What Are The Best Mario Games?

Mario is known all over the world for his recognizable mustache, red cap, and sidekick Luigi. Since his creation by Nintendo in 1981, he has featured in hundreds of games over the years and become a gaming favorite to kids and adults alike. So, if you’re wondering what the five best Mario games are for you to play, look no further… 

In this blog:

5. Super Mario Galaxy 2

Upon its initial launch in 2010 for the Wii, the sequel to Super Mario Galaxy 2 met the level of its predecessor Super Mario Galaxy and refined itself to become a culmination of many ideas from Super Mario’s gaming past. It changed Wii gaming becoming one of the best games to feature on the console. It focuses on what made Super Mario Galaxy so great with the inclusion of a new formula and small additions. 

The game pushes players from one level to the next rather than having them explore for challenges like they did within Super Mario Galaxy. Nintendo has added Yoshi to the gameplay as well as new powers like the Drill and Cloud Flower, which improve the player’s gaming experience within the gravity-based challenges. Super Mario Galaxy 2 brings back the main hub, perfect for traveling to galaxies and the 242 stars within the game, twice the number of stars found in Super Mario Galaxy. As well as this, multiplier gaming has reappeared; however, this time the second player is a Co-star Luma. The ingenious elements of Super Mario Galaxy 2 have made it the best Mario game that Nintendo made for the Wii console. 

4. Super Mario Bros 3

Nintendo returned to the core gaming concepts of Mario to create and redefine the Super Mario Bros series like never before. This game moved away from retro gaming and featured new wrinkles like a world map and mid-bosses alongside some difficult challenges within its eight kingdoms. Nintendo grew Mario’s powers and gaming abilities considerably through Frog, Hammer, and Raccoon powers, where Mario can fly for the first time. This added a vertical element to the games, increasing the innovative nature of the game and the challenges within. Gamers can play as either Mario or Luigi, or if two are gaming, the game becomes multiplayer, where each player takes turns. 

Super Mario Bros 3 has earned its position because it strikes the best balance between new ideas and the simple fun of being Mario, where users can use gaming as an adventure and feel like they are Mario/Luigi. Unlike Super Mario Galaxy 2, this game isn’t restricted to the number of platforms you can play it on.

3. Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64 has influenced gaming through game design and the ability to nail the ‘feel’ and control of a character in a 3D environment, something no game had quite managed to do before. Even though it is 27 years old, it still feels fresh, fun, and playable. It’s very easy to spend the first few minutes of your gaming session jumping and running around in the castle garden. It develops on the concept of multiple-stage exits and creates levels of escalating difficulty filled with fun tasks and scavenger hunts. 

Super Mario 64 entertains players through its 120 quests, which vary in nature and hardly ever reuse material. Every time a player accomplishes a mission, they are rewarded with a star and once a player obtains 70 they can complete the game. Mario’s iconic moves were introduced within this gameplay: triple-jumping, ground-pounding, long-jumping, and diving. Super Mario 64 is widely available across Nintendo 64, Nintendo Switch, Wii and WiiU. Although it isn’t the best Mario game of all time, it is a rare and retro 3D classic that is well worth a play, if you haven’t already. 

2. Super Mario World 

Super Mario World took everything that made the original Mario on the Nintendo great and multiplied it. As it was released in 1990, it is a retro classic and included more in its 16-bit cart than anyone could have anticipated for the time. Super Mario World is a direct sequel to Super Mario Bros 3, so it retains many of the same gaming elements, like the world map and Koopaling boss fights. However, it introduces a lot of new gaming features like an expanded and less linear world map and the ability to save a game. This game focuses on the mechanical details of the gameplay, which would be commonplace now, but weren’t for the time: his jumps, fireballs, cape spins, and holding his cape when flying. 

Within the 2D gameplay, Mario or Luigi must go over or move around various obstacles and enemies to get to the Giant Gate and the next level before the timer runs out. Rather than having the worlds and levels separate, like in Super Mario Bros 3, Nintendo created a gameplay where all worlds seamlessly connect and include multiple paths per level. Like most of the Mario games included in this list, it is also a multiplayer game. It can be found on the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, Wii and WiiU. So, if you want to delve into the retro gaming experience of Mario and play within the 16-bit era, here is the game for you.  

1. Super Mario Odyssey

Coming to the end of the best Mario games list at number one is Super Mario Odyssey. To celebrate the launch of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo redesigned everyone’s favorite plumber for a new exciting adventure. This game feels like a back-to-basics approach, but with a unique hat mechanic, where Mario can transfer his consciousness into his enemies and objects. Players can possess a dinosaur or revisit iconic places from previous Super Mario games, making it incredibly nostalgic and fun for all.

Super Mario Odyssey supports two-player gaming, where the second player can control Cappy separately from Mario. It also has online functionality allowing players to compare their times and scores in certain events taking gaming with friends to the next level. You can also take snapshots within the game to capture moments or send them to friends. The inclusion of Cappy as a separate character and tool for Mario to use increases the innovative capabilities of the game. It revolutionizes Mario gaming. However, this game’s strength lies within its pure game feel, not since Super Mario 64 has there been a gameplay so great. 

If you own a Nintendo Switch or Wii, why not browse through our range of games to find something new for your collection? Buy and sell Nintendo games with Decluttr to get saving!