Monday, April 27, 2009

Top Ten Mario Games

UPDATE: I missed something. Apparently, it is possible to play Luigi in New Super Mario Bros. The game will show you how after you beat it the first time.

I want to thank PsychoDuck for catching my mistake.

Top Ten Mario Games

10. Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door

Super Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door is just straight up fun, and quirky. Although, in this case, I can’t really say I speak from so much experience. My girlfriend liked this game so much that she wouldn’t let me play. Actually, I did get to play, but it was a few weeks after we originally bought the game. The thousand year door worked really well because of the colorful and interesting story, and the extensive cast of characters that Mario got to keep as sidekicks.

9. Super Mario Land

Super Mario Land is on the list because it was the first time that the classic mario formula went mobile. Now, you could play Mario in the car! I’m a little ashamed to admit that due to restrictive parents (My Mom thought my super nintendo was already rotting my mind) I did not get the chance to play this game until very recently. In fact, when I told my girlfriend I was going to write this blog. Her response, “You simply have to add Super Mario Land.” I’ve been checking out the game since, and she’s not wrong. It’s got the same addicting mario feel that made so many of his other games classic.

8. Super Mario Bros.

This is the classic. Not the original mario game, but the one that set the lovable plumber on his journey to international stardom long before American Idol ever aired. This game was so good that every nintendo fan of its day not only had it, but played it extensively. Add in that it came paired with the second most addictive Nintendo game of its day, Duck Hunt, and you simply couldn’t go wrong. In this game, the Mario formula was created, but it would not be perfected for some years later.

7. Super Mario Kart.

When I started this list I meant to include all games that primarily starred Mario, but ended up making a list mostly of his greatest platformers. Sports games are notably absent because Mario’s athleticism, though impressive, has failed to truly excite the gaming crowd the way his classic games have. The exception, of course, is Super Mario Kart. Super Mario Kart was fun in a couple of ways. First, there was the classic Grand Prix in two speeds, and four separate cups. Second, there was racing against a partner. Third, there was the ability to race against your own best times. And fifth, and everyone’s favorite was Super Mario Kart’s Battle Mode. My ass still hurts from all the green shells my father pelted me with.

6.Super Mario 64

I know, I know. This is at least five spots to high up in the list. Not that this wasn’t a great game. It really was. I liked a lot of it, but somehow Mario in 3-d did not seem a realization of Mario’s potential in the same way that Hyrule in 3-D was. I was happy to play this game, and excited about the idea of 3-D video gaming, but something about Mario had me still in love with the 2-D platform star he had always been. On the other hand, this is better than what I thought was going to happen to Mario. If you could have heard me talk in the late nineties you might have heard me say that 3-D was going to be the death of Mario as the top video game star. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Super Mario 64 offered a lot of expansive worlds to explore as well as a lot of extra things to find. The difficulty was amped down a little bit, but the challenge of finding all the stars in the game more than made up for it. This was a great game, and definitely one of the better releases the N64 had to offer, but it still isn’t good enough to break into Mario’s top five games of all time. Still, this is one worth checking out more than once; just don’t let the Monkey steal your hat!

5. Mario Kart DS

Until the very recent release of Grand Theft Auto ChinaTown Wars, Mario Kart DS held the esteemed position of highest ranked Nintendo DS Game on Gamespot with the ranking of 9.2. It received the same ranking, but was bested by a few other games on IGN. Mario Kart DS more than deserved such high praise. This was Mario Kart brought to a perfection even greater than the original Super Mario Kart. The graphics were impeccable, easily one of the most visually pleasing games on the DS. The sound was just as impressive, it’s one of those games that is more fun to play the higher you put the volume. The three grand prix modes were a lot of fun, and the redone classical courses were some of the most fun, and easily the most nostalgic, parts of the game. And if that weren’t enough, add on wifi capability so you could play with a friend. Fans of mario kart are hoping that Nintendo will release another Mario Kart for the DS or DSi. One that will include new race tracks, even more nostalgic courses, and a more extensive mission mode. But for now, we’re not only satisfied with this DS game; we’re so addicted we cannot put it down.

4. Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars

It pains me that a game as good as Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars comes on any list as number four, but such has been the greatness of the Mario series. Seven Stars was the second greatest RPG of the Super Nintendo Era, barely cutting out EarthBound for the number 2 spot, but falling to Chrono Trigger. Seven Stars had an interesting story, with challenging baddies, and enough puzzles to keep everyone entertained. And if that weren’t enough, add more than a couple interesting characters and you have a formula for Mario’s success in RPG form. But Mario RPG stayed consistently Mario, not a straight RPG. The timed attacks, especially with Mario’s long jumps definitely made it seem like a Mario game, as well as his ability to jump while away from the battle screen. And as if that weren’t enough Seven Stars was one of the first video games to introduce the concept of an UltraBoss, the boss more difficult to beat than the main boss. In Seven Stars this boss is known as Culex, and if he doesn’t waste your party in a couple of turns, then you are a much more impressive Seven Stars player than me. This type of boss worked really well to keep players interested and entertained long after the main quest had ended. Super Mario RPG is easily one of the best Super Mario games of all time, and is a real steal for eight dollars for anyone with the Wii and access to the internet.

3. Super Mario Galaxy

As I’ve said, Super Mario 64 was a great game, but it was Galaxy that really proved Mario in 3-D for me. First, there were the worlds, seemingly huge expansive. Second, there were the controls. The shake to do your punch was awesome, and jumping again became a matter of precision (after the F.l.u.d.d. of Sunshine made it more about button mashing.) The Overworld was huge and a lot of fun, and the challenge of finding all 120 stars still has me entertained. At first, I thought finding stars in Mario Galaxy was going to be a little bit too easy until the comets came into effect. The daredevil comets made things particularly difficult in really fun, addicting ways. Also, the power ups Mario had were both interesting and incredibly varied. However, Mario Galaxy failed to take the top spot because of a couple of major flaws. First of these, was that one or two of the power-ups felt like a power-down. A bee costume in which you can’t even touch the water, no thanks. Second, the lack of a Yoshi world. This would have been really easy to put into this game, and would have elevated it to the level needed to potentially steal the number 2 spot on this list. As it is, however, number two belongs firmly to...

2. Super Mario Bros. 3

This was easily the best game on the Nintendo Entertainment System, bar none. Its graphics were best. Its audio was one of the best. Its game play was the best. So good, in fact, that it still translates into one of the most fun games today, without any remodeling of its graphics or its gameplay. The worlds were impressively large, with many levels to get through. But Super Mario Bros 3 really shined in the power up suits. It wasn’t just Big Mario and fire Mario this time. There was froggy mario, and stone mario, and Raccoon Mario. The power ups made Mario so much more interesting than he had been previously and allowed him to take on challenges in new ways. This game is also available on the Wii’s virtual console, and it really is a steal at a mere $5.

1. Super Mario World

This is Super Mario done right! This game is near perfection right down to the tiniest details. First, their is the main quest. Seven incredibly fun worlds, each with their own terrifying dungeon controlled by one of Bowser’s seven children. One incredibly cute, super fun dinosaur named Yoshi as an ally. The Fireflower and the Super Cape as power-ups. The powerful Bowser to defeat at the end of the game. As if that weren’t enough, finding and completing the star world and the special section as well as finding all 96 exits in the game and every single Yoshi Coin. There’s simply so much to do in Super Mario World, which is incredibly impressive seeing as it came out in 1992. Super Mario World also adds a lot of brilliant little details such as the ability to throw shells, the challenge of stringing together enough jumps to get a one up, and an extensive variety of enemies and you have a game that is a class all its own. Super Mario World not only ranks as Mario’s ultimate adventure; it is easily one of the best video games of all time!

Notable Exceptions:

1. Super Mario Sunshine-Parts of this game were good, but it did not get the top ten as the Fludd device made missing jumps no big deal in this game. Mario is a jumping protagonist, when he misses jumps bad things are supposed to happen. Besides, the idea that Mario needs a little jetpack for assistance seems contradictory to his previous video game heroics.

2. Yoshi’s Island- The only issue I had with Super Mario World is that the bosses were too easy. Yoshi’s Island would fix this by making bosses much more complicated, and much more varied. Unfortunately, it failed to string together worlds like Super Mario World, and was not as deep a game. But it would have been included on this list, except that to most, myself included, this is more a Yoshi game than a Mario Game.

3 .New Super Mario Bros.-This game was too much like just a newer version of Super Mario Bros, which is what it professed to be. But some of the power ups were ridiculous powerful, to the point of being no fun to have. Further, in the main player mode one could only play Mario, making its title frustrating (differentiating the two characters and letting us choose would have been better.) Finally, the notable lack of Yoshi are really any kind of ally characters kept this Mario off the list.


  1. "Further, in the main player mode one could only play Mario"

    Not true. Holding down certain buttons when starting the game (I don't recall which ones exactly) allows the player to play as Luigi. The secret is revealed upon beating the game.

  2. I shall check that out.

    I never knew; thanks for letting me know.

    I never tried this, so do you know if Luigi is different from Mario other than his look?

    That is, does he jump differently or something? That would definitely raise the game up a little bit in my eyes.

    Also, loved the mini-games for that one; it's a great game, just didn't make the list.

    Thanks for Commenting!

  3. I don't believe Luigi controls any differently from Mario. If he does, it's certainly a minor difference, since I haven't noticed anything.

  4. I don´t like this list at all, I wouldn´t even consider a Mario Kart (even being that good Mario Kart DS and Super, their fantastic, but not to be better to Mario 64) as one of the best Mario Games. And even would consider super mario 2 (and I know that it Isn´t a "real" Mario game, but is an excelent game). For me, Mario Land 2 is better than the first one.

  5. I agree. I think Super Mario 64 was a way better game than the list says, especially for the time it was made, and don't think Mario Kart DS, though good, can't beat it.

  6. I knew that was the one that was going to get me in trouble.

    I do agree that it's an awesome game; and it was a lot of fun, I just couldn't put it ahead of any of the ones in front of it.

    All of these games are excellent, Mario has given us more than twenty years of gaming goodness.

    Thanks for commenting, Ali and Pável.

  7. Good list (though two Mario Karts? Seriously?). I don't agree with all of them, but no one ever can when it comes to ordering the Mario games, they're just all so great.

    My top three would have to be the same as you Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario World, and Super Mario Bros. 3 just not in any order, I wouldn't be able to choose.

    PS. I think Luigi controls a bit different in New Super Mario Bros. If I'm not mistaken he jumps a tad higher and is a bit slipperier on his feet (much like in Super Mario Bros. 2 or Galaxy).

  8. I'm glad you ranked Mario World higher than Mario 3. They're both awesome obviously but World feels like there's more in it (fewer types of powerups notwithstanding).

  9. Hey! I wanted to make a tiny little corretion, I wouldn't do it, but I'm confuse!

    Super Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door simply... doesn't exist. I don't know if you're reffering to Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for GameCube, or to Super Paper Mario, for Wii. You kinda mixed those two titles! Please, give me an answer!

  10. It´s obvious that he´s talking about the GC version

  11. It's not that obvious, dude, it's confusing. He called it "Super Paper Mario" in the last part, and that's for Wii!

  12. Fixed, Jardim, and thank you.

    Somehow I remembered super being in the name of the GCN version.

    Obviously, it wasn't.

  13. It's okay. I loved your list. I truly appreciate the fact that you think exactly like me when talking about Super Mario World - there's a huge lot of people who'd put Super Mario Bros. 3 in the first place and discard the whole Super Mario World awesomeness.

  14. Thanks, Jardim.

    I think most of them argue that the different suits make it better.

    But I think you get the same level of different thing in World in that you can ride five different kinds of Yoshis each with their own power.

    Further, World added a lot of little things to find and do that really kicked it over Bros 3 for me.

  15. I understand, and agree with you. I mean, "YOU ARE A SUPER PLAYER!!"? You could see a teardrop dripping from my eye!

  16. Hey Video Game Addict, this top ten list is awesome. You can post this to our site and link back to your site. We are trying to create a directory for top ten lists where people can find your site. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.

  17. SM64: "I know, I know. This is at least five spots to high up in the list."

    More like 5 spots down. -.-

  18. Fantanoice...

    A Mario 64 hater, I see.


    I approve.


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