Did you know that it is nearly 35 years since Mario first hit our screens in Donkey Kong? Appearing in hundreds of games across a variety of platforms since, Mario has been one of the most innovative franchises in gaming history. Below we take a look at our top 10 Mario games of all time.
10. Super Smash Bros for WII U
Super Smash Bros games are simply brilliant and each release has been excellent for its time, and they just seem to get better and better. The latest game for the Wii U is by far the best game in the series yet with 8 players being able to battle online and locally. With the brilliant addition of downloadable content, it means the game is growing all the time and that means you’ll never get bored of it.
9. Super Mario 3D World
When Super Mario 3D World was released on the Wii U, it was the biggest release to date on the platform and one that was hugely popular. This 2D meets 3D game has so many layers it is an amazing experience to play. Now you can play with 3 other players, which also enhances the experience immensely. If you have a Wii U and don’t own this game, then you really should!
8. Yoshi’s Island
A controversial choice this one, hated by some, loved by others. Yoshi’s Island is the game where a baby Mario is carried around by Yoshi, getting into all sorts of scraps and scrapes. The whining Mario can be annoying, but it doesn’t take away that this is an awesome platform game. Its hand drawn look is simply sublime and it is so well designed, only the most ardent Yoshi hater would not find themselves being drawn into this brilliant platform.
7. Super Mario Bros
It may not be number one in our top 10, but it is by far the most important and influential game in it. The game that wrote the template for platform games it is still a brilliantly playable game today. It may have been overtaken by later games in the series, but in terms of innovation and sheer playability, it is up there with the very best in the series.
6. Super Mario Galaxy
The great thing about the Super Mario franchise is that it is so flexible and can be twisted and turned into almost any genre or type. Super Mario Galaxy is one of the most creative games ever released not just on Nintendo but also on any system. With its outer space theme and crazy twisting stages, Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel Super Mario Galaxy 2 are truly innovative games that are well worth their place in this countdown.
5. Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine was the flagship release on Nintendo’s unfairly maligned GameCube system. As the first 3D Mario game since the brilliant Super Mario 64, it was inevitable that Super Mario Sunshine would be a bit of a let down as expectations were so high.
However, that doesn’t take away what such a brilliant game this is. Brilliant innovations like the FLUDD water sprayer opened up whole new areas of gameplay and made the game pure fun to play. Perhaps the least known of Mario games, but up there with the best.
4. Super Mario World
The classic Super Nintendo game this was the big release to launch the system and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Super Mario World is the pinnacle of left to right platform gaming, with amazing graphics for the time, a great soundtrack but also stunning game design that had new levels themes and power-ups, as well as host of other new features.
Super Mario World is a game you truly can get lost in and if you get chance to play it on an original SNES, then you really should take the opportunity. You won’t regret it.
3. Super Mario Kart 64
It’s quite difficult to pick which Mario Kart is the best. Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U is a fantastic game that is hugely refined and amazing in size. The original Mario Kart on the Super Nes too was simply brilliant and was the innovative game that brought us this wonderful part of the Super Mario universe.
However, we had to go with Mario Kart 64. Bringing the SNES original into true 3D, it brought with it a wider range of stages, lots of new game playing elements and best of all the four play split screen mode which was simply amazing. It may look a bit dated now, but play it for a little while and you will genuinely be hooked on this amazing game.
2. Super Mario 64
Perhaps the biggest leap forward that the Super Mario franchise ever took, it was a big risk for Nintendo to move away from the traditional left to right platform game. Twenty years on from its release, it is still a game that provokes an awe-inspiring reaction. Inventive, innovative and hugely playable, it is so full of charm that we’re sure that it will be still an amazing game in twenty years to come.
1. Super Mario Bros 3
It is amazing that Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario Bros 2 came out on the same system because the difference in their quality is gigantic. A huge leap in gameplay and design, it can be held up as a fantastic example of platform game design.
It is also the foundation upon what most of the other games in the Super Mario series are built upon. Quite simply it is game playing at its very best. If you have never had the pleasure of playing Super Mario Bros 3, then you really should. You’ll have a blast!