The 10 best Mario games of all time
There is no more iconic name in video games than Mario. Old Jumpman has been Nintendo’s shining star since 1981, and there’s no sign that he’s going to stop any time soon. In the decades since its debut, there have been hundreds of Mario games that have created countless memories. Here are our top 10 Mario games picks, from least favorite to best.
Related: Top 10 Mario Spinoff Games
The best Mario games of all time, ranked
10. Super Mario Maker 2
Everyone knows how iconic 2D Mario levels are, but what if you had the chance to create your own? Super Mario Maker 2 gives you access to tools not available in the first game to create the Mario level of your dreams and share it for other players to try. In addition, Nintendo has been working on a mini-campaign with hand-crafted levels, so you can experience the community’s creativity and the professional design of the real game.
9. Super Mario Land 2: 6 gold coins
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was a massive step up from the original game that released on the Game Boy. The level design was more imaginative and the pixel graphics improved exponentially. Having an actual Mario game that you can take anywhere is easily possible today, but that wasn’t the case back then. This game also introduced the world to Wario, who quickly became a mainstay in Mario spin-offs and got his own series of games, titled Wario Land and WarioWare.
8. Super Mario Bros. 3
The third Super Mario Bros. game on the NES showed just how creative Mario games are going to be in the future. Of course, the first game is one of the most important video game releases of all time, but this game introduced many power-ups that fans loved. Level design and environments also became the cornerstone of future 2D Mario games and were particularly fresh and exciting at the time.
7. Super Mario World
One of the most iconic games released on the Super Nintendo, Super Mario World is 2D Mario games at their absolute best. The level design here is unprecedented and hasn’t come close to being touched by the New Super Mario Bros. games. The Feather Cloak was a fun power-up to fly around with, and this game introduced us to Yoshi not only as Mario’s staple, but also as a helpful tool to get through those levels. 2D Mario games may never again reach the heights that Super Mario World has reached.
6.Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2
Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 are two of the best Wii games of all time and a testament to how well Nintendo makes these games when they commit to making something new. Watching Mario fly between smaller spherical planets and orbiting their gravitational pull is a unique and loads of fun experience.
These linear levels are unique and show that even the unwieldy space environments can provide Mario with a fun playground to hop around in. With the introduction of Rosalina and her backstory through her Luna bedtime stories, we also got a rare glimpse of actual history. Despite being aimed at families, the Mario Galaxy series is one of the best space operas of the early 2000s.
5. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Gate
The Thousand-Year Door is the game fans around the world have been asking for a return to the Paper Mario series. This RPG featured a great, lengthy story with fun locations and memorable, unique characters that were much more than the basic toads you now see in the series. Both Mario and your allies had fun special abilities that made the turn-based combat feel rewarding and fun. It was much more than a forced ring system or a terrible sticker collection.
4. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Super Mario 3D World was a massively underrated game on the Wii U due to the failure of that platform. When it revived like so many other games on the much more popular Switch, many players could see just how awesome this game can be, either with friends or alone.
The Switch version added online multiplayer and included a new side game, Bowser’s Fury, which brought back the sandbox fun of traditional 3D Mario games and stood alongside the main game’s linear experience. Whichever route you take here, you will have an unforgettable time alone or with a friend.
3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The Mario Kart games are widely considered to be the best Mario spin-off games, and the Switch release of Mario Kart 8 is easily the best in the series. Not only does it include the great titles that the Wii U version launched with and released as DLC, but they’ve also replaced the battle mode that was pretty bad in the original version with one that’s more in line with the traditional model of previous games.
After years of being available on Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has now also brought more tracks to the game with the Booster Pass, making it the ultimate collection of Mario Kart racing.
2.Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 is one of the most important 3D games of all time. Back then, developers didn’t know how to make a camera work with the third-person perspective, but Mario laid the foundation for what has resulted in your favorite games these days. It hasn’t aged perfectly since its release, but collecting stars in those giant sandboxes has been, and still is, a blast.
1. Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey brought back the sandbox gameplay people have been waiting for. There are thousands of Power Moons to collect scattered throughout. The collecting process never gets boring for people who love to discover new things. The addition of Cappy and being able to take over the body of so many enemies and objects brought a lot of variety to the gameplay that really sets this Mario game apart from all the rest.