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RANKED: The 10 best Super Mario games of all time

A mustachioed Italian plumber with a penchant for jumping on the heads of his enemies is, unbelievably, one of the most popular video game characters in the world. Hell, he’s one of the most popular characters in the world period. 

Of course, I’m talking about your friend and mine, Super Mario:

Super Mario

It’s been over 35 years since Mario first appeared in 1981 arcade classic “Donkey Kong,” and, since then, he’s been in, like, a lot of games (the Mario Wiki estimates somewhere in the neighborhood of 170). These range from classics like “Super Mario World” on the Super Nintendo, to more esoteric fare like “Hotel Mario” and “Mario’s Time Machine.”

And now, he’s even on smartphones!

Super mario run

Perhaps you have young kids at home who are quickly falling in love with “Super Mario Odyssey”? Or maybe you are? 

Good news: That’s a ton of history to dig through! That’s where this list comes in: We put together the 10 best Mario games ever made and where to find them (excluding spin-offs like the “Mario Tennis” franchise, “Mario Kart,” or “Mario Party” and “Paper Mario”). Let’s begin!

10. “Super Mario Bros. 2”
Nintendo

It may seem like an unlikely place to start, given that it’s not a “real” Mario game, but “Super Mario Bros. 2” is fantastic. Notoriously, it’s a re-branded, slightly altered version of a game that already existed at the time: “Doki Doki Panic.” Whatever.

“Super Mario Bros. 2” is an excellent Mario game.

It’s the first to allow you to play as Mario, Luigi, Toad or the Princess. Each of them has their own special attributes. Princess can float mid-jump for a moment or two. Luigi has a slightly higher jump than anyone else. More importantly, it’s a surrealist adventure full of crazy landscapes, crazier enemies, and a bird that shoots eggs out of its mouth. It may not be the first Mario game you should start with, but it’s one that you absolutely should not miss.

Where can I play this game?

“Super Mario Bros. 2” is available for purchase on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console. It’s also one of the 30 games on the NES Classic Console.

9. “Super Mario Land”
Nintendo

The first mobile version of “Super Mario” came with “Super Mario Land,” an excellent standalone Mario game that took the concept of the original NES game and created something entirely new. It’s still a standard “platformer” game — you start on the left side of a level and traverse it by moving to the right, killing enemies and avoiding your own death along the way — but “Super Mario Land” is full of delightful additions, like an underwater vehicle you get to pilot. It’s a bizarre, thrilling Mario game that, admittedly, was especially impactful on my very young brain when it was first released back in 1989.

Where can I play this game?

“Super Mario Land” is available for purchase on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.

8. “Super Mario 3D World”
Nintendo

“Super Mario 3D World,” simply put, is the best Mario game that’s been made in the last five years (before “Odyssey,” that is). It’s gorgeous, fresh, and perfectly designed. Like the best “Super Mario” games of the modern era, it seamlessly blends nostalgia-laced gameplay with fresh twists. 

As a nod to “Super Mario Bros. 2,” players can choose to play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Toad — each has the same special ability that they had in the original NES game. “Super Mario 3D World” also borrows the overworld map concept from “Super Mario World” (the SNES game) and evolves it to its next logical conclusion: as an explorable world unto itself, full of secrets. 

Each level in “Super Mario 3D World” feels like a gift waiting to be unwrapped, and playing it co-op with friends and family is a true delight. It may very well be the best game Nintendo made for the Wii U.

Where can I play this game?

“Super Mario 3D World” is available for purchase on the Wii U, digitally on the eShop and in-store on disc. Buy it on Amazon right here.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

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SEE ALSO: Nintendo’s new Mario game is a great argument for buying a Nintendo Switch


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