Mario Kart 8 Deluxe | Switch Review

What Nintendo would be complete without some version of Mario Kart? None – that’s what. Smash Bros. is probably high on most people’s lists but aside from the usual Mario Bros. Mario Kart is almost always one of the first I’ll buy. Is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe any good? Absolutely. I’d say essential unless you are allergic to driving.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Start of a race - Go!

Each Mario Kart is similar, but this is the best (so far)

All Mario Karts are practically the same – Nintendo themed circuits with jumps, dash points, weaponry and coins. If you like driving games Mario Kart is great fun. I more or less base all my game purchases around single players. Well, that has been the motivation these past years as most multi-players are online – something I’m still not a big fan of. However, Mario Kart, like a lot of Nintendo games are the same only a little better. I don’t pledge my allegiance with Nintendo but it’s familiar territory and I know what to expect. If it ain’t broke…

This is the best Mario Kart thus far. A huge roster, brilliant courses to play on and there is the customisation of your vehicle to moderately improve the stats and to compliment your playing style. In the original Mario Kart on the SNES, it was a simple case of going for the all-rounders, quick accelerators or top speed beasts such as Donkey Kong. I always used Koopa and stuck with him through the series – occasionally flirting with Mario. Oh, behave.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Character selection with Link highlighted

The rise of Kong and an improved battle mode

Since the introduction of swapping out a few things to improve your vehicle (it’s hardly Gran Turismo), I’ve found myself siding with Donkey Kong a but more as he isn’t as sluggish when accelerating or taking corners if you use the right combination of vehicle, wheels and parachute. It’s more of an aesthetic thing really as I just like Donkey Kong.

I have this on the Wii U as well but felt compelled to own this on the Switch as well. Are there any differences though? It is the same game but included in the DLC, a few new characters and vehicles to unlock as you progress. Interestingly, I’m not in a hurry to unlock everything as I tend to unlock these new items organically as and when I play it for a ‘quick go’. Some of the unlockables aren’t anything special in my opinion – i.e. Golden Mario – so I’ll get there when I get there. Battle mode is also improved but I’ve shied away from that since the days of the SNES. Apparently, it’s good.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Results table

Stop wasting time and go play!

The best part about Mario Kart Deluxe 8 – and all the previous iterations – is the multiplayer side of things. I’m not bothered about the online play but I’d like to play with actual friends and family in the same room. Either watching their sinister smiles as they take the lead or sulky silence if they’re behind – it’s all part of the fun. Seriously though – 8 player local multiplayer is amazing. I’ve watched people online do it and if I can just find 7 new friends…

Now stop humouring me and go and play/buy this. If you don’t have a Switch, buy one and buy this game otherwise they won’t make any more. Nintendo is relying on you to buy this game.