Top Ten Worst Mario Kart Cups

There's an under-abundance of lists all over the internet comparing cups in Mario Kart, unfortunately for some reason. The only youtubers who have done this are Waluigi the Master (having ranked the cups in MKDS-8), being the first youtuber to have done so, and jamiethepayne who did it as recently as March 2020. So, I'm just gonna publish a lot of lists regarding Mario Kart cups, this time the worst ones of all time. I don't really hate that many of them, really only four or so are legitimately bad so with that being said here is the list.
The Top Ten
1 SNES Flower Cup

It was inevitable for a Super Mario Kart cup to crack high up the list. Outside of the Special Cup, none of the cups were even good, just terribly mediocre or like really bad. The worst Mario Kart cup, I present you all is the Flower Cup from Super Mario Kart. Legit every single track in this cup was bad, except for Donut Plains 2 which was alright but when four other tracks are horrific you don't typically get a good response. Choco Island 1 is part of the choco island theme, my least favourite in the game, Ghost Valley 2 is irritating at best. Bowser Castle 2 might be the worst Mario Kart track of all time and Mario Circuit 3 is just irritating as well. Of course this was first on the list.

Bowser Castle 2 is without a doubt my least favorite Mario Kart track of all time. The rest are all really mediocre or not that memorable.

I don't... disagree with this...
Choco Island 1
Ghost Valley 2
Donut Plains 2
Bowser Castle 2
Mario Circuit 3

yeah I hate all those tracks

Most of these tracks are pretty wonket and very aggravating to play.

2 DS Shell Cup

This one was just really bland. MC1 and PC are my least favorites from their cups in their original games, Luigi Circuit is really bland and also my least favorite in GCN Mushroom Cup, but it's not as bad as the other two circuits. And Moo Moo Farms is just okay. Nothing special, but it's going to be better than three circuits.

Everyone calls this Circuit Cup for good reason. Three of the four tracks here are circuits and the other one is just a bland loop (N64 Moo Moo Farm). GBA Peach Circuit and SNES Mario Circuit are some of the most basic tracks of all time. GCN Luigi Circuit is my favourite opening track though and it puts this cup below the two above but it was still butchered in atmosphere so yeah.

A retro cup with every single first track in each game except for MK64. Swap out Moo Moo Farm with Luigi Raceway and you have the worst cup in Mario Kart history.

Not a good way to start the retro tracks, bland circuit tracks

3 GBA Mushroom Cup

This one was bad but it has some perks. Again, PC is the worst in the game. SGB and RP are actually pretty decent in my opinion, but I do think SGB is one of the weaker water courses and is only better than both SNES Koopa Beach 1 and 2, but BC1 is also really bland and the worst BC in the game.

Mushroom Cups usually contain the more boring and basic tracks and that's the case for the GBA one. While not irritating like SNES Flower Cup, here every track is boring. Peach Circuit and Shy Guy Beach are just..., snorefests. Riverside Park is a little chill but Bowser Castle 1 is yet again a snorefest. I don't "hate" it like SNES Flower Cup but I don't like it.

ehh… I really like Riverside Park.

4 N64 Mushroom Cup

I only remotely dislike one track here, but two are just bland. Luigi Raceway is better than the SNES and GBA circuits but still really bland, and Moo Moo Farms is again nothing special. Koopa Troopa Beach is pretty good in my opinion, but the 3DS remake is better. And Kalamari Desert is just awful. I've never been fond of desert stages in both Mario and Mario Kart games, and this is no exception. Every time you play this track, there will be at least one time you have to wait five to ten seconds for the train to get out of the way and it gets tedious really quickly.

This is a little more fun than the cups we just discussed. While Luigi Raceway and Moo Moo Farm are snorefests, Koopa Troopa Beach is a really fun track. The beach atmosphere is real and the shortcuts are awesome. But then comes Kalimari Desert which does have a train, but the atmosphere is bland and the design is just an 8. So yeah...

Luigi Raceway is your typical boring first track. Moo Moo Farm is overrated but not terrible. Koopa Troopa Beach is the only good track in this cup, and Kalimari Desert is probably the worst. Imagine having to come to a complete stop twice per lap just to wait for a train.

Moo Moo Farm is kinda fun and so is Koopa Troopa Beach, but the rest suck

5 SNES Star Cup

The Star Cups typically contain the more challenging tracks but also more original and interesting tracks. Well that wasn't the case from the start though. It's got the same feeling as SNES Flower Cup, irritation but at least two tracks are this time a little fun (Bowser Castle 3 and Mario Circuit 4) and one track is tolerable (Koopa Beach 1) but boring. Choco Island 2 and Vanilla Lake 1 can go screw themselves though.

yeah this one has some terrible tracks, including my least favorite track ever: Vanilla Lake 1

6 DS Banana Cup

This cup was another really bland one and one of the courses got what made it fun taken out. Donut Plains 1 is bland, Frappe Snowland is good enough, Bowser's Castle 2 has some ramps to get some speed/height off of, but Baby Park was completely ruined. What made this track fun in Double Dash is the item chaos it had. That was taken away and it's now five laps, so while you're riding on the same track as the one in Double Dash, it doesn't feel like it, and the colors seem way more vibrant and lively in the Double Dash version.

Our second retro cup on the list is also from Mario Kart DS. This time, the good retro remake though (N64 Frappe Snowland) actually was really fun to play though, which puts this spots lower. But the other three are boring though. SNES Donut Plains 1 is lifeless, GBA Bowser Castle 2 is just bad and GCN Baby Park is soo boring. A little better than some cups but still not amazing.

This cup isn't that bad except for the Baby Park remake. Since the DS had many limitations and could not make GCN tracks as good as they were, Nintendo probably should've left out retro tracks entirely and wait until MKWii. They could've added a fifth nitro cup in MKDS, then expand upon that to where each game has 20 new tracks and 20 retro tracks (40 total).

This cup actually wasn't bad. I personally fw all the tracks except for the Baby Park track, which only has 5 laps

7 N64 Star Cup

Wario Stadium was kind of fun, but it felt like it took way too long. For Sherbet Land, I feel like I'm constantly getting hit by the penguins and it's really not fun. Royal Raceway is actually really good, but then we get to Bowser's Castle. If it weren't for the SNES and GBA ones, this would hands down be my least favorite. It feels like no matter what I do, I can't avoid the thwomps. How many times I had to reset the 150cc Star Cup over this one track is enough to make it my least favorite in the game, and I feel like I only beat the 150cc Star Cup out of pure luck, and I still placed 4th on this track and got 1st everywhere else.

And another Star Cup. Aside from containing the best track in the game and the best Bowser Castle, the other three tracks are all some of the worst in the game. Wario Stadium is cool but way too long and has too little. Sherbet Land is just a monstrosity and Royal Raceway is just another circuit (the easter egg doesn't affect grand prix races).

Wario Stadium is a good track. Sherbet Land is complete trash and the only reason why people even care about Royal Raceway is because you can visit Peach's castle. Bowser's Castle is the best track in the game (and the best Bowser's Castle).

Wario Stadium is fine I guess...
Sherbet Land is too simple and boring
Royal Raceway is good and so is Bowser's Castle

8 SNES Mushroom Cup

The first cup ever in Mario Kart. It's not frustratingly difficult like Flower or Star Cup, but it isn't interesting enough to stay out of the list like the Special Cup. Mario Circuit 1 is just a basic loop and Bowser Castle 1 is uninteresting at best. Donut Plains 1 and Ghost Valley 1 are fun but yet again they aren't super interesting. At least Mario Circuit 2 is one of the best Mario Circuits ever.

It's pretty easy but it's kinda boring sometimes. It's not bad though.

9 Wii U Special Cup

The Special Cup..., the epic finale to the games containing the hardest tracks in each game. Well, how ironic how the most recent Special Cup is the worst one, when it should've been the most polished as it's the newest one. Well it does have two good tracks, Cloudtop Crusie and Bowser's Castle but they aren't quite amazing though. Bone-Dry Dunes is just terrible and Rainbow Road is one of the worst ones of all time.

I like all the special cups, especially the MK8 one, even though it is the weakest one out of all the series. I really like Cloudtop Cruisie and Bowser's Castle was amazing. Rainbow road was okay and I'm personally not a fan of Bone-dry Dunes, which isn't terrible but it's definitely 1 of the worst tracks in the game.

The MK8 Special Cup? nahhh

10 Wii Banana Cup

This was also a good cup. People hate it foor N64 Sherbet Land and GBA Shy Guy Beach and while yes the latter isn't fun at all, Sherbet Land was a heavily improved and it gives me nostalgia. And DS Delfino Square and GCN Waluigi Stadium are both amazing tracks. Shell Cup was definitely worse.

This cup was not that bad honestly, I'd pick it over Shell cup as it had good tracks like Waluigi Stadium and Delfino square. While I detest Sherbet land, I personally think it's had a couple of improvements from the N64 version.

The Contenders
11 Wii Shell Cup

Although none of the tracks stand out to me, they're all pretty fun. Peach Beach is a little annoying with the cataquacks but otherwise it is a fun track. Yoshi Falls is simply stunning with the setting even if the track design is a little short. SNES Ghost Valley 2 is an old enemy of mine when trying to beat the ghost data but otherwise it is a little nostalgic albeit bad objectively. And N64 Mario Raceway is one of the best Mario Circuits although it's still just "fun". Overall though it's the weakest of the MKWii cups but it's still not even that bad.

This cup was pretty boring, it's definitely worse than Banana Cup, Banana cup had Waluigi Stadium and Delfino Square and Shell cup's track were all pretty plain. The gameplay was also pretty unfun.

12 Wii U Triforce Cup

This is my least favorite cup in 8/8 Deluxe for a few reasons, 1. Wario's Gold Mine was my least favorite Nitro track in Mario Kart Wii, so I was not happy to see this one return, but I guess that's what happens when Nintendo uses the four best Wii tracks in Mario Kart 7. 2. SNES Rainbow Road would be the worst Rainbow Road if it weren't for GBA's, and this is it's fourth time appearing. At this rate, I would have taken GBA's seeing what they did with GBA Mario Circuit, Ribbon Road, and Cheese Land. 3. Ice Ice Outpost is not fun in my opinion, especially not on 200cc. Hyrule Circuit is the only redeeming factor for this cup in my opinion.

I'm torn wether this or the Egg Cup is worse. On one hand, the Egg Cup has all of the tracks being relatively decent but no stand-outs, while the Triforce Cup has some really bland tracks, but also one excellent. Wii Wario's Gold Mine had the difficulty cranked way too low from the original and SNES Rainbow Road is at this point becoming an annoying trend. Ice Ice Outpost is alright but one of the blandest tracks ever. However, at least it ends with Hyrule Circuit, one of the best tracks in all of Mario Kart 8.

13 GBA Flower Cup

This is another case of bland tracks. Mario Circuit is only slightly better than Peach Circuit because I feel that MC is slightly longer. Boo Lake is the one where I can't help but to fall off at least once or twice. Cheese Land was really boring before it's remake in my opinion, and Bowser Castle 2 feels just like the last one but longer and more jump boosts.

This is what N64 Star Cup is to Mario Kart: Super Circuit, in that one of the tracks is among the best in the game, while the rest are just meh. Although the "meh" tracks here are little better. Boo Lake is kinda cool, but Mario Circuit and Bowser Castle 2..., they're not interesting at all sadly.

14 3DS Shell Cup

This one was a tough call for me because I like two of the tracks here, but I decided it's worse than other cups. Luigi Raceway is the same track just with better graphics. Bowser Castle 1 was given a glider rap and better graphics but that's it. I have no problem with Mushroom Gorge or Luigi's Mansion so that helps. All in all, not really bad, but the first two tracks just feel really bland compared to others.

When it comes to retro tracks, this contains both the worst and some of the best retro tracks, from its game. N64 Luigi Raceway and GBA Bowser Castle 1 are both too simple and bland tracks, but Wii Mushroom Gorge is one heck of a good ride, and DS Luigi's Mansion..., one of the best tracks of all time.

15 SNES Special Cup

This cup was pretty good in my opinion. The tracks aren't frustratingly difficult nor so easy they're boring, they're in the middle. Donut Plains 3, Koopa Beach 2, Ghost Valley 3 and Rainbow Road all fall under this category. But the best track is without a doubt Vanilla Lake 2, my favourite track in the game where you choose between two routes and can test your own challenges. So I like this cup

16 DS Lightning Cup

In my opinion this was WAY too underwhelming! It defies what a Lightning Cup should be, an epic finale. Instead we're greeted with SNES Choco Island 2, one of the worst Mario Kart tracks of all time, and the butchered remake of GCN Yoshi Circuit, which for some reason is the last track in the game..., well at least N64 Banshee Boardwalk and GBA Sky Garden are some of the best retro tracks in the game, so I guess it's a 50/50 cup in my opinion.

17 Wii U Shell Cup

It's a pretty average Shell Cup..., and by that I mean it's fun but basic. Wii Moo Moo Meadows and GBA Mario Circuit are good remakes but they're also not particularly interesting. DS Cheep Cheep Beach is a very good remaster but yet again it's not anything more. While I adore the atmoshpere and improved graphics of N64 Toad's Turnpike, it can get a little boring at times.

18 3DS Leaf Cup

In my opinion this was the weakest overall from Mario Kart 7. None of the tracks are just that great in my opinion. N64 Kalimari Desert and DS DK Pass are both tracks I was originally not a fan of at all and they don't change particularly much in the remakes. Wii Maple Treeway was one of the most butchered retro Wii tracks as they removed the jack-off bridge and the track overall feels less interesting. GCN Daisy Cruiser does make this cup at least a little fun though.

19 3DS Special Cup

Aside from the legendary Rainbow Road and fairly great Bowser Castle, the first two tracks of this game really aren't particularly memorable. I mean DK Jungle is cool, with the music and the temple, but Rosalina's Ice World..., depressing music and ice physics are the worst combination in Mario Kart, so yeah.

20 3DS Mushroom Cup

Shy guy Bazaar is just too annoying because of those creatures in a jar. But at least you can get a mushroom or a super star when hit. Toad Circuit is too plain, Daisy Hills is bland. But Cheep Cheep lagoon is actually a good course.

21 Wii U Egg Cup

Definitely the worst of the DLC cups in Mario Kart 8. From now on I don't really dislike any of the cups but one thing I must call the Egg Cup is uncolourful. All of the tracks seem to contain the same greyish green aestethic or a really uncolourful pink merged with black/grey. Although the tracks themselves aren't bad. GCN Yoshi Circuit is a good remake, Mute City is alright and Dragon Driftway is one of the best tracks among DLC. But Excitebike Arena is just an adult baby park, boring. So..., I like it but at the same time it gives off a bad vibe.

I like this cup but it's pretty dull compared to the rest of the DLC cups.

22 DS Leaf Cup

Another tough call for me. Koopa Beach 2 is nothing special, but Choco Mountain and even GBA Luigi Circuit is good enough (I really like the rainy feel of this one and don't recall any other tracks that do this.), but Mushroom Bridge got the Baby Park "treatment". I will say Baby Park got hit worse, but I really dislike that they took away the speed boosts on the railings of the bridge and now you can't even access the railing. I will say I prefer the original tracks over the remakes for every Gamecube track featured in DS. Yoshi Circuit took away the tunnel shortcut, and while 8/Deluxe's remake didn't bring it back, 8/Deluxe's remake looks way more lively than the DS remake.

This isn't a particuarly amazing cup, but for Mario Kart DS standards this one was really fun and in my opinion, the only "good" retro cup from the game. All of the tracks are fun to drive on and even though GCN Mushroom Bridge was nerfed in quality, at least it's still "Mushroom Bridge". The other tracks, SNES Koopa Beach 2, N64 Choco Mountain and GBA Luigi Circuit are simply really fun tracks in my opinion.

23 Wii Flower Cup

This is one of my favourite cups in Mario Kart. Mario Circuit is a little basic but even then it's not that bad (I like the forest setting). DK's Snowboard Cross is a really great course in my opinion. But Coconut Mall and Wario's Gold Mine really defines my love for the cup, two of my favourite Mario Kart tracks of all time..., in fact Wario's Gold Mine is my favourite Mario Kart track ever. So, yeah!

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