With 210 million units sold worldwide, Mario is officially the best-selling video game franchise of all time, while Super Mario, the mustachioed Italian plumber is probably the most recognizable video game character in the world of gaming.
The Mario character has inspired so many modes of creative entertainment some worse than others.
Did you know that March 10 is the National Mario Day? (Because Mar.10 = Mario). Next year remember to pick up your favorite Mario game and enjoy some classic old school gaming time. Until then, here are the 5 best Mario games ever. Since it is the first and original Super Mario Bros release what caused all of the hype, we won’t include it here because it’s an obvious classic.
- Super Mario Galaxy
What Super Mario Sunshine couldn’t do, did the Super Mario Galaxy game for the Wii console in 2007. Just like the Super Mario 64 a decade earlier, Super Mario Galaxy revolutionized the Mario franchise maybe even beyond the 64 version. Of all the games ever released for Wii, Galaxy took advantage of the Wii’s control scheme best and seamlessly handled the 360-degree platforming and gravity.
- Mario Kart 64
1996 was the year when the world saw one of the most legendary racing games. Mario Kart 64 still remains a party favorite even after two decades of its release. Thanks to its visually innovative racing concept which was also highly competitive, the game managed to withstand the test of time. Remember the game’s toughest and longest track, the never-ending Rainbow Road?
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Don’t be surprised, because this is easily one of the best 2D platformers ever made. It was shadowed by the release of N64 Mario in 3D the next year, but that doesn’t make it less important. In fact, this game had such a masterful control scheme and was so challenging that it made you collect every flower, red coin and star possible.
- Super Mario 64
1996 was a special year for Mario fans. It marked a new era of Mario games and brought the 3D, 64-bit technology into the franchise. You never saw such a deep, open-world playability like in the Super Mario 64. This game was the reason why the Nintendo 64 was brought to the forefront of the gaming industry. Today, with 11 million copies sold, Super Mario 64 stands as the best-selling video game for the N64 console.
- Super Mario Bros. 3
The Super Mario Bros game, the first in the franchise, revolutionized and revitalized the gaming industry. The same happened with Super Mario Bros 3 in 1990, five years after the first game, only that now the franchise brought gaming to a new height. Everything you know about 2D platformers today is thanks to Super Mario Bros 3. Oh, and the fun we got when we learned the secret shortcuts, it was priceless.
Other honorable mentions that could have made the list are Paper Mario for N64, Super Mario Sunshine for GameCube, Super Mario Galaxy 2 for Wii and Super Mario World for NES.