Rainbow Road is the final track in the Special Cup in every Mario Kart game. In Mario Kart 7, a remastered version of the original Rainbow Road (from Super Mario Kart) also makes an appearance as the last track in the Lightning Cup, and an entirely revamped Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 64 makes an appearance in Mario Kart 8, also as the last track of the Lightning Cup.
Its primary features are its colorful surface that appear to be made of reflective glass, its uplifting or cheerful music, and how it is is usually the longest (and sometimes the hardest) course (with the exceptions of Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!). It is also usually claimed to be the hardest map.
- Super Mario Kart: This course features normal traction, but the guard rails are gone, and dangerous Thwomps that can cause damage just by touching the target appear, like in most incarnations of Bowser's Castle except the latter's Thwomps deal damage only by crushing their target.
- Mario Kart 64: This is the longest course in the game, going two kilometres, and the only one whose fastest lap is longer than a minute. Chain Chomps go throughout the course, damaging whoever hits their mouth.
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit: This course
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
- Mario Kart DS
- Mario Kart Wii
- Mario Kart 7: Due to the course's extreme length, this version of Rainbow Road has just one lap to save time. It is set in space, above The Moon this time.
- Mario Kart 8: This version differs very much from the previous iterations in that it has a more science-fiction feel, rather than a fantasy feel. It does take place in space, but the road is more metallic. The first section after the starting section is an anti-gravity zone that forms an "eight", leading to a gliding section that leads to a space station, which then has another gliding section leaving the station and heading to the rest of the track, which is in anti-gravity. This course has a rainbow-coloured map for the Wii U version. In the Switch version, the map loses the rainbow colour scheme, becoming plain white.
- SNES Rainbow Road returns in Mario Kart 7, with upgraded visuals, enhanced music, and new gimmicks, and the track waves when the thwomps hit the floor. The prominent goal gate is now featured, using the normal variation. The waves and bumps can be tricked off of.
- N64 Rainbow Road returns in Mario Kart 8, with a large amounts of changes and upgrades, orchestrated music, and an altered layout to incorporate the game's new mechanics, namely the glider and anti-gravity racing. One of the most notable differences is the entire race is one lap with the checkpoint setup instead of the original's six-minute races over the default three laps.
- SNES Rainbow Road returns in Mario Kart 8 as DLC, with new graphical upgrade and remastered music. A grandiose goal gate now surmounts the start/finish line.
|Super Mario Kart||Mario Kart 64||Mario Kart: Super Circuit|
|Mario Kart: Double Dash||Mario Kart DS||Mario Kart Wii|
|Mario Kart 7||Super Mario Kart (from Mario Kart 7)||Mario Kart 8|
- Rainbow Road and Mario Circuit are the two most synonymous tracks in all of Mario Kart