
11. Luigi Raceway
It’s the first track of the Mushroom Cup and thus the easiest in the game. It’s just a circle. I’ve seen people without arms come in first on this level. Experienced kartists will use mushrooms to cut corners and boost themselves around the track, but you could end up winning on this course with a single star or lightning.
10. Choco Mountain
This is more of a personal vendetta for me. I appreciate the difficulty of Choco Mountain, but I just hate this place. It is easily my worst course in the game. I rarely ever won here.
Beginners will get eaten up by this course. This still didn’t prevent me from absolutely sucking at this course. It’s like trying to drive in a blender. If you end up falling off the ledge at that infamous turn then you are probably f*****. A banana peel could very well end up being your undoing and someone who specializes in the artistry of banana placement can do some major damage. Also, a big boulder might crush you. The end is really tough with the jumps and the narrow pathway, but it makes for some good finish line action.
9. Kalihari Desert
It’s a pretty basic course, but perfectly adequate. The karters who know when to use their star or mushrooms to cut across the sand will dominate this level. You might get hit by a train, but only if you’re a moron. Also, don’t drive on the train tracks. It’s not a shortcut.
Those are the bottom eight Mario Kart 64 tracks. Stay tuned for the top eight.