This year is Mario’s 30th Anniversary. The original Super Mario Bros game came out thirty years ago (1985), so I’m going to write a Top 15 list on all the best Mario games! I would’ve done Top 30, but after a long pause, I realized that I had not played 30 Mario Games (yet). So I divided thirty in half and created a Top 15 list.
#15: Mario Kart DS (DS, 2005)
This game was almost deleted, but I decided that it should stay. Mario Kart DS is a incredibly confusing game, and it was the first Mario Kart game I ever played. For those who don’t know, the Mario Kart series has 11 games, and the whole plot or premise is to race other players (either friends or CPUs) to win characters and stages. This game has tons of wacky stages to race in–some that are not used anymore at all! You can even race inside a pinball machine! The inclusion of a secret character exclusive to that game (ROB) makes Mario Kart DS number 15.
#14: Super Mario 64 DS (DS, 2004)
Okay, so I didn’t play the original. Sue me. Though I have never played the original Super Mario 64, the DS version is one of my favorite games. Super Mario 64 was one of the first 3 Dimensional Mario games, and was a major breakthrough for Nintendo. Major breakthrough means MORE THAN 11 MILLION COPIES OF THE GAME SOLD! The plot of the game is basically the same as every other. Even if you’re not a Mario fan, you know the story. Peach gets kidnapped by Bowser and Mario saves her. What’s different in Super Mario 64 DS is the fact that Mario is not alone. In fact, you can play as three other characters: Luigi, Yoshi, and Wario! Most critics and fans have named this game as “one of the greatest and most revolutionary video games of all time.” “Great” and “revolutionary”? Seems like it should be number 14.
#13: New Super Mario Bros (DS, 2006)
I chose this game to be number 13 not because of its unique enemies or new power ups or the fact that 30.79 million copies of this game have been sold. It’s the fact that this was my first Mario game. Before then, I had a DS (this was before the 3DS) with only one game: Kirby Squeak Squad (one of my favorite games). But after a little while playing that game, I got bored and wanted a new game, so my cousins bought me New Super Mario Bros. As soon as I played it (the next day), I fell in love. The graphics changed my life, and the fun, unique gameplay got me into liking Mario in the first place. Of course, I also hacked the game so I could beat it and get everything, so it became a little less enjoyable, but still. Playing this game was a life-changing event, so it seems a great choice for number 13.
#12: Super Mario 3D World (Wii U, 2013)
This is one of the newer Mario video games, but is still very good. The Mario plot (see above) is actually changed (a little bit)! The plot of this game is: In Peach’s home (the Mushroom Kingdom), Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad are walking when they see a Clear Pipe. They fix up the Clear Pipe and a Sprixie (a fairy-like creature) pops out of the pipe, clearly in distress. Bowser then comes out of the Clear Pipe, kidnaps the Sprixie, and Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad go into another world to save the Sprixie. It turns normal 2D Mario levels into 3D levels, incorporating tons of new functions. You can become double, tap to Gamepad to change stuff, turn into a cat, and even play as a new side character, Captain Toad (who was turned into a game called Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker). This game is also fully compatible with multiplayer, allowing endless fun for everyone! This game deserves to be number 12.
#11: Mario Kart Wii (Wii, 2008)
As an incredible racing game, Mario Kart Wii deserves to be number 11. Mario Kart Wii is the sixth Mario Kart game of the series, and it is insanely fun. It incorporates totally new characters and tracks and adds a fun Wii Wheel, which you can use to steer yourself around. 36.38 million is Mario Kart Wii’s lucky number, and the game itself is the second best-selling Wii game of all time (besides Wii Sports). It is totally playable multiplayer, and you can have endless fun racing and beating friends in a friendly (or not-so-friendly) race. It is the number one best-selling racing game of all time.
#10: New Super Mario Bros U (Wii U, 2012)
Though there are tons of Mario games out there, this New Super Mario Bros U is hard to beat on a best game list. Unlike all the other previous games in the New Super Mario franchise (New Super Mario Bros, New Super Mario Bros Wii, and New Super Mario Bros 2), this game has not only a two, not a three, not a four, but a five multiplayer option! Four Mario characters go together on the screen while one guy taps the Gamepad, adding in blocks and helping destroy enemies! This game also has unique enemies and power-ups, such as the Super Acorn, which turns you into Flying Squirrel Mario, allowing you to swoop and glide through the air, not to mention the new enemy Nabbit, a purple bunny who loves to steal things! This game was so good that Nintendo had to make another version of this game, titled New Super Luigi U, which only has Luigi but the same gameplay. The main reason why this game isn’t number 5 or 6 is because of a lack of power-ups from the previous game (New Super Mario Bros Wii), such as the fan-favorites: Propeller Mushroom and the Penguin Suit. But overall, this is an incredible, fun-filled game, and will always be a personal favorite.
#9: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii, 2010)
There are a ton of games that have skyrocketed in popularity. In Super Mario Galaxy 2, you are literally skyrocketed into outer space during the beginning of the game! This single-player game had 7.41 million copies sold! The plot of the game is simple: Bowser kidnaps Peach (surprise!) and becomes gigantic, and Mario shoots himself into space to stop him, playing across galaxies and planets in search of Bowser’s empire. Along the way, he meets spaceship designer Lubba, who builds Mario a ship called Spaceship Mario (real creativity there, right?) to help him complete his journey. The whole game is set in 3D, letting Mario explore all parts of the planet he’s on. After the first game, Nintendo made some improvement, notably adding Yoshis to ride on, and the power-ups Rock Mushroom, Spin Drill and Cloud Flower. This game has tons of bosses and enemies to strategically defeat, and features a tough set of mini-game challenges designed by a monkey called The Chimp. This game incorporates tons of fun for everyone who plays it. If you want to play Mario, this is one of the games you should start out with.
#8: Super Mario Bros (NES, 1985)
For Mario’s 30th Anniversary, how could we not include the very first Mario game? This game was first released in Japan, but then went to North America for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES for short). The game became insanely popular in the market, and is the best selling video game of all time, selling 40 million copies! Super Mario Bros singlehandedly helped revive the gaming industry after the 1983 video game crash, where the video game companies at the time almost reached bankruptcy. Super Mario Bros also was the main reason for the NES’s success in North America. I have played the game myself a couple times, and it is incredible. The plot is the same: King Koopa (aka Bowser) has kidnapped Peach (shh, Tucker, we’ve heard this a million times…). This game started a long chain reaction of Nintendo redoing and redesigning this game until it is now the Mario game you see today. Mario probably wouldn’t have even been named Mario if it hadn’t been for this game. Critics love this game, claiming it as “one of the best video games of all time.” If you want to be a Mario fan, or even just a gamer, you have got to play this game.
#7: Mario Kart 8 (Wii U, 2014)
The best Mario Kart game of the series, Mario Kart 8 will just blow you away! To start, there are 37 characters that you can have, 16 starters, 14 unlockables, and 7 downloadable characters! After that, you have tons of vehicles to choose from, from ATVs to motorcycles! After that, let the races begin! You might notice that some of the 32 race courses are upside down! Not to worry! Mario Kart 8 allows anti-gravity, allowing you to drive on walls or upside down with ease. That would seem to pull more people into this game (pull, get it? Gravity, pull, gravitational pull…okay I’ll stop), but it doesn’t stop there. This game is a four player game, and is so much fun to play! It can get tough to win when the courses are against you, and the other players are throwing objects to try to slow you down. In this game, you can even race by air or underwater! This game is truly incredible in every aspect, and will blow your mind.
#6: Dr. Mario 64 (Nintendo 64, 2001)
Whenever I’m at my orthodontist, and I am totally bored of just sitting there waiting for my turn, I go into a little side section of the waiting room, where they have tons of fun stuff (as in two Wiis that only have Wii Sports and that barely work and a sort of dumb snowboarding game)! When I get there, I usually play Dr. Mario 64. Dr. Mario 64 is an enhanced remake of Dr. Mario, a game where Mario decides to be a doctor and throws different colored pills at viruses to destroy them. If two of the same color pills and a virus of the same color as the pill are all touching each other, the virus is destroyed. It’s a pretty easy game to get, but extremely hard to master. The reason I like Dr. Mario 64 more than all the other Dr. Marios (and a Luigi), is their story mode. In this Story Mode, Mario cures people off their colds using Megavitamins, but an evil guy named Mad Scienstein comes and steals the Megavitamins. So, teaming up with Wario (Mario’s evil counterpart), Dr. Mario goes on a long quest to get the stolen Megavitamins! Whenever you come across an enemy, you have to play a Dr. Mario game against them. What happens next? Actually, I’ve never gone that far before, but if you buy this game, it’s worth a shot (okay, that’s the last bad joke I’m saying).
#5: New Super Mario Bros Wii (Wii, 2009)
This game is definitely incredible. Nintendo had been struggling for years to make a multiplayer Mario game, and they finally did it. You can play as Mario, his brother Luigi, or a blue or yellow Toad. Along with the multiplayer, this game also has two fun and unique power ups. The Propeller Mushroom allows flight for a limited amount of time, and the Penguin Suit allows you to shoot balls of ice, which can freeze enemies, and also allows you to go and swim through water and ice with ease. Eventually, after I couldn’t go any further, it wasn’t about beating the game anymore. It was about the fun! It was so much fun at my friend’s house, throwing other players into lava, stealing their power ups, or turning into bubbles for no reason. We made alliances and we didn’t care if we beat the game. In fact, we didn’t even beat World 1! This game is great to play with friends and family, and is also great for trollers (I think that’s what they’re called) and people like that. This game will change your world.
#4: Mario Super Sluggers (Wii, 2008)
The follow-up to Mario Superstar Baseball for the Gamecube, Mario Super Sluggers is a game where you basically play baseball against other teams of your pick, or against friends. But this isn’t ordinary baseball. This is baseball where you can throw barrels at people, fireballs and fire is around, you can jump super high and the stadium is against you – this is the type of baseball you play in Mario Super Sluggers. To start a game, first you have to choose the stadium. Mario Super Sluggers has 15 unique stages, including night versions. After you’ve chosen the stage, prepare yourself for choosing one of the 12 captains, each with a different special power and abilities. After picking captains and teams, you start the game. This game is incredibly fun to play with a friend. The reason that it isn’t any higher is the lack of certain characters, but overall this is a great game and is a total blast, but still lost to…
#3: Super Mario Maker (Wii U, 2015)
This game was actually made for Mario’s 30th Anniversary, which makes it even better! Super Mario Maker is a total unique game. In it, you get to create countless 2D Mario stages! You can put in tons of enemies and objects, and you can totally break the rules! Put a Goomba in a Mystery Block! Put wings on a giant Bowser! Stack Koopas and Magikoopas on each other! This game is like no other, and even though I have only played it for a month, this game is definitely incredible. For Mario’s 30th Anniversary, they added in some features to show Mario’s history. You can switch the game style from Super Mario Bros to New Super Mario Bros U. But everyone, it gets better than that! If you can access Internet, you can send and play Mario levels from around the globe, or even intergalactically…if aliens play this game! This game is perfect if you want to be a game designer, or even if you just want a challenge. But challenge is what this next game’s all about…
#2: Donkey Kong (Arcade, 1981)
Okay, it has no Mario in the name…but this is where Mario made his humble beginnings. Donkey Kong’s plot is simple: get to the top without getting hit by a barrel and/or getting burned by fire and/or getting hit by Donkey Kong. I’ve only played these game putting in a token per turn or a quarter per turn, but I’ve successfully beaten the first level! That’s how hard this game is! This might not be a Mario game, because the hero’s name is actually Mr. Video (changed to the more popular Jumpman), but without Mr. Video, Mario would have never existed. In about 10 years, this game elevated from incredible to classic. This game has become international contests, has been in movies, and created the Mario world as we know it. These reasons, and many more, are why Donkey Kong is the second best Mario game.
#1: (Do a dramatic pause before reading the next part…) Super Mario Galaxy (Wii, 2007)
This game…there are so many things that are good about it, but I’ll start here: this game is awesome! Super Mario Galaxy has a simple plot: you probably know it, but I swear that this is the last time I’m saying it: Bowser kidnaps Peach, Mario goes into the universe to save her (for every later Top 10 related to Mario, I’m going to call it EMP: Every Mario Plot). Your “home base” is the Comet Observatory, a mysterious comet owned by a mysterious lady, Rosalina. There are tons and tons of galaxies to explore in this game, from an ice and fire galaxy, to a galaxy of giant toys! This game has power ups that nobody had seen then and would ever see again (I think). This game actually inspired me to beat it (I spent all my Spring Break doing it), clearing exactly 242 missions (121 missions with Mario, 121 missions with Luigi). This game changed my life, made it incredible, introduced me to a greater world. This game is a mind-blowing, universe-expanding, fun racing, heart pacing, totally epic game! It will take you from Earth to the far reaches of the galaxy, and that’s why Super Mario Galaxy is my number one Mario game of all time.
Thank you so much for reading this (if you stayed awake). I’m happy that somebody else cares about this other than me. See you soon for another fun (and hopefully shorter) article!