Wahoo, it's Mario Day! Sorry, MAR10 Day! Or, if you're in Europe, 10MAR Day!... Hmm, 'Iomar' doesn't work at all.
Look, it's March 10th and Nintendo is celebrating all things Mario. There are movie trailers, Switch game sales, Lego announcements, and general plumbery frivolities to enjoy, and it's therefore the perfect time to revisit this reader-ranked list covering every single one of Mario's mainline games across all dimensions and platforms.
If you're interested in Team Nintendo Life's personal opinions, check out our video at the very end of the article, but the list below is based on the opinions of you lovely lot. Remember: This is subject to change depending on each game's User Rating on our database, so feel free to get rating the ones you've played with a score out of ten and potentially affect the order. Enjoy!
What's the best Mario game ever? Where do you even begin to rank them? Let's face it, any of the games in the top 10 could justifiably take the top spot. All of them could easily be somebody's 'best game of all time', and there'll always be someone who believes the series peaked with The Lost Levels. That's an opinion you're entitled to!
In order to answer this question definitively, we asked Nintendo Life readers to rate the mainline Mario games they have played and the result is the ranked list you see below. Remember: the order below is updated in real-time according to each game's User Rating on this here website. It's entirely possible to influence the order, even after publication. If you haven't rated your favourites yet, simply click on the 'star' and assign a score out of ten. With Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 absolutely neck and neck, every rating counts!
You can check out our selections of the Best Zelda Games and Best Pokémon Games elsewhere, but without further ado, we present our list of the Best Super Mario Games — as rated by you, dear readers...
Note. We've included all mainline Super Mario platformers (both 2D and 3D), but you won't see any spin-offs or sports titles here. We've excluded Yoshi's Island, despite its official title, for the same reason Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 doesn't feature — both games are spin-offs that, titles aside, are distinctly lacking in the Super Mario department. We've also taken the liberty of excluding compilations and certain ports to avoid repetition (the GBA 'Advance' ports, for instance), plus we've gone with the Switch versions of New Super Mario Bros. U and Super Mario 3D World.
23. Super Mario Run (Mobile)
Super Mario Run served as Nintendo's first foray into mobile gaming (unless you count the ill-fated Miitomo). On its own terms, it's a solid effort with clever compromises to allow for the one-touch control scheme, and a great translation of the plumbers' 2D oeuvre into the smartphone space. Mario runs automatically, vaulting over enemies and small obstacles, and you pull off tricks by tapping at the right moment, jumping high or low depending on how long you hold your finger on the screen. The fact that it looks so much like an entry in the 'New' branch of 2D Marios perhaps set expectations higher than they might have been for the first Mario game to appear on non-Nintendo hardware (for a very long time, at least), but this is a classy example of transitioning a beloved character and series to a totally different platform while embracing the differences of that platform with a tailormade experience. Nintendo updated the original game with Remix mode, too, which provided addictive bite-size levels for quickfire play sessions.
In the Mario canon, Super Mario Run might be an also-ran, but it's a polished little experience that's pleasantly free of microtransactions, currencies, and cooldown timers. This game was never going to trouble Mario World in the plumber's pantheon of 2D platformers, but it was never supposed to; it offers short bursts of fun perfect for situations where cracking out your Switch isn't an option. Super Mario Run does what it set out to do, and well — for that, we admire it.
22. Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (NES)
The 'proper' Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan, this direct sequel was once ‘the grail’ for gamers in the West who had utterly exhausted the first Super Mario Bros. and wanted more of a challenge. The Lost Levels certainly provides that. In fact, Nintendo of America deemed it too difficult to release, and to an extent, you can see where they were coming from. It's a sequel in the truest sense of the word; difficulty-wise, it picks up where World 8-4 left off in the original game and is definitely best enjoyed by seasoned SMB veterans. Players new to the world of Mario (yes, they do exist) will likely find it bewilderingly, hilariously tough.
It wasn't until Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES that the wider world got to experience this game (which is where it picked up its 'Lost Levels' moniker). It's not bad by any means, but it's the sort of thing that would be a New Game+ mode in a modern game. It's incredibly unforgiving and lacks the careful, considered balance of risk and reward associated with Mario platformers. It's available on Switch for anyone with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, so test your mettle with it there if you dare.
21. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
A rare numbered Mario sequel, this is one from a series which continues to divide gamers to this day. New Super Mario Bros. 2 doubled down on – of all things – coin collection to create a strangely compulsive platformer in the familiar mould. Although hardly revolutionary, the autostereoscopic 3D was a nice touch and if you can embrace the banality of its obsession with gold, it’s a very solid, very enjoyable 2D Mario.
20. Super Mario Land (GB)
Super Mario Land was impressive when it was first released for the Game Boy. The sequel might have made this original seem inadequate by comparison, but it's still a very fun Super Mario experience, albeit a short one. Just about the time things are really getting good, the credits roll, but if you haven't played Super Mario Land before, you owe it to yourself to give it a try - it's still worth playing through at least once, if only to see where Mario's portable adventures began. Cracking music, too.
19. Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)
Super Mario Bros. 2 (or Super Mario USA when its plumberised form made its way back to Japan), was the follow-up to the original Bros., a famously reskinned version of the Mario-less Japan-only title Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, with platforming mechanics quite different to the original Mario game. It introduced the ability to lift and throw objects and a screen that scrolled left and right and up and down.
The verticality of levels was a profound change from the first game, but despite being the odd one out in its homeland, Super Mario Bros. 2 ended up having an enormous influence on the iconography of the series as a whole. The game is definitely worth revisiting — Nintendo Switch Online is the easiest place to find it these days — if only to remind yourself just how different it is from what came before and after. With four playable (and very different) characters to choose from, we highly recommend a playthrough.
18. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Switch)
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is an impressive package, offering the best of modern-era 2D Mario, madcap multiplayer and glimpses of the outrageous invention that was to come in Super Mario Odyssey. It's a top-drawer Mario game and arguably the best of the 'New' branch whether you play on Wii U or Switch, although ageing visuals and the irritation of being kicked back to the world map after every death stand out as things that could have been finessed in this Deluxe version. Still, with New Super Luigi U included, this is a very fine 2D Mario (and Luigi) package.
17. Super Mario 64 DS (DS)
If you've never played Super Mario 64, you'll probably want to begin as nature intended with the home console version due to its vastly superior control system. This remake controls too awkwardly on original DS hardware to compare favourably to the N64 launch title. Still, Super Mario 64 DS takes a stone-cold classic and augments it with new characters, minigames and tweaks that make a playthrough more than worthwhile if you've played the original to death.
The DS might offer sub-optimal controls, but we'd argue that the analogue nub of that system's successor transforms the way this game plays, placing it much closer to the feel of the N64 classic. If you're going to play Super Mario 64 DS — and how else are you going to play as Luigi and Yoshi and Wario in an official release of Mario 64? — we'd highly recommend playing on the biggest 3DS or 2DS you can find. It's an intriguing twist on a genre-defining classic.
16. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
Billed as a stepping stone between the 2D and 3D games, Super Mario 3D Land scaled down the grand playgrounds of the mainline titles into smaller courses that worked better on a handheld screen. Beyond a handful of obvious and gimmicky perspective puzzles, this platformer showcased the console’s stereoscopic 3D by subtly signalling distance and perspective to the player – you weren’t relying on Mario’s shadow quite so much (a fact we more fully appreciated when we first played this game’s ‘big brother’, the excellent Super Mario 3D World on Wii U).
It was games like this and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds which really showed off the 3DS' namesake feature and how it could enhance the gameplay experience without poking your eye out. Comfortably contained and wonderfully tailored to the hardware, this should really be in your collection already.
Wow, I agree with almost the whole list! I prefer Mario Bros 3 to World, but that's about it.
The top 8 could’ve been in almost any order and I wouldn’t have any complaints.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Sunshine needs to be lower down that list. The camera was awful and playing it today the game just doesn’t hold up
Super Mario Land 2 wins it for me in the category for best box art. That angry shark with the boxing gloves gets me every single time.
100% agree with Odyssey at number 1. It is a MASTERPIECE. Literally a love letter of thanks back from Nintendo and Mario to their fans
I agree with no.1.
@FoxyGlen Are we going to get a 'What's the best Mario Kart game?'
How 3d world is better than sunshine? I think that 3d world is even lower than 3d land
Most Mario games are in a league of their own. You could pick the top 10 games out at random and still have a respectable top 10! (However, Odyssey is most certainly the cream of the crop!)
And just like the Zelda one the newer version of Mario is on the top what a surprise, anyway I still think Super Mario Galaxy 2 or 1 hard too choose are the best Mario games Odyssey is good but not galaxy level and Sunshine deserves more love
@mgnoodle It had a better camera than 64, and that game was perfectly playable too.
That placement of New Soup Wii and 3D World physically hurts me.
I largely agree with this. I'm in the minority that preferred Galaxy 2 over the first, but yeah, nice list.
I expect plenty of salty replies over Odyssey #1.
“No spin offs” Mario run at no.19 🤪
I’d have shuffled 9-20 around a bit but overall I agree with most of this list. It’s fine margins between that top 6 anyway, all at the pinnacle of video gaming.
Mario Bros 3 is better than Mario World so I would swap those two around and move Super Mario 64 right to the front. I used to wait in line for an hour every day after school to just get the chance to play it in our local HMV. I could not believe such a game was possible and it’s still excellent fun to play today.
I like Mario Land, Land 2, 3D Land, 3D World and Bros 3 the most.
In my personal opinion, Galaxy beats out World, but not by much. Well deserved for Odyssey though. It’s easily one of the best games I have ever played.
In my mind Sunshine, Galaxy and Maker are all better then Odyssey. Galaxy in particular, it holds up as something that just grabs you from the get go and doesn't stop been fresh.
My favorite is still Super Mario World followed closely by Galaxy 2, Odyssey and SMB 3.
Out of that list i have only played Super Mario Galaxy,Odyssey and the 3ds games..
But as much as I loved Super Mario Odyssey I still think I had ALOT more fun with Galaxy.
Odyssey wouldn't make my top 3.
1. Mario World.
2. Mario 64.
3. Mario Galaxy.
Odyssey is a lovely game, but far too easy for the most part (and I’m pretty bad at games). My favourite was Super Mario Land on the Game Boy, followed closely by Mario on the N64 - the first portable Mario ever, and the first 3D Mario world - both incredible at the time.
I personally don't think Odyssey deserves the No. 1 slot. It's a great game, but it just didn't have that 'specialness' that Galaxy, SMW and SMB3 had when you first played them.
The Galaxy games are still the peak
@Matthew010 Almost certainly
Ok next topic.....Mario kart 7 is better than Mario kart 8 and needs some DLC, discuss.......
@N64SNESU I only have eyes for Super Mario Kart
I'm very glad Sunshine is as high as it is. Everyone seems to look down on it but it's my personal favourite.
@Spectra And Spectra comments on it. What an even bigger shock!
I don't think Odyssey is the best Mario game. Based on nostalgic reasons I would probably choose SMW or SM64, as I played them so much as a kid, and they are still fun to play today. As is SML1 and 2.
But Odyssey is no doubt great. It was almost like being a kid again, starting it up for the first time. I sat there with a grin on my face for every new crazy idea it throwed at me.
My top 5:
5. Super Mario Bros.
4. Super Mario World
3. Super Mario Odyssey
2. Super Mario 64
1. Super Mario Bros. 3
This for me is based upon time spent and impact the games had on me. The N64 was the first console I saved for and purchased myself and Mario 64 was incredible compared to anything else at the time. Super Mario Bros. 3 though was (is) just magically, the variety the structure. Watching the film The Wizard and seeing it in the final showdown. It was in every magazine at the time. I remember seeing it in Total and then reading the guides. Great game.
Pretty predictable 1st place.
I know it's just my opinion, but I'd place Galaxy (the first one) on the top, with 64 and Odyseey tied for the second place. Odyseey is an amazing game, but it's the most recent game and it has to be on the top (BotW was the 1st on the LoZ list), hence the older games being lower on the list.
I just loved traveling from small planet to small planet. It's one of the most original modern ideas I've ever seen.
I find these list distasteful. Nintendo life has severely disappointed me in the creation of these. I wish I could downvote this to show you how bad of an idea it is trying to rank different games and compare them to one another. You failed miserably in my eyes to adequately prove your reasoning in Zelda. And even worse all you did was stir up more Flame Wars in far spans of the internet.
Galaxy 2 is my number 1
I agree that Odyssey is number 1
@Spectra Of course lists like these aren't to be taken seriously. But they can be fun, even though they're purely subjective. I just think you're overly negative in most of your posts, like some other users here. It makes it less fun to be here.
Of course I can just ignore the negativity, but when people whine and complain in the comments of every article, it's just not fun anymore. Why comment at all if you have nothing nice to say (note: this is not aimed at you personally, even though I think you should cheer up a little)?
If Nintendo released an bland 8 player Super Mario game, does that mean it will be the best game on the list? Last I checked not everybody plays 2-4 player games.
Apparently having 4 player in a video game pushes a game's ranking quite a bit, even with naff level content? Doesn't seem like Glen Joke, played all those games on the list properly.
Once again, minimum content for the sake creating a page for traffic and affiliate links.
Gosh, I made a joke about the fact that @FoxyGlen writes all of these list/affiliate articles these days and it’s been deleted. What’s that all about? 😂
1) Super Mario 64
2) Super Mario Galaxy 2
3) Super Mario World
4) Super Mario Odyssey
5) Super Mario 3D World
1. Galaxy 2
5. Mario 64
But I personally prefer linear Mario games with high focus on the actual plataforming thing, that’s where Odyssey begins to lack some charm. Also yeah 999 moons but some are just not fun to find like inside wooden crates, would have preferred 500 and only moons that require you to actually overcome or just do something more than just A+ZR.
Galaxy 1 & 2 and Super Mario World beats Odyssey any day in the week imo.
@mgnoodle Have to agree, recently fired it up and not being able to invert the camera kills it. A 3DS remake or HD remake is surely on the cards?
@Denoloco indeed! Linear Mario games is so much better than Odyssey. Just running around and collect moons didn’t do it for me. The first 2 or 3 worlds was fun but after that it went downhill for me. I still put Odyssey on 4:th place on my list but it could be so much more than what it was.
1. Mario 64
2. Galaxy 2
"Applying science" by creating an opinionated top 20 list? Come again? Why is this labeled a guide and not opinion?
The only game that matters. SUPER MARIO BRUDAS 2 BAYBEE!!! Get outta here with all that weak sauce. Super Mario Bros. 2: GOTY, GOAT, It's still the king!
Nah completely wrong and what’s with all those amazon links?! Mario run? Please you must have a mental disease
3 is still my 1.
I would swap positions of New Super Mario Bros U and NSMB Wii. U is the superior entry, especially when you add in the Luigi dlc.
SUPER MARIO BROS 2 BABY! Game of the year!
Is Mario Maker even a core Mario game????
Lol the one with a shopping link conveniently beat the one that everyone's already played
You guys have to know posting a ranked list is going to rile everyone’s feathers right? In any event, both Galaxys deserve to be higher than Odyssey in my opinion!
My personal top 5;
Honourable mention to Luigi’s Mansion
From this comments section I guess Tin Foil Hats are in fashion. Where can i get one?
Glad to see you people had enough sense to rate World higher than 3.
Odyssey is only ranked so high because it's recent.
Does that make me a naysayer? I'm just pointing out the obvious.
Super Mario Land deserved better and can we get these on one page any time soon?
Don’t really like putting the side scrolling games against the 3D plane ones, such different experiences
Mario Maker does not count.
@Gerald you can make your own out of tin foil, just get the foil and fold it into a hat
Just like the zelda list, I disagree with several of the placements, but still, the worst mario/zelda game is still better then most other games.
Oh, the last game in the franchise is the best ever according to Nintendo Life. Again. How surprising!
Best 3D Mario game: Super Mario 64
Best 2D Mario game: Super Mario World
It's not as messy as The Legend of Zelda "guide", though.
@Denoloco Yes, I agree with you about Odyssey.
Sure it has all these crazy transformations but few of them resulted in game play mechanics that are actually fun. All you're doing is wandering around finding moons everywhere.
Admittedly, I stopped playing after finishing the main story, so maybe I missed out on some actual good platforming, but I just lost interest and couldn't be bothered to keep playing.
You could have used at least the 3DS version of Super Mario Maker, that has original levels that are better than those included in New Super Mario Bros. 2, but you chose the Wii U version that doesn't.
Besides, New Super Mario Bros. U is the best New game. They all are quite similar but the Wii U game improved visuals, music and level design.
So yeah, the "guide" doesn't make much sense. Again.
@tedko I agree and I'd add that Super Mario Odyssey is the most boring Mario 3D game.
"There are naysayers that will claim Super Mario Odyssey is only on top of this list because it's the new one, and we've put it here because we're in the honeymoon period." Pretty much, yep!
Odyssey could very well be the best one, but we all know, with tedious predictability, that like Breath of the Wild's number one last week, it's at a massive advantage here with it being the most recent one, as that's the one you've currently got the hype-frenzied hard-on for. (I mean, you even claimed the fact it has waggle as a plus point...)
Personally I would go for Super Mario World because I think 2D Mario is inherently better than 3D Mario, but I don't have a problem with Odyssey being number one (I just don't fully trust the reasoning or objectivity with these lists).
Am I the only one who was disappointed in Odyssey? I don't think it's bad, it's just not as good as a lot of people are making it out to be.
For me, Galaxy 1 & 2 are the definitive Super Mario experiences.
I think for me it would go:
5. Mario 3D World
4. Mario Odyessy
3. Mario 3
2. Mario Galaxy
1. Mario 64
64 and Galaxy are my favorites because I like that structure of Jumping into a level with a goal, but still having freedom to goof off most of the time. Mario 3 is forever locked as my favorite 2D Mario because of nostalgia of growing up playing it with my late father. Odyssey is great but almost too open. The quantity of moons makes them feel worth far less when you get them too. Mario 3D World was super fun to play co-op with my roommate in college an I hope we get another game in that vane of co-op focused Mario with the different characters. Also playable Rosalina is <3
Also I don't think Mario Maker belongs on a list like this. I love the game, but it's almost more about creating the levels than playing them, and I feel like it's a separate type of game. And it's in my top 3 most wanted Wii U ports to Switch still.
@Cinaclov Super Mario Sunshine is a bit darker despite the sun shining, it's a hardcore and polished experience. It's a pure platforming challenge so I can understand why it's your favourite. I prefer the most balanced Super Mario 64 but Sunshine is the second best 3D Mario for me.
"Moons – Super Mario Odyssey's take on stars, which are far more numerous than ever before"
Technically stars are moons, just the mushroom kingdoms version
Let me save you all some time and key you in to what game will be number one in the other upcoming Nintendolife ranked lists: just choose the most recent game.
I guess it's really hard to separate nostalgia from the present when ranking favorites. I know editors' lists can't be taken as any rule because they are always biased in some way, and that's not a criticism. People have their preferences, whatever they might be. At the turn of the century, some lists ranked Hendrix as #1 guitarist, others had Kurt Cobain at the top, where as others placed Johnny Ramone in the top 2 or 3. Insanity is a very individual thing and has its own laws.
I bought Odissey in November and I'm still playing it. It's a really fun game with great worlds that are pretty enjoyable to revisit, great mechanics, a big bunch of moons to grab. I really don't care if it's better or worse than SMW, Galaxy or 64. They're all 10/10 games to me and I can go back and play them whenever I want. Lists are just some fuel for discussion. They're not the law.
@DM666 Both Super Mario 64 and Sunshine should be remastered. Personally, I would love a 3DS remake of Super Mario 64 made by Grezzo and Switch is the obvious destination for Super Mario Sunhine HD.
@Dezzy Why of course.
2D Mario > 3D Mario. I haven’t played Mario Odyssey yet so can’t comment much on it being placed at number one, but I’m pretty sure I won’t agree with it being better than SMW, SM3 or even SM64. Much of that will be due to when I played those games, as a child. That era of my life has pretty much defined my favourite ever games as I’ll never feel that magic playing games again now I’m an adult. So just how Breath of the Wild will never be better than Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time, the same applies to Odyssey vs. the Mario games from the 90’s
@GravyThief Yeah but some of those super classics are still more fun to play and are higher quality than some of the recent ones, even for younger players posting in here. If they remade Super Mario 64 and polished the camera I can't see why wouldn't any child fall in love with its magic, worlds, secrets and gameplay.
I might wear my Nintendo jumper these days but lurking underneath is my Sega T-Shirt.
3D Mario games are a work of art.
But until the day I die I will never play a 2D Mario game as good as Sonic 2. /Playground
That's easy, SNES Mario Kart hands down.
Super Mario Odyssey is only on top of this list because it's the new one, and you've put it here because you're in the honeymoon period.
You can't compare 2D Mario with 3D Mario. I was very disapointed with Odyssey, here is my 3D list -
7. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
6. Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
5. Super Mario Sunshine (GCN)
4. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
3. Super Mario 64 (N64)
2. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
1. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
I agree with the list, I just found Galaxy 2 better than first Galaxy. But it's a great list.
@BlueOcean oh sure, but I was just giving my point of view in how new games will never beat the classics for me. I don’t think a new Mario or Zelda game could ever beat them, no matter how objectively amazing they are (like Odyssey and BotW are). The magic I experienced playing those games for the first time will never be replicated now I’m an adult. I just hope young gamers today can experience that same magic I did, whether from the same games or the new ones.
Bravo!!! Just came in to comment. Will review the article later on when I have more time. Thanks for these type of posts!
Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, NSMBU, and NSMB2 should be higher. Sunshine and NSMB1 should be lower. Haven’t played Odyssey or 3D World yet, so I can’t comment on them. Also, 3 > World.
@Bod2019 Being born in the early 2000s, I have no nostalgia towards Super Mario Kart. I play it sometimes on the SNES Mini, but I think 8 Deluxe is the best.
Oh please, 3D World isn't progressive in the slightest. It's the 3D equivalent of the NSMB games, that's it. It also didn't introduce Captain Toad, that was Galaxy. It introduced his gameplay as a minigame.
Super Mario Bros (NES) is still my favorite. The nostalgia is too strong.
@AlternateButtons I think they mean the first time he was playable and introduced his style of gameplay.
>includes Mario Run
>excludes Yoshi's Island
Also, Captain Toad was debuted in SMG. And did SMB 3 really have a ground pound mechanic? Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't remember that, at all!
@BlueOcean "Oh, the last game in the franchise is the best ever according to Nintendo Life. Again. How surprising!"
What's wrong with that?
I haven't played it but I do consider Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS a separate title since it has more built in Nintendo-made levels than new Super Mario Bros. 2 does.
Super Mario Odyssey is number 1 as it makes NL the most money from affiliate links.
New Super Mario Bros, Mario Run, 3D World too low on the list imo.
Great list in general although I'm really happy to see that many people here rate the Galaxy games at the top - I totally agree. Odyssey is awesome but the Galaxy games are more 'pure' Mario - platforming it at it's pure, unadulterated best.
It was so obvious that you guys were going to place Odyssey on the #1 spot, though I can't form my opinion on the game yet since i haven't played it.
I would just place Mario 64 a little higher.
Agreed, I would have placed 64 a little higher too.
5. New super Mario wii
4. Super Mario oddysey
3. Super Mario Galaxy
2. Super Mario World
1. Super Mario Bros. 3
That's my top 5
Super Mario Land and Super Mario World are the Art.
Super Mario World is overrated, would put Super Mario Bros 3 over it or Super Mario 64.
I’d still put Super Mario Bros 3 on the #1, even considering it’s not my favorite 2D Mario (World has a place in my heart). It still holds up pretty well three decades later.
This is the first list where they clearly didn’t let nostalgia control decisions. Every list I see has Sunshine and 64 higher on the list. This is very refreshing
Odyssey is too high. There are some brilliant parts but I think overall Galaxy was more consistently brilliant
Commenters “This is an outrage. How dare you put up a list like this. It’s wrong and I’m outraged”
NL “That’s for adding to the comments. Job done”
@KryptoniteKrunch you arent special buddy, almost everyone prefers 2 to 1
>includes Mario Run
>excludes Yoshi's Island
To be fair, that is utterly baffling.
I keep thinking a remake of Mario Sunshine could be good. I’m not a huge fan of the original (I’d have it lower on this list) but that’s mainly because it feels unusually glitchy and unpolished for a Mario game. An improved camera, polished graphics and tweaks to the gameplay could result in something pretty special. A lot of the other games are so close to perfect here isn’t much point in a remake.
Cue EVERYBODY'S particular favourites...
I won't give my top 3, instead underscoring how massively unappreciated SM3DW remains to this day. Not only the best multiplayer Mario, but EASILY the best multiplayer platformer ever thus far.
I can't believe these lists stress people out so much, just because a writer on a website says these are the top Mario games it doesn't make it a fact or your opinion any less valid, just a case of different people enjoy different things. My favourite is Galaxy and I really don't enjoy SMB 3 which always ranks highly but not gonna get angry about it, always interesting to see why people enjoy different things and you never know may shine a game in a light you've never thought about.
Here we go again. An article written by a 10 year old moron. Just like Zelda, the newest game is by far not the best. At least Mario Odyssey is a great game. Just not #1. Both Galaxy games, Mario World, US Mario 2, and Mario 64 are far superior.
Top 3 2D Mario:
1. Super Mario World (SNES)
2. Super Mario 2 (NES) / (GBA)
3. Super Mario Advance 4 (GBA)
Note: If other Nintendo characters can join, i put Super Princess Peach (NDS) on Top over Super Mario World (SNES).
Top 3 3D Mario:
1. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
2. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
3. Super Mario Sunshine (Gamecube)
Note: I have NEVER played Super Mario Sunshine, but judging from video on Youtube, i prefer 3D Mario games with World exploration and NO Time Limit.
@locky-mavo But it'll never beat KNACK 2 BAYBEE, the true MASTAPEECE
@AlternateButtons Unique level themes =/= progressive. There's been a lot of other Mario games that have had unique level themes, that's nothing special. The upper echelon of this list are primarily games that have done progressive things with Mario's gameplay, of which 3D World did pretty much nothing. It's a far cry from the likes of say, Galaxy or Odyssey which have made much more significant changes to the series.
3D World is disgustingly underrated. I had more fun with it than Odyssey.
@Deanster101 You are correct, sir.
I bet if they made a top mariokart list Marioart 8 Deluxe would be on top. Not Mariokart 8, Mariokart 8 Deluxe.
I think rating the Wii version of New Super Mario Bros above the DS version is a criminal act.
I totally disagree with that list from top to bottom.
This comments section really shows off what makes Mario so appealing. It seems like a lot of the favorites are Super Mario World, Mario 64, Mario Galaxies, Super Mario 3, and Mario Odyssey, and for different reasons.
I have to say that I am in the Super Mario World group, to me that game just can't be beat as far as 2D platformers go. It has the perfect difficulty with lots of secrets and challenges to do. Mario 64 has always been my favorite 3D Mario, there is just something about that game that seemed to do 3D platforming perfectly. Mario Odyssey feels like a good followup to that, it has the kind of openness that I enjoy.
The Mario Galaxy games seem to be the favorite of people who love a more linear 3D Mario game with an obstacle course layout. It was never my thing, but I guess like I can see the appeal in that for some people.
Super Mario 3 is always the choice of the old school gamers who grew up with an NES. I never thought it was as good as Super Mario World but it has always been a highlight Mario game nonetheless.
Mario truly offers something for everyone, many of them offer a different type of platforming for people with different taste.
Confused why Mario Run is on this list, far from a main series Canon game.... And yet Super Mario World 2 is not on the list, which is one of the top 10 for sure. Other than that, great list. Odyssey blew me away with its mechanics; very fun game.
While I understand criticisms of New Super Mario Bros. U for failing to do anything significantly new, I still think that if purely judged on its quality that it's better than any of the other NSMB games.
@DM666 I’d play it again with a fixed camera.
More than 25 years later, nothing beats Super Mario World.
While I disagree with Odyssey being #1, the only part of this list that really upsets me is Super Mario Bros. 2 being below New Super Mario Bros. 2. NSMB2 is without question the least creative and least fun Mario game ever. I would slot that in at #20 without even hesitating.
A remastered Mario All Stars would be great on Switch 👍
Super Mario Land is underrated.
I didn't like NSMB2 either, its my least favorite Mario game.
My top 5 would be:
1. SM Galaxy 2
2. SM World
3. SM 64
4. SM 3D World
5. NSMB Wii
Galaxy 2 was perfected 3D platforming, SM World was so engrossing and the reason I bought a SNES, SM 64 was a game changer and the reason I bought a N64, 3D World and NSMB Wii were incredible family fun.
Odyssey, SMB3, NSMB U, 3D Land and Galaxy would all be in my top 10.
@N64SNESU Thank you .Without your feedback I never would have worked it out. I love this tight community
Great list! I think sunshine deserves a few spots higher though, it’s probably in my personal top 5.
@JayJ I totally agree with you. I also think that Super Mario Bros. 3 is great but Super Mario World is better. Those that grew up playing NES nornally prefer SMB3, though.
Super Mario World has the best physics, best art style, best music and best secrets in any 2D Mario game, and SMB3 would come right after.
I'm still surprised how much worse the New Super Mario Bros. games are and how Nintendo has messed the physics up since then.
I'm still waiting for a Mario 3D game as good as Super Mario 64, with just the controls (like wall jump) and camera polished. It has much more magic than Super Mario Odyssey and it's also much more fun to play.
Many people love the Galaxy games but, as you, I prefer a more open approach. Super Mario Sunshine did it much better than Odyssey. Odyssey feels like a Mario sandbox game. Super Mario 64 and Sunhine are still the best Mario 3D games if you ask me.
@CaPPa Yes, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a dull collection of bonus levels without real levels and questionable DLC. As I said above, the original levels in Super Mario Maker for 3DS are a million times better.
Iwata said that while the real Mario team was making New Super Mario Bros. U a new and younger team was making New Super Mario Bros. 2 which is, in my opinion, the worst Mario platformer ever.
NintendoLife is just utterly terrible with ranking and scoring games. A few days ago they had Mario + Rabbids listed as one of the best RPG's on the Switch.
Now they have Odyssey as #1 and Super Mario Bros as #12. It's like they're just trolling. Can't be serious.
I’m in the minority, but I actually prefer 3D World over the Galaxy games.
My top 6:
2. Bros 3
5. 3D Land
6. 3D World
Hey guys, we really appreciate the feedback but I really, REALLY, want to stress that there is nothing sinister in our choosing Breath of the Wild as best Zelda, and Odyssey as best Mario. As we state in the opening paragraphs, these placements are chosen mostly by YOU. We strongly take your user scores on this very site into consideration, alongside our own reviews and a glance at Metacritic. We're not favouriting new games over others, it just so happens to be that Nintendo has nailed it with these two franchises on Switch. Metacritic and your own user scores agree with us – it's the highest rated Mario on this site by YOU GUYS, AND METACRITIC!
We're working on adding the site and user scores on the header cards for each entry, so you can see plain as day why these games place higher.
It's almost a sin to rank some of these games over the other, similar to how I felt with the Zelda list. The only thing painfully obvious to me is how much I still need to play both Super Mario Odyssey and Sunshine....
Cute list but Odyssey is #3
1 Mario 64
2 Mario 3
4 super Mario bros
5 Super Mario World
I’m not sure I’d put Odyssey at number one but I can see how some would. It’s definitely the most inventive game post MARIO 64 and a breath of fresh air after the mostly average 3D World.
I feel New SMBWii was the pinical of the “new” series and quite frankly they should have stopped there IMHO.
If Nintendo ever follows this horrible list for their business they will go bankrupt. The only 3D Mario game worthy of being in the top 10 is Mario64. 2d Mario games are on a different league.
Odyssey being #1 is absurd. World, 3 and 64 are all better. Odyssey is a FANTASTIC game, but c'mon...
1. Super Mario World
2. Mario Odyssey
3. Super Mario 3
4. Super Mario Galaxy
5. Super Mario 64
Of the Super Mario games which I played, Here’s how I’d rank them based on how impactful they were on me when I played them:
1. Super Mario World
2. Super Mario Odyssey
3. Super Mario Galaxy
4. Super Mario Sunshine
5. super Mario 64 DS
6. Super Mario
7. Super Mario Land
8. Super Mario 3D Land
9. Super Mario Run
Pretty decent list as far as I can tell. 64 could be a bit higher perhaps?
I need to start playing Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Sunshine is my favourite one followed by 64, Odyssey, and Galaxy in that order. But I prefer the open adventure style games to the linear platformer ones.
Somebody's learned a new word.
@Jcdbengals Probably for the same reason Super Mario Land 3 is excluded (even though it actually looks and plays like a typical 2D Mario platformer). As stated in the article:
Disclaimer: this is for the mainline Super Mario platformer series only, so you won't see any remakes, spin-offs, sports titles, or the likes of Mario Kart here.
Please make a Donkey Kong list next! Even if its only a Top 5.
@Medic_alert There's nothing wrong with judging each game for how well it plays in this day and age. Not many people will enjoy Super Mario Land as much as 3D Land. If you want a list that is based on how good the game was for it's time, go back to the Top 18 Zelda Games list. Ocarina of Time was the second-best Zelda game, even though it's outclassed by every game that came after it. Oh, but it was revolutionary, so that makes it better than every other game except the new revolutionary game.
This is pretty good. Mario sunshine could die on my opinion but I respect that it’s different and others seem to like it. Except now that I’m thinking about it where’s Paper Mario or Mario and Luigi: inside story (etc.)- I mean Mario Run made the list for goodness sake.
@FoxyGlen hahaha! I love your post! “ why ya’ll mad when you all like this game?!” 😂
1. Super Mario Maker
2. Super Mario Odyssey
2. Super Mario 64
4. Super Mario Sunshine
5. New Super Mario Bros. U + New Super Luigi U
5. Super Mario 3D World
7. Super Mario Galaxy 2
8. Super Mario World
9. Super Mario Galaxy
10. Super Mario Bros. 3
This list is ridiculous. Just give up guys. It’s time to find a new way to make a living
@FoxyGlen Great article but I noticed you put the wrong release date for Super Mario Land 2.
1. Super Mario 3
2. Super Mario World
4. Super Mario Bros. 2
5. Super Mario 3D World
Uh, there's an error in Super Mario 3D World's section of the list.
Captain Toad actually came from Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario 3D World just happened to make him playable.
1. Super Mario World
2. Super Mario Odyssey
3. Super Mario Sunshine
4. Super Mario Bros
5. Super Mario Galaxy 2
I have never been a fan of motion controls and as a result the Wii games in the series never truly felt right to me, I enjoy games with full use of buttons much more hence why Galaxy 2 is lower on my list. Now if Galaxy 2 would play like that it would be a very tough choice!
super mario odyssey number 1? that's bs
and sunshine should be much lower -_-
Preparing for the backlash... I don't rate Super Mario 64 that highly. It hasn't aged as others like sunshine and 3DS land. My memory of it is fantastic but I can reply others and enjoy it over N64 Mario
It's gonna be too tough for me to make a top 10 list of my favorite Mario games, as I pretty much love/like all of them (my username is a dead giveaway!). My favorite 2D Mario games are Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, and my favorite 3D ones are Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2, Super Mario 3D World, and Super Mario Odyssey.
@Spectra I know right?! Ridiculous. Super Mario World deserves top nods. Best Mario ever. It was actually challenging. Games these days aren’t that challenging.
What a joke...
The number 1) spot is Super Mario Galaxy 2
Number 2) spot is Super Mario Galaxy
The rest is debatable.
Super Mario Land 2 Six Golden Coins deserves to be rated higher. While it is a short game, the levels are fantastic.
This is how I rank mine:
1. Super Mario Bros. 4
2. Super Mario Bros. 3
3. Super Mario Bros. 2
4. Super Mario Bros. 1
5. Super Mario 64
6. Super Mario Land 2
7. Super Mario RPG
8. New Super Mario Bros. U
9. New Super Mario Bros. 2
10. Super Mario Land
11. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
12. Super Mario Galaxy 2
13. Super Mario Maker
14. New Super Mario Bros. 2
15. Super Mario 64
16. Super Mario Galaxy
17. Super Mario Sunshine
18. New Super Mario Bros.
19. Super Mario 3D World
20. Super Mario 3D Land
I agree with odyssey being number one. the editor said it best. it was a culmination of the best Mario games out there. super Mario world was a culmination of what super Mario bros 3 could have been, that's what made world a better game. both super Mario land games help make more people buy the Gameboy besides Tetris and other games. Mario 64 started the 3d platform and still play good today. I even like the remake using wario, yoshi and luigi too. I did like both 3d land and 3d world. they were both innovative. I can't forget the new super Mario games. although I liked new super Mario bros and new super Mario bros u the best. it reminds me that those games were a homage to the original super Mario bros game.
@Medic_alert You're right about that last part. Ocarina aged horribly, but because one person made the list, he can put it at #2. But I wouldn't say newer games have an advantage, otherwise Tri Force Heroes would be above all the other 2D games before it, and that's just wrong.
@Deanster101 thank you. SM64 is the best game of all time. Period!
Having never played Galaxy 1 or 2, even after having many a Wii and Wii-U, I just hope to god they release these for Switch!!! Please please please Nintendo make this happen!
Sunshine is too low on this list. Top 3 for me!
Can't say i'd put odyssey even in the top 10...Its good until you get past the story and then its...well its not fun. at all.
The world doesn't change whatsoever, it becomes a hapless run at seeing what I probably now hate more than anything to see in a screen. I never....EVER...want to read the words "You got a moon" again. On one hand, i'm glad i got all of them so i'll never have to do it again. On the other hand, it felt like I wasted 30 hours of my life doing so.
Quite literally the only mario game I will never play again. Happily. There just wasn't any soul left in a one time evolving world.
Now other mario games i'll happily replay a thousand times over because everything was always being thrown into the mix and changing it up. the worlds felt like they changed with you. I wasn't a big fan of galaxy games but after playing odyssey through when it launched, they don't even seem even nearly as bad (they're not, just metaphorically speaking) as I once thought they was.
edit: for the record, i've 100%'d all of them except the Wii U and 3DS ones cause I've never owned a 3DS. Do own a Wii U but could never buy many games at the time.
I am not a big fan of the 2d Mario's (too slippery and tank. I am a sonic 2d fanboy). However I absolutely love 3d Mario's but will add that there are only 3 of these (64, sunshine and odyssey as the other ones are as much 3d as crash bandicoot...)
In the end my top 3 is:
2-odyssey (has the tighter gameplay in the whole series but could and should be harder after story. If they release a challenging dlc it goes to my number 1)
1- super Mario 64 (this game was perfect on release date and it is still a masterpiece today. The camera works absolutely fine as long as you have 2 hands and the visuals are fine for anyway that doesn't count pixels as a living)
But Super Mario Bros. 2 game of the year, every year baby!
Only things I disagree on are Super Mario Bros. 3 ranked lower than Super Mario World and Super Mario 3D World ranked so high.
Instead of Miyamoto and crew trying to create World on the NES, they knew exactly what they were doing and envisioning while developing Super Mario Bros. 3, all with the NES and it's limitations in mind. While World is an excellent game and I can totally understand people preferring it over 3, it's development was proven to be slightly rushed to launch alongside the system and parts of the game show it. Level design has some unpolished areas, difficulty progression is all over the place, and the graphics couldn't find a 100% consistent style.
As for 3D World ranked so high, well, I agree that most of it's fun comes from it's co-op multiplayer and I have only rarely played it that way. Whenever friends come over we'd rather play Party, Smash, or Kart. I believe a good Mario game should be an excellent solo experience foremost, and playing 3D World alone felt kind of dull and dragged overall. Polished, but way too dumbed down.
Who in their right mind would ever put New Super Mario Bros DS and New Super Mario Bros Wii over New Super Mario Bros U for the Wii U?
Taste is extremely personal and subjective, but that part is objectively wrong.
Pure insanity. Had to take anything else seriously after seeing that.
But at least this list is split up over 4 pages to it gets maximum clicks.... sigh.
I agree with that. The handheld "New" Super Mario Bros games are lackluster compared to Mario Bros. Wii and U. Mario Bros. U truly perfected the formula in my opinion and blows away any handheld 2D Mario game. And it's thoroughly a better game than Mario Bros. Wii.
These ranking lists favor originality over quality, which is the problem. Sequels should push some new ideas but if it improves familiar features to a degree that makes it more fun and an overall better experience than its predecessor = it's rank should be higher imo.
Super Mario Galaxy is bestest!
super mario galaxy or super mario world should be number 1 tbh
Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3 (especially as part of the Super Mario All-Stars pack) better be right near the very top of the list. And I'd personally put Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island up there too--maybe even first--but most people don't count that as a Super Mario game.
There is no way Odyssey is top imo. I think this is more of a case of hype over long-term reality personally--I'm not sure this game will feel quite as special thirty years down the road as sooo many people seem to think it is right now (much like how the absolutely critically acclaimed and beloved, and almost universally called best game ever created at time of release, Super Mario 64 doesn't hold up anywhere near as well as the likes of SMB.3 and SMW still do for example)--but whatever.
Another reason "New Super Mario Bros. 2" is so low on the list: the coin gimmick is rather stupid.
It's not a good sign when the one thing a game does to differentiate itself is just a mediocre gimmick that the game would've been better off not including.
I can't get behind Super Mario Odyssey. The motion controls alone that make certain moves unusable if you don't play with motion controls knock it out of the spot for me for sure.
Not arguing the list, everyone has their own opinion. This one just doesn't match my own.
I'd personally push the original "Super Mario Bros." down to 15th on the list. While it's true that #13-15 didn't innovate much on the original formula, they're still objectively better games by including extra features the original game does not possess such as the ability to backtrack in a stage, overworld maps, and the ability to save your game. They also have more varied boss battles.
On top of that, the other games made good use of their respective systems' graphical capabilities, while the original game obviously did not as proven by SMB3. While that's to be expected with a launch title (although not always the case cough "Super Mario World" and "Rogue Squadron 2" cough) like SMB, you also can't ignore it when comparing its overall quality.
@Octane The cameras in both 64 and Sunshine suck. Heck, I don't even like the camera in the Galaxy games. Nintendo needs to learn how to program a quality automatic 3D camera.
@Medic_alert The pre-Internet games still have reviews from their Virtual Console releases, plus they took the user ratings we've provided into account.
Um, no, they're not taking impact at time of release into account. Why would they? This is merely a list jugging the games' quality on their own merits with consideration given for what was possible on the systems on which they were originally released.
@Bolt_Strike Combining the styles of Mario's 2D and 3D games isn't progressive? Sure, "Super Mario 3D Land" did it first, but 3D World is an even better version of it due to the multiplayer and a better core power-up (Cat Suit > Tanooki Suit). On top of that, by designing the levels around fixed camera angles, it avoided the camera issues that plague the other 3D Mario platformers. Overall, "Super Mario 3D World" is my favorite 3D Mario.
Besides, a game doesn't have to be progressive to beat out what it's copied if it does it even just a little better than the original. People can still complain about a sequel that feels more like an expansion pack than a new game, but it's still just as good, then it should still be rated just as well in a list like this.
@BulbasaurusRex Well, git gud.
@Medic_alert I said it's still taking into account what was possible on the systems at the time, so games like SMB3 and World still rank near the top, while SML2 is right up there with New SMB and 3D Land as easily the best handheld titles, because they did make the most of their hardware and have aged extremely well, and that's also how NL's reviews work in general.
I have tried 64 recently, and the camera is indeed terrible and much worse than many other 3D platformers, even ones released at the time or just a generation later. It gives you the options of a completely manual camera, which is always a terrible option for a 3D platformer cough Galaxy cough, or a semi-automatic camera that still does a lousy job of sticking behind Mario and still requires many manual adjustments. Being the "first of its kind" has nothing to do with its actual quality. Even the "Sonic Adventure" duology has a much better automatic camera despite having minor issues of its own with occasional clipping and such.
@Octane What does that have to do with anything? It's simply annoying to be contstantly adjusting the camera while trying to focus on playing the levels. A good 3D platforming camera sticks behind the character's back automatically and only rarely requires manual adjustment, although there are also good 3D platformers like 3D Land and 3D World that use fixed camera angles and have levels specifically designed around those fixed angles.
SMW topping SMB3? The eternal debate
I find SMW sexier than SMB3 by looks, sounds, multiple exits, smooth play, Yoshi, and 2 secret worlds. But I give the nod to SMB3 for power ups, introducing flying, varied level design and worlds, panache, style, and tight level design. I'd say that if both were created on the same platform, I think SMB3 would get the final say, but of course, it's debatable, just like the FF6/FF7 debate
Super Mario run in the list...even above Lost levels. Immediately losing any credibility.
I'm very late to the switch party, but having played Mario odyssey yesterday, it's the most fun Mario game I've ever played. The sand world level is inspired and if it continues like this then it will be the best Mario game ever!
Every 3D Mario game, ranked (imo).
Odyssey > 3D World > Galaxy 1&2 > Sunshine > 3D Land > 64
I'm gonna get a lot of hate for putting 64 last.
I love them all in first place
Bad list, i prefer mario 64 over oddysey also mario sunshine and mario 3d land should be higher
@snil4 oh dont you disrespect my favorite 3d mario.
im not kidding, i love the style of that game
My personal favorite is Super Mario Bros. 3. Though it's extremely close between that and Super Mario World.
How is NSmB U way better on wii U than on Switch ?
Mario 64 will always be #1 to me.
What about Super Paper Mario?
I really expected NintendoLife to have put Mario Maker 2 as the number 1 Mario game with a big fat affiliate link on the bottom. But, it is refreshing that the advertising isn't as blatant as it has been on this site before.
Nice list! I want to comment that online multiplayer is super laggy and choppy on Super Mario Maker 2. I wonder if it's universal or just me? It makes it unplayable. I really hope they fix it soon!
Run and Land ahead of Lost Levels? Shameful.
Sad that 3 is so low but I’m happy with world being 2. Can’t justify odyssey as 1 but it’s close to top 5 for me
Super Mario World is still my favorite 2D entry. My favorite 3D entry is Super Mario Galaxy, though I haven't played Odyssey yet.
@mgnoodle I would bump 64 up to top 3, too.
Eeeehhhh, I really hated 3D World and would put Sunshine above Galaxy 2 but otherwise it’s an alright list. Lost Levels is still clearly better than Run though.
Wait a minute this article is old as
Whats a funny thing to compare this to
Seems a fair position for Mario Maker 2.
Odyssey wont be number 1 for too much longer... the sequel is going to be so much better.
Swap Odyssey for Galaxy and you're golden. The gravity mechanic was far more fun than cappy.
Darn, my favourite Mario game (Super Mario World), was so close to taking the top spot on this list. I absolutely love Super Mario World, I've put more hours into this game than any other, due to playing through it at least once every year.
Super Mario Odyssey is a great game though, and I had a lot of fun playing it, even if I don't think it's quite as enjoyable as SMW.
1. Super Mario World
2. Mario 64
3. Super Mario Galaxy
Odyssey while awesome, couldn't hold my interest as long as my top 3.
This is a good list. Wouldn’t change much at all.
Oh, you guys...
goes back to playing SMM2
although super mario 64 made my jaw drop when i saw mario grab bowser by the tail and spin him around super mario world on the snes is the greatest video game ever fact!
The game that sold the most copies would be the only fair way to create a list, otherwise the whole thing is subjective.
You need a reason for the list to exist, like games that have sold the most is the most obvious. Zools favourite Mario games is another, even games with Mario in the title would work, although there would be a few ties 😁
Mario Maker is a spin off and should not be In the list, otherwise games like Mario Party, Kart or Golf should be included.
So remove Mario Maker 😲
1.Mario Galaxy (Wii)
2.New super mario bros (Wii)
3.Super Mario 3D land (WiiU)
4.Mario Maker (WiiU)
5.Mario Odyssey (Switch)
Every Mario game that ushers in a new generation of hardware is a seminal masterpiece.
I always found 2 to be better then 1 for the super Mario galaxy series.
Odyssey is great but I don’t think it has the replay value of some of the others. Mario World is just a game you can play through once a year and never get bored, it’s in the running for greatest game ever, so hence should be number 1. Also 3D Land and Mario Land 2 were both awesome and could be played over and over. Way better than any of the New series.
@GKO900 I agree. Imo galaxy 2 was better than 1. Improved on everything and had Yoshi too. I didnt get odyssey at all. Had it twice and sold it twice. Loved 64 and world tho.
The game is out today and is already number 4. Everyone is saying it's a 10/10 game and I can't wait to play it
New SMB U Deluxe on Switch is by far the best game in the “New” series, and should switch spots with New SMB Wii, which was downright boring and uninspired imo.
if anyone doesnt agree super mario world on the snes isnt the best mario game ever ill come round and sort them out
Super Mario Maker for 3ds is missing, not quite the same as for wii u since it´s got it´s own single player adventure levels made by nintendo that are even better than in it´s wii u version, correct me if I`m wrong, only have played the 3ds version
I don't really know how it's even possible to rank Super Mario Maker alongside the other Mario games when it's a level creator and thus so completely different from the rest. If I play some amazing SMM levels is it the best one? If I play some God-awful SMM levels is it the worst one? Not sure how you can directly compare it with the traditional games.
Man, I would make a lot of changes to this list. A lot. Almost nothing would be in the same spot. Some games would be moved before or after others as well. Some games would move up or down a lot, while others are at, or close, to where they should be. But there's far far too many changes to list here. But my list would definitely be different.
Great list. I'd have put New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe quite a bit higher up on the list but that's just me.
1) Super Mario Bros.3
2) Super Mario 64
3) Super Mario Galaxy 2
4) Super Mario 3D Land
5) Super Mario World
Odyssey was enjoyable enough, but overall felt like an incoherent mess of disjointed ideas.
And the broodals are the most charmless characters in the Mario universe.
I don't get what it is with people and Mario Odyssey
@J-Plap 100% with you on that.
I liked oddyssey but I'm more of a 64 guy. Love smb1-3, and sml 1 and 2. Smw is dope too. Really they're all good. But 64 is still the one Mario game that blew my mind
This list is a bit busted.
8.smw 2 Yi
All modern 2ds have been wrecked by easy mode and pwings etc.
Odyssey is lovely but it's nothing compared to world and smb3
@linq motion controls 🥴👎
@J-Plap I don't either. It's not bad, but I don't find it to be the masterpiece some people hold up as being. There's a lot of other Mario games I'd rather replay than Odyssey.
I literally can’t believe you guys put Super Mario Bros. 2 on the end of the list.
Mario 2 is that low? But the galaxy games are that high? Whoever made this list was born in 1998
hmm l say that New Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario Bros U Deluxe should be a little more higher on the list.
Or not just little higher
way more higher
I think my favorite Mario game is still Yoshi's Island. It blew me away even more than Mario 3 or Super Mario World. Oh, actually, Super Mario 64 provided the most mind blowing experience when I first saw video from E3 and then played it months later in real life. I think the texture filtering paid off in that game. It allowed a huge send of scale like when you go to the green block level under the most and slide down that slope and the camera zooms way out. And when you get the wing cap and fly. Just amazing! I also like the clarity of selecting a star to get when you start each level. I can play that game forever. I'd love a 60fps remaster on Switch! Oh yeah, and turtle shell surfing. That was a fun discovery! Actually Mario Galaxy blew me away too. Finally getting another Mario game that runs at 60fps was a godsend! We had to wait from Super Nintendo all the way until Wii to get another perfectly smooth game! But I also loved Mario Sunshine even though I was expecting it to run at 60fps. Didn't they show it at Spaceworld or something and it was running mostly at 60fps? Anyways, that game is fun and charming. I also still love the original Super Mario Bros, as well as Odyssey. I adore the 2D and low gravity levels in Odyssey! And the gamelan music is among the best videogame music I've ever heard!
Having 3D / Open World and 2D Side Scrolling Mario games on same list is just nonsensical - they are not the same type of game / experience at all.
My top 3 are Mario World, Mario 3 and Mario 64.
I wasnt really feeling Mario Odyssey.... i know i’m in the monority there.
World then 64 for me then all the rest I think are pretty even.
You folks put out these updated lists way too early. SMM 2 came out yesterday... and it's already being put higher on the list than titles some of us grew up with. You did this with Zelda recently, too, putting Cadence on a Best Of list fairly high up for a game that at the time was one week old. Wait til the new game smell fades a bit before you declare new releases instant classics
Odyssey is far from best....
For me it's:
Mario maker 2
Blah blah blah
NewU is being criminally underrated here. The Luigi expansion was brutal fun - thinking about Wendy's thwomp castle still makes my blood pressure go up.
@tr573 yeah I don’t know how new u didn’t do better than the other three “new” games.
Not to mention the fact that almost all the lists were initially made just after their respective brand new shiny Switch game came out (and conveniently the brand new shiny Switch game is number one on every list... Well, apart from the Metroid one, only because the Switch Metroid didn't come out yet...) I think it kind of goes without saying by this point that these lists are a sham and exist purely for the Amazon links to buy the new Switch titles.
It’s still weird to me that the GBA never got an original Mario game, just ports.
In terms of pure platforming, Galaxy 2 is the best game in the genre period.
With 2D Mario games, World is my choice.
I know it probably doesn't count, but for me, #1 is Super Mario RPG.
Super Mario Bros 2 didn't mention anything from Birdo to playable peach. That's sad. Glad Lost levels was ranked the worst of them all, OG super Mario frustration.
I know this list is subjective, but it's nothing like mine. Lost Levels at the end, after Run? Super Mario Bros 2 at 18? SM64 at 7? NSMBW ahead of Sunshine? I don't know Nintendo Life. To each, their own, I suppose.
@Haywired Agreed, dude. The test of time assembles Best Of lists. These articles of the moment are a joke
i prefer mario galaxy to odyssey
Galaxy 2 should be number 1, that is all.
@Denoloco You are correct sir, Galaxy 2 is the best platform game of all time, let alone Mario game.
Okay I must be doing something wrong here because I couldn't work my way through the galaxies due to the bloody wii controls, and I haven't touched Obssey anymore after beating Bowser...
Where is Mario Bros from 1983 Arcade ????
As I was reading the list I told myself I was going to check the comments just to see the disagreements with the list. Then I saw the number 1 spot and had to come here myself to do the same. I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up and play the Mario games as they were released and perhaps it’s just my age, but odyssey certainly didn’t feel like the pinnacle on Mario games to me. Enjoyable? Yes, but I had more aww factor with galaxy.
Everyone has their own opinion and what a time to be alive with great Mario games in an amount that is mind boggling if you think about it.
Another messy list. Who on Earth could consider New Super Mario Bros. 2 better than Super Mario Bros. 2? Besides, New Super Mario Bros. U is the best 2D Mario game after Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3. Super Mario Sunshine is one of the best Mario games, too. Super Mario 3D World should be lower. Also, Super Mario World is a million times better than Odyssey although I wouldn't mix 3D and 2D Mario games. Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild are not the best games in the franchises, they are just the newest. Amazon links, I know.
I don't think Odyssey even makes my top 3 to be honest... It's a glorious and fantastic game, but it's missing an ingredient or two that the likes of Mario 64, Galaxy 1 and 2 all had.
It's really difficult to put my finger on what that ingredient exactly is... but I'm confident the sequel will have it. Odyssey remains the only Mario game I have not felt compelled to 100% complete.
Double Dash, there you go, list is done. 😁
Imagine actually believing that New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS) is better than Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES). In general, SMB2 should honestly be ranked a lot higher than where it was placed.
I always find it odd that people rate the lost levels so low for the reason that it’s too difficult. That game is amazing with fantastic level design. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not good.
3 is better than World. Love World, but come on now, most gamers tend to agree that 3 was better.
@andykara2003 but of you want a hard platformer play celeste, donkey kong, or hollow knight. Lost levels are extremely forgettable
Um, you forgot to put Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island at the number 1 spot.
1. Galaxy 1
2. Mario 64
4. Super Mario World
5. Super Mario 3
6. Super Mario 3D Land
I’ve never played Mario Maker 2. And for whatever reason while I loved galaxy, I never managed to get into Galaxy 2. Odyssey was AMAZING but like some others have said, I couldn’t bring myself to go back and try 100% it. I think there were just TOO many stars
Mario 64 and Sunshine way too low, and Mario Maker 2 far too high
I love Odyssey but there’s no way it’s better than Galaxy.
Odyssey wouldn't even be in the top 10 for me. It just felt like a 3D Mario they pumped out just for the sake of having a 3D Mario on Switch.
Old article is old
My God what an awful list. It's all over the place. I get everyone's entitled to their opinion but I've never disagreed with a list more.
Holy Cow am I am outlier here. I ran them Very differently from everyone else. My top
1-Mario 3D Land
2-New Super Mario Bros 2
4-Super Mario Maker
6-Super Luigi U
7-Super Mario World
It's almost a toss-up after that. I like them all, but the above I enjoy significantly more than the rest except for 2 which I can't rank
New Super Mario Bros (DS)-The only one I've never played
Mario Bros 2-I can't even put on the list. I don't enjoy that game at all.
@Cotillion Oh, it had more charm than that, and certainly more intrigue. But that sentiment most certainly applies to NSMBWii/U/2/UDX and SM3DL. SM3DW at least tried to do some cute or interesting things (not to mention bringing back that fantastic 2D art style for miscellaneous icons and such).
SMM2 is missing content from even SMM (and those aren't even original, they're editors, 2's events may not even be canon). SMO's ending plus utter trivialization of the Moons should knock it down a notch.
This list is bonkers.
We really need a feature to sort comments by new, scrolling forever to get down here
Yeah, I would have to re-arrange this ENTIRE list in a completely different order. This order doesn't work for me. All great games, of course. But, I would definitely place different things in different places.
@MasterJay Just click and hold on the slider bar on the right hand side of the browser, and move all of the way down in less than a second. Then you comment, or, you can scroll up to where you want read.
@Lawnachaun I mean, fair point, but after another 50 people comment, responding to others today, you have to search for the first comment of this release to understand the conversation, I just wish there was a way to group the comments into areas based on which update they're from.
I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad Mario platforming game but oddysey is further down the list for me. I’d say it’s my least favorite of his 3D outings for sure. My favorite would have to be 3 or world.
Why does Yoshi's Island get overlooked in Mario rankings? It's a damn good sequel to a damn good game. Weird.
The Mario Makers really shouldn't count.
Also, Galaxy 2 is the best.
@the_beaver I have such a hard time picking because both are amazing in their own right.
3D world has a very special place in my heart for some reason. I really hope the rumors of a Deluxe port coming out this year are true.
1. Super Mario World
2. Everything else
"We've also excluded Yoshi's Island, despite it's official title, for the same reason Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 doesn't feature either. Both games are spin-offs that, titles aside, are distinctly lacking in the Super Mario department."
Mario is in Yoshi's Island throughout the entire game.
Galaxy 1-2 n.1 for me
3. Maker 2
5. Bros 3
As usual, the #1 game on any nintendolife list is the latest Switch entry of the franchise. I mean, Odyssey is great but those lists are getting boring
Uuhhmm Mario RPG? 🤔
@1UP_MARIO Wow! Nice collection.
The absence of Yoshis Island is quite bizarre. Mario is in it throughout, it features enemies and levels from the Mario universe, it has a Mario World subtitle. It’s easily as much of a Mario title as the very average Doki Doki Panic.
Apart from that, good list.
I love it, but I think they were going for platformers
I'm sorry but the best of the 3D games just aren't as good as the best of the 2D games. Regardless of their advanced 3D presentation and graphics, the new 3D Mario games simply do not play as well as the 2D Mario games do when at the top of their game. Titles like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World should be at the top of this list. Not a single one of the 3D Mario games comes as near to all round perfection as either of those titles, particularly in terms of just pure control, which in the 2D games feel basically 100% precise and responsive and instinctive and nigh-on perfect at all times (and that's true of the flawless 2D camera view too).
I pretty much agree with that list, it's very hard to separate all the top games from each other (Mario World is my all-time favourite game and Odyssey is by far my most (re)played Switch game).
The only game I think is really underrated and overlooked is Super Luigi U, I think it's absolutely superb and is sadly not well regarded due to the high difficulty at the start.
I know it's all a matter of opinion but MARIO GALAXY 2 beats Odyssey all week long. There's a few others I heavily question but hey, we all have our own thoughts on the list....
@Toads-Friend intetesting. I couldn't disagree more. There wasn't enough there. I'd put GALAXY 2 ahead of Oddysey without hesitation. Same with 5 other titles on this list. But that's cool you like it that much. That's what makes playing so fun.
@KryptoniteKrunch GALAXY 2 is better than the first. I agree with you. Not sure how you feel about this but I pick GALAXY 2 over Odyssey.
Where is HOTEL MARIO?
@andywitmyer I'd say it's way better. But this list is all opinion.
@Kasparius thank you
@Deanster101 nostalgia blind
I love the Galaxy games and Odyssey, but there is no way you put them above Super Mario 3 and Super Mario World. I realize that younger gamers may not like the graphics and gameplay but still.
I liked Odyssey but didn't love it. All those moons reminded me too much of collectible heavy games that you see too much these days. I much prefer the 120 stars system of previous games.
Super Mario World then Galaxy 2 for me.
"...we're going with the first simply because Super Mario Galaxy 2 was an expansion on the concept the original nailed."
That's stupid! If a sequel on the same system is even a little bit of an improvement on the first game, then it's the better game, period. Innovation (or lack thereof) doesn't matter when ranking (or reviewing) by quality.
I still can't stand the archaic manual cameras that Nintendo insists on using in its 3D Mario games. As many problems as modern Sonic games have had over the years, at least they know how to do a proper automatic 3D camera. As far as I'm concerned, "3D Land" and "3D World" are the only really good 3D Mario games due to be designed around fixed camera angles. (I also prefer stage goal oriented gameplay over collect-a-thon oriented gameplay in 3D platformers.)
@GrailUK @electrolite77 Because it's a Yoshi game rather than a core Mario game, hence like "Super Mario Land 3" it's not eligible. It's explained right there in the list's introduction.
@Franklin You don't play as Mario, and the gameplay is completely different, even beyond the differences in the Western version of SMB2.
@BulbasaurusRex Well, it's their list so they are allowed criteria Personally, I'm not so retentive about video games, and applaud when they are so different (especially sequels.) But, yeah, fair enough. Stay safe man.
I'm not sure where exactly to put it, but I've just finished Mario Sunshine and it was one of the most rewarding Mario experiences I've had. It had its flaws, certainly, though many of these are far less irritating than reading about the game online prior to playing it would have had me believe. Conversely, having got most of the way through Super Mario 3D World recently (I'm on the second secret world after beating the main game) I admire its polish but can't help feeling it's a little soulless somehow. It feels like junk food - each level is a pristine, glossy, instant sugar hit but it leaves you feeling hungry again soon after.
Well this is definitely not the way I would have ranked them.
@the_beaver I agree with you. I'd say the one thing world has better than 3 is the presentation. I wish they had done better with the SNES version of 3 in all stars, I just don't like those "improvements".
If we’re going with the selections on this list, my order would have to be:
21. Mario Run
20. Mario Land
19. New SMB 2
18. New SMB U Deluxe
17. 6 Golden Coins
16. Lost Levels
15. New SMB Wii
14. New SMB
13. 3D Land
12. Super Mario 2
11. Mario Sunshine
10. 3D World
9. Mario Maker
8. Mario Galaxy 2
7. Mario Maker 2
6. Mario Odyssey
5. Mario Galaxy
4. Super Mario Bros.
3. Mario 64
2. Super Mario 3
1. Mario World
Among 21-19, 18-7, and 6-1, it’s hard for me to pick the order. Not a bad game among any of them, IMO!
Why did you include the Switch port of NSMBU?
10. NSMBU DX
Why does anyone think the legitimacy of Yoshi's Island's as a mainline Super Mario title merits debate when The Creator Himself has issued a proclamation?
3 is definitely better than world
You forgot the best of the lot (at least the best 2 player game):
My household has been battling it out for the high score for the last 6 years straight. Easily the most played game on my switch. So addictive. So replayable. So underrated.
Can't argue with the games in the top 5, though personally I would put SMB3 as number 1. Probably because I'm an old fogey who still remembers when that game came out, and the countless hours spent playing it with friends, so it holds way more childhood nostalgia for me than SMW.
Also, it'd be nice if Nintendo finally re-released Super Mario Galaxy 2 on Switch in one form or another. Almost all the other 3D Marios are available on Switch, so it's weird that such an acclaimed game is still missing.
@Polvasti I agree, the NES was my first console SMB3 is my number 1 too.
If the rumours are true and we get some sort of Mario game next year which launches alongside the movie, surely that means Galaxy 2 would be 2024 at the earliest? Could they d a re-release + a new game in the same year?
Of core Mario games Galaxy 1, Galaxy 2 and world are the only one I can’t live without
@the_beaver yeah I think world is a bigger game but three I could go back to any time and still enjoy each level even though I have played them way to many times.
Unpopular oppinion but i couldnt stand Odyssey. Dont know what it was about it as ive had it twice but just didnt dig it at all. Mario 64, Mario Bros 3 and World are my favourites.
Super Mario World is my all-time favorite. I love the changed made to the GBA version but the SNES version is the first game I completed. Did the Star 96 on all three save files. Maybe it's time to do it again!
Good list. But i rather put Odyssey between lost levels and super mario land and sunshine between run and lost levels ☺️
@Kidfunkadelic83 same, couldnt stand it either 😓
You can't rank 2D/2.5D games with 3D games, same with Zelda.
Mario 64 is #1. Running around outside of peaches castle alone is worth more than all of the Mario games combined.
Personally I‘d exclude the Mario Maker titles. I‘m a great fan of the old plumber but it was clear to me from the very beginning when I played them that these are not Mario games. They are about creating levels and yes playing fan made levels. Those levels though aside from a few great entries are not made by professionals and it shows. For the most part they take the Mario formula and turn it into a chaotic and insanely difficult experience. The lack of an interconnected hub world makes it feel like you are a going through a list of test levels with no direction whatsoever. The Mario Maker games are fun games but I wouldn‘t call them Mario games in a traditional sense.
I'm glad Mario world is No1, I've seen many lists and as an older gamer who experienced these games as they came out, Mario world is the king and still holds up today. I'm so glad there is a rom hack community that still makes normal difficulty variants.
Even though I've played World, 1, 2, 3, 64 and Sunshine to death on multiple consoles, my favorite is Odyssey. I love the whole nostalgia bone that game gave me and I smiled from ear to ear the whole 40-50 hours finding all hidden moons in every level. I didn't use a guide for it, only the ingame bird.
Such an awesome experience. That game single-handedly brought me back to a Nintendo console after skipping the Wii and Wii U.
For me, it's easily Super Mario World. I do a playthrough of the game every year.
For me, SMB3 is my favorite game in the franchise. Mario World is amazing, and deserves its place, but I'm nostalgic for the NES games. Those are my childhood.
@_fatto_katto_ Why not? enjoyment, impact, quality etc can all be judged no matter if a game is 2D or 3D...for example, which game is better Balan Wonderworld or Metroid Dread?
@Friendly that's what botw was for me...and i loved odyssey too, been gone from Nintendo since the wii and wiiu days though i bought a wiiu after my switch
Mario maker should be lower... And "new" Mario games are cringy and terrible.. glad to see sunshine not at the bottom.. as for super mario world being on top...the snes was my first console at 5 years old and played world to death in the following years...(once i can actually play past the first world).. you don't realize how above the rest something is at the time but looking back 2d platformers still can't top the ingenuity, secrets, and design of mario world
SMW at #1? Really? How cliché can this list get?
Seems about right to me, definitely Super Mario world on the Snes at number 1.
a few things, IMO.
Galaxy 2 > Odyssey > Galaxy 1
NSMBWii U >>>>>>> every other NSMB game
Makes sense they left Yoshi's Island out, as that game would be #1
Mario Sunshine is the worst Mario game by far imo. What a slog that game was. I cannot disregard that game enough, no way it's ahead of Mario 2 and many if the other side scrollers
I would put Super Mario 3D land a bit higher, it is a perfect handheld Mario game catered to short burst gameplay.
@ParadoxFawkes yeah, that game was the 2nd game I bought and played for the Switch. Best game I ever played. So many systems combined that work absolutely flawless (when not looking for a glitch of course). And also a lot of throwbacks to earlier Zelda games.
Mario Odyssey is my most ‘fun’ game I ever played. With mario World being 2nd now that I think about it. Just every moment something to explore in an amazing sandbox. And New Donk City and Princess Peach Castle as the two nostalgic slam dunk - levels.
@kepsux Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, yo!
Super Mario World best game ever
SMB3 isn’t just the best Mario game but the goat of any video game!
Incomplete list if you don't have Super Mario World 2 on it. Mario is in the entire game and you control him. Super Mario Land 3 stars Wario, which means it should still be listed on a list of Super Mario Games. YIKES!
Sure, there are Mario games that are technically better than others, more innovative or creative. But for me there is no best Mario game. There are installments that are less memorable, but they are all special in their own way. As a gaming veteran I have specific associated memories with each and every game. Where I was when I played them, with whom, what other things happened at the time....This is what counts for me the most.
Mario games are so hard to rank, I also need to play through 3 and world I feel like I’m missing out. Sunshine is underrated and Galaxy 2 is better than 1
Where’s Mario Maker 3DS? It has its own set of pre-made levels.
SMB3 remains the best Mario game ever to me. It holds a special place in my heart that still makes me go back to it (or its All-Stars variation) from time to time. I belong to the minority who say that SMW wasn't all that good, despite its innovations.
Thanks for not putting the original Super Mario Bros. at the top just because of historical significance 👍
New Super Mario Bros Wii is the BEST New Super Mario game hands down! Super Mario Sunshine should be way higher. I agree that Super Mario 3D World should be Top 10. Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 64 should all be Top 5. Super Mario World is fantastic but Top 6 for me, not No. 1.
Super Mario World is great, but my favorites are 3 and Galaxy.
I didn't think Mario + Rabbids should be on this list, since it's not a main Mario game
my favourite Mario game is and forever will be Galaxy 1
New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the most disappointing game I've ever played. The best Mario game is Super Mario World.
the galaxies are the wrong way round, as are Bros.3 and World.
We really out here putting the original mario bros. over sunshine, huh?
1 mario 64
2 mario world
3 mario land
4 mario country
5 mario island
6 mario peninsula
7 mario mountain
8 mario continent
9 mario planet
10 mario universe
11 mario multiverse
12 mario void of nothingness
For me, it has and always be Mario 64, it still blows my mind how good and ahead of its time that game is.
You know a series is solid when over half the games on a list of 30+ could be argued further up or down in the top ten. I would definitely have included super Mario world 2 and it’d be a doozy on this list as it’s great. After this I’d like to see a list of mario off shoot games, like the sports and puzzle games. I really don’t know if I can say what my favorite Mario is tho it’s between 3 or world.
Hot take: sunshine is bad.
Why are you including Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope in this list? Isn't that a strategy-based spin off? If you put it in the list, why you didn't include the first game? It doesn't make sense to me.
In any case, Mario Galaxy 1 is my number 1 Mario game easily, and I grew up with Mario 3, so nostalgia is not a factor.
I wonder if these choices are impacted by nostalgia. Many of us, including me, grew up playing Super Mario World and Mario 3. Would the younger generations feel the same about these rankings than us old timers?
Glad to see Super Mario World in the number one position it deserves.
@SofiaH I mean, it is the better game. No, the real travesty is SML2 over SMB. Ain't no way that's right.
My top 5 (my top 3 probably being the top 3 platformers of all-time):
I've been replaying Super Mario Land 1 and 2 on the GB recently. These games are so different from each other but I love them both equally. Especially their soundtracks.
@Dman10 I don't think it's nostalgia that makes me rate them so highly. The games still play perfectly and barely seem to have aged (aside from the Mario 64 graphics).
Sonic 2 on the other hand (which I also loved back in the day) has aged, and it frustrated me that after 15 or so years of not playing it, it's not as easy to pick up and play and simply have fun like with the Mario games.
There are modern retro-inspired like games like Downwell that I absolutely love, and while nostalgia must play some part with the games I played as a child, I feel I can judge games on the merits of how they play now. Blast Corps for example was great at the time, but while fun, feels clunky these days.
As times moves on and I replay these games more, my opinions have shifted significantly.
Odyssey felt incredible when it came out, but my love for it has seriously declined. It's still a very polished game, but it's not one I like returning to.
Bowser's Fury has gone from "cute little bonus game" to absolutely one of my top Mario games ever (probably #2). It is short but man it is fun to play and well paced.
Galaxy 2 is still my favorite and has made the first Galaxy go from my favorite to something I can't enjoy because the contrast makes the original feel obsolete for me. Galaxy still has great presentation and music but the level design pales in comparison to Galaxy 2.
Super Mario World is still a game I love playing because finding all the exits always sucks me in. However, the visual variety is severely lacking, notably compared to SMB3. Way too many levels look the same. I have spent 30 years not able to decide whether I ultimately prefer SMB3 or SMW. I like and dislike things about both.
Super Mario Land 2 is an easy, short game but I really appreciate how the visuals and layouts of every single level are so distinct. This is tied up there with SMB3 & SMW for me, and in certain ways I like it much better.
Mario Maker is way to high..
The thing is, basically all the mainline Mario games are amazing, with the exception of the mobile game of course (should it even count?) and the possible exception of lost levels since not everyone likes a troll.
The only truly contentious part of this list is including Mario + Rabbids. It is one(two) of literally 100s of mario spinoffs, some made by Nintendo, some (like Rabbids) not. This is not even arguably mainline Mario, it's not made by Nintendo, it's not even a platformer; it shouldn't be on this list.
Here is my personal partial ranking of the games:
1. Super Mario World -a classic which has aged very well.
2. Super Mario Maker 2 -it's almost every 2D game! I'll combine in smm1 since they are similar. smm3 when?
3. 3D world -My personal favorite 3D Mario since it combines the best of 2D and 3D games.
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. They are pretty 'standard' but fun well-made Mario games which added some good controls.
6. Odyssey - a very good game although the map is a bit open for my taste; I realize this is why many people love it though.
7.. Galaxy -I haven't played galaxy II but I would probably group them. A little slow, but a good fun 3D Mario which feels fairly modern still.
8. Mario 64 - brought amazing things to the game but the controls, camera, and graphics have not aged well.
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. Sunshine - not a masterpiece but a cute game.
11. Super Mario brothers 2 - aged only semi well but brought lots of great things to the series despite being a Mario step-child.
12. Mario Land I/II - I've only played II on the recent NSO gameboy app but it was a short but adorable little Mario game.
? 3D Land - I haven't gotten to play this one. Switch port please?
?? New Sup I/II - I haven't gotten to play them either. More Switch ports please?
15. Mario Run - Probably doesn't deserve to be called a mainline Mario game since it's not Nintendo-console-exclusive, but it's not a great game either way.
@Bmartin001 I think almost all of these games are great so the exact order is very arguable. For me personally, Super Mario Maker 2 is probably the only Mario game I've thrown 300 hours into.
Super Mario World is the best Mario 2D game. This is more controversial but Super Mario Sunshine is the best Mario 3D game in my opinion. Yes, it has a few frustrating collectibles but it's top on the platforming, challenges and exploration rankings. Super Mario Odyssey feels so boring and shallow.
@Dman10 Yes they would appreciate it, they should, I hope they wouldn't choose New Super Mario Bros. 2 instead LOL, what a piece of rubbish I bought full-priced digitally.
Super Mario World is a masterpiece, it has the best controls, 2D art, secrets, physics... It's still the best! Super Mario World 2 is wonderful but many people consider it a Yoshi game and it's far more frustrating. I love that game too but I have a few issues with some difficult and frustrating sections like collecting 100% in some levels. I think that the best thing about Super Mario World 2 is the art style and animation. Super Mario Bros. 3 is the best thing after Super Mario World.
Hmm, SMB2’s fairly low placement is probably due to how old that game is, thus how few current voters actually know it very well.
@BlubberWhale Yeah, remember that in every Nintendo Life poll the best game ever is the latest Switch entry...
Always gonna have a soft spot for Odyssey. That game is really something else.
I assume the inclusion of Sparks of Hope is some kind of library/compiling error. That should be gone and Yoshi’s Island should be on here!!! (But I can see why it wouldn’t be)
@Toads-Friend Personally I never like Odyssey because the boss fights were really easy and repetitive. A dry story, and over 800 moons is a little to much. I prefer Galaxy because it has a better story, good boss fights and a good number of Stars. And we got to play as LUIGI!!!
Odyssey is in my top 3 for sure...with World and 3 too. Tough decisions. I think I'm the only person who just didn't ever enjoy 64
@Banjo- LOL exactly 😂
I will say again, I will never understand the Galaxy love. Awful controls caused by an awful camera, tiny worlds, and just the most gimmicky mechanics in the entire series. They would've been cool bonus levels...in a Sonic game?
SMB3 will always be #1 to me. Can’t be topped.
I found Super Mario World too easy. As a kid I remember flying over most of the levels and feeling that I missed half the game.
But I've recently read interviews (I think with Miyamoto) that said the coloured power switches were supposed to be optional, and that it was intended that for a harder challenge you were supposed to skip them, (kind of like a Pokemon Nuzlocke challenge). I had never heard that before and am looking forward to trying it out.
There are so many great Mario games here. I do not know wich one to pick. Hm let me think. The best Mario games are that I have played is Super Mario World, Super Mario bros 3, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 3D World.
The best to worst:
1. Super Mario 64.
2. Super Mario 3D World.
3. Super Mario World.
4. Super Mario bros 3.
I would rate Super Mario Land much higher. Yes, it was short, but it was nice to see a 2D Mario adventure outside the Mushroom Kingdom. I want to see Mario flying a spaceship again and fighting giant Egyptian spiders.
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