What's the Greatest Mario Game Ever? Find Out Where Mario Odyssey Lands in Our Updated Rankings! [Updated]

The USgamer team voted on every Super Mario game ever made. Where does Super Mario Odyssey fit in?

List by Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, Jaz Rignall, John Benyamine, Kat Bailey, Mike Williams, and Nadia Oxford, .

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Super Mario Bros. celebrates its 30th anniversary next week. In three decades, Mario's groundbreaking trip through the Mushroom Kingdom has inspired nearly two dozen spinoffs and sequels. That's a lot of games!

And with that many Mario games around, it inevitably leads to endless debates over which one is best. So, we at USgamer decided to take a democratic approach and put it to a vote. Seven different USgamer contributors have weighed in to decide once and for all which Mario games are best, and which are worst, by putting the entire series to a vote.

And how did we go about making these decisions? We used a weighted voting system, where all 35 games were assigned a score based on each person's ranking. Each game's overall score was then tallied and ranked. As for which games were eligible, we included only Super Mario games and spinoffs — platformers beginning with Super Mario Bros. No sports games, no puzzlers, no RPGs, no racing games... and no pre-Super Mario games, e.g. Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong or Donkey Kong sequels, either (including DK94, Donkey Kong Country, and all those Mini games). And finally, ports and remakes were counted as the original game... so while we didn't include Super Mario Bros. DX on the list, it definitely factored into our opinions about Super Mario Bros. There have been so many Mario games we had to draw the line somewhere or else we'd never be done with this feature.

So how did the games stack up? Some of the results may surprise you! [Update Monday 9/7: Part two, with games 22-11, is up!]

The Bottom Tier

The lowest of the low... just kidding. With just a few exceptions, a poor Mario game is still a pretty great game. These unloved games range from genuinely terrible to genuinely good... and the Game Boy Color Wario Land games almost certainly only showed up in this portion because so few people have played them and couldn't vote on them. Don't worry, though — we'll be bringing back USgamer Club soon with a mandatory Wario Land II & III session in order to right this wrong!

39. Super Mario Bros. Special

[Sharp X1/NEC PC-8801, 1986]
Not to be chauvinistic, but it's probably telling that the lowest-ranking entry on our list is the one Super Mario game never to appear on a Nintendo platform. Hudson adapted Super Mario Bros. (under license!) for Japanese home computers, and the results are... kind of terrible, but in a fascinating way. Between the weird level remixes, the inclusion of enemies from the original Mario Bros., and the awkward flipscreen scrolling, this is one of those games you have to experience to believe it.

38. Yoshi Topsy Turvy

[Game Boy Advance, 2005]
As we'll see in the course of this list, great Yoshi's Island sequels have been few and far between over the years (we hear good things about Woolly World, though!). The worst follow-up by far was this Artoon-developed project that centered entirely around a special accelerometer feature. Points for innovation, but given that WarioWare Twisted! came along at around the same time and showed how truly great accelerometer-based play could be, this ugly, clumsy effort fell far short.

37. Wario: Master of Disguise

[Nintendo DS, 2007]
This absolute abomination of a game lacked refinement and completely failed to take advantage of its costume-centric premise. As a follow-up to the Wario Land games, it completely failed. Frankly, we'd rather watch the Dana Carvey movie "Master of Disguise," and that has a 1% "freshness" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

36. Wario World

[GameCube, 2003]
The Wario games have always been a little off, but this one is the most bizarre of them all. A 3D platformer/brawler centered around acquiring wealth, Wario World unfortunately was put together by legendary developer Treasure during their awkward transition into 3D game design and as such feels half-baked — incomplete, even. A good idea that needed more time in the proverbial oven.

35. Yoshi Touch 'N Go

[Nintendo DS, 2005]
A charming and fun action game, Yoshi Touch 'N Go's failing comes not from poor design but rather from the fact that it feels more like a minigame concept that Nintendo decided to sell for full price. As a demonstration of the potential of touch screen-based play on the shiny new Nintendo DS, it was pretty cool; as a value proposition in a world where full-sized ports of Super Mario 64 and Ape Escape featured on portable systems, it failed to make a case for itself.

34. Wario Land: Shake It!

[Wii, 2008]
Drop-dead gorgeous graphics alone couldn't atone for the fact that this platformer felt completely recycled. It looked stunning, yes, but in action it proved to be a muted, less anarchic take on the superior Wario Land 4.

33. Wario Land

[Virtual Boy, 1995]
This platformer may well have been the single best game ever produced for the Virtual Boy system. But, unfortunately, that means you have to play it on Virtual Boy. Even if you can find a working system, you still have to deal with the literal headaches that come hand-in-hand with Nintendo's most disastrous console ever. If there were any justice in the world, Nintendo would remake this for 3DS and liberate it from the tyranny of an aging, uncomfortable machine.

32. Yoshi's Story

[N64, 1997]
This gentle platformer offers an unique premise; it's hilariously simple and almost completely lacking in challenge, but your real goal is to approach each stage as if it were a puzzle of sorts, finding the optimal route to consume each Yoshi's favorite fruits. It's like a felt-board take on Mighty Bomb Jack, if that makes any sense. Unfortunately, coming directly on the heels of the superlative Yoshi's Island, most fans wanted something more than that.

31. Wario Land 3

[Game Boy Color, 2000]
What's this game doing down here so low in the rankings? Ah, right... no one's played it. Well, that too is a statement on the game itself — but those who have taken the time to explore the third Wario Land have found a sprawling, non-linear adventure that uses Wario's indestructibility to create elaborate puzzles and challenges unlike any other Mario-style game. Well, except the rest of the Wario Land series.

30. Super Mario Run

[2016, Mobile]
Super Mario Run marks Mario's first mobile game. There you go, investors. Nintendo finally put Mario on mobile. Are you happy?

Probably not. Super Mario Run failed to get people very excited, primarily because it opts for a "free to download" monetization system in lieu of the free to play system most mobile games use. Nintendo asks for $9.99 after you've tucked away a few levels, and players' answer to that request has been a resounding "Nope."

It's a shame, because Super Mario Run is a well-built mobile game. Its levels are cleverly built and fine-tuned to suit Mario's auto-run. The 3.0 update indicates Nintendo still plans to add content to the game; I suppose there's a chance they'll just overhaul its monetization system, and / or drop the price of entry. People clearly still love Mario. Just not enough to pay $9.99 in a market where "Free" is the norm.

29. Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels (JP)

[Famicom Disk System, 1986]
The original Super Mario Bros. 2 demonstrates the arcade mentality behind the Mario series of the era: Rather than existing as a fresh, new, inventive sequel, this is more of a remix designed for players who mastered the original Super Mario Bros. Forget the gentle learning curve of SMB's World 1-1; this drops you right into the deep end and only gets nastier from there. Unfortunately, it often forsakes Nintendo's own design principles, feeling less like classic Mario at times and more like the kind of troll stages you'll be experiencing in Super Mario Maker.

28. Wario Land II

[Game Boy/Color, 1998]
Like Wario Land III, this game would be a lot further up the list if more people had played it (unlike, say, Yoshi's Story or The Lost Levels, which everyone voted on). This was the game that truly established Wario as a unique character rather than just a chubbier, angrier Mario. By taking away his vulnerability to enemies and penalizing players with weird status effects instead of death, Wario Land II's designers created an entirely new form of platform game design. As its place in the rankings can attest, it's not the most popular of Mario spin-offs, but it might just be the most inventive.

27. Yoshi's Island DS

[Nintendo DS, 2006]
Unlike Yoshi's Story, Yoshi's Island DS took aim at being a true Yoshi sequel, with the same visual style and egg-chucking mechanics as the Super NES classic. But at least Yoshi's Story distinguished itself with entirely new gameplay concepts; Yoshi's Island DS just feels like a retread. The addition of different babies to tote around besides Mario bogged down the action with needless complexity, and the weird gap between the two DS screens could hide hazards at crucial moments. So it was basically the Super NES game, but less good.

26. Super Princess Peach

[Nintendo DS, 2006]
Almost a mighty blow for girl power... if not for the fact that it was built around the worst sexist stereotypes about women. Peach has got it! If by "it" you mean wild emotional swings. Still, despite its decidedly un-progressive nature, Super Princess Peach deserves credit for finally letting the damsel in distress take the leading role, and for featuring a wide array of imaginative puzzles in the Wario Land vein around the heroine's emotional distress.

Next page: The middle tier

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Comments 98

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  • Avatar for jeremycarrier12 #1 jeremycarrier12 3 years ago
    Can't wait to complain about Super Mario World being #1
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #2 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @jeremycarrier12 Yes, people being angry about other people's opinions is always my favorite byproduct of democratic lists like these!
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  • Avatar for ol\'dirty\'bus\'stop #3 ol\'dirty\'bus\'stop 3 years ago
    This is already a TRAVESTYEdited September 2015 by ol\'dirty\'bus\'stop
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  • Avatar for btsierra #4 btsierra 3 years ago
    @jeremycarrier12 Well that's just unthinkable. Everyone knows Mario is Missing! is the absolute pinnacle of the Mario franchise.
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  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #5 Monkey-Tamer 3 years ago
    I remember enjoying the Lost Levels when the US finally got it through Super Mario All Stars. I managed to complete it. But after the thrashing I took earlier in the week playing Super Mario 3 those rose tinted memories will probably fade real quick if I boot it up again.
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  • Avatar for grappler51 #6 grappler51 3 years ago
    Hmm, guess Wario isn't doing so hot on these... I completely forgot some of these games existed, like Master of Disguise.
    Also, I think you should throw in an honorable mention for the fan game Psycho Waluigi!Edited September 2015 by grappler51
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  • Avatar for Compeau #7 Compeau 3 years ago
    SMB3 vs Mario World is my favorite fake internet argument. It's all in good fun, and nobody end up truly angry. Much better than discussing religion or politics.
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  • Avatar for I-m-not-Daredevil #8 I-m-not-Daredevil 3 years ago
    Wario Land 2 is one of my all time favourites
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  • Avatar for boxofficepoison #9 boxofficepoison 3 years ago
    So does mario maker count for this list? Would not shock me if that was a surprise top 3 mario game.
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  • Avatar for Disco-Stu #10 Disco-Stu 3 years ago
    I'm assuming that Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land will be farther up the list which makes me happy. It's still my sentimental favorite in that series even if the mechanics were much more fleshed out in later games.
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  • Avatar for nutbunnies #11 nutbunnies 3 years ago
    These "rules" seem to merely exist to force out what would have been the consensus #1, Hotel Mario.
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #12 SuperShinobi 3 years ago

    A true democratic list is a list voted by the readers.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #13 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @SuperShinobi I didn't have everyone's email addresses, sorry.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #14 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @boxofficepoison Super Mario Maker and Yoshi's Woolly World were not included because neither of them is out in the U.S. yet. We'll be sure to include them in the 40th anniversary voting, though!
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  • Avatar for beaphar #15 beaphar 3 years ago
    Seems about right. Every game I've played from this bottom tier was pretty miserable. Especially Yoshi Topsy Turvy. I'll never understand how that one got greenlighted.

    And yeah, Yoshi's Woolly World is excellent! I'm from Europe, so I've played it and was pleasantly surprised. After so many dissapointments, we finally have a worthy sequel to Yoshi's Island.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #16 Kuni-Nino 3 years ago
    I'm interested in where Sunshine lands. It feels like an under appreciated game to me for some reason. I think I would put it in the top ten pretty easily. I can only think of maybe 6 Mario games that are undoubtedly better than Sunshine so a spot in the top ten is likely.

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  • Avatar for Roto13 #17 Roto13 3 years ago
    I don't remember being given the opportunity to vote at all. This is a gross miscarriage of democracy, as shown by Wario Land II's place so low on the list.
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  • Avatar for boxofficepoison #18 boxofficepoison 3 years ago
    @Kuni-Nino Main problem people have with super mario sunshine is its a bit slow with lots of big long climbs that if you fall require lots of back tracking. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it would not crack my top ten.

    Personal top ten would probably go

    10. New super mario bros u
    9. Super mario galaxy
    8. Yoahis island
    7. Super Mario 3D world
    6.Super mario galaxy 2
    5. Super mario bros
    4. Super marios bros 2 us
    3. Super mario 64
    2. Super mario world
    1.Super mario bros 3
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  • Avatar for GarrettCRW #19 GarrettCRW 3 years ago
    @Monkey-Tamer Then you don't want to play the FDS original, because it's quite a bit harder than the All-Stars version.
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  • Avatar for boxofficepoison #20 boxofficepoison 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Just curious as someone who has played and reviewed mario maker if it were eligible would you put in the top five of all mario games?
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  • Avatar for Neifirst #21 Neifirst 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish I realize it was a staff vote that placed it in the bottom tier, but to this day, I still don't understand your disdain for Wario Land: Shake It. Although the 4:3 presentation is a bit annoying, its animations are beautiful and it used the gyro capabilities of the wii remote in really fun ways. I loved trying to perfect my escape from the levels to get all of the available treasure chests. It was the type of game that just begged for "one more try." Different strokes and all that, but it's a bit disheartening to see it with dross like (barring Island on SNES).
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  • Avatar for wegum #22 wegum 3 years ago
    It is a shame that a Virtual Boy Virtual Console will probably never happen and people without an actual VB won't get the opportunity to play Wario Land with 3D effects. It's pretty much the only reason I haven't sold off my Virtual Boy at this point.

    VB emulators are good and let people play through it in some form, but it does lose a little bit of the nifty appeal. That said, it's definitely worth playing through in any format.

    I enjoyed this article, thanks for continuing to offer fun features like these.
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  • Avatar for mganai #23 mganai 3 years ago
    Even if they don't deserve to be that low, Wario Land 2 and 3 are right about where they should be on the Wario hierarchy. The lack of death made it feel like a battle of attrition.
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  • Avatar for Namevah #24 Namevah 3 years ago
    Yoshi’s Topsy Turvy was also developed by Artoon? So that makes how many Yoshi games that this crew mangled?
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  • Avatar for grayholiday #25 grayholiday 3 years ago
    I don't consider Yoshi's Story to be one of my favorite games, but I do feel like I've spent enough time with it to warrant a defensive comment. Sure it is shallow compared to the masterpiece that is Yoshi's Island. It accomplished something different and wholly admirable. The levels were all non-linear and looped back on themselves. The goal of each level was just to eat a bunch of fruit. Eat enough fruit and you move on to the next stage. Simple, right?

    However there was much more to it. Buried in each level were Special Hearts which unlocked other levels in the same world. You could only play these unlocked levels on subsequent playthroughs. Rather than being a game you can complete and then never play again, Yoshi's Story was meant for you to beat in an hour or two, then come back, play again and have a completely different experience.

    Sure Yoshi's Story isn't anywhere near as expertly crafted as the timeless Yoshi's Island, but it tried something different. And if you ask me, I would say it succeeded.

    There. I defended it.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #26 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    Interesting, lookin forward to see the remainder of the list! I always enjoy lists like these. There's a lot of great Mario games, it can be hard to choose a favorite. My personal top 5 would be:

    1. Super Mario 64
    2. Super Mario Bros. 3
    3. Yoshi's Island
    4. Mario Galaxy
    5. Super Mario Bros. 2
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  • Avatar for jbobo89 #27 jbobo89 3 years ago
    Interesting article. Didn't really realize how many of these there actually were until some were laid all out like this. Haven't played many of these either! What kind of person am I?!
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #28 MetManMas 3 years ago
    I'm a little disappointed by so many of the Wario games being so low, but I certainly understand how nobody played the Game Boy Color and Virtual Boy installments seeing how the former are on a platform people were buying more for Pokémon and were buried under a flood of shoddy licensed games and the latter was on Virtual Boy.

    Wario: Master of Disguise is right where it belongs, though.
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  • Avatar for roomtemperature #29 roomtemperature 3 years ago
    Its my opinion but Yoshi and Wario games being included just irk me. They're a different style of game and if it was my list (which its not but its a comment section so why not comment) it'd only be platformers with traditional Mario mechanics
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  • Avatar for DrCorndog #30 DrCorndog 3 years ago
    This list proves that Wario Land is one of the most under-appreciated series of all time. Seeing Shake It! so low on the list is particularly disheartening. I didn't get the impression it landed there for lack of votes like the others.
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  • Avatar for secularsage #31 secularsage 3 years ago
    I'm a bit worried not to see Hotel Mario, Mario Teaches Typing, Mario is Missing or Mario's Time Machine in the bottom tier. I'm hoping that's because they were left off the voting list and not because any of them are perceived as being even of a middling level of quality.

    FWIW, I'm going to argue Super Mario 3D World is better than any classic Mario game, and I've been playing the series since the original. I've been stunned by 3D World's quality and its inventive level design. Whereas 3D Land was too easy on the first pass and often frustrating on the second, 3D World is a masterpiece that's always fun to fire up and play, especially with other people.

    And yeah, I loved SMB3/SMW back in the NES/SNES era too, guys. Both are still great games, but Mario has gotten better with every generation, and 3D World really ties the best of Mario's game mechanics into a single package.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #32 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @secularsage As the article says, this was platformers only. So no edutainment, no racers, no sports, no RPGs.
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  • Avatar for Godots17thCup #33 Godots17thCup 3 years ago
    I'm kinda bummed to see so many Wario games ranked so low (except for Master of Disguise - that game was a disgrace). The Wario Land series was just consistently well-crafted, fun, inventive and weird, and it looks like I wrongly assumed more people had played them.

    I certainly thought the series was far better, on average, than the middling Yoshi's Island successors and the bland New Super Mario Bros. line, though I'm probably a bit biased, since Wario played a rather large role in my gaming tastes growing up.
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  • Avatar for sakicfan84 #34 sakicfan84 3 years ago
    My personal top 5:

    1. Yoshi's Island
    2. Mario 64
    3. Super Mario World
    4. Super Mario Bros 3
    5. Super Mario Sunshine

    I still have not come across a platformer I love as much as Yoshi's Island. I think it has the perfect mix of accessibility and challenge. Anyone could jump in and play the game, but it took some serious effort to 100 each level. It was the first game that I ever got into that had a set of challenges like that.

    I know not many others would put Super Mario Sunshine in their top 5. But that game came along at a time when I had fallen out of love with gaming. Between Mario Sunshine and Metroid Prime, I remembered why I had fallen in love with gaming in the first place.
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  • Avatar for vincentgoodwin88 #35 vincentgoodwin88 3 years ago
    I don't think Donkey Kong '94 should have been disqualified. That game is a beautiful platformer (I say it's perfect and possibly my top 2D platformer - but we can disagree).

    It's got just as much claim to being a Mario platformer as any Wario/Yoshi game. Especially since it stars Mario, gives him a lot of his future movesets, and it's a platformer.
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  • Avatar for docexe #36 docexe 3 years ago
    I had forgotten some of those Yoshi games existed. Then again, I suppose that’s tied with their place in this list.
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  • Avatar for seejamsrun #37 seejamsrun 3 years ago
    I have a personal fondness for Sunshine that might place it higher on the list, and I actually prefer NSMB Wii to the U version (that final boss was too good, and the penguin and propellor power ups actually being used in the main game were a lot more enjoyable to me than the squirrel suit or whatever it was). Can't wait to see how the rest of the list pans out, though!
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  • Avatar for sam-stephens #38 sam-stephens 3 years ago
    I tend to separate the 2D Mario games from the 3D ones when ranking them.

    1) Super Mario Bros. 3
    2) Super Mario Bros.
    3) New Super Mario Bros. 2
    4) New Super Mario Bros. U
    5) New Super Mario Bros. Wii
    6) New Super Mario Bros.
    7) Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels
    8) Super Mario World
    9) Super Mario Bros. 2

    1) Super Mario Galaxy 2
    2) Super Mario 3D World
    3) Super Mario 3D Land
    4) Super Mario Galaxy
    5) Super Mario 64
    6) Super Mario SunshineEdited 2 times. Last edited September 2015 by sam-stephens
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  • Avatar for bad-scott #39 bad-scott 3 years ago
    "11. New Super Mario Bros. U

    [Platform, Year]"

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  • Avatar for sean697 #40 sean697 3 years ago
    Ok I'll say my peace now. NSMB U>NSMB Wii> SMW. Maybe if account historical perspective or nostalgia. But having played all the mainline SMB games at the time. I can objectively say NSMB U is the best 2D Mario. I could write paragraphs describing why that is so. But I won't. I don't know if that's because of the the bad rap the New moniker on DS shadowed onto these games. Or people somehow just expected more. But NSMB U with the addition of Luigi U is a masterpiece of control and platforming and new ideas. I just played SMW to completion yesterday 100 percent and still stand by this opinion. (Doing a game club on a forum I frequent and it was SMW vs Sonic as a theme.)
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  • Avatar for guillermojiménez88 #41 guillermojiménez88 3 years ago
    It's funny that, without meaning to, the top ten will split up evenly between five 2D games (SMB, SMB2, SMB3, SMW, SMW2:YI) and five 3D games (SM64, SMG, SMG2, SM3DL, SM3DW). It'll be interesting to see what styles come out on top.

    Also, four out of those ten were released in the last eight years, putting to bed the notion that Mario has gotten stale after Sunshine. The same thing happens if you count the top 15 -9 out of 15 since Sunshine-, or the top 20 -12 out of 20 since Sunshine-.

    For what it's worth, here's my top 19. (19 being the number of Mario games I've played to completion.)

    19. Super Mario Land
    18. Mario Bros.
    17. Super Princess Peach
    16. Donkey Kong Jr. (NES)
    15. Donkey Kong (NES)
    14. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
    13. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
    12. Super Mario Bros. 2 (this is the one I wanted to rate higher, but couldn't)
    11. Super Mario Bros.
    10. New Super Mario Bros.
    9. Super Mario Bros. 3
    8. Super Mario 3D Land
    7. Donkey Kong (GB)
    6. Super Mario Sunshine
    5. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
    4. Super Mario Galaxy
    3. Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DS
    2. Super Mario Galaxy 2
    1. Super Mario WorldEdited 4 times. Last edited January 2016 by guillermojiménez88
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #42 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @guillermojiménez88 Man, I can't agree with anyone who thinks Mario has gotten stale. I feel like they're always trying new things with the series' framework.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #43 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @guillermojiménez88 Man, I can't agree with anyone who thinks Mario has gotten stale. I feel like they're always trying new things with the series' framework.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #44 Kuni-Nino 3 years ago
    Sunshine at 14...don't know if I agree with that. I haven't sat around to think about it too hard though. I just know that I would personally put Sunshine above SMB2 and the original SMB.

    I will say putting NSMBU above Sunshine is fine work. I just finished playing NSMBU for the first time this past weekend. I bought it last week because of the Mario Maker hype and because the game seems to have a good reputation among the hardcore Mario fans. It was a game I wanted to play but, for some reason, never got around to it.

    Well, I was surprised by how excellent the game turned out to be. I literally can't think of a single fault the game has from gameplay standpoint. It is 2D platforming perfection and easily stands with Tropical Freeze as one of the best platformers of the modern era. I cannot believe this game got dogged upon release simply because it didn't look like Rayman Legends.

    Screw that. I know videogames are a visual medium and presentation goes hand in hand with gameplay, but my god, NSMBU's mechanics and level designs put so many of these artsy looking platformers to shame that it's not even funny.

    NSMBU could very well be Mario finest 2D outing. Give it a few more years until we can look back on it without all the bias and trends of today's game design. I'm sure it will get further vindication. It's nice that it's at #11 at least. Just on the cusp of the top ten.
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  • Avatar for Vaporeon #45 Vaporeon 3 years ago
    Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for the win! Come on, USGamer team! Make me proud with a tribute to this SNES golden era masterpiece!
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #46 SatelliteOfLove 3 years ago
    The News are down this low from BAH BAH.
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  • Avatar for boxofficepoison #47 boxofficepoison 3 years ago
    @Vaporeon It is only a list of platformers. A list of every game mario had been in would be about a hundred games long.
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  • Avatar for mganai #48 mganai 3 years ago
    Wario Land 4 should have been swapped with Mario Land 2 (which could have then been shuffled up a little). Wario Land in my mind clicked a lot more, given there was more impetus to explore levels. WL4's only sin was its short length. That aside, it still holds up due to its balance of typical mortality mechanics with the odd maladies of 2 and 3 that needed to be weaponized to progress. Not to mention of course the segues into weirdness, minigames, and weird minigames that continued with the Wario Ware series.
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  • Avatar for beaphar #49 beaphar 3 years ago
    Super Mario Land 2 was such a weird game. It felt almost like Mario had been dropped in someone else's adventure. Me and my friends couldn't believe all the crazy levels hidden in this game. Exploring a giant's house, getting swallowed by a whale, climbing a huge mechanical Mario-statue, making a trip to the moon... and all of them filled with strange enemies and bosses not found in any of the other Mario-games.

    When I revisit it now I doesn't really hold up (the levels feel kind of simplistic - probably because Mario has a such a huge sprite), but I have really fond memories of playing that game as a kid.
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  • Avatar for siamesegiant #50 siamesegiant 3 years ago
    1: Super Mario Land 2
    2: Super Mario Sunshine
    3: Wario Land

    Not too fond of Mario to be honest, which is why I'm probably more into the outliers.
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  • Avatar for Captain-Gonru #51 Captain-Gonru 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Perhaps next week, as a counterpoint to Mario Maker's release, you should do a "Top Ten Mario Games You Wish You Could Forget", to give the Hotel Marios and Mario is Missing!s of the world a spot of some sort. And, y'know, to shut people up about them.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #52 MHWilliams 3 years ago
    I fought hard for Galaxy and Galaxy 2. *single tear*
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  • Avatar for jeremycarrier12 #53 jeremycarrier12 3 years ago
    @jeremycarrier12 and now, since I'm a man of my world, time for me to complain about Super Mario World being #1.

    Game is still boring as hell. Floaty ass controls, broken cape power-ups, ugly aesthetic, literally only two good music tracks(Athletic and Castle), a focus on collect-a-thon gameplay that got the 3D series off on the wrong track and wasn't corrected back till Galaxy/3D World.

    Galaxy 2 > SM3DW > Yoshi's Island > SMB3 > the original SMB2 > *
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #54 cldmstrsn 3 years ago
    Wasn't Super Mario 3D World for Wii U? They also released it for Wii in 2013?
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #55 SuperShinobi 3 years ago
    Nice to see a reader poll for this oft-debated topic. As a long-term Mario fan ever since the '80s, I agree with your number 1 choice. My own top 5 would be:

    1. Mario World

    - huge visual improvement over the 8-bit Marios, incredible soundtrack, lots of secrets and depth, memorable level design

    2. Mario 64

    - great hub world, an even better soundtrack, freedom of exploration (without having a water tank strapped to your back), fun moveset

    3. Super Mario 3D Land

    - As a fan of stereoscopic 3D, I love the game's 3D effect and how it's used to actually improve 3D platforming

    4. Super Mario 3D World

    - I'm also a big fan of isometric-style graphics and gameplay. Every series should have at least one isometric entry, so I'm glad Mario got one, even if it's not in the old-school 2D isometric style.

    5. New Super Mario Bros U

    - I was going to say Super Mario 1, but while it's a seminal game and I have fond memories of it, honestly something like NSMB U just is a better game from today's perspective. My second favorite of the 2D Marios.
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  • Avatar for Windwhale #56 Windwhale 3 years ago
    My top three Mario games (Expanded Universe, probably not canonical):

    3. Batman (Gameboy) – Traumatized by the events of the first Super Mario Land, Mario swore vengeance to all criminals. Naturally he then put on a mask and a cape and loaded several types of guns to shoot down funny crime bosses and their henchmen.

    2. Kid Chameleon (Genesis) – After taking the wrong warp-pipe in SMB3, Mario entered an alternate dimension called "MTV-America". Thus he became younger, hipper, edgier and sometimes difficult to get along with. Like every selfrespecting kid in the 90s he preferred to wear Samurai-armors, hockey masks and german WW1-tanks – no more classy Frog- or Tanooki-suits (those were for old people).

    1. The Great Gianna Sisters (C64, Amiga, Atari ST) – Remember those punk ladies rebelling against Mushroom Kingdom's patriarchic establishement? If you don't it's probably because Mario decided to let his chainchomp-lawyers off the chain and the two mysteriously dissapeared for over 20 years..

    Out of the better known Mario games (that I have actually played enough to judge them) my top 10 are:

    1. Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (I know that it was not on the list, but Wario and Yoshi games are allowed too... and it was developed by the "Galaxy"-team, so that completely justifies my pick :P )
    2. Yoshi's Island
    3. Wario World
    4. Wario Land 2
    5. Super Mario Land 2
    6. Super Mario Sunshine
    7. Super Mario Bros 2 - DokiDoki Panic
    8. Yoshi's Story
    9. Super Mario 64
    10. Super Mario Bros 3

    I also have played Mario Galaxy shortly and it seemed like the best 3D Mario I had ever experienced!Edited 4 times. Last edited September 2015 by Windwhale
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  • Avatar for Voncaster #57 Voncaster 3 years ago
    I find Super Mario 64, and almost the entire N64, really tough to go back to. Everything is super simple polygons and very ugly.

    I just cannot get into Super Mario 64. I guess it did have penguin racing though.

    Is new super mario bros. wii the first super mario bros. game to feature coop?Edited September 2015 by Voncaster
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #58 jeffcorry 3 years ago
    So glad to see Super Mario World at #1. I love that game.
    I also love all the others in the top 10.
    I'm too lazy to do my own this will do for now.
    Great job!
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  • Avatar for yuberus #59 yuberus 3 years ago
    I really dig the Mario World level design for how clever and exploratory it is, but no one can ever convince me the game is better than Mario 3. I loved the level designs for that game - eventually challenging but frequently inventive - the power ups, the little secrets like the coin ships, the physics, the music and visual style... it's the perfect platformer. World is a bit too floaty, and far too easy. Even the challenge levels have nothing on some of the World 7 SMB3 stuff.

    That all said, Mario Galaxy 2 is a solid 2nd place for me, right under Mario 3. I have never been huge on 3D platformers, but that game... it's just magical.
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #60 Vonlenska 3 years ago
    Boy, that Mario 3, what a load of garbage.

    (Kidding, kidding! Put down the hammers!)

    I'm glad Yoshi's Island ranked so high. That would have been my pick for #1. It's always been my favorite--the more easygoing, exploration-based gameplay, the crayon madness aesthetic, the cuteness overflow and the sheer creativity of it all... It out-novels the novelty parade that is Mario 3 with so many wild and wonderful unique new creatures, environments and ideas. It's even easy to forgive it its proto-collectathon aspect; it's such a beautiful game.

    Now I've got an earworm stuck in my head, and so do you.
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  • Avatar for Mikki-Saturn #61 Mikki-Saturn 3 years ago
    Super Mario World is my favorite. Mario 3, and Mario 64 are a close second and third. Actually, reverse that order... No actually, don't. See that's how close they are. Beyond that I think my ranking gets similar to everybody else's.
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  • Avatar for justinfinkbeiner65 #62 justinfinkbeiner65 3 years ago
    @MHWilliams I shall personally carry you to the gates of Valhalla myself.
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  • Avatar for MainCharacter #63 MainCharacter 3 years ago
    @vincentgoodwin88 I agree. I would have liked to see Donkey Kong '94 and Mario vs Donkey Kong considered here. Putting Mario in a puzzle-platformer was my favorite move by Nintendo in a post-SM64 world. And, Mv.DK in particular plays so much like the games in the "New" series that followed on the DS and beyond.
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  • Avatar for CK20XX #64 CK20XX 3 years ago
    I can't agree with Super Mario World being the best for only one reason: the Cape Feather was TOO powerful. It worked on way more enemies than the Fire Flower, allowed you to hit blocks to your side, slow your falls, fly, glide, AND take practically unlimited damage. There frankly wasn't any reason for the Fire Flower to exist at all, and that made the core gameplay unbalanced.
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  • Avatar for Toelkki #65 Toelkki 3 years ago
    Personal favourites in order of preference (as in, which games I would like to play in 2015):
    NSMBU - fun levels with many secrets to find and not hampered by controls like NSMB (at least on 3DS) and NSMBW.

    Galaxy 1 - reusing pieces of the levels for different stars meant continuity, making them feel more like thematically connected worlds rather than bunch of individual stages. Add in Rosalina's storybook and these raise G1 above Galaxy 2 and SM3DW. (I'm thinking of TotalBiscuit's recent video on the difference between Mad Max's critical reception and user reviews -- G2 has less "repeat" content, which would endear it to the pro reviewers more than G1.)

    Captain Toad - A pick-me-up game... unless you try to finish even the last stage with the hidden goal. Maybe also one of the most relevant amiibo-locked content that I know of - spotting pixel Toad in the levels is a new game mode and it even leaves a mark on the stage when you've done it.

    Ranking nowhere near the top:
    SM64 - definitely not a fan of the controls (Mario is excessively slow to start moving, IIRC) and the camera. Those kill off my interest already in the Bob-omb Battlefield.

    SMB1 - while the (level) design may be good, the technical side is less than what I want from a game I'd play in 2015.

    Yoshi's Woolly World - plodding and boring. Yoshi's jump arc - not much unlike Klonoa's - seems like it's designed to annoy people who just want to get over with the game. When an obligatory jump is not possible without having to flail in mid-air for a while to get just that last bit of altitude, it's more than just a small speed bump. In other games, grabbing onto a ledge would be no less fun.

    By the way - Sonic turns 25 next year. Any chance of seeing a similar series?
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  • Avatar for I-m-not-Daredevil #66 I-m-not-Daredevil 3 years ago
    Yoshi's Island #2!!! Yus! Still, not my list at all.
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  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #67 Monkey-Tamer 3 years ago
    I still play damn near all these games to this day, except for the ones on the newer systems that I don't own. It's a testament to superior game design that these are still playable to this day.
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  • Avatar for AlltheNeSWorldCups #68 AlltheNeSWorldCups 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish I used to own the All stars version with Super Mario World never had too many games for snes so having 5 games on 1 cart was great I was able to beat almost every game I fell through the blocks against bowser in smb3 haven't gotten back there since but I'm pretty sure I got everything in world those special stages were brutal those stupid football players
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  • Avatar for beaphar #69 beaphar 3 years ago
    That was fun. I would put those last 10 games in a different order, but they're all fantastic. What a great series.

    My personal favorite is probably Super Mario 3D Land. I still can't believe how good that game was. No gimmicks, no open worlds, no unnecessary stuff to collect... just pure platforming. I also really love the 3D-effect of the 3DS, and it really shines on that game. I've replayed it at least 10 times and I think I actually like it better than SMB3.Edited September 2015 by beaphar
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  • Avatar for robludwig36 #70 robludwig36 3 years ago
    I wasn't a fan of Yoshi's Island, and I would include Mario Sunshine on the list
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  • Avatar for AlxndrNevermind #71 AlxndrNevermind 3 years ago
    Reading this list the past week has made me appreciate the Super Mario franchise even more. Truly a bunch of fantastic and great games on this list. I was sorta surprised/not surprised by the fact that the top three are made up of 2D entries, but I think that it is very hard to argue about the placement of any games in the top 10. Regardless, I'm interested to see the results of survey taken by the USGamer community!
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #72 Kuni-Nino 3 years ago
    I think I'm the only person in the world that considers Galaxy and Galaxy 2 as one game. It's like what Brood War was to Starcraft. There's nothing about Galaxy 2 that wouldn't find itself into Galaxy 1.

    Out of the top ten, I really disagree with Mario 2 being up that high. It's a fantastic game, but eh, I don't think it belongs on top of Galaxy 2, NSMBU and 3D World and Sunshine. But hey, that's opinions. Otherwise, pretty good list.

    Yoshi's Island is near the top as is Mario 64. SMW and SMB3 are there too. Infinitely replayable games. They deserve it.
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  • Avatar for seanmitchell #73 seanmitchell 3 years ago
    "Super Mario World felt like a huge upgrade over Super Mario Bros. 3 in almost every way. "

    it feels like a downgrade. I've never even beaten it. i play it and then go back to smb3 which I've beaten like 50 times. smb3 is so much better than smw
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  • Avatar for mganai #74 mganai 3 years ago
    @CK20XX This. The Feather was way too OP indeed, and one of the reasons SMW was far less challenging.

    A couple other things:

    1) SMW lacked the myriad standout moments of 3 in spite of the expansion of mechanics (the triangular blocks), and the worlds that gave each area its own identity.

    2) It also marked the first step too far in the nonlinear stage direction also seen in Mario Land 2 and the first couple 3d games. Mario, when pared down to his basic run/jump/power-up skill set/mechanic, works best when focused on precision platforming, and Mario 3 and its ilk represented the best balance. (Mario 2, Yoshi's Island and the Wario games are are obvious exceptions due to unique mechanics that actually complement a more exploratory pacing.)

    Personally I'd bump SMW down to #5, giving Mario 2 a top up and move 3 to #1, still giving YI the runner up spot.

    I am pleased at the very least at the endorsement given to 2, nonetheless.
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  • Avatar for abuele #75 abuele 3 years ago
    It is good to know Super Mario Bros. 2 is in the top ten tier.
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  • I think that the best game would have to be Super Mario 64. But, lets take a look at my list....

    15. Super Mario Bros.
    14. Super Mario 3
    13. Super Mario 2
    12. Super Mario Sunshine
    11. Super Mario 64
    10. Super Mario 64
    9. Super Mario 64
    8. Super Mario 64
    7. Super Mario 64
    6. Super Mario 64
    5. Super Mario 64
    4. Super Mario 64
    3. Super Mario 64
    2. Super Mario 64
    1. Super Mario 64
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  • Avatar for ilikegameboy #77 ilikegameboy 2 years ago
    I understand the barriers of the Mario series are very vague, but I wish Donkey Kong GB was here.
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  • Avatar for Luigismansion #78 Luigismansion 2 years ago
    What about luigis mansion!
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  • Avatar for Luigismansion #79 Luigismansion 2 years ago
    Deleted May 2016 by Luigismansion
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  • Avatar for Luigismansion #80 Luigismansion 2 years ago
    What happened to luigis mansion, mario is missing, and marios time machine!
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  • Avatar for Chefsteve #81 Chefsteve A year ago
    Not one single comment I read nor did this list include one of the best SNES games of all time and in my opinion the best Mario game of all time. Mario RPG Legend of the Seven stars... How could no one bring this up?
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  • Avatar for Chefsteve #82 Chefsteve A year ago
    @Vaporeon best Mario game ever! Thank you for being awesome and knowing this game!
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  • So... what about adding Mario Maker and Yoshi's Woolly World into the rankings as well?
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  • Avatar for ViewtifulJC #84 ViewtifulJC A year ago
    ya'll updated it but the list is still bad?????
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #85 chaoticBeat A year ago
    Damn... I honestly can't wait to crack Odyssey. It's sitting in my Switch right now. I know once I start it that I will be swept into a dream game vortex so I'm working on some other games first. It's kind of nice, just having it there as it is, knowing that experience is awaiting me.
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  • Avatar for BulkSlash #86 BulkSlash A year ago
    Any list with Super Mario World at the top is fine by me! Although I'd personally have this as my top 10:

    1) Super Mario World
    2) Mario 64
    3) Mario Galaxy 2
    4) Super Luigi U
    5) Super Mario Bros. 3
    6) Super Mario Bros. 1
    7) Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA)
    8) Mario Land 2
    9) Wario Land 1
    10) Super Mario 3D Land

    You'll notice there's no Odyssey in my list, that's because I think it's too soon to judge its long term appeal. Certainly I've spent every free moment I can on the Switch hunting down moons so it's certainly a fantastic game first time around. The question is whether it will be a game I want to come back to, most of the games in my list above I've finished dozens of times, I'm unsure yet if Odyssey will be one of those or not. Given how vast the game is, it might be that it becomes a bit tedious to replay, but time will tell!
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  • Avatar for JamesSwiftDay #87 JamesSwiftDay A year ago
    So you added Odyssey but not Woolly World? Huh?
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  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #88 SIGGYZtar A year ago
    Wouldn't Caty cause the rankings to tank? :devils horns:
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  • Avatar for Daikon #89 Daikon A year ago
    Good list. I totally agree with Super Mario World being on 1. Fantastic game that just doesn't age.

    Also great to see Super Mario Land 2 getting some love. That game is overlooked way too much usually. I'd love to see a remake in color.
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  • Avatar for catymcc #90 catymcc A year ago
    @SIGGYZtar a little. super mario world is number one in my heart, galaxy a close second. everything else is bottom tier. (jk)
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  • Avatar for INSOMANiAC #91 INSOMANiAC A year ago
    I feel like perhaps the fact Mario Odyssey is new and exciting is making people over rate it somewhat, don't get me wrong I enjoyed it and it has a lot of post game stuff but it doesn't hold a torch to Mario 64 or Galaxy, I think in years to come those two will be remembered more fondly. They both had excellent level design and challenge, in my opinion Mario Odysseys levels are a little bland, I kept waiting for it to wow me but it just never did, it's just merely good rather than excellent.

    The only level I thought was really good was New Donk City, and that was the level I thought I'd hate when I saw the trailer. I think the problem is that most of the initial moons are just in stupid places, just sat there waiting to be picked up with no challenge whatsoever and the bosses are far too easy. Sure post game you can go back and fight the bosses again at least twice and they are harder, but they are then no longer new and don't hold the same awe. Mario 64 did most things right and when you consider it ushered in 3D platforming it makes it all the more impressive.
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  • Avatar for ViewtifulJC #92 ViewtifulJC A year ago
    @INSOMANiAC I think for SMO, a less is more philosophy would've done them some good. We talk about the moons like the Korok Seeds, but they're not the same thing at all. The moons ARE the game's content, they are the objective, they are the game, period. They're not an optional thing. And yet the amount of them, and the ease of which you can simply stumble upon them with little rhyme or reason, undermines the entire concept of a collect game like this. Its a collect-a-thon where the objects of desire are thrust upon you at every whim, at every corner, often for little reason at all. In prior Mario games, finding the 3 gold coins, or the Stamp/3 Green Stars felt satisfying because it meant going off the beaten path for a certain challenge. You were doing something that the average gamer wasnt expected to have accomplished.

    Now, there is no baseline of which to gauge small accomplishments with big accomplishments. No curve of difficulty for tasks the developers can ask the player in progressive levels. No structure to its objectives, of asking the player to specifically grow on past abilities(until the post-game, which seems to be the magic wand people like the wave at these complaints, but even the easiest Super Mario game has never been so flaccid, so formless). A platform sequence will often net you the same amount of moons as just stomping the ground where butterflies happen to be based. The main object is devalued by the absurd amount of them, and the relative ease in acquiring them.

    Video games, GAMES, have rules. Structure. Paramaters that are set, and thus challenges can be imposed. Dont go out of bounds, dont double dribble, dont get shot by this enemy, you only have these moves and this enemy has these moves, etc. Because Odyssey is so wide and ultimately shallow in its acquisition of objectives, its challenges are stretched thin(and thus the feeling of triumph of overcoming an obstacle), its requirements on the player at a much lower level then even the easiest Mario game purely down to its structure. But breaking free of the linear stages and progression, its also broken the traditional method of taxing the player to understand and utilize specific mechanics in THIS particular stage or against THIS particular level.
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  • Avatar for LK4O4 #93 LK4O4 A year ago
    My top Mario games are all the ones with "3" in them: Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World.

    You all are welcome to your opinions, but putting Yoshi's Island above these three games seems like a strange choice.
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #94 SargeSmash A year ago
    @ViewtifulJC : While I still think it's a great game, I can see why this might bother someone a bit. It's not an issue for me, but that's likely because I'm going to try to get all the Power Moons regardless. If memory serves, this is a problem that Mario 64 also has; some Stars are significantly easier to collect than others. Where it makes up for that is that the Star requirements to progress were much higher. This meant the average player was going to get stuck more; not so here, where just some rudimentary exploration will get you all you need to progress the main story.

    Still, though, I view the Power Moons as just the "reward" for the hunt. Some are easy to find, some difficult, but despite their relative lack of worth (particularly post-game), it's the exploration that's the real reward. I feel the same about Breath of the Wild. Finding the shrines was the reward for exploring, and getting to play those mini-dungeons was worth a lot more than the stuff you got from them.

    I think your comment is great, though, even if I still think the game is fantastic. And I do think I would have preferred that the Moon thresholds be a little bit higher than they are right now.
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  • Avatar for Megamoppy #95 Megamoppy A year ago
    Enjoyable list but I'm afraid I disagree with SMB2 above 64! I don't know how that can ever be right! I also don't understand the criticism of sunshine being a "collectathon" when theres only 3 things to get: shines, coins and blue coins.

    I know it's all in good fun though! Just my two cents
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #96 Kat.Bailey A year ago
    @Megamoppy Personally, I think SMB 2 holds up better than 64.
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  • Oh hey, you added Mario Maker and Woolly World (and Mario Run, which I had forgotten about). Now it looks more complete.

    I think Woolly World is too low (the write-up states it's the closest to the original of the YI sequels... then places it three spots below New Island) but the other two are fine.

    Still think Mario Odyssey should be reevaluated once the "new game smell" wears off, though.
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  • Avatar for JamesSwiftDay #98 JamesSwiftDay A year ago
    Woolly World below New Island? Sacrilege.
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  • Avatar for seanwill81 #99 seanwill81 A month ago
    It seems they forgot about Super Mario RPG and the Paper Mario series. It would have been nice to see them on this list.
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