Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is my favorite Mario Kart game.
Now I know what you are thinking. “Jared, (insert Mario Kart game here) is waaaay better than 8 Deluxe!” “Jared, it’s only been out for a month!” “Jared, you’re just high on the Switch hype train!” “Jared, it’s an updated version of a game that came out in 2014!’
Over this past month of playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I have sunk countless hours into this little masterpiece of a racing game. I’ll play it at home with my family on our television. I’ve brought my Switch to work and played it with my boss and co-workers. I’ll wind down at the end of a long day by playing a few races while lying in bed.
The bottom line; wherever I’ve wanted to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe I could. While being able to play Mario Kart on the go is not at all a new concept, something about playing a console iteration, without being tethered to a television, makes 8 Deluxe stand out against any previous portable entry. The freedom 8 Deluxe gives players in conjunction with the Nintendo Switch hardware is not only revolutionary but may just break previous Mario Kart games for me.
When Mario Kart DS introduced the ‘Download Play’ option, allowing multiple players to play the game with one cartridge, it was clear Nintendo was dedicated to making multiplayer as accessible and simple as possible. This trend would continue in later games, as simpler control schemes and convenient controller compatibility added to the accessibility.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the most accessible entry in the franchise, and for many reasons. The ability to play split-screen multiplayer with the detachable Joy-Con allow for play anywhere. The new accessibility settings allow those who have disabilities to accelerate automatically, as well as receive some steering assistance. Kids who have not yet gained the motor skills to play can now play without the discouragement of constantly falling off course. Not only can you play anywhere, but everyone can play.
Accessibility is one thing, but the content is another. Mario Kart 8 and its DLC floored me with what it had to offer on Wii U. Add a mixture of old and new mechanics, as well as fixing issues from the original like Battle Mode, and you have a definitive package here. Nintendo took the time to listen to feedback, and build upon what was already an amazing game.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has the most courses, the largest cast of characters, and arguably the best controls. While quantity does not normally mean quality, this is the rare occasion where it works for the best. More options, more modes, this is seriously the most featured Mario Kart game to date. There’s something for everyone, keeping with the overall theme of accessibility.
So yes, it’s the newest Mario Kart. It’s easy to fall into a bandwagon of the newest thing being the best thing, but I definitively believe this is the best the Mario Kart series has ever been. And with that statement, this is my favorite Mario Kart game.