Mario Kart 64 is, objectively, one of the most fun games ever designed. Aside from the characters, soundtrack, and raucously exhilarating Battle Mode, there were the tracks. 16 glorious courses, every one of them with their own idiosyncrasies and challenges.
What follows are all 16, definitively ranked. Feel free to disagree; just don't be surprised if there's a blue shell in your future.
16. Luigi Raceway
Literally the only thing that’s going to separate you from the pack is your weapons. If this was your favorite, you were probably only playing until your mom made you go back to your homework.
15. Mario Raceway
Better than the Luigi Raceway, sure. But the title character should have the best course of them all, right? Wrong.
14. Moo Moo Farm
It’s actually kinda fun using the cows as a pick to knock off your competition, but overall, playing Moo Moo Farm feels like you’re just waiting to get picked up from daycare.
13. Wario Stadium
Certainly not a boring one, but how badly does it suck when you use a mushroom just a little too late, and get stuck in the mud? A lot? I don't know. I was a pro at this.
12. Kalimari Desert
Those cacti sucked, but poppin' mushrooms in the desert was always a good time.
11. Choco Mountain
"Those boulders are the best part!" -No one ever.
10. Frappe Snowland
The best part of Frappe Snowland was winning while using absolutely no shells or bananas, simply because you understood how to drive on ice.
9. DK’s Jungle Parkway
If you were into racing at all, the first corner after the ramp on DK’s Jungle Parkway is what taught you the concept of over-under passing.
8. Sherbet Land
Remember those “Drink Bud Ice, but beware of the penguins” commercials? There’s almost definitely a connection here. Probably.
7. Royal Raceway
That feeling when you hit one boost pad, then use your super mushroom all the way to the next pad before the jump? That’s heaven.
6. Koopa Troopa Beach
Admit it: the first time you successfully jumped into that tunnel shortcut you realized how many races you absolutely ruined by slamming yourself into a cliff.
5. Banshee Boardwalk
It’s an undeniable fact that cutting the corners just enough to go faster but not so much that you die is a wonderful feeling.
4. Bowser’s Castle
The moment you hit that final ramp, mushroom in hand, you know it’s all over.
3. Yoshi Valley
You want a technical track? Yoshi Valley had multiple route options and blind corners that’d trip you up if you were only trusting your eyes. This is good even for a racing game.
2. Rainbow Road
I’m convinced that the reason anyone became good at Mario Kart was because it took everyone else so damn long to get back to the track after flying off into space.
1. Toad’s Turnpike
This is the most advanced track there is, period. If you don’t look ahead, you’ll pick the wrong lane, and there’s nothing more satisfying than going between a car and the shoulder and not dying in the process.