Mario is perhaps the most easily recognizable video game character of all time. Nintendo’s franchise has indeed become a global icon for video games. Merely the mention of the word will bring about Mario in the heads of most people.
The Italian plumber with an iconic mustache is in the hearts of millions of gamers from around the world. Mario has seen a multitude of evolutions from his first appearance in the Donkey Kong series to Super Mario Odyssey. Mario’s adventures have been the subject of a lot of games. Here are the ten very best Super Mario Games of all time.
10. New Super Mario Bros
While there may be a fair amount of people that disagree with this placement entirely. New Super Mario Bros, was a reasonably decent game. The fans were never receptive of the New Super Mario iterations. Titles were often thought of as bland or boring. However, New Super Mario Bros was a very decent game.
The game was the first iteration in the series, and each world featured a unique boss. The New Super Mario franchise was all about bringing the classic feel of the franchise back. Yet, there are still incredibly inventive levels. You can even experience the entire game as Luigi as well. There would be no need for another save file as players had the option to switch on the fly.
While the games were all about bringing back the classic Nintendo feel, they had some fun new features. The online competitive mode was particularly brilliant. The mode is called Mario vs. Luigi, and players can compete against others on five different levels.
With a decent single-player, and incredibly fun multiplayer New Super Mario Bros deservedly gets the 10th spot on this list.
9. Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario 3D World is a sequel to Mario 3D land. In comparison to its predecessor, the game is fantastic. It covers the concept of a 3D Mario game perfectly. Gamers are mainly playing a 2D style platformer in 3D.
Players can also choose from 5 different characters. Each character, including Mario, has their unique abilities. The game also introduces a brilliant new power-up and completely new bosses. However, the only thing keeping this game down is the lackluster level design.
The 3D graphics are decent and everything. However, a lot of the stages lack in substance. Once you play through this game, you won’t find yourself picking it back up again.
All in all, Super Mario 3D world is a decent Mario game, but it isn’t one that you’ll find hard to put down.
8. Super Mario World
A lot of older readers out there may vehemently disagree with this statement. When Super Mario World originally came out on the SNES, it was groundbreaking. The art style was a massive improvement. The sound was better than ever. Mario looked and played better than ever.
The game was also responsible for introducing Mario’s brilliant sidekick Yoshi. Yoshi was an incredibly fun new addition to the Mario games. The game is also full of secrets. There are so many secrets to find. If your one of those gamers that loves to discover hidden levels you’re going to love this game.
However, in comparison to older, more iconic games, Super Mario World controls differently. All the movements are too tight. It plays much differently to other classic 2D Nintendo platformers.
It’s easily among the best platformers of all time; however, the way it controls lead to it getting the number 8 spot on this list.
7. Super Mario Galaxy
For a lot of people, Super Mario Galaxy is their favorite Mario game of all time. The Wii never had a lot of decent titles, but Super Mario Galaxy is quite a video game. It serves as the true successor to the iconic Mario 64.
The Galaxy series took Mario and the gang to space for a whole new adventure. Looking at the ranking on this list, it was a successful foray.
Most developers struggle with the control limitations of the Wii. However, the controls on Galaxy are incredibly intuitive and fun to use. Furthermore, the game mostly showcased what a 3D Mario game on modern hardware was capable of at that time.
The levels were brilliant and dynamic, featuring varying levels of gravity and other mechanics. The character design was intelligent, and there were new inventive power-ups the players could use.
The boss battles were all brilliant as well; they weren’t particularly difficult but were fun to play.
Super Mario Galaxy laid the foundations for a modern 3D Mario game. However, there was still so much more left.
6. Super Mario Bros
When Super Mario Bros originally came out, the gaming world was in a steep decline. Video game companies were suffering, and console sales were incredibly low since 1983. However, Super Mario Bros helped save the day when it came out with the NES.
The game wasn’t only a revolutionary platformer. It was among the few games that helped save the video game industry. The birth of Mario rescuing Princess Peach from Bowser came from this game. It’s an absolute icon of the industry.
Even if you pick it up to play today, the game looks and sounds incredibly decent. However, when you play it, you realize just how good the platforming mechanics of this game. Not only is this game an icon of the industry, but it’s one Mario game you’ll be playing over and over.
5. Super Mario Galaxy 2
Another reason for Super Mario Galaxy only taking the 7th spot on this list is its direct sequel. Nintendo rarely releases titles that are direct sequels. More often they’ll release a drastically different title with new mechanics or a differing storyline. However, the success of Super Mario Galaxy prompted a second release.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 takes all the mechanics from the first game and polishes them further. Additionally, it also marks the comeback of Yoshi. Yoshi is a ton of fun to use in the game and makes the game much more memorable. He also gets a lot of fun new powers that gamers can use as well.
All the power-ups from the original game are back. However, the newest cloud power-up is among the best in Mario games history. Furthermore, all the additional content is much more accessible in comparison to the first game.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is easily among the best Mario games of all time. It’s a worthy recipient of the 5th spot on this list.
4. Super Mario Maker 2
Super Mario Maker 2 is probably the last 2D Mario game fans of the series will buy. It is easily among the most fantastic level design games of all time. However, it’s also so much more than that.
There’s an entire story mode that could be an own game in its entirety. There was no such mode in the first iteration of the game. However, now players can enjoy up to 100 levels with a narrative as well.
One of the best parts about the narrative mode is it plays like an old Mario game but with entirely new level design features. Aside from the story mode, there’s a brilliant level maker. You can experiment and use so many new mechanics; it allows you to build otherworldly levels. Gamers can also share and experience the levels of other players. Super Mario Maker 2 truly has endless amounts of replay value. The entire package is exceptional and offers a lot of freedom to gamers to experiment and enjoy the game.
3. Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros. 3 is among the best classic 2D platformers of all time. The game is fantastic and offers tons of replay value to this very day. Video gaming wasn’t as prominent in the 80s as it is now. Yet, when Super Mario Bros. 3 came out, Mario practically became a superstar.
The game was incredibly well balanced and super fun to play. There were some more challenging levels, and the game had a few secrets as well. Yet, one aspect that made these games incredibly memorable were the power-ups. Even to this date, one can argue that the set of power-ups in Super Mario Bros. 3 were the absolute best.
There are just so many things to do in the game. It’s all so intuitive and easy to control. You’ll feel like you have more power over Mario than before. The only thing holding Super Mario Bros. 3 back from a higher position on this game Is the next two games on the list.
2. Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 is a brilliant game. It’s not only one of the best Mario games of all time but is up there with the best games of all time. Super Mario 64 is an inspiration for many of the modern titles’ gamers enjoy today.
Even to this day, the game holds up perfectly. The game differs from other older Mario games due to its sandbox nature. You can collect any star you want from any location in whatever order you please. Additionally, there were three new power-ups, as well. Each power-up was fun and innovative to use.
Alongside the graphics, the audio quality of the game is exceptional as well. Each track is incredibly memorable and catchy. The soundtrack will be inside your head before you realize. There are few games out there that have a soundtrack that can match up.
However, there is very little that prevent the game from the top spot. The camera isn’t as responsive as it should be. It works most of the time appropriately, but sometimes it can get a bit awkward. Furthermore, the boss battles in the game were among the most lackluster in the series.
Yet these still can’t tarnish the reputation of this once revolutionary game. Super Mario 64 has a permanent place in the hearts of millions of gamers worldwide.
1. Super Mario Odyssey
It’s only natural that the two most revolutionary Mario games get the top spots. Super Mario Odyssey comes out on top because it’s about as close to perfection as you can get. The new revolutionary Cappy hat is a game-changer.
Instead of the traditional power-ups in the game, Mario can interact with several objects in the game. These objects include several enemies and give you different power-ups. You can also throw your cap onto enemies in the game. Each enemy will provide you with a unique skill set, and they’re incredibly fun to use.
Super Mario Odyssey is also gorgeous. Some of the worlds are just so wonderfully atmospheric to play and enjoy. The level design in individual kingdoms is just outstanding. The controls are incredibly intuitive; there’s nearly endless content to enjoy. Super Mario Odyssey is the closest Nintendo has come with achieving perfection in a Mario game.
Some of the worlds aren’t as creative as others, and the boss fights could be more challenging at the end of the day. Super Mario Odyssey has brought about the new revolution in Mario games. It’s also set an incredibly high benchmark for any sequels that might want to overthrow it from the top spot on the list.
Each Mario game on this list is fantastic to play. While gamers may never agree on lists like these, we can all appreciate how brilliant the Super Mario franchise has genuinely been.