Game music of the day: Super Mario Kart

Game: Super Mario Kart

Song: Rainbow Road

Composer: Koji Kondo, Soyo Oka, Taro Bando

Above: Rainbow Road from Super Mario Kart

Today, Mario spin-off games are a dime a dozen. With so many choices, from tennis to racing to partying, it's increasingly difficult to muster up the same level of enthusiasm we would for a brand new platformer. But in the early SNES days Mario was still an impossibly hot property, so when he and the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom hopped into adorable go-karts, they didn't just cause a ruckus - they invented and popularized a new game genre, partly thanks to the endearing, catchy music surrounding the entire experience.

Rainbow Road has since become the standard game-ending track for the Mario Kart series, but its first appearance remains the most unforgiving level of them all. Almost every turn is a near-death plunge into the black abyss below, and every other kart on the track is constantly bumping into you, veering ever closer to the edge. Toss this music in and you're in for a white-knuckle race like no other.

However, Rainbow Road is all the way at the end of the game. Odds are you heard the Battle Mode music far more often, possibly enough to have it burned into your brain by now. I sure as hell do, as I spent New Years Eve 1992 playing more than 200 rounds of multiplayer. Hey, what else is a 12-year-old supposed to do?


Game music of the day: Spider-Man & The X-Men
Funky grooves from Tim and Geoff Follin



Game music of the day: Mario Kart 64
Oddly inspiring credits music from Kenta Nagata



Game music of the day: GTA IV
Soviet Connection by Michael Hunter

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  • Strangleme - September 11, 2010 3:42 p.m.

    One of my favorite games and music of all time!!!
  • elpurplemonkey - September 10, 2010 7:06 a.m.

    Great selection, it brings back a lot of warm memories. I went through all of the single player and put in hours, days, possibly even weeks just facing my brother in battle mode- and yes, that quirky song is burned into my brain, along with the image of those 3 balloons around your cart. One of my favorite games of all time right here. Though my favorite version of the Rainbow Road song is the N64 one, my favorite actual Rainbow Road track is this one.
  • Metroidhunter32 - September 10, 2010 2:03 a.m.

    God, I loved this game. Loved Double Dash more, but that's besides the point.
  • marioman50 - September 10, 2010 12:14 a.m.

    How about SMW 2: Yoshi's Island? Another great SNES soundtrack!
  • philipshaw - September 9, 2010 12:39 p.m.

    Rainbow Road, it's a road where you go to die
  • TheElephantManchurianCandidate - September 9, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    God I loved this game so much I don't have my snes set up because I have this for the Wii but i still sometimes get the manual out and remember the days I spent copying the drawings of all the karts and items.
  • NoiseAsylum - September 9, 2010 8:13 a.m.

    I just hooked up my SNES on Monday just to play this game.
  • JohnnyApplesperm - September 9, 2010 6:57 a.m.

    Super Mario Kart ftw! I recently got a SNES, so now my buddy and I get together sometimes to play this and Super Mario World. Great system.
  • Imgema - September 9, 2010 4:09 a.m.

    Too bad Mariokart Wii has atrocious music
  • goochbiscuit - September 9, 2010 3:35 a.m.

    While I've only ever played Mario Kart 64, this is one of those games with music so good that you don't need to have played the game to enjoy and appreciate it. Even when removed from the visuals the music is still fantastic and totally listenable.
  • phoenix_wings - September 9, 2010 2:57 a.m.

    I had the battle theme music as my cell phone's ringer for a while. Also used the main theme.
  • Tenfey - September 9, 2010 2:46 a.m.

    That road has no borders. Impossible.
  • enlargedhousecats - September 9, 2010 2:46 a.m.

    ah, mario kart. now add this and the others to the compendinarium
  • FETALJUICE - September 9, 2010 2:09 a.m.

    Hell yeah!! Both the Rainbow Road and Battle Music in Super Mario Kart have been embedded deep into my brain due to constant multiplayer battles with my friends and brother. Good times!
  • NdIGiTy - September 9, 2010 1:47 a.m.

    I've always preferred the Rainbow Road music from Mario Kart 64, but the original does have a certain charm.
  • richtaur - September 9, 2010 1:17 a.m.

    Also be sure to check out the Super Mario Kart Album by The One Ups!
  • batmanboy11 - September 9, 2010 1:11 a.m.

    Super Mario Kart FTW! This music pwns!
  • juicenpancakes - September 9, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    Beautiful music. -- Also, if you haven't podcasted yet (I assume you are just about to), I suggest looking at Uwe Boll's new movie trailer. I think that could spark some happy fun dialogue in TalkRadar. Yep. You read the end of that link right.
  • WonsAuto - September 9, 2010 12:53 a.m.

    I approve of this entry 1000000%. I heard both of these track hundreds of times each growing up. The One-Ups' cover album choked me up as it flooded me with memories. SOOOO good.

Showing 1-19 of 19 comments

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