Initially, the DLC advertised 48 tracks over six waves, with tracks from across the series. By the end of it we got an awful lot more than we expected. At the start of 2023, characters were revealed to be introduced, however I feel it would’ve served them much better to release characters from the start of the DLC. But their inclusion is welcomed all the same, bringing fan favourites like Diddy and Funky Kong among others.
I was excited to see it announced, however, there were complaints about the graphical differences between tracks in the base game and those featured in the DLC. Every track that has featured in the DLC was featured in the mobile game Mario Kart Tour, which didn’t help its reception, given Tour’s poor reputation before it removed its gacha gambling mechanics in October 2022. I personally don’t mind the graphics, the art-style feels much closer to your typical Mario games than the realistic style of the base version Mario Kart 8 uses.
Away from this, wave six is the best wave they’ve released. Rome and Madrid make their entrance as the final cities from Tour, with Madrid being my favourite of the two. Dashing through the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in the final few turns is exhilarating. Rome is one of the better cities in the DLC, though it is definitely on the more confusing end. Piranha Plant Cove also makes a return from Tour, being one of the most unique underwater courses we’ve seen, it looks fantastic.
Now for the true retros, starting with DK Mountain from Double Dash. The music is phenomenal, being very representative of the Donkey Kong Country series. Rosalina’s Ice World from MK7 was a surprising inclusion, but the additional final corner shortcut helps to keep the end of races more exciting. Bowser's Castle 3 from Super Mario Kart is only the second Bowser's Castle course in MK8DX, personally, I would’ve chosen to add another. It is a fantastic remake nonetheless, much better than other SNES tracks. Finally, we have the Wii tracks, Daisy Circuit is a fine enough remake, but Rainbow Road is where things truly shine. It looks incredible, and the nostalgia simply beams through.
So, is it worth your time? In my opinion, absolutely. This is truly a celebration of the series’ long history, and makes an already great game even better.