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Top Ten Mario Games

So after reading the post directly below, I had this sweet idea to do a Top Ten List for Mario Brothers games. I just had two criteria.

First, my list had to make some damn sense.

Second, I would not spend most of my list talking about my Feelings, or The Ladies. The Ladies, as we all know, have nothing to do with The Mario.

With those two tenets in mind, I set out on my journey. Seconds later, I arrived.

10 (tied) Super Paper Mario

This game talks at you for hours. I had to hire someone to press the “A” button for me just to make it through all the dialogue. But it despite this overwhelming flaw, Paper Mario did some amazing things with perspective shifts, has some insane moments, and deserves place #10 just for its amazing visual design and actually having the cajones to be a platformer instead of an RPG.

10 (tied) New Super Mario Bros

The exact opposite of Paper Mario, a 2D game done with 3D graphics. Really tight controls and some cool rotating levels, this was an attempt to recreate the elegance of the original. I can’t say I was completely sold… sometimes the game was trying TOO hard to be nostalgic and cleverly simple, but it is nonetheless a rock-solid platformer, with some awesome secret levels.

9) Super Mario Land

Indeed, this is a good game to play on the crapper. It is almost invalidated for having an alien spaceship as the final boss. I THINK Mario Land 2 was pretty good too, but this had that almost-a-TigerToy, 0-bit charm that I can’t deny.

8) Super Mario Sunshine

A few great levels, square watermelons, wonderful jumping soured by a pretty-weak water spraying gimmick. Nonetheless, I could have forgiven Sunshine if it wasn’t so relentlessly…. tropical.

7) Super Mario World

I know it’s nasty putting it this low… Mario World was really good, but it was a letdown for me. Yoshi was a great add, but I just didn’t feel the love from the new enemies or the environments. It felt more streamlined, less creative somehow.

6) Super Mario 2

The best moment in There Will Be Brawl? When Luigi pulls out a key for his front door, and a mask slides off the wall. This may not have been originally a Mario game, but it was a great Game nonetheless.

5) Mario 64

Again, I know I’m putting this low. Like Victor, my first moment with this game was total awe: the first hour with Mario 64 is one of the best in the history of gaming. But I’m an explorer by nature, and once the levels started repeating themselves, and thinning out, and once I’d raced my ninth penguin and found my fifth star in an eel-hole, I started to wonder… is this still fun? (Shout out, by the way, to Tiny Huge World, a shining exception to their boring-worlds issue).

4) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

This game is some underrated shit. It was one of the most amazing platformers ever: incredibly creative art style, crazy new mechanics, and a level called “Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy“, where you try to avoid floating LSD tablets, and if you hit them your pupils dilate and the entire stage bends and turns rainbow colors. Really. Great final boss, as well.

3) Super Mario Bros

What can you say? It’s the original, and it still holds up to this day. While the brand and the world expanded over time, it was never more pure, more Perfect, than this.

2) Super Mario Galaxy

For me, this game did what Mario games are SUPPOSED to do, what they NEED to do to be successful. It filled me with a sense of joy simply to be running through the space. Listen to that plumber whoop for joy as he bounds from planet to planet… dude is having FUN. A return to the creative insanity that make Mario great, and an overall triumph.

1) Super Mario 3

Blue balls my ass.

5 thoughts on “Top Ten Mario Games”

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