Ranking the tracks on Mario Kart for the Nintendo 64

I’m pretty sure this post will be of zero interest to about 99.9% of people who read this blog regularly, but as its one of only three video games I play even semi regularly, its probably going to be the only post about video games we ever do. Anyways here are the 16 tracks in Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64 ranked.

I am not a nerd.

16 – Rainbow Road

Ugh, just tedious. Its about twice too long, and I for one can’t resist taking the big jump off the edge every single lap, out of sheer boredom more than anything.

15 – Toads Turnpike

This track is carnage in reverse mode, and the boxes are laid out nonsensically. Also, of all the characters home tracks Toad has put very little effort into his. It’s essentially a motorway. Fuck sake Toad.

14 – Choco Mountain

Never really do well on this one for some reason. Thus there must be something wrong with the track, instead of with my Mario Kart skillz.

13 – Bowsers Castle

Bowser has a nice crib, but it could do with a bit more furnishing. A few cool Che Guevera posters wouldn’t go astray. You’re as liable to finish last on this track as win it, which may be a good thing really, but generally I’m just happy to get it over with as quickly as possible and move on.

12 – Mario Raceway

Needlessly complicated. Mario needs to get a few wheel-barrows of tarmac out and make some of those corners more conducive to top class karting action.

11 – Sherbet Land

Not a bad track but those penguins sliding about annoy me no end. Have they no home to go to?

10 – Banshee Boardwalk

Lots of things can go wrong very quickly on this track, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The little chicane with no rails is a bit of a bitch though.

9 – Frappe Snowland

I love the minefield with the exploding snowmen. There is definitely a quick racing line through it, but its awfully dodgy to take. Good track for drifting too.

8 – Yoshi Valley

Good initially but the fun goes a little bit when you find the one route that is significantly shorter than all the others. That fucken gigantic egg has broken my heart on a few occasions too.

7 – Koopa Troopa Beach

Classic track, but its a bit too easy to win. Would be better if some of the computer controlled characters used the shortcuts on occasion.

6 – Kalimari Desert

A great track in single player mode when the train has carriages and breaks up the race very well. Less so in multiplayer though, when its just the train engine by itself. Still pretty good though. Getting speed boosts is key.

5 – DK’s Jungle Parkway

Fair play to Donkey Kong, for an ape he has built a fairly tasty set up in the jungle, and the presence of a steamboat is a sure sign of prosperity. This track is maniacally fast, and great fun.

4 – Wario Stadium

Credit to Wario, his stadium has a capacity of over 12 million. Good track this, and very tactical when raced properly but I find it very hard not to jump over the wall at the start and thus ruin it.

3 – Royal Raceway

Kudos to Peach for installing a racetrack in front of her palace – it would surely have meant a depreciation of her land value, which is never a palatable outcome for royal families. Good track for placing snakey bananas and this a track that rewards good driving. I always play Mario Kart as Peach, so like to win this one for the tifosi who always attend in great numbers.

2 – Moo Moo Farm

Amongst my prouder life achievements is the fact that I’ve never ever been beaten on Moo Moo Farm. Ever. I put that down to growing up on a farm, and understanding they lay of the land more than most.

1 – Luigi Raceway

People may be surprised I rank Luigi Raceway so highly as Its the most basic of all the tracks, but because of that I think it’s the most tactical. Basically I have two ways of driving this track – in the Harchibald style of sitting in, gaining three mushrooms, and pouncing late or the more reliable, but less satisfying Hawk Wing racing style of driving the opposition into the ground from the front. I realise those analogies will make little sense to non fans of early noughties Irish horse racing but never mind.

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