We were initially sceptical about Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. While we knew it would be fun to play, it wasn’t developed specifically for the Nintendo Switch. Instead, it was an enhanced port of the same Wii U game released four years ago. In truth, Nintendo could have easily ported Mario Kart 8 to the Switch without any enhancements or new content and it would have been a best-seller, but the developer took the time to improve aspects that were criticised in the original release. As a result, Mario 8 Deluxe was one of our highest rated games of 2017.
Battle Mode made a triumphant return with new bespoke arenas, and multiple power-ups can now be stored, adding a new tactical element which fundamentally changes the core gameplay. The novelty of playing a console-quality Mario Kart game on a handheld never loses its appeal, making it one of the most fun-packed split-screen multiplayer experiences available. Mixing reimagined fan favourites and new imaginatively-designed environments, the diverse track selection in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also puts many current-generation racing games to shame. Each track is brought to life with vibrant visuals upscaled to 1080p resolution and a rock solid frame rate running at 60fps - it's a feast for the eyes, particularly in Handheld mode. If you own a Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe belongs in your collection. The standard has been set so high, it’s difficult to imagine where Nintendo will take the franchise next in the inevitable sequel.