10 Best Mario Video Games | TheReviewGeek Recommends

There’s a good reason why Nintendo’s mascot Mario has stuck around over these many years. His games continue to excite and please many fans across the globe. From his 2D side-scrolling adventures to his mesmerizing jump into 3D space, Mario’s games always put a smile on fans’ faces.

That said, we’re here to celebrate the Nintendo plumber’s achievements by highlighting the 10 best and most unforgettable games featuring this beloved mascot. From Super Mario 64 to Paper Mario: The Thousands-Year Door, there’s a good variety of titles to acknowledge from Mario’s legacy.

Of course, feel free to comment on your favorite Mario games down below!

Super Mario 64

Who hasn’t played Super Mario 64? This game was a sweeping sensation when it was released on the Nintendo 64. Although the game’s controls haven’t aged the best, Super Mario 64 delivers colorful worlds, level design, and missions for you to complete.

This game has Mario arriving at Princess Peach’s castle to eat some of her delicious cake. Unfortunately, Mario learns that Peach had been kidnapped by his arch-nemesis, Bowser. Therefore, it’s up to you to thwart Bowser’s latest scheme and rescue Princess Peach.

As stated earlier, this game contains an assortment of worlds harboring menacing enemies and mesmerizing scenery. The game uses Princess Peach’s castle as a hub world that ties all these maps together wonderfully. The missions in Super Mario 64 offers enough challenges to make you feel great inside upon completing them.  Be sure to check out Super Mario 64 when you have the chance.

Super Mario Sunshine

Super Mario Sunshine was a fabulous follow-up to Super Mario 64. This game feels somewhat easier to complete than it, thanks to the addition of F.L.U.D.D. However, it offers enough memorable moments, enchanting levels, and boss battles to excite diehard Nintendo fans.

Furthermore, Super Mario Sunshine leans heavily into the tropical island theme. Its sunny and joyous atmosphere will fill you with glee. The story follows Mario, Princess Peach, and Toadsworth traveling to an island called Isle Delfino. Their vacation is interrupted by an evil shadow version of Mario.

This shady Mario lookalike causes much mischief for our heroic plumber and winds up getting Mario thrown in jail because of his actions. Eventually, the game spirals into another save Princess Peach from the evil scenario, but the ride to its endgame never feels rushed nor unpolished. If you’re in for a Mario game that’ll get you hyped for the Summer season, check out Super Mario Sunshine.

Super Mario Galaxy (Series)

Super Mario Galaxy is regarded as one of Mario’s finest outings. Where Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine remained grounded on Earth, this game has Mario explore a variety of planets full of strange and charming wildlife.  Despite being another rescue Princess Peach type of game, its quality will blow you away.

From the game’s water textures to how Mario soars through space, everything wraps up to create a solid space adventure for our heroic plumber. Super Mario Galaxy sought the debut of Rosalina and her Luma children. Without this game, she and her children wouldn’t be as popular as they are today.

Furthermore, this game’s controls feel like a step up from Sunshine and 64. Moving Mario with the nunchuck and shaking the Nintendo Wii remote to deal with devastating attacks feels satisfying and rewarding. On that note, both games include fabulous boss fights and soundtracks. If you have a Nintendo Wii lying around, pick these games up.

Super Mario Odyssey

Considering how long fans had to wait for a 3D platform Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey had a lot of shoes to fill. Like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey enhances the 3D Mario formula and delivers something new for fans to play.

This game abandons the hub worlds of 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy, and has you traveling to different worlds via a hat-like ship. This time you team up with a body-swapping hat named Cappy, who assists you in stopping Bowser from marrying Princess Peach. This game feels more in line with Banjo-Kazooie.

Instead of traveling to and from a hub area after collecting the game’s MacGuffin, you can continue exploring Odyssey’s worlds to your heart’s content. While some may miss the classic hub worlds set up in prior 3D Mario games, Odyssey’s worlds are more expansive and feel less linear.

Super Mario World

Super Mario World was once the best 2D side-scrolling and platform game in Mario’s catalog. This title has our plumber embarking on a journey to stop Bowser and the Koopalings after they kidnap Princess Peach. This title saw the introduction of the beloved Nintendo dinosaur Yoshi.

With Yoshi, players could consume attacks and items and spit them out toward enemies to deal damage. The game’s visuals were an improvement over Mario’s past adventures. The game’s OST is phenomenal and incredible to listen to for long periods. Mario also receives some new actions in Super Mario World.

Not only can he run and jump like in previous titles, but he soars through the skies using his new cape item. The overworld map for this game looks stunning and is easy to navigate through. If you’re curious as to why fans claim Super Mario World to be Mario’s best platforming adventure, check it out.

Mario Party Superstars Title Screen (Nintendo Switch)

Mario Party (Series)

Mario Party is the game you play if you’re looking to ruin friendships. On a serious note, the Mario Party titles offer fun experiences that the whole family can enjoy. With its stellar game board design, vast item selection, and mini-game mayhem, Mario Party is an essential game to have under your belt.

Unfortunately, some Mario Party games aren’t on par with the creativity and chaos of the GameCube and Nintendo 64 entries. Furthermore, it took Nintendo until the Nintendo Switch’s Mario Party Superstars to dish out a way to play this gem of a game with your friends.

With its boatload of fun activities and mischievous humor, Mario Party is a wonderful game to play at family or friend outings.

Mario Kart (Series)

Of course, the Mario Kart series would find its way into this list. This is a series Nintendo continues dishing out because there’s endless fun to be had with it. From the game’s wonderful race track designs to its chaotic items, it’d be hard not to find Mario Kart enjoyable.

Mario Kart 8: Deluxe is a testament to how popular Mario Kart has become over time. It’s currently the best-selling Nintendo Switch game and Nintendo’s releasing a DLC expansion pack for it now. The DLC expansion adds numerous tracks from across the Mario Kart series, including the mobile title, Mario Kart Tour.

While fans adore the game’s racing mode, Mario Kart delivers different yet exciting modes for players to tackle. The game’s battle modes from Balloon Battle and Shine Thief are as iconic as their usual racing mode. If you need a wacky and satisfying racing game to play with others, consider popping in some Mario Kart.

Mario Super Sluggers

The Mario sports games are an interesting case as far as spin-offs go. Some include lackluster experiences that lack effort while games like Mario Super Sluggers set a tight precedent for the series to follow. This game features fun gameplay and an enormous roster of characters to play as.

From Donkey Kong’s King K. Rool to Super Mario Sunshine’s Pianta, there’s a slew of odd but satisfying additions in this game. Mario Super Sluggers presents players with a boatload of modes to play from the standard exhibition mode to its hardcore challenge mode.

The batting animations and super moves look glorious. They also match each character’s personality wonderfully. Although there are other great Mario sports titles like Super Mario Strikers and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario Super Sluggers feels the best.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Paper Mario: The Thousands-Year Door is a remarkable turn-based RPG. This game helped redefine the Super Mario Bros. storyline by offering fans an engrossing adventure full of witty dialogue and epic battles. With its colorful cast, stellar battle animations, and well-written narrative, it’s arguably one of Mario’s finest outings.

In it, players control Paper Mario who travels to an area called Rogueport and meets Princes Peach. Unfortunately, Princess Peach gets kidnapped by an alien group called the X-Nauts. To save Princess Peach and the areas revolving around Roguepart, Paper Mario embarks on a quest to seek the crystal stars and rescue Princess Peach.

The Paper Mario games offer a new and satisfying approach to Nintendo’s mascot and see him teaming up with characters that’d be his enemies in the mainline titles. Everyone from the wise-cracking Goomba girl Goombella to the fashionable ghost woman Madame Flurrie develops wonderful chemistry with Mario.

They also have worthwhile character arcs that are explored to their fullest potential. If you’re searching for a phenomenal spin-off Mario game that goes beyond the call of duty, check this one out.

Mario and Luigi: Partners In Time

As with Paper Mario: The Thousands-Year Door, Mario and Luigi: Partners In Time gave fans a refined and well-written Mario-themed story with depth, twists, and suspense. This game serves as the second entry to the Mario and Luigi series and a prequel/sequel to the Game Boy Advance title, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga.

Despite that, Partners in Time offers a plot that’s completely unrelated to its previous entries. As the title suggests, Partners in Time leans into time travel more and has Mario and Luigi travel between the past and present while on the hunt for Princess Peach. This time, Princess Peach’s abductors are an alien species called the Shroobs.

Furthermore, Mario and Luigi are joined by Baby Mario and Baby Luigi, who serve as the brothers’ puzzle solvers. Furthermore, Partners in Time feels outrageously dark for a Mario game. This is all in part to the Shroobs exhibiting world-busting agendas and mysterious intentions.

Although the studio behind these games, AlphaDream, doesn’t exist anymore, fans adore revisiting these cleverly written RPGs they made for Nintendo.

So, there we have it, our pick for the best Mario-themed video games through the years!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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