Ranking Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC Courses: Wave 6

It's time for the final Mario Kart 8 Booster Courses wave! The tracks of the Booster Course have varied considerably in quality, but can Nintendo end on a high note? With some much anticipated tracks and surprising additions, wave 6 might just be the hardest wave to rank. So let's get cracking on this final episode!

Wave 6 adds the final 8 tracks to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe‘s grand total of 96 circuits to race on. With the honor of being the final wave does come a lot of community pressure. After all, every single course that this wave did not include will most likely not return in the game at all. Although much of the wave was already known through data mines, the final list still proved as exciting as it was surprising. From fan-favorite Wii Rainbow Road to the surprising addition of 3DS Rosalina’s Ice World, wave 6 is shaping up to become a serious competitor to the phenomenal waves 3 and 4.

I won’t keep my intro going for too long. But just to mention – tell me why my ranking is wrong in the comments. I’m eager to hear your thoughts as well. This ranking is just my taste, so I may be slightly biased towards some tracks. However, I’ll especially have a look at originality, uniqueness, and remake potential. So let’s dive right into the zenith of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Wave 6 of the Booster Courses Pass!

The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass is available for $25, or as part of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack.


Rosalina’s Ice World (3DS)

In every ranking, there’s one course that has to be ranked last. While for some waves it was obvious to me which track should get that position, this one wasn’t so easy. Ultimately, with some pain in my heart, Rosalina’s Ice World takes last place in wave 6. But rather than saying it was the low point of this track, it should serve to show how great this wave truly is. Rosalina’s Ice World is a great track by all means.

This courses's serene vibe is unmatched in all Mario Kart 8.

This courses’s serene vibe is unmatched in all Mario Kart 8.

The serene music, the pretty Mario Galaxy-like atmosphere, and the accessible shortcuts make this circuit a blast to race on. With the ability to drive on the curvy snowy walls surrounding the track, it feels like you’re sliding rather than driving. Reaching the ice path at the start of every lap, as it keeps being pushed further away, is a blast. While it may lack uniqueness compared to its competition, it’s an incredibly solid circuit.

Daisy Circuit (Wii)

Daisy Circuit is simply gorgeous. The stunning sunset, wide seaside boulevards, and beautiful music give this track an impeccable atmosphere like I’m relaxing in a small Meditteranean town after a long and hot day. The circuit had all that in Wii, but with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s updated graphics, this circuit claims a pretty high spot when it comes to presentation.

Daisy Circuit is short, but definitely sweet.

Daisy Circuit is short, but definitely sweet.

That said, presentation isn’t everything. While it makes Daisy Circuit a blast to visit, the course itself isn’t too exciting. The virtual split paths around the finish are nice, as they let you do some shenanigans with red shells, and the glider shortcut is as satisfying as ever, but there isn’t that much more to it. While it may not be the most exhilarating, it is undoubtedly one of the most of the prettiest.

Rome Avanti (Tour)

Coming up on the opening track of Wave 6, Mario Kart Tour’s Rome Avanati offers a fun sightseeing tour through the Eternal City. And honestly – I didn’t expect this course to be anything short of great. The Italian vibes and Roman landmarks pop out under the night sky. Almost every single city track in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a blast to drive through, and Rome Avanti is definitely not an exception.

Rome at night. What's not to love.

Rome at night. What’s not to love.

From driving up the Colosseum to hovering over the Trevi Fountain, Rome Avanti lets drivers interact nicely with Rome’s many awe-inspiring sights. Especially the final section with the Chain Comps in the Colosseum is a cool inclusion. Although it isn’t as varied as Singapore Speedway or as fast-paced and exciting as Athens Dash, it’s a more than solid city track that will provide racers with a great time.

Piranha Plant Cove

The sense of adventure and exploration on Piranha Plant Cove is unmatched throughout the entirety of Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. The vast underwater ruins, occasionally dipping above the water’s surface, harbor a great many secrets. At least, that’s what the vibe of this course tells me. With its mysterious music, lanterns, and shipwrecks, this circuit gets me in the mood to uncover long forgotten on the seafloor of a tropical lagoon.

This course is a true  mystery, and I love it.

This course is a true mystery, and I love it.

With lots of tight turns, shortcuts, ramps, and abilities to trick, this circuit feels a bit like the underwater equivalent to Thwomp Ruins. It seems like every time I play on this race, I discover something new, a fresh way to traverse these mysterious and tropical ruins. I’d probably rank Piranha Plant Cove quite a bit higher in other waves, but the competition is tough this time around.

DK Mountain (GCN)

It’s DK Mountain. What more do you want me to say? This course has been a classic ever since it was first introduced in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! It’s a blast seeing and experiencing this circuit once again. Getting shot out of a cannon and traversing down the mountain in a chaotic race, with the treacherous and now wavy bridge section at the end, only to do it all over again. A good course doesn’t have to be complex, and DK Mountain proves it.

The glow-up DK mountain received makes the mad dash even more fun.

The glow-up DK mountain received makes the mad dash even more fun.

This iteration of the famous mountain just adds more to get that Donkey Kong vibe. Mostly by slamming barrels with DK on them anywhere – and I’m all for that. While DK Mountain hasn’t received any crazy overhauls, it really didn’t need any. It’s not revolutionary, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s just always fun to see who clears the mad dash down the mountain first, and that’s more than enough to make DK Mountain the classic that it is.

Bowser Castle 3 (SNES)

I won’t lie to you – seeing SNES retro tracks always gives me a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Usually, they’re the weakest of the bunch – a slot wasted with an obligatory SNES track rather than something interesting. But thankfully, for every Mario Circuit 3, there’s a Bowser Castle 3, which proves that SNES tracks don’t have to be boring or generic. They can be stunning.

Bowser Castle 3 shows how cool SNES remasters can be.

Bowser Castle 3 shows how cool SNES remasters can be.

Bowser Castle 3 is mostly what you expect. There’s lava and danger everywhere, tight turns, and speed boosts, while the shredding guitars in the soundtrack hype you up to race as aggressively as possible. Almost the entire course is set in anti-gravity, which makes it the very first SNES course to do so. All and all, this course should serve as a testament that SNES courses are still relevant, and definitely hold up today. Hands-down the largest glow-up any course received compared to its original.

Madrid Drive (Tour)

I love it when the city tracks offer lots of flavor and the opportunity for racers to interact with the city. Like when buildings are turned into stage hazards, like the Whoms in the East Side Gallery on Berlin Byways. Madrid Drive is everything I want from a city track – loads of sights to see, varied track design, and last but certainly not least, amazing music. I’ve had it on loop for a few hours straight when I first heard it.

A great atmosphere, incredible music and a healthy dose of Wiggler.

A great atmosphere, incredible music and a healthy dose of Wiggler.

Madrid’s Drive absolute highlights are the drive through the Prado Museum and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The music changes in both places, but the blend of the city with the Mario universe is just so nicely done. In the Prado Museum, lovely pictures of Mario characters are admirable, and even a torn one where a Piranha Plant snaps toward the drivers. In the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, there are Shoe Goombas everywhere. The music changes to a soccer chant, drive through the goal post and the crowd celebrates. With sights like the Plaza Mayor and the Atocha Railway Station wonderfully integrated into its course design, Madrid Drive is undoubtedly one of my favorite city courses of all time.

Rainbow Road (Wii)

Yep, Rainbow Road Wiii is back as the ultimate challenge to your perfect final cup! The circuit presents itself as the grand finale, not just to the cup or two the retro tracks, but to all of Mario Kart 8. Its heavy Mario Galaxy theming and triumphant music makes it seem like this is truly what it’s all been leading up to.

The grand final to all Mario Kart returned when it should.

The grand final to all Mario Kart returned when it should.

And the track doesn’t disappoint. Pitfalls are everywhere, and a single mistake can easily set you back six or more places. But the course encourages you to take risks! Makes those turns tight, trick on the ledges to gorgeously drive through the course. And if you fall off, then at least you’ll get to see Mario Kart Wii‘s characteristic meteor-falling-to-earth animation. This course fills me with all the dread and excitement the original one did, especially if you try your luck on 200 cc. And for that, it deserves the top spot.

And with that, we’ve come to the end of Wave 6 of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Booster Course Pass, as well as the series as a whole! Don’t forget to check out the other rankings, and thanks for checking this series

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