Top 5 Friday: Classic Mario Kart Tracks That Haven’t Returned as Retro Courses Yet (But Should)

With the release of the second DLC pack for Mario Kart 8, that game is now home to the most retro tracks in any MK game to date. That had me thinking about which “forgotten” tracks have so far only appeared in one game and deserve to be remade in a newer Mario Kart game.

5. Wario Stadium (Mario Kart 64)


It may share a name with the Wario Stadium track in the DS version (which is the one that appears as a retro course in MK8), but the N64 original is actually a different track. In fact, it is the only track left from the N64 version to not be brought back in another game, and that alone is reason enough to want to see its return. It is also a particularly nasty course, being the second longest of all the N64 tracks and containing a jump that, if missed, sends the player back almost a quarter of the way back on the course. It also contains a famous glitch that allowed players to jump a barrier near the end of the track and skip laps, although that almost certainly would be fixed if the track was ever brought back – which hardcore fans of the original would no doubt get all worked up about.

4. Shroom Ridge (Mario Kart DS)

Shroom Ridge

This was one of those MK tracks that takes place on a treacherous traffic-filled highway, with the added wrinkles of almost the entire track being downhill and there being no crash barriers to speak of, with some stretches of the track having a straight drop off on one side of the road. It also contains several tricky S turns and plenty of opportunities to make opponents lose pole position by knocking them off the track and down the titular ridge. I personally consider MK DS‘ collection of original courses to be the second-best in franchise history – I give MK8 the edge in that department – so I would definitely like to eventually see them all redone in better-than-DS-level visuals.

3. Mushroom City (Mario Kart: Double Dash!!)


One of two “original” Double Dash courses – meaning not repeats like Bowser’s Castle and Rainbow Road – to not be brought back as of yet and another course with public traffic, Mushroom City is considered the nighttime counterpart to DD‘s Mushroom Bridge (which appeared again in the DS games). Although, technically Mushroom City has made another appearance as a portion of it overlaps with the MK Wii course Moonview Highway. It’s a sordid state of affairs. But when all is said and done, it is still its own course and still hasn’t fully been brought back as a retro cup and it should be, if for no other reason than to see the gorgeous moonlight highway in high definition. Mushroom City does have the dubious distinction of being the first appearance of the infamous Bob-Omb Cars, now an infuriating staple of highway courses, but we won’t hold that against it.

2. Wario Colosseum (Mario Kart: Double Dash!!)


And here’s the other original DD track that hasn’t been revisited yet. Unlike the Wario Stadium courses that rely heavily on traps and hazards, Colosseum’s challenge lies primarily in its wicked twists and turns as it spirals up and down the arena. It is definitely far less gimmicky than similarly-themed tracks like the aforementioned Wario Stadiums, Electrodome, Tick Tock Clock, and Waluigi Stadium. Such is this course’s focus on pure driving ability over tricks and gimmickry that there isn’t evem a single shortcut to be found. Finally, it is quite the lengthy course, so much so that in DD it’s only two laps long rather than the default three. All those dizzying turns and steep drops would be even more stomach-churning in high definition if this daunting course ever made a comeback.

1. Sunset Wilds (Mario Kart Super Circuit)

Sunset Wilds

I used to groan whenever a track from the SNES original or GBA’s Super Circuit showed up in a retro cup of a newer game, as the flat design of the tracks from the 2D games just felt dull to me amongst the 3D courses. That all changed with MK8 when they finally began to rework the 2D courses and add some depth and altitude to them, making them much more interesting. Not only that, but the sparse, abstract environments of the originals allow for creative reinterpretation, as best seen in two Super Circuit tracks that just returned in MK8’s latest DLC pack: Cheese Land and Ribbon Road. Seeing how clever the developers were in re-imagining those courses makes me really interested to see what they could do with Sunset Wilds, a desert-themed course that feels straight out of the Old West. One of the coolest features of the original was that time actually passed as the race progressed, with the sun setting a bit more after each lap until the course becomes a full-on nighttime track. The visual change possible with today’s tech can allow for a much more startling transition than a simple color palette shift and change in the static background image, and it would make for such an interesting race to have a more real-time-esque sunset taking place over the course of the event.

While there aren’t that many more tracks that haven’t been reused yet, these definitely aren’t the only five. Which other ones would you like to see? Maybe one of the Bowser’s Castles or Rainbow Roads that we’ve only seen once? Another drastic 2D re-imagining like Super Circuit‘s Riverside Park? Or another one altogether? Let us know!

About Chris Hodges (The Chi-Scroller)

I am a writer and blogger (and father) who lives in Chicago. I primarily write about video games, though I take occasional detours into movies, television and pop culture in general.


  1. Wario Stadium could do with a retro clean up in more than just visuals, it should be one of those tracks they rejuvenate with new additions more suiting the new mechanics.

    Shroom Ridge is a must have, it’d be nice to have a traffic laden track that isn’t the god forsaken turnpike.

    Mushroom City would be nice but it’d need some modifications, as a track I feel it’s kinda plain.

    Wario Coliseum is also a must, it’s begging for 200cc as it is and the layout is so insane it’d be perfect for the high level players.

    Sunset Wilds could be amazing, I just hope they would do something to make the desert ground more appealing, Dry Dry Desert for one is a track that bores me visually.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed on Dry Dry Desert. It isn’t a very visually interesting track. That’s why I suggested playing up the old west vibe for Sunset Wilds. Have you drive past saloons and whatnot. That’s how I envision it anyhow.


      • I’d like to powerslide THROUGH the saloon doors and up the stairs into the room upstairs where the dry bones are playing poker.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Why not? They’re finally starting to take more liberties with those old 2D tracks so anything is possible so long as they keep the basic overhead track shape the same. That seems to be the only criteria in their reimagining of those old tracks.


      • I really wish more tracks would involve the theme in some way, we get a forest stage in the new dlc and drive through a village…but they all stand at the side while you just go round a bend! I wanted to drive on curving vines and use my glider through the foliage, they really under-use their themes.


      • Yeah, that’s one thing the Sega All-Stars racing series has on Mario Kart is the themes and worlds of the tracks feel more interactive and less just like window dressing. They touched on it in the Zelda track – so maybe it’s something they’re planning for the next sequel.


      • I expect to have to fight The Imprisoned 3 times on a Skyward Sword themed track.


      • I can’t believe they only tried boss battles and “missions” one time – in Mario Kart DS – and completely abandoned them since. There is SO much they could do with that, such as your Skyward Sword suggestion.


      • Well some of those bosses were absolute chumps but I think they should expand the kart racing more like that, boss races and such like from classic kart racing games like CTR and diddy kong racing.

        Liked by 1 person

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