Mario Kart 8 for Nintendo Switch lived up to expectations as a fast-paced, competitive spin-off to one of the most beloved video game series of all time. With a full slate and waves of DLC available through the Switch Online Expansion Pass, there are plenty of ways to experience the game.
You might wonder where to start and what to use. Ten of the best Kart and driver combinations have been compiled here, just for you.
ten Wario’s pink cat car
The franchise star antithesis, Wario, has been on Nintendo’s roster for a long time. Although it looks hilarious in the Cat Cruiser, this combo has some merit.
The Cruiser’s low traction makes underwater tracks like those at the Mushroom Cup much trickier, but the Cyber-Slick tires increase speed and weight to compensate for the loss when you’re taking on tough desert courses like Cheese Land and Dry Desert and dry. The Wario Wing is just for looks, but that’s actually what matters most, isn’t it?
9 Isabelle in the shoe
The City Tripper bike leaves something to be desired, although Isabelle is downright adorable on it. The solution? The Sneeker, a giant wheeled shoe. Exceptional handling and acceleration make up for the car’s lack of speed, while the Flower Glider gives you just a little more traction.
The New Horizons-themed Leaf tires and paper glider add that perfect Animal Crossing touch. Just watch out for rough wreckage while increasing speed.
8 Yoshi with the standard bike
If something isn’t broken, why fix it? Yoshi on the standard bike remains a solid combo through and through. The speed is a little low, but the addition of the Waddle Wing Glider brings your speed to a much more tolerable level while keeping the weight of the bike where it needs to be.
With the added Retro Off-Road tires, the standard bike can cut corners harder, making drifting and recovering from a Red Shell hit a breeze.
seven Big monkey on a small scooter
You have to offset Donkey Kong’s immense weight somehow, and the easiest way to do that is with a small vehicle like Mr. Scooty. Adding the Monster tires helps balance your numbers and makes it much easier to see where you are going.
Donkey Kong, like King Boo and Bowser, takes up a lot of the screen, so it’s important to know your tracks and use items as often as possible. A nice air glider like the Parachute is a great addition to this combo.
6 Waluigi’s Wild Wigglin
The Wild Wiggler is an underrated kart. With high-speed drivers like Waluigi behind the wheel, this little bug-riding vehicle reaches ridiculous speeds with rapid acceleration. Roller wheels give you a wide drift that takes some getting used to, but you can choose to tighten it up with any variety of off-road tires.
The MKTV parafoil is a great glider that helps reduce kart weight and allows you to accelerate on any track you choose.
5 Blue Hawk Bowser
Are you confident enough to handle wide drifts and incredibly high top speeds? If so, then Bowser will be the driver for you. You’ll need a lightweight kart like the Blue Falcon to offset the weight of Bowser’s royal power, but strap on the Cyber Slick tires and the Bowser Kite, and he’s good to go.
Acceleration is a bit sluggish, which makes this combo better for circuit racing than slick, twisty tracks like Ice Ice Outpost. Whichever way you choose to ride with Bowser, you’re up for a challenge.
4 All or All
Gold Mario in the Gold Kart is an obvious choice. After all, why shouldn’t the hardest combo to unlock be one of the best? Gold Mario and the matching kart, wheels, and glider will take a lot of playtime to get, but with high speed and tight handling, the combo is definitely worth the time and effort.
Getting first place in every race in the entire game won’t be easy, but it’s certainly fun to watch.
3 Supersonic Rose Gold Peach
The only thing classier than gold is pink gold. Paris Promenade, Coconut Mall and the rest of the Golden Dash Cup courses were practically designed for Pink Gold Peach, specifically to ride the high-octane Jet Bike. Crimson Slim tires improve handling to help at high bike speeds, and the Peach Parasol takes the weight off all that metal a bit.
Traction might be weak, but on raceway-type tracks you’re absolutely (rose) golden.
2 Inkling girl and matching stroller
Don’t you love it when aesthetically pleasing and perfectly matched choices are the ones that work well? Coming straight from the Splatoon Arena in Mario Kart 8, Inkling Girl and the Splat Buggy are a well-rounded combo that’s hard to beat.
Super Glider and Off-Road tires add the perfect amount of drag and air to make fast, heavy tracks like Excitebike Arena and Dragon Driftway in the Egg Cup tons of fun.
1 Link and the Triforce Trifecta
Link is surprisingly a new addition to Mario Kart, compared to how long he’s been a Nintendo superstar, dating back to Super Smash Bros Melee and Diddy Kong. With Link as the Master Cycle rider, Triforce Tires and Hylian Kite included, he’s virtually unstoppable.
This combination offers well-balanced speed and weight with medium acceleration, which aids drifting through long turns, cutting between obstacles and stability at high speeds. Tricky tracks like those on The Bell Cup are a great place to really let this combo shine.
NEXT: Things Missing In Mario Kart 8