Mario Kart 8′s Booster Course Wave Pass 4 hit the masses on March 8, 2023, giving gamers one brand-new track and seven remastered tracks from previous Mario Kart entries. The new courses consist of Amsterdam Drift, Bangkok Rush, DK Summit, Mario Circuit, Riverside Park, Singapore Sprint, Waluigi Stadium, and Yoshi Island.
Several factors play a role in assessing the best new Mario Kart Booster Course tracks. The track’s length, the map’s layout, difficulty level, road surfaces, shortcuts, music, and overall visual aesthetic combine to create a vivid experience gamers want to return to time and again.
8 Mario Circuit
Leg two of the Boomerang Cup, another Mario Circuit, has been added to the bestselling Nintendo Switch game via the latest Booster Course Pass. The track is remastered from the Mario Kart DS version and was added to the game one day after the same track was added to the 2023 version of Mario Tour. As such, it’s repetitive and unnecessary and is clearly the weakest track.
Although this version of Mario Circuit notably has a tunnel leading to a brief forest section and the only dirt road featured in a Mario Circuit, the track is much shorter and less challenging than every new Booster Course in Wave 4. The biggest reason it’s the least inspired new track is that it marks the fourth Mario Circuit in the game, matching Rainbow Road for the most variants. While the latest Rainbow Road made improvements to become the best of the bunch, the new Mario Circuit adds nothing very exciting to the game.
7 Riverside Park
Remastered from Mario Kart Tour, Riverside Park is the second leg of the Fruit Cup in the high-ranking Mario Kart 8. The course features a vivid jungle setting marked by flowing waterfalls and a dark cavernous section and it’s a lot of fun to drive. The rollicking carnival-like drum beat and chaotic trumpet also add a lot to the track’s appeal. The biggest challenges include fast-walking Ptooies (Piranha Plants) that dart into the roadways and pop out inside the cave.
Riverside Park is the shortest track included in the new Booster Course Pass. Between that and the fact that all three laps follow the same map layout (as opposed to the ever-changing cities), it’s hard to consider it one of the best. It feels like more of a warm-up course that should begin the Fruit Cup rather than serve as its second race.
6 DK Summit
Remastered from Mario Kart Wii, DK Summit marks the game’s third snow track after Mount Wario and Merry Mountain, both of which are more fun to play. Moreover, DK Summit was added just three months after the Christmas-themed Merry Mountain, which makes its addition feel somewhat superfluous. However, for those who enjoy snowboarding rather than kart racing, DK Summit transcends the racing genre to feel like an Olympic event.
After being launched through a canon to the summit, the layout leads to two extremely hairy S-turns that, if not taken properly, will send drivers plummeting into the steepest canyon. A horde of snowboarding Shy Guys threaten to block the path, while ice, thick snow, and bumpy moguls make for a rocky road. Some gamers enjoy the simulated snowboard feeling, while others think it’s a gimmicky novelty. No matter where one stands, it’s hard not to compare DK Summit to Mount Wario, which is the most thrilling snow-themed course in Mario Kart 8.
5 Waluigi Stadium
Leg three of the Boomerang Cup belongs to Waluigi Stadium, a lengthy, grueling, yet highly amusing track to race along. Remastered from Mario Kart: Double Dash, the muddy off-road arena is loaded with jumps, ramps, moguls, half pipes, tire stacks, speed panels, rotating fire stands and flame balls, and more.
Waluigi Stadium was given a visual upgrade to enrich the textures. Additionally, Waluigi Stadium now features diggers, an antigravity section with spin boost pillars, and a giant mechanical Piranha Plant head that juts into the track, forcing drivers to ride up on the walls and sides of the dirt arena like a real derby. There’s also a strategic bridge in the upper section that can be used to avoid traffic and outpace the competition. A huge upgrade to Wario Stadium, Waluigi Stadium is long, difficult, and challenging, but a ton of fun to return to.
4 Amsterdam Drift
Despite being the first track of the Fruit Cup, Amsterdam Drift is an absolute blast to drive. Remastered from Mario Kart Tour 2022, the track is still fresh in the minds of those who played it before and provides breathless thrills for those yet to take the plunge. Similar to other cities in the game, Amsterdam Drift is among the best new courses because of its constantly changing map layout and altering road surfaces. As such, it’s on par with Paris from Mario Kart’s Booster Course Pass Wave One.
Beyond the stunning Dutch architecture and famous landmarks to behold, Amsterdam Drift begins on cobblestones and quickly moves to the pavement before hitting an awesome underwater section that mimics the city’s iconic canals. A dirt road through a poppy field ensues before driving on a yacht and racing through an ornate marketplace. Providing visceral thrills sure to imprint an everlasting smile on those who drive it, the best part about Amsterdam Drift is that it redirects drivers into an unpredictable detour during the final lap.
3 Bangkok Rush
The most rewarding tracks to drive in Mario Kart 8 allow players to find different paths to the finish line. In Bangkok Rush, the first track of the Boomerang Cup, players have several pathways to choose from, a la Amsterdam Drift and Yoshi Valley, to win each race. Finding the fastest way through the capital of Thailand and its gorgeous architecture, street food stalls, canals, and sky train is pure heaven.
Another reason Bangkok Rush is so much fun to drive is how new it is to the Mario Kart franchise. The track was added as part of Mario Kart Tour 2022, meaning the novelty of racing through such an architectural jewel has yet to wear off for many gamers. Whether cavorting off of roofs, bouncing off food tents, or speeding through the iconic Chao Priya river, few Mario Kart tracks have been able to simulate the exhilaration of speeding through a thriving metropolis like Bangkok Rush.
2 Singapore Speedway
As if saving the best for last, Mario Kart 8 waited to unveil the stunning Singapore Speedway as the final race of the Boomerang Cup. Set at dusk, the beautiful visual detail of the city course is second to none, while much of the racing consists of flying and soaring through the city than driving on the ground. As such, it feels like a genuine theme park ride.
Whether racing along roller coasters, rooftop swimming pools or flying over rivers past with giant stone water fountains, there’s nary a dull moment in Singapore Speedway. Unlike many of the maps that change layouts by the third lap, Singapore Speedway inverts the formula and makes the first lap different from the others, making it impossible to predict where to go. As such, the course is an absolute masterclass in design, difficulty, and replayability.
1 Yoshi Island
For the simple fact that it had never been seen until its Booster Course Pass Wave 4 debut, Yoshi Island is clearly the best new track to drive in the game. As one of the hardest Mario Kart tracks, Yoshi Island begins at the beach before racers enter a harrowing underwater section full of crabs, hairpin turns, and a cave covered in snow banks. Climbing a mountain full of lava, the track literally takes players to new heights as they fly up to a cloud.
The extremely creative track ends with the biggest descending fall in Mario Kart 8 as a sea creature frolics in the ocean behind. With half as much time soaring through the air as driving on the ground, Yoshi Island is not only the most original new track included in Booster Course Wave Pass 4, but it’s the one most likely to make everyone who plays it feel like a kid again.
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