For all the lovers of Super Mario, Nintendo Switch owners and on the occasion of the release of Super Mario Bros Wonder, the latest chapter in the saga scheduled for the October 20 on Nintendo consoles, we thought we would compile a list – don’t take it as an actual ranking – of the best games dedicated to the Japanese company’s iconic character.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is among our most anticipated video games of the last quarter of 2023 (here’s the full list, complete with release date of our most anticipated video games): a return to platforming from the dear old Game Boy that will try to combine tradition and innovation. While we wait for the review that we hope to publish in the weeks following the release, let’s warm up our fingertips with our favorite titles dedicated to Super Mario.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The ultimate party game, the very one you can’t pass up, especially when you go to a friend’s house who has connected a Nintendo Switch to the TV. The typical question I will have heard uttered countless times is the following, “After dinner, shall we play a game of Mario Kart 8?” From then on, two quick games become, at least, one hundred and fifty knife-edge contests.
The guest, often a non-Switch owner, tries to beat the host – the true expert who trains every day and knows every route by heart – using skills and knowledge that he or she carries with them anyway from his or her first time with a Mario Kart, perhaps tried on Super Nintendo, Super Nintendo 64 or GameCube. Mario Kart 8 is one of the best-selling games ever: why? The post dinner among friends.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Another name I cannot fail to mention is Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, released on Nintendo Switch in 2021: we are talking about the re-release of Super Mario 3D World released for Wii U in 2013. The title is a three-dimensional platformer and the second chapter ever in the saga in which events are not set in motion by the abduction of Princess Peach.
The big change from the 2013 version is the presence of an additional adventure, Bowser’Fury, in which Super Mario and Bowser Jr. decide to join forces to stop a completely out-of-control Bowser. An expansion that further enriches a game that also includes a multiplayer component for up to four players with the ability to control Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Blue Toad.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
And here, mind you, mind you, we are talking not only about one of the best ever games of the Super Mario saga available on Nintendo Switch but also about an important piece of our peninsula’s video game history. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope won The Game Awards 2022 the award of Best Tactical Game, was made by Ubisoft Milan and Ubisoft Paris and the Game Director is Davide Soliani.
Beware though! Compared to other productions dedicated to the famous plumber with a mustache, here we are talking about a turn-based strategic action – so don’t expect the typical gameplay of the series – and, more generally, a crossover episode between Nintendo’s Super Mario and Ubisoft’s Rabbids. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope also has three different expansions: among them is Rayman in the Phantom Show, which hooks Rayman into the characters that can be used in the game.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Another porting from Wii U for a two-dimensional adventure in the same vein, then, as the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Wonder. In New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, which landed on Nintendo Switch in January 2019, you will find more than one hundred and sixty levels to play alone or with up to three friends or girlfriends.
Are you ready to cross deserts, swamps, forests and snowy landscapes to rescue a damsel in distress? Yes, it is always her, it is always dear Princess Peach who has been kidnapped by the inarresting Bowser.
Super Mario Odissey
True, this is not an actual ranking, however the dulcis in fundo could not but be dedicated to Super Mario Odissey: we are talking about one of the best games ever in the saga as well as one of the works to buy or, at the very least, try at any cost if you are happy Nintendo Switch owners.
In addition to the classic platforming component typical of Super Mario, Odyssey stands out for a three-dimensional game world that gives the user great freedom to explore. Each level is vast, full of secrets and tasks to be completed. A true Odyssey that best expresses the creativity and production quality that have always distinguished Nintendo.
Honorable Mention: Luigi’s Mansion 3
I wanted to close with an honorable mention, and out of all the games available, my choice fell on Luigi’s Mansion 3. This time the protagonist is not Mario but Luigi, grappling with a rescue mission of his own to save his brother, Princess Peach, Red, Blue and Yellow Toad, who were tricked and imprisoned by King Boo in the paintings hanging inside the ‘scary’ Hotel Miramostri.
A peculiarity of Luigi’s Mansion 3 are the hotel floors, seventeen in all, each of them marked by a specific theme: from pirates to medieval castles to pyramids. Also in this third installment of the Luigi saga, there is a multiplayer mode.