Top Critic Average
All-in-all, Mario Kart 8's first DLC pack is utterly remarkable. Not only is the track design better than ever, not only do they add new characters and karts, and not only does it live up to the visual and online standards of the main game – it even expands the possibilities of what Mario Kart can be.
This first bundle of DLC does a fantastic job of leaning on Nintendo's past, so it's just a slight shame that it hasn't learnt from one of Mario Kart 8's only failings and taken the opportunity to overhaul the somewhat limp Battle mode - which, in this instance, hasn't been touched at all. It's a small shame, too, that now Nintendo's folded all of its franchises together, the odds of a standalone F-Zero seem slimmer than ever. Still, it's hard to complain when the future of Mario Kart has been expanded so graciously, and now that one of 2014's best games has just been made that little bit better.
The rest of DLC Pack 1 isn't as consistently great as the core game, but it's all relative. By industry standards for post-release content, Nintendo is killing it. This is a must-buy for Mario Kart 8 players, and I'm hopeful the company will continue pulling in other franchises going forward. These packs can't just be a one-off experiment; the potential for cool crossovers is too high.
Still, Mario Kart 8 is an enjoyable party game, and for the entire DDNet team to still be playing it all these months later stands as proof of its longevity. In that context, adding even more content for just $10 makes for a perfectly worthwhile purchase. And Nintendo deserves props for using DLC as an opportunity to add to an existing game package, rather than sell something that should have been in the original release in the first place. It's a fine line to tread, but Nintendo's showing the other publishers how DLC should be done.