Which iconic Mario Kart track is your uni?
We’ve included three different Rainbow Roads, dw
Mario Kart is unquestionably the best party game ever made. FIFA is objectively bad and turns nice boys into unbearable losers, and Super Smash Bros requires you to know what buttons do. Everyone knows how to play Mario Kart though.
We looked at the lineup of tracks from the latest game, most of which are updated versions of classic courses, and matched them to British universities with the precision of a blue shell shattering your dreams.
Whether you have fond memories grappling with the Wii's motion controls, intense eight-player DS showdowns at the back of the school bus, or from five minutes ago on the Switch, you'll find your uni below.
Wario’s Gold Mine: Oxford Brookes
It doesn’t make a lot of sense for Wario to have a gold mine, nor does it really make any sense for Brookes students to be as filthy rich as they are. In fairness, if any Mario character were more Brookes than Books, it’d be Wario.
Baby Park: Aberdeen
Aberdeen students are the kind of folk with low enough expectations to be content driving round this bite-sized featureless track seven times in a row.
Excitebike Arena: Newcastle
In no way difficult, Excitebike Arena just lets you drift round easy corners and fly over ramps onto uncluttered raceway – keeping yourself on full tilt for the whole race, just like Newcastle students spend their days jetting from one hangover to the next. Might not challenge you much, but you’ll have a blast anyway.
Rainbow Road (SNES): Sheffield
Sheffield students are the sorts of people who insist on playing the SNES Rainbow Road because it's "a classic" despite the fact the other two versions of the infamous track are infinitely more fun and interesting to look at. There’s more to life than Oasis and noughties indie, guys, and there are now Mario Kart tracks that aren’t totally flat.
Cheese Land: Southampton
Who asked for this? Why is this track made out of cheese? Why did one of Soton’s SU Pres candidates do this? Why are students there so unrelentingly grim? Why a lot of things.
Ribbon Road: Bournemouth
In all honesty, playing Mario Kart on the Gameboy Advance is entirely pointless, as is going to Bournemouth to do… well… anything.
Dragon Driftway: Leeds
Dragon Driftway is a bit much tbh – too many corkscrews and upside down shenanigans. Like a Leeds student dropping on Monday and resurfacing on Sunday, you’re pretty sure you’re having fun but less sure you have a clue what’s going on.
Ice Ice Outpost: UCL/Imperial
This one has two very distinct paths, but it doesn’t really matter which one you’re on since they run more or less parallel to each other. This is also the case in London’s most bumout unis, where you’ll end up at some yawn-inducing finance job regardless of which one you go to.
You can drift from one path to the other without losing your boost, i.e. you can do your undergrad at one and your Master’s at the other and still end up at one of the big four. Hooray.
Wild Woods: UWE
You could pick this one but… eh?
Super Bell Subway: Coventry
In real life subways are grimy, horrible places, and in real life so is Coventry. But if you bomb through this course fast enough and don't pay too much attention, you’ll realise it’s a fun time.
Hyrule Circuit: Cambridge
Hyrule Circuit represents rich history and the unbearable privilege of just "being really good". Link might be the least qualified character to ever show up in Mario Kart, but who cares? He’s from the most adored series of video games ever.
Animal Crossing: Durham
Okay Durham, you try too hard. I mean, honestly – the seasonal changes on this track are just unnecessary and the winter version especially can fuck right off.
You might cling to the idea that you are basically Cambridge, since you're also from a very popular game, but it’s just not happening, just like this isn’t an actual Animal Crossing game WHERE IS IT NINTENDO?
Big Blue: Nottingham
Notts students need to calm down. All this yeeting VKs across Crisis and losing their shit over a cat suggests they need to spend some energy on this F-Zero import, which just goes and goes and goes.
Mario Kart Stadium: York
Jesus Christ you’re going to play Mario Kart Stadium? Okay fine, so you wanted to go to a uni where all sex must be conducted in missionary. It’s not like it’s a terrible course, it’s relatively hazard free so if you’re decent you’ll come out of it alright. But come on, mate – live a little.
Sunshine Airport: Exeter
There’s this one obvious shortcut in Sunshine Airport, where you go up a narrow staircase into the plane. Taking it on every lap is the only way to win. The infamous hill leading up to Exeter Uni’s Forum is much the same, and just like the track, even though you tell yourself you’ll manage it with ease, you’ll mess it up and knacker yourself.
Cloudtop Cruise: Edinburgh
Edi students float through life – kept aloft by a soft cloudbed of rich parents and woke thoughts. All in all both track and uni offer a very pleasant experience that won't tax you too much. You could do worse.
Water Park: Falmouth
Bit wet, tbh.
Sweet Sweet Canyon: Lancaster
Lancaster students call their uni "Lancs" sometimes which is a bit like a five-year-old making gang signs. Also their main club is called Sugar, so OBVIOUSLY they'd love it in Sweet Sweet Canyon.
Bowser’s Castle: Manchester
Dark, brooding, full of hazards. You’d need to be the sort of student ready to go toe-to-toe with Bowser himself to survive a night in Fallowfield.
Thwomp Ruins: Hull
A shell of its former glory, Hull’s ever diminishing finances have left it in a ruinous state indeed. Try to make it out before it collapses.
Shy Guy Falls: Loughborough
GYSERS! WATERFALLS! SHEER CLIFFS! THESE PEOPLE ARE INTENSE, LADIES AND GENTS.
Mount Wario: Liverpool
The most fun track bar none. Like the last minute Gold Rush in Heebies, Mount Wario ends with a batshit sprint down a steep slope and it is the absolute bomb.
Rainbow Road (Switch): Cardiff
This one has no right to be here. There are already two versions of this track. Modern Rainbow Road is to Mario Kart what Cardiff is to the Russell group – included, but out of a sense of obligation.
Moo Moo Meadows: Queen's University Belfast
What on earth is going on here? Cows on the track! Potholes in your way! There are no laws here. Truly if any Mario Kart track embodies the wilderness that is the Holylands, it’s this one. Bet they use motion controls too.
Dry Dry Desert: Warwick
It is a fact that Warwick students are the dry driest in the UK. Easily the most boring track here, including Mario Circuit.
Wario Stadium: UAE
I have literally nothing to say about Wario Stadium. Norwich students probably cling to how fun it is because there’s a bit where you drive on a vertical wall.
Tick Tock Clock: Birmingham
Get over the stupid clock, guys.
Mario Circuit: Lincoln
You picked one of the pre-set cups and now you’re doing Mario Circuit. You didn’t particularly want to do Mario Circuit, just like no one particularly wanted to go to Lincoln.
Donut Plains 3: St Andrews
Built around a very pretty castle. Prince William knows all the shortcuts on this one.
Cheep Cheep Beach: Sussex
You honestly can’t go wrong with a beach side Brighton night out, can you?
Royal Raceway: King’s College London
Loads of Royals visit King’s, geddit? Much like this track’s bright exterior, the needlessly extravagant fronts of The Maughan Library and Guy’s Campus bely how unfun the experience really is.
Music Park: Bristol
Lotta student DJs at Bristol – some would say too many. The bright colours and trippy vibe all just distract you from the fact that it’s all rather uninspired.
Grumble Volcano: Nottingham Trent
Bold. Brash. Ready to knock you out (of the race).
DK Jungle: Bath
Do people still go to Bath? Has someone checked? People who did are the ones who invite you to play Mario Kart, then surprise you by whipping out their 3DS expecting you to have one too. Of course I don't have one, James, no one does.
Yoshi Valley: Royal Holloway
Yoshi Valley has a very nice colour palette. Look at those earthy tones. Now look at Royal Holloway. So pretty. I rest my case.
Rainbow Road (N64): Oxford
A track as synonymous with Mario Kart as Oxford is with the word “university,” the pale imitations of Rainbow Road from eras past and present just don’t compare. Naturally there are lots of easy shortcuts if you now what you’re doing.