Mario Kart 8 Deluxe review – is it still a must-have game for Nintendo Switch?

GOT a Nintendo Switch but still haven’t bought Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Sort it out!

It’s one of the best games on the iconic console – and I’m still in love.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe came out in 2017, so it’s by no means new.

And it’s actually an enhanced re-release of the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8 from 2014.

Four (or eight?) years on, is it any good? Absolutely. In fact, it’s almost essential.

This is one of those console must-haves that brings guaranteed joy.

If you’ve played Mario Kart before, you’ll be well aware of its thrills.

Racing around as your favourite Nintendo characters in bonkers carts, knocking each other about with power-ups is endless fun.

The single-player mode is challenging for kids and adults alike.

And it’s incredibly entertaining in multiplayer too – either locally or online.

It’s perfect on the Switch, because you get two controllers as standard.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an impressive beast.

For a start, you get all of the maps, carts, characters and DLC from the original.

There are loads of modes to try, and an enormous range of maps.

Some of them you’ll recognise from retro Nintendo consoles, including the N64 and GameCube.

Others are new, but just as fun as the classics.

There’s a brilliant familiarity to Mario Kart.

Blasting around with the luck of three red mushrooms never gets old, and the pain of being trumped by a blue shell right before the finish line still cuts deep.

These moments have been experienced over and over again over decades, but they’re as effective as the first time they ever happened to you.

Even the soundtrack is brilliant and considered.

One track inspired by the Legend of Zelda franchise is packed with melodies from the games.

Similar work has been done to draw you into maps inspired by other Nintendo titles like Animal Crossing and more general Mario games.

The graphics are great, all things considered.

While docked, you’ll get Full HD 1080p resolution, which downgrades to 720p HD in handheld mode.

It sounds paltry compared to the 4K/8K fury preferred by newer rivals the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

But Nintendo has done brilliant work to make sure the game look as bright, colourful and detailed as you’d expect.

I’ve been playing it on a fairly mammoth 65-inch 4K Panasonic HZ1000, and it looks brilliant even at 1080p.

Of course, the real joy of Mario Kart is the gameplay – and it holds up after all this time.

You can be playing alone, racing with pals, or battling it out with complete strangers and you’ll have a whale of a time.

It’s easy to dismiss Mario Kart as a game for kids, but that needn’t be the case.

Playing online can provide real challenge.

And there’s tremendous theorycrafting out there on the best combinations of rider, cart, tires and glider.

So there’s plenty for even hardcore gamers to chew over.

Cracking a winning combo that feels nippy on the track can be just as rewarding as winning itself.

Mario Kart’s continued success speaks for itself – so if you’ve put off buying the latest entry, wait no more.

The Sun says: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a Switch must-have – a rare no-regrets purchase for any Nintendo fan. 5/5

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at Amazon for £36.99 – buy here

All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase.

The Sun’s TV testing unit

The Sun uses aPanasonic 65HZ1000 to test PS5 and Xbox games, new streaming apps and devices, and new types of content:

  • Panasonic 65HZ1000 TV
  • OLED screen
  • HDR
  • Dolby Vision / HDR10+
  • Dolby Vision IQ
  • 4K / HD

Panasonic 65HZ1000 at Richer Sounds – buy here

Which Mario Kart character is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!

In other news, The Sun's favourite alternative to a games console is the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.

Check out the wildly impressive Panasonic 65HZ1000 TV, which makes most tellies look rubbish.

And Dell's Alienware R10 Ryzen Edition is a gaming PC powerhouse that crushes both the new consoles.

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