Reporting on Mario Kart 64 World Records


Myles Mitchell & Parisa Gregg


August 1, 2023


Investigating how the world record for Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 64 developed over time.


Mario Kart 64 is a racing video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64.

Players can choose from eight characters to race as, including:

  • Mario
  • Toad
  • Princess Peach

The game consists of 16 tracks to race around. World records can be set for either one lap or a full race (three laps) of the course. As players have competed for faster times, several track shortcuts have been discovered. There are separate world records for both with and without the use of a shortcut.


We loaded a dataset of Mario Kart 64 world records. This data is from tidytuesday with credit to Benedikt Claus.

For this investigation we are interested in the world records for rainbow road over a three-lap course. The dataset was loaded and filtered using pandas:

import pandas as pd

# Load the records data
records = pd.read_csv(
# Filter the data
rainbow_road = records.loc[
        (records["track"] == "Rainbow Road") &
        (records["type"] == "Three Lap")
# View the data
index track type shortcut player system_played date time_period time record_duration
0 2155 Rainbow Road Three Lap No Booth NTSC 1997-05-27 6M 15.83S 375.83 92
1 2156 Rainbow Road Three Lap No Jonathan NTSC 1997-08-27 6M 9.67S 369.67 140
2 2157 Rainbow Road Three Lap No Zwartjes PAL 1998-01-14 6M 8.69S 368.69 58
3 2158 Rainbow Road Three Lap No Jonathan NTSC 1998-03-13 6M 5.51S 365.51 173
4 2159 Rainbow Road Three Lap No Penev PAL 1998-09-02 6M 4.15S 364.15 9


The figure below shows the development of world records for the Rainbow Road track on Mario Kart N64 from 1917 to 2021.

Progress of Rainbow Road world records, with and without allowing shortcuts.

The longest a 3 lap world record was held for on Rainbow Road is 2214 days (6.1 years).