Super Mario Odyssey
Image: Nintendo

It's kind of scary to think that Super Mario Odyssey is now five years old; that's half a decade! Launched back on October 27th, 2017, Nintendo was already firing on all cylinders at that point, having released the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Splatoon 2 earlier the same year. It was perhaps Super Mario Odyssey, though, that truly cemented the Switch as a console to be reckoned with, putting to rest any concerns that fans may have had after the short-lived and rather disappointing Wii U era.

After five years, though, is it high time Nintendo announced a Super Mario Odyssey sequel? We've seen the company experiment with direct sequels before with Super Mario Galaxy 2, but is this something the fans want to see from Odyssey, or would you rather Nintendo go all out on a brand new Mario game? Well, a few members of the Nintendo Life team have put their thoughts together on what a new 3D Mario game might look like, what locations might be included, and when the heck it'll see the light of day.

We'll include a poll at the bottom of the page for you to join in too, and be sure to include a comment on what you'd like to see from a 3D Mario game in the future!

Would you prefer a Mario Odyssey 2, or an entirely new Mario game?

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Image: Nintendo

Ollie Reynolds, Staff Writer

Whenever a new Mario game is on the horizon, I always find myself wanting something completely new, because I simply think it's where Nintendo shines brightest. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore Super Mario Galaxy 2, but even when that game was announced, I felt a small twinge of disappointment that it was pretty much "more of the same".

With whatever Nintendo is cooking up, I hope it's something we've not yet seen from a Mario title. Heck, maybe Nintendo could dive into some multi-dimension type stuff, similar to Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse? I know people are kind of over the whole multi-verse thing, but I reckon it could work very well with a Mario game, with various art styles and gameplay mechanics utilised. Bring it on, Nintendo!

Alana Hagues, Staff Writer

It’s hard for me to say – I love the ingenuity that each new 3D Mario game brings, but Super Mario Odyssey really hit a sweet spot with its perfect movement, wonderful level design, and outstanding music. Predicting where 3D Mario will go after he’s been to the beach, space, and literally everywhere including the moon… the idea that Nintendo could go beyond that is mind-boggling.

I just want to see Yoshi return to a Mario game proper

So I think I would like to see something new! What that is, I don’t know. I see Ollie has a similar idea, but maybe some multiverse-type deal where Mario has to play through different worlds or levels based on other Nintendo properties? You know you want to see Mario with Samus’ arm cannon… Honestly, though, I just want to see Yoshi return to a Mario game proper, just like in Galaxy 2, Super Mario Sunshine, or Super Mario World. Let the plumber team up with his dino friend for more than just a level!

Jim Norman, Staff Writer

I'll be honest, if Nintendo was to make the teeniest, tiniest tweak to Super Mario Odyssey and then slap a 2 on the cover before selling for full retail price, I would buy straight away and not feel the slightest bit robbed. I loved Mario Odyssey and really, I would feel a little disappointed if Nintendo was to immediately move onto a different idea. Playing Odyssey was much like playing Galaxy - I finished and I wanted more. Not similar mechanics in a different environment, just more of the same. Please.

To be clear, I am huge nut for Mario and I know that if Nintendo were to be cooking up a whole new 3D franchise then I would be completely on board. But Odyssey seems like too good of an idea to move away from completely. Not just yet, at least.

Gavin Lane, Editor

Given how brilliantly Galaxy 2 turned out, I'd definitely be down for another jaunt in that big flying hat. There was lots of enthusiasm for a Bowser's Fury-style open-world Mario game after 3D World came to Switch, and while I'm not against that, I'm also yet to be convinced that a massive open world is the best fit for Mario's playground antics.

The multiverse ideas Ollie and Alana mentioned could be fun. The mix of art styles in the first Odyssey already felt like a metaverse mash-up to an extent. Who wouldn't want to see Mario meet alternative versions of himself — ones we've seen in the past or totally new versions? It might be getting tiresome in the cinema, but I've no doubt Nintendo could come up with a winning take on multiple Marios. Call it 'Mario 128' and Nintendo fanatics the world over would explode.

If Nintendo took the Odyssey 2 route à la Galaxy 2, where would you like to see Mario journey to this time?

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Image: Nintendo

Alana: You could easily just go for another 17 different kingdoms of standard themes and be happy with that – though I don’t know if Nintendo could ever top Forest Kingdom or Metro Kingdom. But let’s throw two themes out there.

One: time travel. Mario could travel through time and visit places like Ancient Greece, Egypt (though Sand Kingdom may fill that gap), the Industrial Revolution, and some space station in the future.

The other? Super Mario Odyssey 2 is a remake of Mario is Missing, sort of. Visit different real-life countries with levels themed around them. Look, if Mario can ride a kart around Tokyo or Sydney in Mario Kart Tour, he can have a whole platforming game set in real-life locations. I'm dead serious.

Ollie: Honestly, after seeing the teaser poster and trailer for the Super Mario Bros. Movie, I'd love to see Mario explore a vast, densely-populated Mushroom Kingdom. We've seen the region represented plenty — even in the first Super Mario Odyssey — but it's always felt a little bare, in my opinion. There's still plenty to do, mind, but give us shops, nightlife, suburbs; make Mushroom Kingdom actually feel like real place!

If I can't have that, then give me something based on Rome. I love me some Rome.

Gavin: I'd like to see Nintendo really lean into the melange of art styles from the first game, with Mario dropping into really surreal spaces. I'd love Mario to visit an Impressionist, Van Gogh world in 3D, like that one level in New Super Mario Bros. U, or Picasso Kingdom, perhaps. Piet Mondrian Mountain.

I was constantly amazed how the first game blended such disparate styles into a coherent whole, so pushing that to the absolute extreme would be fascinating.

Imagine seeing Mario wahoo-ing his way through Hyrule, or causing havoc in Pallet Town.

Jim: As long as there is at least one Kingdom that has the visual style of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, with Charles Martinet subbed out for Chris Pratt, I will be happy. What can I say? Some men just want to watch the world burn.

I am kidding (kinda). What I would really love to see — and this is linked to Alana's answer in the previous question — is Nintendo allowing for a good bit of cross-franchise play. I was talking to a friend recently and who said how much he likes Nintendo's ability to throw all of their franchises together (Smash Bros., Mario Kart, etc.) and I have to agree. Imagine seeing Mario wahoo-ing his way through Hyrule, or causing havoc in Pallet Town. Yes, I'd be constantly like that Leonardo DiCaprio meme, pointing out every little reference I saw on screen; but it sure would make me, and many others out there I bet, a very happy little fan.

Should Cappy return?

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Image: Nintendo Life

Ollie: Sure, why not! Cappy's functionality feels like it could form one of Mario's base moves; it's nothing so over-the-top that it could only ever make sense in one game. Something like F.L.U.D.D, on the other hand, makes sense in Super Mario Sunshine's tropical setting, but I can't imagine such equipment being utilised somewhere like the Cloud Kingdom, for example. Having said that, I'd love to see F.L.U.D.D make a grand return, even if it's just for one or two levels.

Mario throws a shoe in Odyssey 2. Calling it now.

Alana: If we’re talking Odyssey 2, then I think Cappy has to be there. It’s not Odyssey without Cappy and the plethora of movement options he gives you, or the ability to possess different objects or creatures. Odyssey 2 would obviously give us lots of new creatures and some new Cappy abilities.

If it’s not Odyssey 2… I’ll miss him. I don’t know how Nintendo will top Odyssey’s movement. I think Cappy will get a cameo or a mention somewhere regardless, but he's become a favourite of mine since the original Odyssey released.

Jim: No Cappy, no sequel. I am deadly serious. I always thought that calling Odyssey a multiplayer game was a bit of a stretch, but Cappy has become such a huge part of what I want from a modern-day Mario title now that I feel like he's essential for whatever comes next.

The way around this is to start afresh with a totally new franchise - perhaps with a Cappy didn't survive the harsh Winter title card to kick it off - but, in case I haven't made it clear by now, I would really like another Odyssey entry before we abandon it forever.

Gavin: Cappy gets a courtesy cameo, but Mario throws a shoe in Odyssey 2. Two shoes, in fact. And the 2 in the logo will somehow resemble a pair of shoes. Calling it now.

Do you think we'll see the next 3D Mario game — Odyssey 2 or otherwise — on Switch or future Nintendo hardware?

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Image: Nintendo / Illumination

Ollie: I'm confident — almost obnoxiously so — that we'll see a Mario game launch around the time the movie releases. I don't think it'll be a tie-in game or anything like that, it'll be its own thing, but I think Nintendo would be silly not to capitalise on what will no doubt be an insanely popular movie. Just imagine if a trailer for the game pops up before the movie in theatres; kids are going to go nuts for it!

I'm confident that we'll see a Mario game launch around the time the movie releases

Alana: While I think we'll see something Mario-related near the movie, I'm less sure it'll be a big game. We’ve had Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury on Switch already, but I can see another port or remake — amusingly, Super Mario Galaxy 2 as DLC for Super Mario 3D All-Stars could be a thing, or maybe Chris Pratt's amiibo skin in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Or maybe this fan-made Unreal Engine game is actually a secret Nintendo project that leaked.

But I can see Nintendo waiting to make a splash on its next console with a brand-new Mario game, to be honest. Galaxy 2 came out only three years after the first Galaxy, and multiple mainline 3D Mario games on one Nintendo home console is rare, so I think Nintendo will wait it out just a touch longer. My gut says it’ll either be cross-gen or the next console.

Gavin: I'm with Alana on this one — Nintendo will have looked at how Odyssey gave Switch a massive boost in its first year and will save the next game for new hardware hoping to produce a similar effect. I wouldn't rule out cross-gen support, but Mario's a great way to boost new hardware sales, especially if Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom isn't going to coincide with a new hardware launch (which still isn't impossible).

Jim: As and when the next 3D Mario game comes out, you know that it is going to be a big hit. Much like Breath of the Wild, Nintendo would be silly to only put it on one console, but I do think that it will come around the launch of whatever comes next — Switch Pro, 2, U, Deluxe, or otherwise.

I would love to think that Nintendo has the game ready to go up their sleeve and will whack it out in trailer form around the Mario Movie, I really would, but we are looking at five years of the Switch now. Five years. Unless the announcement comes alongside that of the next console, I can't see Mario Odyssey 2: This Time It's-A Personal (title pending) coming solely to Switch.

Whatever Nintendo comes out with for its next major Super Mario title, we're confident it's going to be an absolute banger. Still, it's nice to ponder what it might or might not entail, isn't it?

But now we'd like to hear from you fine folks; vote in the polls below and make sure to leave a comment on what you think Nintendo might be up to with its next Mario game.

Do you want the next 3D Mario game to be an Odyssey sequel or something completely new?
When do you think the next 3D Mario game will release?