Since his introduction in the early 80s, Super Mario has gone on to become one of the most iconic video game characters of all time, with new games still being released today. The series as a whole is one of the best-selling of all time and its impact will forever be felt in the gaming industry. Here are the top 10 best Super Mario games of all time.
10. New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe
The New Super Mario Bros series brought back the classic 2D style of Mario games but brought them into the 21st century. Following on from classic games such as Super Mario World, the New series adds new characters, power-ups, and enemies, as well as its own spin on mechanics found in the 3D titles. One downside of the series is they generally feel a bit dumbed down and too easy, which is common in many modern games that appeal to children. But, it’s Super Mario, it is still incredibly fun and it’s great to see the 2D style return in the modern age.
9. Super Mario Sunshine
Released on the GameCube, Super Mario Sunshine features more of the same that we saw in Super Mario 64, not that it’s a bad thing. There is one exception that helps it stand out, and that is the use of water and paint, adding a fresh mechanic for players to enjoy. While not the best 3D Mario game, it is still a great game in the series and one that is worth playing at least once.
8. Super Mario Bros 2
A very underrated game in the series, Super Mario 2 completely changed up the gameplay when compared to Super Mario Bros. This can be explained due to it being a reskin of the Japanese exclusive title Doki Doki Panic. Super Mario Bros 2 sees Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad travel across multiple levels and the worlds, with both vertical and horizontal gameplay, adding a fresh take on the series.
7. Super Mario Bros
The game that changed everything, Super Mario Bros was a launch title for the NES, bringing the gaming industry back from the brink after the 1983 market crash. Super Mario Bros has gone on to become one of the best-selling games of all time and began a beloved series that is still being created today, as well as helping to make Mario the official Nintendo mascot.
6. Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 served as a launch title for the N64, bringing the series into the 3D world for the first time. The game is still incredibly popular today, receiving critical acclaim and selling over 11 million copies, Super Mario 64 is also the most active game in the speedrunning community today. Super Mario 64 may have been the first, but Nintendo got it right, with most mechanics being carried over to future titles, even recent titles such as Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo really knocked it out of the park with this game and it will likely still be played for decades to come.
5. Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey was released on the Nintendo Switch shortly after the console was released in 2017. If I could choose one word to describe the game it would be fun. Every second of the game is an enjoyable experience, with the colorful art style, use of fun, and wacky costumes. The highlight of the game is New Donk City, Nintendo’s take on the Big Apple, it is hard to not smile while its show-tune theme is playing throughout. I don’t know how they do it, but Nintendo just can’t seem to make a bad Mario game.
4. Super Mario Galaxy
Motion controls are either loved or hated depending on who you ask, but when it comes to Super Mario Galaxy they surprisingly work really well. Released on the Wii, Galaxy utilizes motion controls to the full extent. One of the best features of the game is that most levels take place on a spherical plane, with each world being a planet. This brings a fresh take to the game, allowing players to move sideways and upside down. This is a highlight of the series, and I’d love to see a Galaxy 3 one day.
3. Super Mario Bros 3
Super Mario Bros 3 is often regarded as one of the greatest games of all time, with the game featuring dozens of levels, a world map system, and the addition of many new power-ups and enemies that are still seen in the game today. The game went on to sell over 17 million copies, making it the third best-selling NES game of all time, with it going on to be released and ported to numerous systems.
2. Super Mario Galaxy 2
Released in 2010, Super Mario Galaxy 2 continues on from the near-perfect Super Mario Galaxy released a few years prior. The game brings more of the same, but with the addition of Yoshi which really helped add a fresh and new mechanic to the game. There have been many fantastic 3D Mario games, but Galaxy 2 is the cream of the crop.
1. Super Mario World
Released as a launch title for the SNES in all regions, Super Mario World changed the game (no pun intended) and helped the standard for not only future Super Mario games, but platformers as a whole. The fourth Super Mario game brought many mechanics and characters to the game that have come key parts of the series, such as Yoshi, Banzai Bill, and Big Boo. Super Mario World still holds up today thanks to the bold colors across large areas which helps the game stand alongside even modern titles.
Super Mario World has gone on to be ported and re-released to most future Nintendo consoles, including the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo Switch.