Mario Party Legacy

Predicting the Retro Courses for the Next Mario Kart

We have about a month left before the next Mario Kart title is finally revealed for the very first time, and this will be one of our last chances to speculate at a time where we know absolutely nothing. Outside of the playable characters, the tracks and courses are among the most speculated of the bunch, specifically the retro courses. Take a look see what retro tracks we think will make it in.

There are many things to keep in mind when compiling a list of possible retro tracks. You’ll have to keep in mind that only a certain amount of tracks can come from a certain game because retro tracks are only used once, and the older games are running out of available tracks. With seven titles to pick from, this is how we were able to break it down. Of course, there can be slight variations, but the actual list will look very similar.

  • Super Mario Kart – 1
  • Mario Kart 64 – 2
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit – 2
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! – 2
  • Mario Kart DS – 2
  • Mario Kart Wii – 3
  • Mario Kart 7 – 4

Another important thing to remember is that you cannot simply pick your favorite and the craziest of the bunch. There has to be a balance in the accessibility of each course. The more tame tracks will appear in the first two cups, while the last two will see some of the more exciting and challenging courses. The type and theme of the track is important as well. Typically, you will see a single ghost track, snow track, desert track, lava track, and beach track. No more, no less. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the list!



Shell Cup

This one will surely get some hate, but DS Figure-8 Circuit is a good fit for the start of the Shell Cup. Yes, it’s boring and unoriginal, but this track will have to get in at some point, and I am more than willing to let that be now when the track will at least look decent in HD. Plus, it’s always nice to have an actual course that resembles a racetrack. Our second course takes us to Wii Toad’s Factory, a simple and fun track that got in because we needed an easy Wii track to make it into the Shell Cup. If anything, this one can be replaced by Wii Mario Circuit.

The third track will find us at GBA Boo Lake, a creepy track that helps fulfill the ghost themed track in the game. This one can be considered a tad bit more difficult for the Shell Cup, but I think it can manage. One of the more popular tracks from the most recent Mario Kart deserves the last spot in the Shell Cup. 3DS Daisy Hills features a setting fit for an HD console, with a track design that is simple, yet fun. If gliding does not return, this track can still be played with a few slight modifications.

Banana Cup

Mario Kart: Double Dash is currently being held in great regard, so it shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that the first track of the Banana Cup is none other than the famed GCN Mushroom City. As the successor to Toad’s Turnpike from Mario Kart 64, Mushroom City gives off the nightlife vibe, complete with dangerous traffic and neon, glowing lights. It will be fantastic to see this one in updated visuals. SNES Koopa Beach 1 returns as the second course, fulfilling the beach track requirement. Perhaps this one will take advantage of underwater driving, assuming that feature returns.

Another beloved track takes the third spot. Wii Daisy Circuit features a sunset view of a town square set against the beach and sparkling ocean. Again, we would love to see the giant Daisy and Luigi statues in glorious HD! Another favorite comes in the form of 3DS Music Park, taking place as the final course of the Banana Cup. This one is simply a very interesting and creative track that deserves another run.

Leaf Cup

With such a limited amount of Mario Kart 64 tracks left, making the choice to pick N64 Royal Raceway was a tough decision. However, the time to bring this track back to life is now. The relatively simple track is a fan favorite, thanks to the inclusion of the completely accessible Castle Grounds of Peach’s Castle. With updated graphics, this could be a truly be an amazing easter egg. I’m not a big fan of this next one, but we needed a desert track and I wasn’t going to give up our last Double Dash track to Dry Dry Desert. Wii Dry Dry Ruins makes it in as our second course in the Leaf Cup, featuring sand… and a desert. It’s not a bad track, but I don’t find anything particularly exciting about it.

We are going to assume that underwater driving is returning, making the appearance of 3DS Wario Shipyard a possibility. The track is underwater for a greater portion of the race, and features a theme unlike any other in the Mario Kart series. It’s an awesome track, and it would be disappointing to see it excluded. If underwater driving is excluded, I would replace this track with 3DS Neo Bowser City. Our last and final track of the Leaf Cup is the highly requested GBA Ribbon Road. What a lot of people don’t realize is that Mario Kart: Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance features a lot of interesting and creative tracks, plenty of which would be great to see in full 3D. With Ribbon Road, you are actually driving along a red ribbon, surrounded by other laces and gifted presents!

Lightning Cup

Rosalina has her fair share of haters, but you can’t neglect the fact that she has an incredibly large fanbase. 3DS Rosalina’s Ice World gives us the needed ice track, as well as giving us a great course with plenty of twists and turns and plenty of awesome references to the Super Mario Galaxy series. The apparent lack of Mario Kart DS tracks is evident, but hopefully DS Tick-Tock Clock will help soothe that pain. It’s a truly unique track that throws players into raceway made of clocks and cogs, making for a well made and fun track.

GCN Bowser’s Castle was another tough decision as the amount of Double Dash tracks is also dwindling. We needed a lava track, or at least some kind of Bowser track, and this helps fit the bill. It’s not one of my favorite Bowser’s Castle tracks, but I know there are quite a few that have been waiting for this one to get in. Our last and final retro track is none other than N64 Rainbow Road. When Mario Kart 7 included the first Rainbow Road track in its retro courses, it was clear that a new tradition was beginning. Following up is the second Rainbow Road track in the Mario Kart series, a long and yet spectacular course that keeps the Mario Kart tradition going. But the nostalgia, oh the nostalgia. That will be more than enough to justify this track.

What did you think of the list? How does it compare to what you think will happen? Anything you would change? Anything you agree or disagree with? Let your voice be heard in the comments below!

Michael Koczwara

Executive Editor and Founder of Mario Party Legacy. Head Administrator at the Mario Party Legacy Forum.

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  • Knowing Nintendo and mario kart, there will be a Rainbow Road, probably not Retro.

  • DK Fan

    I’m hoping for Ribbon Road from Super Circuit.

  • Gameguy1996

    I think Wii will get 4 tracks, So GBA will likely get one track.

    However I think most of your predictions will be right.

  • 1056kirby

    Ribbon Road and Rainbow Road N64 would be awesome, although knowing Nintendo and the Mario Kart team, they will probably have 1 Super Circuit track and 2 Super Mario Kart tracks. Also, I don’t think they would be that out of order, they usually appear in order of the original games.

  • Good job on this I think you’ve gotten quite a few of these right. For some reason though I don’t think Rosalina’s place will be there otherwise I agree that these will be in. I think it would be really awesome if they added inclines and extra stuff to the older flat courses because I mean unless you grew up with the courses you aren’t gonna choose them over say the gcn courses unless they got some cool treatment.

  • E.Gadd

    I would absolutely love to see Royal Raceway and Tick-Tock Clock(So sue me, but I love me some Super Mario 64! :p) as well as Ribbon Road from Super Circuit.

    As far as desert tracks are concerned, I’d go with either Sunset Wilds or Cheese Land from Super Circuit.

    Can’t wait to see what happens!

  • DK64fan

    Maybe they should make 2 more Cups for all the rainbow road courses.

    • RosalinaFTW

      And 3 extra Cups fro all bowser’s castle courses because the last two courses are not the same as the previous Mario Karts and the third bowser’s castle Cup should have GCN, DS, Wii, 3DS and Wii U.

  • RosalinaFTW

    I think the retro courses are: 4 DS Courses, 4 Wii Courses, 4 3DS Courses and 1 course from SNES, GBA, GCN and N64.

  • Geoshi

    I would love to see most of the courses but my top 3 hopes is Bowser’s Castle 4 from the GBA (it can be possible). Cheese land from the GBA Mario Kart I have to say that cause a road of Cheese is great. I would also like to see the N64 Rainbow road even though listed on here.

  • Dragon

    Excellent article! One of the most plausible list I’ve ever seen. You mentioned a very important point that is establish a balance between the retro tracks.

    Said that, here is my prediction: (I’ll follow your model, except that I included 4 Wii tracks and only one GBA track)

    Shell Cup
    Wii Luigi Circuit | 3DS Daisy Hills | DS Cheep Cheep Beach | SNES Bowser Castle 1

    Banana Cup
    3DS Wuhu Loop | GBA Boo Lake | DS Mario Circuit | Wii Wario’s Gold Mine

    Leaf Cup
    3DS Piranha Plant Slide | GCN Mushroom City | N64 Royal Raceway | Wii Gumble Volcano

    Lightening Cup
    Wii Dry Dry Ruins | 3DS Rosalina’s Ice World | GCN Bowser’s Castle | N64 Rainbow Road

  • Toad And Yoshi

    DS Tick Tock Clock!!!!!!!!!!!

  • AquaYoshi

    I agree with most of your cups and I still can’t believe Nintendo hasn’t made Tick Tock clock a retro course yet.

  • supamawiol0l

    I want 3DS Mario Circuit

  • LogingCoolMario

    I would like to see SNES Mario Circuit 4

    • Ewan Dewar

      Agreed. In the Shell Cup.
      Also GBA Bowser Castle 4.

  • supamawiol0l


  • Ewan Dewar

    If you swap the amount for GCN and Wii Courses, you’d be in luck.