You know what we love here at GOA? Gaming. You know what else we love? BLOODY GAMING! And with The Super Mario Bros Movie recently released in cinemas, we thought this would be a great time to share with you GOA’s Favourite Mario games!
Super Mario Odyssey
Growing up I was more of a Sega fan, but that never stopped me from having great memories of going to my friend’s house to play all the old school Mario games. I remember really liking Super Mario Brothers 2 on the NES, but it was nowhere near being my favourite.
It wasn’t until I got my Nintendo Switch and Super Mario Odyssey that I was really enthralled by a Mario title.
The fact I could take it on the go with me and put a lot of time into it, with all the different areas and collectables, really drew me into this title to the point where I found it really hard to put it down. Even after getting home from playing it on the train rides to and from work I would still find myself planting the Switch into the dock obsessively playing to get all the collectables.
Mario games have always been one of the gaming franchises out there that I’ve played but never really been pulled into. Probably because I love a good story behind the game i’m playing. But Odyssey with it’s gameplay and platforming really sucked me in and made me learn to appreciate it for what it was, a fun game.
Super Mario World
Super Mario World wasn’t the first Mario game I’d played (that title goes to Mario Cement Factory), but it stands out to me because this was when I was first discovering gaming. Yeah I’d been amused by the pretty lights on the screen as a kid, but Super Mario World and the Super Nintendo was where I had the dexterity to play games as they were intended. And boy did I play the crap out of Super Mario World.
I loved going through and searching all the levels for all the hidden secrets. The cape may have broken some levels but the devs knew that and hid items like the 3-up moon high in the clouds. It’s also the first game I got 100% in. Finding all the secret exits and getting through Special World to see the overworld colour scheme change and Koopas gain little Mario helmets, it all felt amazing, especially in a time when the internet wasn’t as big as it is now. No walk-through guides here!
The appeal of Super Mario World has long passed the life of the system. There is a thriving fan game community that uses the base Super Mario World game to breathe new life into the game and bring a whole new generation of players to this amazing title. That’s why it’s my pick for GOA’s favourite Mario games.
Mario Kart Wii
I have such fond memories of playing Mario Kart on the Wii. My first Mario Kart was Mario Kart 7 on the DS, but I always think of when everyone in the family played with the steering wheel accessories.
There are so many other Mario titles I could’ve picked, but this one just stands out for me because it brought people together, even if it meant there was some competitive yelling along the way!
My favourite track to play on was Coconut Mall and Moo Moo Meadows, but Rainbow Road will always test my patience (and temper!).
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Many people know I am a massive racing game fan, so the combination of the iconic characters of the Super Mario and racing is quite simply spectacular to me! Every track is a fantastic wonderland of colour and quirkiness that is so unique to this world, and I have enjoyed many hours playing with friends and family. Combine this with the intuitive smart steering, and you have the recipe for a fantastic time for all ages. My girls are just reaching the age where they can play split screen and they have a ball. Oh, did I also mention you can play with up to 12 players online? If you’re a content creator, this is the perfect game to play when streaming with your community.
Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine is often considered one of the best Mario games because of its unique and innovative gameplay mechanics. The game’s central feature, the FLUDD, added a whole new dimension to Mario’s abilities, allowing players to hover, shoot water, and even run on walls. This expanded move-set made for exciting and varied gameplay, as players had to constantly switch between using the FLUDD and Mario’s standard abilities to solve puzzles and defeat enemies.
The game also featured an incredibly charming and vibrant setting in the form of Isle Delfino, a tropical paradise with a wide variety of unique environments to explore. The levels were well-designed, with plenty of secrets and hidden challenges to discover, making the game a joy to play from start to finish.
Beyond its mechanics and setting, Super Mario Sunshine also had a lot of heart. The game’s story was engaging, and the addition of characters like Bowser Jr. and FLUDD’s sentient AI added an extra layer of depth to the Mario universe. And of course, the game’s music was top-notch, with catchy tunes that still stick in players’ heads to this day.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
While I easily could’ve opted for Super Mario Sunshine given the profound impact it had on me as a young gamer, a game I love equally if not more so is Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door.
My grandma gifted me the game for Christmas back in 2004 or 2005, and I was absolutely stoked to get into things when I got home. When I did get home however, I opened the case and was shocked to find no disc, resulting in me forcing my mum to take me to the Kmart it was purchased at the next day.
We fought against the masses that Boxing Day, quickly retrieving the missing disc and shooting back home, where I would embark on one of the most engrossing and memorable adventures of my young life.
From its enjoyable turn-based gameplay and paper aesthetic to its sizeable roster of unique and entertaining characters, it was a truly magnificent experience.
My original copy sits proudly amongst my GameCube collection in my game room, and whenever I see it, I can’t help but look back fondly.
So that’s GOA’s favourite Mario games. Do you agree with our list? Let us know if we missed your favourite on our socials!