Ah, Mario... Where would we be without our favourite Italian plumber? Would Nintendo even exist now? Would the gaming industry exist? Would we exist? Would you? Heavens, we're getting a bit deep, now... Needless to say, the Super Mario Bros. series is fundamentally important to Nintendo and to the gaming industry at large.
Which Super Mario game is the best, though? Pitting the core titles against one another is like asking to choose your favourite pizza topping, or your favourite holiday destination, or your favourite episode of Seinfeld... It's a huge task, but thankfully, our lovely video producer Felix is here to run you through the top 14 Super Mario games of all time.
So grab yourself a snack, sit back, press play, and let Felix's smooth, comforting voice wash over you. It's roughly half an hour in length, so it's the perfect accompaniment to your lunch break. This writer will just have to accept that Super Mario Sunshine isn't higher up on the list... Forgive and forget, and all that.
Be sure to check out our full list of the best Super Mario games in the below link:
- Read More: Best Super Mario Games Of All Time
Let us know in the comments below what your favourite Super Mario game is, and what you're hoping to see in the series going forwards!
gosh, what a big question!
I feel like it's similar to The Doctor from Doctor Who: your first exposure will (almost) always be your definition of the best.
We haven’t lived through “all time” yet.
You should’ve saved such a video for the apocalypse. Heaven knows we’ll need some amusement then.
For me, it was Super Mario Odyssey, for finally No Game Over screen.
But if I compared with similar games, Ratchet & Clank games are still better than any 3D Mario games in my opinion.
Super Mario Bros 2/Lost Levels is my favorite because of how hard it is. It is the game that trained me how to approach a platformer.
Super Mario 64 is my favorite
Out of the ones I've played, a knee-jerk list would be:
RPG: Paper Mario
Spin-Off: Mario Maker 2
Galaxy is absolutely the best Mario game, in my oh-so-humble opinion. Galaxy 2 and Odyssey are also phenomenal, though. I'm not super big on most of the 2D titles, I will admit.
Mario Galaxy is the best Mario game of all time full stop
Super Mario Bros 3 SNES version..
Sunshine. For me, it's Sunshine. I love that game, flaws and all. Despite its extremely rushed development, sometimes inexcusably bad sequences, and laughable voice acting. It is not only my favourite Mario game, but my favourite game of all time, and always will be.
For 2D it was Super Mario World for me and 2D was Galaxy 2 both seemed to refine everything they knew about Mario games in both 2D and 3D spaces. Although I have never played a mainline game in 2D or 3D I haven't enjoyed.
For me Mario Odyssey is near enough perfection. Prior to that it was Sunshine.
The best Super Mario Game, for me it's 3 hands down. 3 was just a huge leap forward and introduced so much new things that would become staples in the series. The Kooplings, Boom Boom, a variety of power ups, World Maps, and so much more. Yeah SMW improved on that formula but without 3 SMW wouldn't be the game it became.
Sunshine is crap. Really wish I hadn’t replayed it on 3D All Stars because I had really fond memories of that game being amazing and…it’s just not. Has a ton of redeeming qualities with its visuals that still look amazing today, great music and a wonderful setting but outside of a few moments of joy it’s just largely infuriating and not fun.
Either Galaxy/Galaxy 2 or Odyssey all acceptable answers. 3D Land and World are great but not as good as those, love 64 but it’s not on the level of Galaxy (2) or Odyssey. Sunshine can get in the bin
The answer is obviously Galaxy 2. How it is frequently rated as below the first Galaxy I will never understand, it is literally just Mario Galaxy 1... but more, and much better.
I will not take the New Soup slander. Number 14 of 14? Blasphemy!
@Anti-Matter You must be drunk.
Super Mario Galaxy and Galaxy 2. To me they're not only the peak of the Mario franchise, but the best videogames of all time. Spectacular visuals, great variety of worlds and mechanics, fun and fluid gameplay, and a stellar soundtrack.
I just never get tired of them!
Super Mario world on the snes. The over world, the secrets, the cape and last, but definitely not least, yoshi!...for me, at least.
64, Galaxy and Odyssey in that order for 3D. SMWorld, SMB3 and NSMBWii for 2D in that order. The best Kart is Double Dash on the Cube and best spin off is a tie between Super Mario Strikers Charged and Super Mario RPG.
I personally enjoyed more from playing Ratchet & Clank games on my PS2, PS3 and PS4 than any 3D Mario games, maybe from storyline aspect and gameplay aspect too.
Ratchet & Clank A Crack in Time was my favorite on PS3.
All of them are great.
64 and galaxy 2 have to be right at the top
Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2.
Change my mind.
Mario Odyssey, and it is not even close
Boy, I must be a filthy casual because for me it's comfortably SMO followed by either Galaxy.
Mario Odyssey, by a country mile, total perfection and awesome considering how good the other 3D games are.
Galaxy is my favorite Mario game, and possibly my favorite game ever. Beyond that, though, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World are top contenders.
Hard to choose.
I would personally go with Mario 3 or World. Mario 3 ultimately feels more inventive and varied to me, so it slightly beats out World's polish and atmosphere.
And then either 64 or Galaxy. 64 is the roughest 3D Mario, but the limitless skill ceiling and space for creativity means it's the one I replay the most. Galaxy is way more accessible, but also more limited in moveset and how much fun you can have with the more linear level design. It's quite a trip, though. Sublime music.
Not a fan of Odyssey or Sunshine. Odyssey is better and approaches 64's jazzy experimentation, but the flatter, challenge-free level design and deluge of collectibles hinders my enjoyment. It was my first 3D Mario, but I far preferred Galaxy and 64 when I got to them.
I guess Nintendo fans will discuss this for next hundred years and there‘ll never be a definitive number one
Which is the one you can pick up and have instant fun with? For me it has to be SM64 with Odyssey being almost on the same level. That’s not to say the game doesn’t have it‘s flaws. The camera is arguably the most broken thing in SM64 by today‘s standards and there are a lot of frustrating moments for example when you fall off of broken edges. Nonetheless it‘s always a mad and joyful ride.
@Anti-Matter I want whatever you're having. Make it a double so I can catch up to where you are
It's either Odyssey or Galaxy 2. I go back and forth, but it's definitely one of those. Runners up are SMW and SMB3.
I will always have the most nostalgia for Mario 64 and SML2 though.
Paper Mario 1000 year door best Mario game in any genre
Super Mario World is it.
3D: Super Mario Galaxy 2
2D: Super Mario Bros. 3
Kart: Mario Kart 64
RPG: Paper Mario
Spin-Off: Mario Tennis (64)
3D: super Mario galaxy
2D: Mario bros Wii
Kart: Mario kart DS
RPG: Bowsers inside story
Has to be Galaxy. Such an evocative game that has yet to be matched in my view. The sequel and Odyssey came close, but I judge from my heart on this one - Super Mario Galaxy is my number one.
2D: World (excluding World2)
RPG: Bowser's inside story
Super Mario Bros 3.
Great, so now the people who prefer Balan Wonderworld to bowsers fury are gonna preach to us about the best Mario game?
SM 2 has a special place in my heart. But Super Mario World is just a masterpiece and very ahead of it’s time. But it’s a tough call…..
My controversial opinion is 3D World. It wasn’t the first Mario game I played, or even the first 3D Mario game I’ve played, but it’s the only one I feel a constant urge to go back to.
The multiplayer is actual fun, as it combines cooperation and competition. The themes, while lacking cohesion, all pop in the mind. It has some of the greatest varieties of power-ups. The only soundtrack that holds a candle to it are the galaxy games. The level design is the perfect balance between accessible and engaging, and it isn’t afraid to get hard near the end. The boss battles are dirt easy but super creative. Finally, Plessie exists. It’s literally every quality I enjoy in a video game.
Galaxy and Odyssey both come close, but Galaxy has a few mediocre stars and Odyssey just doesn’t have enough straight up platforming for how enjoyable the engine is.
If we’re going outside the realm of platformers, then Bowser’s Inside Story wins hands down. That is one of my favorite games both objectively and nostalgia-fueled. DS is my favorite Kart (mission mode for the win!) Super Sluggers for sports (best character roster in a Mario game) and special mention should go to Mario Maker 2, which is likely my most played Mario game.
Mario 64 was the best, why? The sliding mechanics! Back then I could spend the whole day playing The Princess's Secret Slide and sliding down Cool, Cool mountain while holding a penguin.
Great video. One correction: “Mario 64 was quite frankly the best launch game ever made…” Super Mario World was also a launch game. I know because I bought the SNES on launch day and SMW came in the box.
Having played through all the 3D Mario games, my favorites are Sunshine and 3D Land. And despite trying most of the 2D ones, the only one I liked enough to finish was New Super Mario Bros on DS. So I guess this is probably a great list for someone else. I can at least kind of agree with putting Odyssey on top, even if I still don't think its level design is as good as Sunshine's.
The creators of Mario Bros. 3 had the confidence the and the verve to set up new platforming conventions, only to subvert them later within the same game.
@Anti-Matter What do you like about ratchet and clank so much? I tried 2 of them including the reboot on PS4 and I couldn’t get myself to play past 45 minutes… it felt like a shooter rather than a 3D platformer and well not a very good one at that.
1) Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA)
2) Super Mario World
3) Super Mario 64
4) Super Mario Bros. 3
5) Super Mario Bros.
6) Super Mario Sunshine
7) Super Mario 3D World
8) Super Mario Galaxy
9) Super Mario Odyssey
10) Super Mario World 2
11) Super Mario Bros. Lost Levels
12) Super Mario Galaxy 2
I find Odyssey to be a thematically incoherent mess.
And I hope to never see the Broodals again.
Whereas Gavin Lane explains how I feel about Galaxy 2:
@CharlieGirl First exposure: Eccleston. Favorite: Tennant. Not too far off.
For me it would be SMB 2. When it came out I'd play it at my cousin's house. When I went home I'd think about it all nightand how I could play more - because it wasn't my game or my system to play it on. It was the perfect game.
Later it was Galaxy 1. It looked amazing and the gameplay was so out there at that time. It was so fun with the Wii controls.
That said - I don't think I've played a Mario anything I just straight up didn't like.
I find 3D Land's levels of much tighter design than 3D World's.
@Tobiaku kudos, you clearly have taste!
Super mario bros 3 has always been, and will always be, my favourite. It was the first mario i ever played and, even though not the first game i played, it got me into gaming more then any other. It has awesome memories for me.
3: Super Mario Land
2. Super Mario Maker 2
My personal favorite Mario game of all time is definitely Super Mario Odyssey. The worlds, the music, the moons, and ESPECIALLY the movement are amazing to me. I have played so much of this game and I would love nothing more than a sequel!
A great thing about Mario 64 was the scope to show off in the pursuit of a power star.
2. SMA2: SMW
4. Galaxy 2
5. Galaxy 1
6. Mario 64
8. Mario 64 DS
These are the Mario games I've played enough to rank this way.
With 64 and Sunshine almost tied, but 64 winning because it has less bs design despite the worse controls.
After writing this comment I guess I've played 3 NSMB titles and somehow forgot about them, so that should give you an idea.
I like Ratchet & Clank games than 3D Mario games for the storyline each series, the gameplay mechanism and the environments that I saw. I like to follow the storyline during the PS3 version as I found the story behind of Ratchet's dad and it still brought to Rift Apart. I like to follow different storyline each series rather than same repetitive plot from Mario games. I knew gameplay is matter for Mario games than the storyline, but why have to be damsel in distress plot all the time, kinda tired to follow the repetitive plot like that. Also, Mario was still never talk like the vision from Shigeru Miyamoto while for Ratchet I can see his personality more than Mario from the way he talked. And to think in this era Mario still never talk, I mean come on... Why so afraid to make Mario can talk rather than repeat his trademark quotes and his reaction voices all the time.
From gameplay mechanism, I like the fact in Ratchet & Clank games there was, NO Game Over screen and NO Multiple lives of Ratchet so it gave me confidence to keep trying without worrying about how many times I made my Ratchet died. It made the games felt a little bit easier rather than given by limited multiple lives and when you run out lives, it will be Game Over on the screen and it gave me bad impression for failing the games.
From the environments aspect, I knew Mario have very colorful and very cartoonish environments, perfect for kids to enjoy the beautiful world but I felt the environment s in Ratchet & Clank games are more natural and have a lot of diversity so I like to revisit certain places in Ratchet & Clank games.
Oh, I played Ratchet & Clank games for the first time from PS4 version in year 2017 and during that time I stopped playing the game after 2 hours for felt frustrated by some tough enemies and I sold the game but I got my confidence back after I bought PS3 machine in December 2019 and played A Crack in Time. And I bought back Ratchet & Clank PS4 version in year 2020. I wasn't really good at shooting either but I keep practice by find the right weapons to get rid certain enemies, sometimes I depend on melee attack to save some ammo.
Oh boy where to start? Probably Mario sunshine since it’s (probably) my first Mario game. I remember my parents said that they bought multiple copies because the disc kept getting scratched.
@CharlieGirl I can vouch for this statement.
My first fire emblem game was sacred stones on the game thanks to the ambassador thing on 3DS and I still love that game and eirika is still my favorite lord in the series.
Super Mario Bros 3 NES is the best Mario game.
My (partial) ranking of the 21 games:
1. Super Mario World -a classic which has aged very well.
2. Super Mario Maker 2 -it's almost every game! I'll combine in smm1 since they are similar.
3. 3D world -The best 3D Mario by far; fight me.
4. Super Mario Brothers 3 -a classic which has aged fairly well.
5 New Sup Wii and U -These two are very similar so I choose to make one entry, but good nonetheless.
6. Odyssey - a very good game although the map is a bit open with boring bits for my taste
7. Mario 64 - brought amazing things to the game but the controls, camera, and graphics have not aged well.
8. Sunshine - not a masterpiece but a cute game.
9. Smb1 -The classic, but hasn't aged super well; I'll include lost levels here since they may as well have been DLC.
10. Super Mario brothers 2 - aged only semi well but brought lots of great things to the series despite being a Mario step-child.
11. Galaxy -I haven't played galaxy II but I would probably group them. A lovely looking game but I've only played it on Switch and I kind of hate the controls on Switch.
??. 3D Land - I haven't gotten to play it and they haven't brought it to Switch.
??. Mario Land I/II - I haven't gotten to play them and they haven't brought them to Switch.
?? New Sup I/II - I haven't gotten to play them and they haven't brought them to Switch.
15. Mario Run - doesn't deserve to be called a mainline Mario game. Also bad.
Nintendo, please bring the remaining 7 Mario games
(not counting Mario Run and smm1) to Switch!
Is there really one BEST Mario game? All of them are very good in my opinion, and are for the most part innovative. Which leads me to the conclusion that Hotel Mario is the best one. Change my mind.
If anyone says Sunshine, its just because it was one of his first Mario as a child... there is no other excuse than nostalgia...
For me, is Mario 3, World, Galaxy and Odyssey are the best. (personally I love Mario 2, just dont think is in the top 5).
I would say Super Mario 64 DS and New Super Mario Bros. are my favorites respectively for 3D and 2D. Runner-ups, respectively, would be Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Land 2. While it has its bad moments, I can vividly remember Sunshine's episodes and locations. I cannot for games like Galaxy, 3D World and Odyssey, at least not as well as I can with Sunshine...so I'm giving it the nod today for runner-up.
Very solid list, I pretty much agree with this ranking.
@Anti-Matter I appreciate your feedback I don’t have a PlayStation console anymore at the moment but I would be willing to give it another go whenever I get a new PlayStation console (I sold my copy but got the digital PS4 version for free during COVID) or even better if it comes to PC. I do have to say that I enjoy Mario for the gameplay first and foremost and I agree the story is lacking. Even Odyssey had an above average story as far as Mario is concerned and I despised it but loved the game nonetheless. As for the dying screens/accessibility Nintendo has improved with each generation while maintaining a decent challenge. I gotta say though the one thing I miss my PlayStation for is games with a deep story (deeper than Ratchet even) but now with a Steam Deck I at least have access to God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn… hoping more titles will be ported after Uncharted!
Mario Maker 2 and behind that Mario Maker 1. Those games are way better than the other Mario games. I mean the other games are great, but once they're done they're done, you can keep playing them over again but you're really not seeing much of anything new. I can play Mario Maker 2 or 1 every day for years since launch and still constantly be surprised and amazed by never before seen levels by the greatest creators in the world, those other games just can't really compete with that.
For historical reasons, World. From a pure gameplay/enjoyment standpoint today, Galaxy, and it's not even close.
Best launch title for a Nintendo console is up for debate: Super Mario Bros for NES, Super Mario World for SNES, Super Mario 64 for N64...(and Breath of the Wild for Switch, but that's not a Mario game )
Super Mario RPG is my final answer.
Now make another one.
... Wun can only hope.
Super Mario World without a doubt.
I've come round to the idea that Odyssey is the best... but it is SO beatable that this whole video/article is rendered obsolete and pointless.
Odyssey can be, and will be, improved in many ways - I believe the fact we have not received Odyssey 2 is proof that Nintendo themselves believe the level of change and improvement required is beyond the capability of a direct sequel.
So it's Odyssey for now, but not for long.
(Oh and Mario 64 is still the most magical!)
I'm torn between Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy for my number 1/2 pick. In third I'd have Super Mario World just ahead of Odyssey. But still a tough, tough question and decisions to make!
Super Mario World, 64, or Galaxy are my answers. Ask me on any given day and I'll say one or the other
Super Mario Odyssey! ❤️
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