The Top 10 Mario Games Of All Time

Nintendo fans hungry for Mario games will have a couple to choose from before the year ends, with Super Mario 3DS and Mario Kart 3DS set to arrive just in time for the holidays.

For now, they can enjoy the best portable Mario games the company has to offer.

The publisher’s mascot has enjoyed an extensive career across a variety of platforms, mostly on handhelds, where some of his greatest console hits made an appearance, including beloved classics like Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3.

That said, we’re proud to present the top 10 portable Mario games of all time.


10. Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (Game Boy colour, 1999)

Nintendo spruced up the critically acclaimed NES hit by adding an over world, the ability to look up and down, a Challenge mode to locate hidden objects and most importantly, the original Super Mario Bros. 2 (called The Lost Levels in the West), which essentially gave players two games for the price of one.

9. Mario Golf: Advance Tour (Game Boy Advance, 2004)

Mario and company hit the links in Nintendo and Camelot Software’s excellent sports RPG, Mario Golf: Advance Tour. Players, as one of two characters, visit four unique clubs and enter tournaments for the privilege of golfing alongside Mario. They can also compete in four multiplayer modes and even trade clubs using the Game Boy Advance Wireless adaptor.

8. Super Mario 64 DS (DS, 2004)

One of the greatest video games of all time made a grand debut on Nintendo DS, as the publisher was able to port the N64 3D hit (with all of those Power Stars) to the new platform while incorporating new features, like touch-screen mini games, improved graphics, a wireless four player mode and the option to play Super Mario 64 DS with new characters, including Wario.

7. New Super Mario Bros. (DS, 2006)

While a bit on the easy side, there was no denying New Super Mario Bros.’s quality and charm. Nintendo returned to good old-fashioned 2-D side scrolling, as Mario tears through the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Peach. Plenty of familiar mechanics return (smash bricks, stomp goombas), but the developers included 240 Star Coins to collect, the Blue Koopa Shell, Mega and Mini Mushrooms and a map that shows a player’s progress through the current level.

6. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (DS, 2009)

We don’t know if Bowser’s Inside Story is the final Mario & Luigi RPG, but if so, what a great way to end this outstanding series. This time, the brothers wind up inside of a gigantic Bowser, and must battle enemies inside while their arch nemesis causes havoc outside. Even better, players get to control both the plumbers and the rampaging monster.

5. Mario Kart DS (DS, 2005)

Mario and Bowser temporarily put aside their differences to compete in some friendly races in Nintendo’s 3D Mario Kart. The DS edition received praise for its wealth of tracks, hidden characters (like R.O.B.), ability to design decals for the karts and the biggest feature of all, online play through Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. We still play it.

4. Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World (Game Boy Advance, 2001)

For many Nintendo fans, Super Mario World is the quintessential 2-D Mario experience. We wouldn’t go that far, but it definitely made a grand entrance on Game Boy Advance. Like Super Mario Bros. 3, this is a port of the Super Mario All-Stars Super Mario World with two notable differences: it’s one player only, and Luigi is an alternate character that jumps higher than Mario. Everything else, from Yoshi’s arrival to the cape feather, is largely the same.

3. Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island (Game Boy Advance, 2002)

We’ve adored Yoshi’s Island ever since it hit the Super Nintendo in 1995. Nintendo was wise to bring this incredible 2-D adventure to Game Boy Advance, introducing new players to a new take on the classic Mario Game.

In it, Yoshi (the player) must trudge through beautiful pastel-shaded environments while carrying baby Mario to safety. Each time an enemy hits Yoshi, Mario gets encased within a bubble and floats away, forcing gamers to make a mad scramble to recover the infant. A superb experience from start to finish.

2. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (Game Boy Advance, 2003)

The successful Super Mario Advance series ended with arguably the best Mario game of all time, Super Mario Bros. 3. This pixel perfect port of the Super Mario All-Stars version of SMB 3 was well received by critics and consumers, and for great reason. It’s a fabulous romp through eight varied worlds full of danger, fun surprises (warp whistles), cool suits (Tanooki) power-ups (we loved visiting the Toad huts) and a phenomenal soundtrack.

1. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (Game Boy Advance, 2003)

We’ll always have a soft spot for the original Mario & Luigi RPG, Superstar Saga, which was unlike anything we’d experienced on a portable system. This light-hearted adventure was user friendly (with its time-based battle system), hilarious (the dialogue is top notch) and incredibly attractive, which made it an instant favourite among the Nintendo community.

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