The Top 5 Mario Games

With the recent success of Super Mario Odyssey, I thought it was a time we looked at some of the best Mario games out there. We all have our favored adventures with the said plumber, but some of his many titles stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Mario is unique in video games in that his iconic status is not only legendary but also synonymous with video games. You can ask anybody who he is and they will most likely know. Even those who aren’t fond or regular gamers will know who the mustache-wearing plumber is.

With all the fame, comes the added pressure of creating great games every time. Mario has mostly succeeded in that area, but which of his many games are his best? Everyone has their own favorites, but let’s have a look at what we think is Mario’s top 5 games.

Super Mario Bros (NES, 1987)

The definitive and original Super Mario Game, Super Mario Bros set the groundwork for everything we know and love about the games today. It’s so tempting to honor this game as the all-time greatest Mario game purely because of its influence and innovation at the time.

This is a game that essentially defined what platformers are today. You can find its influence in almost every game since and it’s one of the reasons video games bounced back after its crash.

We owe a lot to this game, but beyond its homage, it’s actually one of the most fun games to play. Cute 2D sprites, hidden worlds, and easter eggs all awaited those who dove into this classic title. Not to mention one of the most iconic video game soundtracks of all time.

Super Mario Bros deserves its place on our list and I’m sure anyone of the same era will have this one on theirs too.

Super Mario World (SNES, 1992)

Fresh on the back of Super Mario Bros success Nintendo stepped it up a gear in many ways when the released Super Mario World. With its improved graphics, even better soundtrack and fantastic power-ups, this game opened many a gamer’s eyes to what the world of video gaming would ultimately become.

Super Mario World offered a peek into the world of creative level design and who can forget the first time they got to play as Yoshi?  This was one of my first 16-bit adventures and I spent countless hours getting lost in this world and I enjoyed every one.

Super Mario World built on every aspect of its predecessor and in many ways is a better game because of that. This is a game that really shaped the iconic world of Mario that we all know and love today.

Super Mario Odyssey (Switch, 2017)

The latest Mario game on our list and one that has taken full advantage of modern gaming technology. Mario’s first adventure on the Switch and with his new sidekick Cappie has everyone talking, and for good reason. This is an excellent game that excels in almost everything it does.

The 3D world created in Super Mario Odyssey is perfectly crafted with love and care. There is so much to do in this game it’s daunting. The smart use of game mechanics and the colorful, gorgeous world are only the tip of the iceberg.

You hear people say that the older games are better all the time, but that certainly not the case with this game. Super Mario Odyssey can stand up with any of the classic Mario titles. It’s a game that screams its wonderment at you and you’ll find it hard to put down once you get going.

If there is one definitive modern Mario game then Super Mario Odyssey is definitely it.

Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64, 1997)

This was our first look at a 3 dimensional Super Mario game and boy did it not disappoint. Super Mario 64 is widely considered the best Super Mario game of all time. Even after twenty years, you can still feel slightly in awe of this juggernaut.

Super Mario 64 set the bar for any future 3D Mario game to come. We always knew the world of Mario was a beautiful one, but it’s not until your first foray in 3D you realize just how great it is.

The game had such an infectious quality to it that kept you coming back over and over again, looking for new easter eggs and new ways to overcome platforming heaven. The charm in Super Mario 64 is endless and is one of the reasons this game has such a legendary status.

There is just something so magical about this game from exploring Peach’s castle for the very first time, to seeing Bowser in full 3D. It’s always nice to know what you’re fighting for and Super Mario 64 gave that in spades.

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii, 2007)

Super Mario Galaxy proved that reinventions can work if you do them right. Released in 2007 Super Mario Galaxy offered a new spin on the loved franchise, with some smart camera work and a whole new world(s) to explore it is one of the most different and greatest Mario games out there.

The twisting and globe-trotting stages were wild creations that had most players in awe. This game is creative beyond most and it was a close tie between having Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 on our list. We decided to go for the first because of the sheer pleasure we got during our first ever Mario space outing.

Super Mario Galaxy shattered the genre and broke all the rules of a traditional platforming game and this is the reason it makes our list. In true Mario style, the worlds were infectious and you could hardly put this game down. The amount of work and overall polish that went into this product is astonishing and remains a star among every Mario game since.

Constantly threatening to write a book, but always with a story to tell. Tom has a typical northern English soul. He may sound as mundane as Jon Snow, but at least he tries to articulate. Lover of video games, comics, geek pop culture and wishing he could play Dungeons & Dragons.