Best Mario Kart DS Cups

The Top Ten
1 Special Cup

I agree with you darthvadern. A lot of the special cups are not that good for a finale of the game, and this one is no exceptions. Wario Stadium is probably my favorite stadium in the series (besides its remake), because of the way the places of the obstacles make it stands out. Peach Gardens has a very good concept, and dodging the chain chomps is a blast. Bowser Castle is cool, with a few good obstacles here and there, especially the rolling cylinder. It's probably the best Bowser Castle, that doesn't have a giant bowser statue. The rainbow road on the other hand is probably the weakest in the series besides the one on N64. It does have a sick loop, but that's pretty much it.

2 Star Cup

The Star Cup has a tendency of being one of the highlights of a Mario Kart Game, quite often actually. Most of the courses tend to be relatively hard and/or intermediate and the course designs quite often get original, and so is the case with this game's Star Cup, even if time has seen more powerwful ones. DK Pass and Tick Tock Clock are alright courses although they feel very quiet and mono. Mario Circuit is one of the best Mario Circuits (and Circuit tracks in general) in my opinion with a fair amount of originality and places. The main star (no pun intended) though is Airship Fortress, one of my all-time favourite Mario Kart courses with its amazing music, setting and course design high up in the sky. Overall it gets 4th place.

3 Flower Cup

The best cup in this game is without a doubt the Flower Cup. Every course in this cup was at least good in my opinion, even Desert Hills, one of the most hated Mario Kart courses ever. I thought it was decent because I liked the music. The other three courses are spectacular though. Delfino Plaza is among the best courses of all time with its bridge and Super Mario Sunshine theme, Waluigi Pinball is among the most original courses ever stepping foot on this game and Shroom Ridge is a beautiful mountainside highway waking lots of nostalgia from my trips to Norway. Easily my favourite cup of the bunch.

4 Leaf Cup

Leaf Cup is the second best retro cup in my opinion, which doesn't say a lot. Koopa Beach 2 is the best remake of the SNES in DS, which also doesn't say a lot, but is still a cool thing. Choco Mountain is a little bit overrated, because it's just a mountain with chocolate, and it doesn't even look very good, however it does have an avalanche of chocolate chunks to shake things up. Luigi Circuit is pretty much like most of the boring circuit tracks, but at least it has rain, and water puddles, as well as a Luigi air balloon. Mushroom Bridge is probably the most butchered of the Double Dash remakes, since the limitation of the DS, forced the developpers to take out all the interesting thing in the track. The shortcut at the side of the track? Gone. The boost panels on the walls of the bridge? Gone. The bomb, and mushroom cars? Gone. It is excusable since like I said, it's because of the limitation of the DS, but it doesn't change the fact that the track is now just a track with cars on it, just like shroom ridge.

5 Lightning Cup

Probably my favorite retro cup in the game. Sure it has the remake of Yoshi Circuit, which I already found the original to be overrated since despite the Yoshi shape, it has a serious lack of obstacles related to the theme of the course, so imagine how I find the remake that has the limitation of the DS that prevents it to have the same pirhana plants, and doesn't have one of the shortcuts. However, the others are very decent. Choco Island 2 is one of those tracks that I find to be very overhated, since people hate it for being annoying, yet they say Toad's Turnpike is good for its challenge. That doesn't make any sense, and I think the chocolate ponds, and ramps are actually a thing that makes it stand out from the other SNES tracks since a lot of them are empty. Banshee Boardwalk has a sick ambiance, however I do think the track is slightly worst now that we can see the water. The cherry on top of the cake though is definitely Sky Garden, which is my favorite retro track in the game. The music is still amazing, the track is still beautiful, and it still has a good layout and cool shortcuts.

6 Mushroom Cup

Pretty much the worst nitro cup of the game in my opinion(let's be honest, the retro cups in Mario Kart DS are far from amazing, but it's cool that they exist). Figure 8 circuit gets my vote for the worst Mario Kart track of all time. No, the fact it's the first track is not a good excuse for being that empty. Yoshi Falls, is honestly very overhated, since it looks very good, and has great risk versus reward situations with the waterfalls that are a faster path but can make you fall off the track. I still think that it could have more though. Cheep Cheep Beach is just a beach, and a jungle which is pretty boring. At least Luigi's Mansion has an amazing atmosphere, and I especially love the moving trees.

7 Banana Cup

Banana Cup is slightly better than the shell cup, but not by much. Frappe Snowland is cool (no pun intended) with all its snowmans. Bowser Castle 2 has a music that was clearly butchered from the original, but other than that it's intact, and it's okay overall. Sadly, Donut Plains 1 is very empty, and Baby Park is ridiculously short because of the shorter lap count from the original, and while in the original the craziness of the items made it fun, MK DS's less crazy item selection make it incredibly boring.

8 Shell Cup

The Shell Cup for this game was probably one of the worst Mario Kart cups I've ever played through, right up there with SNES Flower Cup and GBA Mushroom Cup. It's such an underwhelming collection of tracks that are very poorly placed and makes this whole cup repetitive. Three of the courses are circuit tracks while the other is N64 Moo Moo Farm, which is one of my least favourite tracks ever. The Circuit tracks are SNES Mario Circuit 1, GBA Peach Circuit and GCN Luigi Circuit. The first two of these absolutely suck in my opinion, while the latter was a good track on the GCN, but it was butchererd so much in this game. Overall the worst cup in this game, at least.

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