Mario’s been around for a long time. Almost 40 years, in fact. He’s been a plumber for so long that he’s since retired from the profession to become a full-time hero of the Mushroom Kingdom. With so much experience rescuing Peach from Bowser’s grasp, there’s no mascot better-known in the world of gaming than Mario. However, which of his many adventures ranks above the rest?
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Mario’s most classic adventures are side-scrolling platformers that see the player progress through levels of increasing difficulty across a number of themed worlds. It wasn’t until the release of “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” that people could get their friends involved in the action, though. Simultaneous multiplayer gameplay allowed four people to play together to complete the level, although whether that was a help or hindrance depended on who you were playing with. No matter how many times your friend tried to throw you into enemies or steal the best items, having people by your side always made the experience more fun. Plus, they made those dreaded boss fights a lot easier to handle.
Super Mario 3D World
Of course, as platformers go, they don’t get much better than “Super Mario 3D World.” Utilizing the multiplayer aspect but in a 3D environment, the game takes everything that “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” did and makes it more fun. It prompts you to work with your friends rather than against them thanks to the shared lives function, but that doesn’t lessen the experience in any way. If anything, it diminishes some of the difficulty which can really test your skills at times. However, you’ll probably still end up playing with someone who wants to spend the whole time scaling walls in the new catsuit.
Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle
We were skeptical when we heard about this release. Mario might not be the most serious franchise out there, but compared to the Rabbids, it’s like a David Attenborough documentary. However, this combination worked. We don’t know how, but it did. Not only did the Rabbid’s bizarre sense of humor compliment the storytelling, but the characters fit perfectly alongside the roster of Mario, Luigi, Peach and Yoshi. If you’re not a fan of turn-based fighting games, then you might struggle to adapt to “Kingdom Battle’s” gameplay, but it’s a welcome departure from the usual platforming format.
Super Mario Maker
Believe you have what it takes to design the best Mario level? That’s what Nintendo was asking of its fanbase when they released “Super Mario Maker,” a title designed to put the control in your hands. The option to use whatever combination of items and enemies you want, in whichever style you desire, is a true celebration of the mascot’s long and successful history. The games encouragement to be as creative as you want is precisely what we need more of in the industry, even if people have taken it to the extreme. We’re not sure how many times we’ve passed away attempting one of those 0.1% completion rate levels.
Super Mario Galaxy
Just when you thought Mario had done everything there was to do in the Mushroom Kingdom, he went and launched himself off into space. Who needs gravity and oxygen when the universe is in danger? “Super Mario Galaxy” reinvigorated the franchise and gave players the opportunity to explore so many incredible new worlds, all the to the tune of one of Nintendo’s greatest soundtracks. While the game doesn’t shy away from being difficult at times, the added challenge shows that the franchise isn’t only for kids. This 24-year-old plumber is suitable for all ages.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Not only has Mario become synonymous with platforming, but he’s also proved he knows his way around a racetrack too. There have been 13 “Mario Kart” games released over the year, but it was the 2017 enhanced port “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” that rises above the others. It combines everything the developers have learned over the years with almost 50 different courses, both old and new. The added mechanic of anti-gravity adds a new layer of excitement to the mix, along with several unique features from past games too. Plus, with the revamped battle mode, you always have a reason to put your friendships to the test.
Super Mario Odyssey
It’s Mario’s newest adventure, but it’s also one of his best. With an aggregate score of 97 on Metacritic, “Super Mario Odyssey” isn’t only one of Mario’s best-rated adventures, but it’s also one of the strongest games that Nintendo has ever produced. It takes the sandbox format that’s worked so well in the past and combines it with stunning visuals, diverse environments, and a whole lot of collectibles. After 40 years of gaming, you’d think the team behind Mario would run out of new ideas, but then they dropped Cappy, and it became clear they’ve always got something up their sleeve. Now, excuse us while we go and find those 999 power moons.
Super Mario 64
It fared slightly worse in review scores – and we do mean slightly – compared to “Super Mario Odyssey,” but we wouldn’t have had this latest offering if it wasn’t for the groundbreaking release that was “Super Mario 64.” The graphics might not rank up now, but back in the ‘90s, they were as close to HD as you were going to get. The 3D design and varied camera angles didn’t only make for an exciting experience but also ensured that “Super Mario 64” was a revolutionary entry in the ‘90s gaming market. While Mario’s newer releases might boast smoother controls (and less frustrating gameplay), you can’t beat a classic.
We relied on our super knowledgeable, experienced and highly-skilled game writer to bring you this post, although even he can’t help but be influenced by his own opinions. However, he definitely knows what he’s talking about. We don’t want to say that this is the definitive ranking of all the best Mario games out there, but, well, it is. Would you disagree?