The 10 hardest Mario Kart tracks

Prepare for a challenge in these tracks.

Image via Nintendo

The Mario Kart series is a beloved series by all. No matter your age, you can pick up a Mario Kart game and find a track that instantly becomes memorable. Some of these tracks can surprisingly be more challenging than others, given the overall designs, game mechanics, and general competition with other racers. With all of that in mind, here are the toughest Mario Kart tracks of all time.

Choco Island 2 (Super Mario Kart)

Screenshot by DoubleXP

Super Mario Kart’s Choco Island 2 looks simple by design but is rather difficult to perfect. There are more physics than the first island where the chocolate rivers can make the drivers slide a bit too much. There are also very sharp turns, bumps, and narrow roads, which can be tough for those that like heavy racers such as Bowser.

Toad’s Turnpike (Mario Kart 64)

Screenshot by DoubleXP

Toad’s Turnpike’s update in Mario Kart 8 makes it much easier to navigate, but the original version in Mario Kart 64 is a menace. The traffic in this version takes up a ton of space and when you hit any of the cars, you go flying in the air. The track in general feels a lot longer and narrower than the new one as well.

Moonview Highway (Mario Kart Wii)

Image via CTGP Records on YouTube

Mario Kart Wii’s Moonview Highway has one thing that can make a course extremely difficult: traffic. Want to amp it up? There’s also Bob-omb cars to slow you down as well. Many Mario Kart fans have mentioned this course when it comes to challenging tracks, and it’s not hard to see why. Twisting and turning around the outer portions of the course at night time is not the easiest thing in the world.

Neo Bowser City (Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8)

Screenshot by DoubleXP

Neo Bowser City is definitely an interesting track to have a Bowser theme. Many sharp turns particularly make the 200cc version in Mario Kart 8 frustrating, but they can be difficult on lower speeds as well. You will often find that every racer on this track will be packed together, so one mistake can set you very far back in position and set up a need for a perfect last lap run.

Rainbow Road (Mario Kart: Double Dash)

Image via Nintendo

What list would the hardest Mario Kart tracks be without mentioning Rainbow Road? This track has hardly any rails to keep you from falling to the city below. There are sharp turns throughout that will test your timing and drift skills and dash panels that encourage going faster, but could easily end with you careening off the track for the 20th time. It will take some time to practice to beat the time trial ghosts or take on the Special Cup at the highest difficulty.

Rainbow Road (Mario Kart Wii)

Image via Mario Wiki

Another of the iconic Rainbow Road courses finds its way as one of the toughest Mario Kart tracks ever. Again, there are no rails to prevent you from plummeting off the course, and its narrow, winding paths allow for a lot of pushing and bumping with other racers. 

Rosalina’s Ice World (Mario Kart 7)

Image via GamerJGB on YouTube

Rosalina’s Ice World shows that ice physics are just as tricky as any other environmental physic. It is not entirely intimidating unless you want to take risks to ensure you finish first. There is a section where there are dash panels near a cliff that could easily give you better positioning. However, drivers who are not careful enough can result in you having to go back to the beginning of the area by slipping off.

Shy Guy Beach (Mario Kart Wii)

Image via CTGP Records on YouTube

Shy Guy Beach seems simple at first glance, but then there are crabs and cannonballs to worry about alongside your opponents. Strangely enough, Mario Kart Wii brings it back and makes the course filled with more cannonballs about to go off. This is primarily a challenge for those that want to take on the time trials on the highest difficulty.

Yoshi Circuit (Mario Kart: Double Dash, Mario Kart 8)

Screenshot by DoubleXP

This track is completely fashioned around the shape of a Yoshi. While Yoshi Valley got easier in its return within Mario Kart 8, Yoshi Circuit became more challenging because of its 200cc mode. With the constant twists and curves around this island track, good luck speeding around without falling into the water or getting a noticeable slowdown from the grass.

Yoshi Valley (Mario Kart 64)

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While this track became considerably easier when it was revived in Mario Kart 8, the Mario Kart 64 version originally was very challenging with its maze-like design, narrow roads, and the fact that until you finished the race, you had no idea what position you were in. Yoshi Valley was a unique track that challenged every player trying to get the gold in the Special Cup. There are plenty of tight corners missing rails so if you are not careful you can go falling down into the valley.