Introducing: The Best Mario Games as Selected by the Nintendad Staff
Happy MAR10 day from the Nintendad team! Considering that today is a day all about celebrating our favorite plumber, we’ve decided to take this opportunity to share our favorite games from across the Mario universe. Without further ado, let’s-a-go!
SUPER MARIO RPG: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN STARS (DEREK WRIGHT):
This game was the first RPG that clicked with me and besides being made jointly between Miyamoto and Square, it also features some of the best music that Yoko Shimomura has ever composed.
SUPER MARIO LAND 2: 6 GOLDEN COINS (KEVIN SCULLY):
Super Mario Land 2 was the first handheld game that genuinely felt like it was on a real home console. The original Super Mario Land was great fun, but always felt like a cut-down version of the Mario experience, small sprites and only a handful of levels. Comparatively, 6 Golden Coins feels huge, complete with massive sprites, a world map, and mini-games. Before the Game Boy Advance, the DS, and long before the Nintendo Switch, this was real, genuine gaming in the back seat of the car, and I loved it.
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY (MEL CURTIS):
Perhaps the most accessible Mario game, there something here for every level of player. Collecting moons rapidly is satisfying enough, and this one brings out the completionist in me.
SUPER MARIO GALAXY (ABRAM BUEHNER):
At risk of making the Nintendad staff seem incredibly old (or myself, incredibly young) my favorite Mario title is the one I grew up with: Super Mario Galaxy. Every 3D Mario title holds its own, unique merit, but the euphoric coalescence of Galaxy’s unchecked creativity, unrivaled orchestra, and unprecedented scope push it over the top. Every time I replay it, I fall in love all over again.
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY (JOACHIM ZEIBS):
My favorite Mario game is Super Mario Odyssey, of course! It was the first Mario game that I completed. The story was nice, even if the Luncheon Kingdom was rather meh. It’s a good game with lots of stuff to find on your adventure!
SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 (KIERAN FIEFIELD):
People argue that Super Mario World is a far superior game. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful game, a game of unprecedented splendour, with more secrets than a factory selling doors, all of which, for display purposes are closed. But to me, with all that wonderfully whimsical nostalgia added in, SMB3 is the pinnacle of platforming perfection and it would take something special to usurp that spot as the greatest Mario game ever!!
SUPER MARIO 64 (RICHARD STRACHAN):
The Nintendo 64 came at the perfect age for me and Mario 64 was one of the highlights. Ever since then I’ve been waiting for another game in the series that matches the level of creativity and combines it with consistently solid level design. Later games have, for me, tended to lean more heavily on showing constant new ideas at the expense of level design quality and challenge. I would love to see something with a similar structure to 64 released again.
SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 (BRETT HILL):
Considered by most as the greatest platformer of all time, I have to agree. Not because of the gameplay or the graphics, though, but because of the memories it holds from when my family played it together for the first time nearly 30 years ago. When I play it now, the memories come flooding back from the moment I push the cartridge into the NES and close the lid. Priceless.
PAPER MARIO: THE THOUSAND YEAR DOOR (ANNA KARASIK):
I actually got my hands on Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door very recently, and it immediately de-throned Sunshine as my favorite Mario game. How could it not, with its sparkling dialogue, memorable characters, and delightful design? I see why fans have been crying for a remake for over fifteen years – and now, I’ve joined their ranks.
SUPER MARIO RPG: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN STARS (KEVIN ORME):
Super Mario RPG was enough to change my world back when it came out. With its new characters and fabulous story, I was hooked. Also, it might have one of my favorite soundtracks out there.
SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 (THOMAS HAROLDSEN):
Super Mario Bros 3 has always been my Mario! Coincidentally, I actually only played as Luigi and this is one reason I’m still partial to the green-clad plumber. As a younger sibling I was always Player 2 and I don’t think I’d have it any other way.
It’s Your Turn!
Now that we’ve shared our favorite jaunts across the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond, take a moment to sound off in the comments below with your favorite adventure. We’d love to hear which chapter of Mario’s storied history resonates the most with you!