Top Ten Mario Kart DS Retro Tracks

Mario Kart DS was the first Mario Kart game to introduce retro tracks. More or less retro tracks are some of my favourite parts in a new Mario Kart game. In this game unfortunately the selection of retro tracks was pretty udnerwhelming, and the few good choices were often tampered with. However there were still a handful of decent retro courses. So with that being said here is the list.

The Top Ten

1 SNES Koopa Beach 2

Yeah, an actually good SNES retro course in Mario Kart DS. Who would've seen that coming? A flaw with the retro SNES and GBA tracks are that they are mostly flat and lack virtually any athmosphere, due to the stillness. However this is an exception as it takes place on a beach, with water which actually has animation. This makes it immediately better because the course feels more lively. There's also cheep cheeps you have to avoid and don't forget that the course does have challenge, but it's fun ones, as you avoid the deep water. Overall a great course. - darthvadern

2 GBA Sky Garden

This was actually a quite fun track in my opinion and quite nicely fits as the second-to-last track in the Lightning Cup. Just so unfortunate that a terrible track had to be last. Anyways, this takes place in pretty much the sky and the layout is clouds with vines. The music was actually one of the only retro music tracks which was actually better than the original. It sounds a lot more epic and beautiful than it did on the GBA. Other than that, there are a lot of interesting shortcuts in the game, some requiring mushrooms while some you may just hop over. But this track is overrated in my opinion as a lot of people call it the best retro track in the game while in my opinion the N64 ones are all superior due to the fact that this one's pretty flat. Other than that it's great. - darthvadern

3 N64 Banshee Boardwalk

This is a close second on my list personally. It's nearly on the same level as Frappe Snowland, both in this game and in that game. But overall I preffered the other course over this because it was slightly more interesting in that it was a snow course but with no ice physics and really cool athmosphere. Anyways, this course takes place on a boardwalk in the creepy night, somewhere on the deep ocean with creepy fish and music. You also drive into a shack full of bats and arrows. Man such a great course and definitely improved on from the original. - darthvadern

4 GCN Yoshi Circuit
5 N64 Frappe Snowland

Frappe Snowland was probably in my opinion the most improved on retro track in Mario Kart DS. It was already on the original N64 one of the best tracks from the game because despite being an snow track, there are no ice physics and the setting gives off a calm yet a little lonely vibe, which I really am fan of. The music is one of my favourites in addition to this and the snowmen offer a decent challenge. Although this should've been maybe in the Leaf Cup considering its difficulty... Oh well, it's the best retro course in the game. - darthvadern

To be honest, I think Nintendo screwed up with retro tracks in MKDS. They literally pick all of the first tracks for the shell cup, and for the GCN tracks, two circuits (still better than three. Originally they wanted GCN Mario Circuit but replaced it with Mushroom Bridge). This game had the worst selection of retro tracks. I think Nintendo should've created 20 nitro tracks (instead of 16) for the DS then wait until MKWii to introduce retro tracks.

Agreed a lot. The only tracks that did get somewhat improved were N64 tracks and maybe Sky Garden but overall most of it got butchered. - darthvadern

6 GBA Bowser Castle 2
7 SNES Mario Circuit 1
8 N64 Choco Mountain

There's three N64 tracks in the top three? Well I promise it won't be too predictable but honestly the N64 retro tracks were probably the tracks that from the very beginning had the best potential to become better retro tracks in the game. Why? Well SNES and GBA courses were flat and thus not much could be done with the DS's limitations. And the GCN had better limitations than the DS so obviously things weren't looking good. The N64 was older than the DS but also had lesser limitations, so the others were doomed from the start. Choco Mountain is one of the only two retro tracks in MKDS, whose music did not actually get butchered, it's actually just as good as it was on the N64. Moreover, I really like the course design as you're racing on a mountain of chocolate, with choco balls raining down from the steep, and there's even a lake. Frappe Snowland and Banshee Boardwalk are only better because they're slightly more original and interesting, but that's it really. - darthvadern

9 GCN Baby Park
10 GCN Luigi Circuit

While this course didn't change much at all from the original luckily, I'd say it's still worse because it feels a lot more barren on the DS. There isn't much athmosphere and the drifting doesn't work at all due to the fact that it was meant for the GCN. But it's still the same good ol' Luigi Circuit luckily. - darthvadern

The Contenders

11 GCN Mushroom Bridge

The gamecube had way better limitations than the DS due to the fact that it was a home console and not a handheld one, and thus, the retro GCN courses got really screwed up. Out of the four that were brought back to this game, Mushroom Bridge was already the best of the four on the original, and thus it simply had to be the highest. Although that's not to say it didn't get screwed over, as now you can't drive on the pavement, the sides of the bridge or take that pipe shortcut, taking away a lot of what made the original great. However, the cars are still there and the setting is still the same so it takes the 6th spot. - darthvadern

This a good retro track, just sucks you can't go in the pipe at the start or go on top of the bridge - trains45

12 GBA Luigi Circuit

And another Luigi Circuit? Well tbh this was a little more lively than the GCN version here but I have a soft spot for the other course. This track is shaped like a god and it's under a thunderstorm as the clouds are very dark blue and it rains constantly. There's even puddles of water a little here and there. However it's very long and can get boring. - darthvadern

13 SNES Donut Plains 1

This track lacks much athmosphere. Everything is completely still here, nothing moves and the background looks incredibly fake. However I still put this track on the list. Mostly because most retro tracks sucked in the game, but this does have some decent qualities. First off, you can't go wrong with a Donut Plains course as they're bright and colourful overall. There's a lot of green, blue and these colourful blocks and even if everything looks fake, it does make it slightly more colourful, so there's that. Just an alright course. - darthvadern

14 N64 Moo Moo Farm

This is the only N64 course I did not like in this game because it's so boring! It's legit just a circle of lean orange ground with no texture and a tunnel. Also the rest is a bland green with cows and even the sky looks super ugly. The only somewhat decent part is the music but even then it makes it even more bland. So yeah. - darthvadern

15 GBA Peach Circuit
16 SNES Choco Island 2
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