Fall is almost over, but there’s one Mario Kart course that keeps the eternal fall vibe going– Maple Treeway! As a fan favorite, it has been remastered for several entries in the series since its initial release on Wii. Some of the renditions of this course leave much to be desired, but one truly captures the original magic. Keep reading to see our full review of this beloved track!

Wii

This is the original, and it has become one of the true classics when it comes to Mario Kart courses. Beautifully designed, the woodsy atmosphere of this track take coziness to a new level. I can’t say enough how much I love the warm oranges of the color palette here. The graphics hold up quite well, and it has a specific charm from being the first rendition. The shortcuts here are also some of the best in the series and I just love the path you drive on and how it’s surrounded by trees. The Wigglers, while frustrating at times, are also quite endearing.

7 (3DS)

Mario Kart 7 came out and they chose Maple Treeway as a priority remake?! This is fantastic news– well, it would be if this game wasn’t Mario Kart 7. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like this game has always been the annoying cousin of the franchise. The graphics aren’t very good and the character selection makes this game feel like an outcast among the usually overachieving series. This lackluster experience carried over to Maple Treeway where, when playing it, I just kind of felt like it was better on the Wii. This course deserves better and if it’s going to be remade, it needs to feel like an upgrade.

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Tour

…and then comes Tour. This was not an upgrade by any means. They focused on the purple of the course’s color palette more to the point where I refer to it as “the purple one.” They also used it as a Halloween gimmick, which was clever but takes away from the course as a whole. I also hate that they made several versions that go in different directions. It made this course that already felt so distant from the original feel foreign. It just felt like this course changed so much that it feels like just it’s inspired by Maple Treeway. Also, this is Mario Kart Tour.

8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)

I am obsessed with this version! It captures the energy or the original while giving the graphics an overhaul. They even gave the soundtrack some small, playful-sounding tweaks that work very well here. I am strangely obsessed with the detail of the bark on the track. Being able to more smoothly drift around the course’s many turns thanks to the upgraded controls of the modern Nintendo era is also quite the treat. These things combined truly give purpose for a remaster of one of the best Mario Kart courses out there!

Olivia Villani

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