With Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, for the Nintendo Switch, what’s old is new again.
This is the definitive version of 2014’s Mario Kart 8, and what little has changed, has changed for the better. All the courses from Mario Kart 8 are available, and all racers and options are unlocked from the very start.
The one series mainstay that was missing from the Wii U version of the game, Balloon Battle mode, is back and is better than ever. There is the classic battle mode, which pits you and other racers against each other in an arena using Koopa shells and banana peels to attack each other for points. Then there are variations on this mode, including Bob-Omb blast, which gives you up to 10 Bob-Ombs to hurl at opponents in a rapid-fire, or Coin Runners, where your team is tasked with collecting the most coins in the arena.
These new multiplayer modes are of course joined by competitive racing modes, and the focus on multiplayer in this version of the game is welcome, since every Switch is set up out-of-the-box ready for at least two-player play. Each controller that slides off the side of the Switch can be used by a different player, and up to four controllers can be used in total per console. Additionally, you can connect multiple Switch consoles wirelessly for up to 8 players at once. You can also play online over Wi-Fi with up to 11 other people from around the world.
The biggest feature for me is the fact that this game is on the Nintendo Switch instead of the Wii U. The Wii U was Nintendo’s worst-selling home console ever, which ultimately limited how many people were going to play Mario Kart 8. The Switch, on the other hand, is on pace to be one of the best-selling Nintendo consoles, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is already the fastest-selling game in the franchise.
I loved Mario Kart 8 in 2014, and with this new release of the game, I’m excited to be able to share it and play it with even more people.