The Nintendo Switch has only been out for a little over two months at the time of this writing, but it already has two killer apps in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. Of course, Mario Kart 8 technically isn’t a new game, as it originally came out on the Wii U three years ago, but as Waypoint’s Patrick Klepek points out in his excellent article “The Success of ‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’ Underscores How Badly Wii U Flopped,” Mario Kart 8 Deluxe might as well be a new game given how (relatively) few people actually played it on the Wii U.
More than that though, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe deserves to considered one of, if not the best Nintendo Switch title not named Zelda released so far because it’s simply an excellent game and arguably the best iteration of Mario Kart Nintendo has ever put out. People will still have their own personal favorites (I certainly don’t begrudge the Super Mario Kart purists out there), but in my opinion, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s supremacy is undeniable at this point. Here are 10 reasons why.
10. Proper Battle Mode
If Mario Kart 8 in its original form had one major drawback, it was its under-cooked Battle Mode, which made a ton of unnecessary changes to the formula. Nintendo clearly recognized this oversight, as their marking for the Deluxe version focused quite a bit on the return of a more traditional Battle Mode. Now that the game is out, I can safely say that while it doesn’t offer quite as compelling an experience as the traditional racing modes, Battle Mode has made a triumphant return with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
With four returning variations and an all new mode called Renegade Roundup (basically “cops and robbers” with Piranha Plants), Deluxe’s Battle Mode feels like a greatest hits package. The only real downside is the courses, as Nintendo easily could have included a few more from previous games (the lack of Block Fort is particularly irksome) but overall, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is much better off for having a revamped Battle Mode and it makes an already great game even better.