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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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The All-Time Greats

This is it: The greatest Mario games of all time. Transitively, that makes these some of the greatest games of all time, period. How many have you played?

12. Super Mario 3D Land

[Nintendo 3DS, 2012]
The Super Mario Galaxy games remain intensely popular among more avid game enthusiasts — they both appear in the top 10 here — but haven't really managed to make much headway beyond the Mario fan illuminati. Meanwhile, the New Super Mario games (which are easier and less expensive to develop) rock the charts. So Nintendo, as Shigeru Miyamoto recently told Eurogamer, has a tough time making a case for developing further Galaxy titles (as much as they'd like to, and we'd like for them to). Super Mario 3D Land, then, represents the best possible compromise: The inventive spirit of Nintendo EAD Tokyo, and the freedom to break from strict 2D side-scrolling, but contextualized within a more fixed isometric perspective that incorporates 3D platforming mechanics without the intimidating free camera movement that frightens casual players away. To top it all off, 3D Land drew heavily on the style and spirit of Super Mario Bros. 3, with tons of compact, highly varied stages to master and an entire "second quest" to deal with once the credits rolled.

11. Super Mario Galaxy 2

[Wii, 2010]
As if to prove the notion that the Galaxy games don't get their due, here's Super Mario Galaxy way down at #9. Anyone who's played Galaxy 2 to completion agrees that this is one of the absolute best Mario games ever... the problem, alas, is that not all that many people actually played it. Arriving on the wrong side of the Wii's slide from dominance, few people cared to slum it long enough to discover the fact that the second 3D Mario for Wii managed to be even more imaginative than its predecessor, incorporating more creative power-ups, more diverse level concepts, and an even more devastating difficulty level.

10. Super Mario Bros.

[NES, 1985]
In terms of importance, the original Super Mario Bros. deserves to be at the top of this or any list. In terms of depth... well, it's a 30-year-old game that fit into 32K of memory. It's small and limited in comparison to everything it inspired, with a great deal of repetition in the later stages. But, you know, look at all it inspired: Everything else on this list, plus countless thousands of other games. And despite its vintage, it remains eminently playable, with brilliant level designs that perfectly take advantage of Mario's sophisticated movement, fluid jump physics, and limited but well-tuned power-up schemes. There wasn't a single wasted element in this cartridge, as the fact that every creature and skill and object to appear in this 1985 classic has appeared in countless sequels. One of the few times in medium's history where a team of creators put together a game in which every element sang in harmony (literally, in the case of the sound design), Super Mario Bros. remains a timeless classic. Be sure to check out the DX remake for Game Boy Color, which adds small, modern niceties (like a save feature) and throws in The Lost Levels as an unlockable bonus!

9. Super Mario 3D World

[Wii U, 2013]
More than a mere sequel to Super Mario 3D Land, 3D World represents the exact sort of upgrade implied by the naming scheme: If Land was a country, World is a planet. Its stages are even bigger, its level concepts even more imaginative. Its star power-ups, the excellent Cat Mario ability, changes the nature of how you play to a greater degree than any series power-up since Super Mario World's cape — and much like the cape, mastering the cat suit allows you to take an entirely different approach to the challenges that lay before Mario. Or rather, Mario and friends: For the first time in 25 years, 3D World brings together the crew of Super Mario Bros. 2 (including Princess Peach, finally a heroine again rather than a victim), then goes a step beyond by allowing four players to control them simultaneously. While the New Super Mario console titles had already explored the concept of four-player mayhem, it works brilliantly in a 3D play space. EAD Tokyo may not be working on Super Mario Galaxy 3 any time soon, but games like this will do nicely in the meantime.

8. Super Mario 64

[Nintendo 64, 1996]
Second in importance only to Super Mario Bros., the series' first outing in three-dimensional space helped codify action games of the polygonal era as SMB did for 8-bit gaming. Where so many other developers tried and failed to transform their beloved 2D franchises into 3D, Nintendo did it right by turning the Mushroom Kingdom into a sort of sandbox playground in which players could grow comfortable before moving onto the serious challenges of the second half of the game. Its hub-based world design helped inspire a great many games of the 32/64-era and beyond, and Miyamoto and co. weren't afraid to change Mario's skills and techniques where appropriate, e.g. deprecating jump-based attacks while giving Mario new hand-to-hand combat skills. While the surprise of the Mario 64 experience has long since faded with the commoditization of 3D game spaces, the loving detail and subtlety of design invested into this groundbreaking work have allowed it to stand the test of time.

7. Super Mario Bros. 2: Mario Madness (USA)

[NES, 1988]
The fact that this massive NES hit for Mario didn't begin as a Mario game is probably the most common (and tired) piece of video game trivia ever. But really, who cares? Whatever its original provenance, Super Mario Bros. 2 worked perfectly as a follow-up to the first game; its character physics translated neatly to Mario with very little cosmetic surgery required to create a convincing illusion. More importantly, it expanded on the Japanese SMB2's unique mechanics for Luigi by also incorporating Toad and Princess Peach as playable characters, instantly turning the royal retinue into key players in the franchise rather than simply a bit of scenery to be forgotten in sequels. The ability to grab and throw objects and enemies became a key element of Mario 3 and World, and the surreal inhabitants of Subcon have long since established themselves as mainstays of spinoff titles like Yoshi's Island. But ultimately, it simply boils down to the fact that Super Mario Bros. 2 was ridiculously fun to play, with huge levels to explore and all the secrets and shortcuts you'd expect from a Mario game. Whatever its name, the spirit of Mario was strong with this one.

6. Super Mario Maker (+ Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS)

[2015, Wii U / Nintendo 3DS]
When it launched, Nintendo fans gave Super Mario Maker a suitable joke name: "Make It Yourself if You're So Damn Smart." Of course, there's nothing snarky or sarcastic about Super Mario Maker. The game is very much Nintendo's way of saying to you, "Hey! Mario games are fun, right? Let's have fun together."

And Super Mario Maker is fun. It's also what every Mario fan has wanted since they started designing their own video game levels on graph paper. Mario Maker's touch-based builder is extremely intuitive; anyone, no matter how old they are, can potentially build a wonderful Mario level. The key word here is "potentially," as good level design is far harder than people realize. Thankfully, Mario Maker's level-sharing feature makes it easy to find the diamonds in the rough.

I get the feeling Nintendo wanted people to walk away from Mario Maker with a little more respect for game developers. Mission accomplished, I hope.

Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS has some additional features ideal for a single-player experience (100 new courses built by actual Nintendo designers, for example), but the inability to upload levels puts a major damper on the portable Mario Maker experience, which is a shame. Hopefully we'll soon be blessed with a fully-realized iteration of the game-builder on the Nintendo Switch.

5. Super Mario Galaxy

[Wii, 2007]
In some ways, Super Mario Galaxy presents a more modest and toned-down take on 3D Mario... but that's no bad thing. After Mario Sunshine nearly went off the rails with its collectathon elements and sometimes aimless sandbox-style level design, Super Mario Galaxy pared the 3D Mario concept down to its core elements, guiding players expertly through challenges and scenarios that rapidly change scale to create the illusion of bigger, more grandiose adventures than technically existed here. Presentation counts for a lot, and Galaxy gave us by far the most glorious and impressive window we've ever seen into the Mario universe. It also played with the concept of 3D platforming by throwing tiny spheroid stages into the mix, adding a new kind of action (and some fantastic boss battles) to the platforming challenges we'd grown to expect from the series. Really, just a smartly designed game from top to bottom, neatly rectifying its predecessor's shortcomings while demonstrating the foresight to bluff its way past its own potential failings.

4. Super Mario Odyssey

[Nintendo Switch, 2017]
For a long time, Super Mario Sunshine was regarded as the direct successor to Super Mario 64. I think you only need to play Super Mario Odyssey for a few hours before you start to understand Odyssey is the real successor to Mario 64. Think of it as a prodigal prince coming home to take the throne from his well-meaning but under-qualified younger brother.

Though Super Mario Odyssey lacks a hub world, it apes Mario 64's attempt to throw everything at the wall. Thankfully, almost everything sticks. Each Kingdom you visit is a large open area that's teeming with secrets to find and items to root out. No two kingdom is quite alike in Super Mario Odyssey: You might find yourself trudging through blizzards in the Snow Kingdom, then frolicking through (and under) the surf in the Ocean Kingdom minutes later. Mario's new trick, capturing and controlling enemies, lets you look at each Kingdom with a fresh set of eyes. A Power Moon that's not easily grabbed by human-Mario might be an easy task for a stack of Goombas, and vice-versa.

Interestingly, Mario Odyssey's loose, varied gameplay is what causes it to come in just under Super Mario Galaxy in some people's hearts. The latter is admittedly more structured and has a clearer vision about Mario's mission, but as for which gameplay style is better? That's a matter of opinion. Just be assured Super Mario Odyssey is 3D platforming excellence.

3. Super Mario Bros. 3

[NES, 1990]
The great Mario tradition: Endless arguments over which was better, Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World. USgamer's staff vote gave World the edge, but only barely — it's not as though anyone said, "Boy, that Mario 3, what a load of garbage." If Super Mario Bros. was meant to be the ultimate cartridge-based game before the move to the Famicom Disk System expansion, this sequel was meant as the ultimate 8-bit adventure. And it delivered on that mandate nicely, introducing Mario's greatest-ever suite of power-ups and dozens of stages, each of which revolved around a different theme. The appeal of Super Mario Bros. 3 came largely from the fact that it rarely repeats a concept enough for it to grow stale; aside from the militant mechanism of World 8 and the various airship stages throughout the world, SMB3's stages delighted in throwing weird new ideas at players, then dashing to the next idea before the gimmick wore out its welcome. And the idea worked: Consider how beloved the ultra-rare Hammer Suit is. Or the legend that's grown up around Kuribo's Shoe, which appears only twice in a single level. Or the panic that sets in when you see that angry sun who dive-bombs Mario in exactly two stage of the game. Mario 3 felt like the work of people who had so many great ideas they could barely squeeze them all in to a single cart — but there was more than mere novelty to this adventure, which also gave Mario new skills and established permanent new rules for the franchise. We didn't need some stupid movie to get us excited about Super Mario Bros. 3; the game itself did the job nicely.

2. Yoshi's Island

[Super NES, 1995]
The dark horse surprise of our list, Yoshi's Island barely edged out Super Mario Bros. 3 to take the second slot. And why not? It, too, represents the culmination of a generation's game design as well. Yoshi's Island marched to a different beat, beautifully embodying Nintendo's ethos of finding unexpected applications for technology in service of making even better games. Here, Yoshi's Island employed a special add-on chip normally used for simple 3D applications in order to create the most dynamic, visually surprising 2D platformer ever. Between its brash, hand-drawn art style — the antithesis of the cold, CG-rendered look ushered in by Donkey Kong Country and next-gen systems like Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation — and wild, unexpected visual tricks that included foes who could spin-jump, subtle 3D effects, rubbery and distorted creatures, and even a pre-Galaxy battle spanning the circumference of a tiny planetoid, Yoshi's Island wasn't afraid to mix things up. But nowhere did it shake up Mario tradition as it did in its play mechanics, which transformed Yoshi from a cute ride to a proper protagonist, complete with transformative new skills: A floating double-jump, a mighty butt stomp, and the ability to fling eggs and enemies within a 180-degree arc. Along with these changes came a radically new philosophy of level design, presenting players with denser, more exploratory playgrounds to poke around in and a slate of collectibles to hunt down — not too many, though, and all in service of unlocking the insanely complex bonus stages. Really, if it weren't for Baby Mario's caterwauling, it would be hard to find a fault in this brilliant 16-bit send-off. At the time, it looked like this might be Mario's final outing in two dimensions... and what an outing it was.

1. Super Mario World

[Super NES, 1991]
Mario's 16-bit debut also doubled as the pack-in game for Nintendo's Super NES system, and it had a lot riding on its shoulders. It needed to show off the machine's new graphical capabilities, advance the Mario concept as a whole, and create a compelling case for fans to upgrade to a new generation while not straying toward a rival 16-bit platform in the process. It did all of these things (and more!) with panache.

Super Mario World felt like a huge upgrade over Super Mario Bros. 3 in almost every way. About the only area in which it took a more modest approach than its predecessor was with its power-up system — it pared Mario's abilities back down to two, the Fire Flower and the cape, abandoning advanced skills like the frog suit and tanuki suit altogether. But since those powers had been fairly obscure to begin with, the loss proved less critical than it first appeared; meanwhile, the limited scope of Mario's powers allowed Mario World's creators to really focus on making the cape something special and turning it into a sophisticated tool with secondary abilities that opened up exciting new gameplay opportunities for advanced players while providing basic new skills for everyone.

The game harnessed the Super NES's built-in capabilities to great effect. While some features seemed more fully realized than others — no one was quite sure what to use control pad shoulder triggers for in 1991, and Mario World's limp camera pan feature felt like the textbook definition of "there just because" — many of them changed the way you played and approached levels. Portions of stages would rise, sink, tilt, and bob; Mario could flip to the "reverse" side of certain levels, adding a third dimension to the action; ghosts would phase into and out of Mario's material plane; and gigantic monsters were no longer quarantined on a single island but rather appeared throughout the world as a matter of course. And Mario's new dinosaur pal Yoshi allowed the game's creators to finally realize their desire to have the hero ride around on the back of a mount, something they'd been longing to achieve since the early days but couldn't for technical reasons.

Unlike so many other early Super NES games, though, Super Mario's technical shenanigans never felt like Nintendo just showing off for the heck of it. At the very beginning of the game, you're allowed to visit two different stages right away — one that features classic Mario mechanics, and one that shows off the wacky new elements of this adventure, such as stubby dinosaurs, diagonal pipes, and huge version of Bullet Bill. Every programming innovation in Super Mario World was accompanied by clever game design advances. Whether it was something as simple as the added patter of bongo drums as you rode Yoshi or as literally game-changing as the persistent, global modifications caused by visiting a Switch Palace, Super Mario World upped the stakes for game design at every turn. Its worlds took a more convoluted turn than the mini-stages of Super Mario 3, encouraging players to use advanced techniques to unearth hidden secrets — doors to new stages, or helpful shortcuts to the end of the game. And once you'd mastered the main game, Super Mario World featured an entire hidden extra world, the Special World, a full suite of expert-level platforming tests for the truly determined. A true high point in video game history.

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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
    @jeremy.parish

    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.

    Right?
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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 every.single.yoshi.game (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.

    2D:
    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

    3D:
    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]"

    Oopsies
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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 list...so 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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