Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Review

Posted on May 1 2017 - 2:57pm by Jordan Cundiff
  • Gameplay
  • Display
  • Content
  • Fun Factor

The Mario Kart series is one that is synonymous with fun, intense, and hilarious gameplay that you can enjoy with friends; and subsequently a friendship ender thanks to the devastating blue shells. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, like past games in the series, offers everything you could want in a Mario Kart game and more. With the most content in a Mario Kart game to date, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe may just be the best game in the series.

Mario Kart 8, which was originally released for the Wii U back in 2014, provided the most incredible Kart racing experience fans of the series could want; but not without its flaws. Fast forward to 2017, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has now made its way to the Nintendo Switch offering the great gameplay found in the original Mario Kart 8 with improved gameplay mechanics, and all the DLC content that was released. Needless to say, if you don’t have Mario Kart 8 yet, the Deluxe version offers the best bang for your buck.

While this may seem like a rereleased game, changes were made to make the Deluxe version of Mario Kart 8 stand out. The most notable changes made to the Deluxe version is the inclusion of all of the DLC content originally offered for the Wii U version of the game. Deluxe also includes 5 new characters to the game with King Boo, Dry Bones, Bowser Jr., and both the Inkling characters so you’ll have even more characters to choose from; if you couldn’t decide already with the game’s 41 character roster! The additional content also goes for the karts and parts as you have even more karts variants to choose from making Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the most advanced game in the series to date.

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While additional content is a nice plus, gameplay has also seen some changes in terms of features and performance. Deluxe brings back the ability to hold two items at once, making it easier to hold 1st or take the lead. The only downside is the inability to swap the items, making it cumbersome when you want to use a red shell but you have a mushroom boost in your first slot. In terms of battle mode, now special arena have been introduced specifically for the purpose of battle mode; and not having to play on racing maps not intended for battle mode. These new maps, with the already incredibly fun game modes gives you a variety of new ways to play the game if you get bored of racing; but how could you? If you have friends that aren’t too good at Mario Kart playing, they can use the game’s new assist tools such as Auto Acceleration and Smart Steering to give them the ability to not suck; and not fall off the track in Rainbow Road.

For those looking to play with others, changes to the local and online multiplayer have been made to better the experience. For those interested in playing with friends offline, up to 8 Nintendo Switch consoles can be connected to play on a local connection (or 2 players on one system). There is also online which allows you to play with players across the world in either races or battle modes. Online runs very well with no issues with connection in the numerous hours I’ve spent on it. Matches online are fair and fun, without any issues of players that just destroy you by finishing the race in record times.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a stunning game that looks and sounds amazing. Graphically the game has been upscaled running at 1080p (720p in handheld mode) so it looks gorgeous. Characters look vibrant and alive, with great detail put into the animations as well. When it comes to the environments, the Mario world has never looked so beautiful!

While it was originally released for the Wii U back in 2014, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe does a good job at providing enough to stand out. Offering new characters, karts, and maps gives you your money’s worth if you’re looking to grow your Switch catalog. While having almost everything unlocked at the start does take the fun away from unlocking the content, it makes sense if you are rebuying the game after owning the original version of the game; but that’s a tough sale. While offering some new content, if you’ve already purchased Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U, you may find it hard to justify rebuying. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe offers not only the premier version of the 8th installment of the game, but possibly the best Mario Kart experience to date.



  • Incredibly fun gameplay
  • New content and features make the Deluxe version feel like more than just a rerelease
  • Massive Roster with more than enough tracks to keep you playing for hours
  • Overhauled Battle Mode makes the mode feel brand new
  • Best Mario Kart experience to date


  • All content unlocked at the start takes away from the fun of unlocking new content
  • Hard to justify buying if you’ve already purchased the original game, and all of the DLC