Boss Rush Banter: What is the Best Mario Game of All Time?

Recently, the Nintendo Pow Block Podcast crew debated the big man, the face of Nintendo, Mario (and his less celebrated brother). While Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels didn’t get a lot of love, the crew gave high praise to Super Mario 3D World. For today’s Boss Rush Banter, we thought we’d ask you: what’s the best Mario game of all time?

Before we give you the floor, here’s a few we feel deserve consideration:

Super Mario Bros. 3: It’s widely acknowledged as the best of the NES Mario games. Not only did it introduce Mario transformations and flying to the series, it established the overworld formula that would be used for years to come. The game is an all-time classic and beloved by veteran gamers.

Super Mario World: It’s the game that gave us Yoshi. Can I stop there? It had everything that made Super Mario Bros. 3 great, but did it better. The reply value holds up even today, as the game sits atop many a fan’s list.

Super Mario 64: While it technically wasn’t the first, fully immersive 3D video game, it certainly defined the experience. Not only did it teach an entire generation of gamers how to play 3D games, it brought the most celebrated 2D platformer into the future. If only Nintendo had patched those camera controls!

Super Mario Odyssey: In the minds of many, it’s the game that best defines 3D Mario games. It’s a love letter to the series, beautifully switching between immersive 3D worlds and retro 2D style, culminating with a massive celebration and a ridiculously catchy song. It’s sold over 20 million copies and stands out as a fan favorite.

Super Mario 3D World: Recently re-released on Nintendo Switch, this game offers addicting multiplayer fun and combines the best of platforming and exploration. It’s online capabilities are a perfect fit for Switch, giving the game high replay value.

Tell us what you think! What is the best Mario game of all time? Share your reactions in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “Boss Rush Banter: What is the Best Mario Game of All Time?

  1. Oh boy…I have a lot of thoughts on the Zelda series. I don’t do any written pieces here since I also write for Zelda Dungeon, but I actually have written pretty extensively about my favorite games. We even do a “Best Zelda Ever” article there every year where the whole staff ranks the games.

    At this moment my top 5 are:
    1) Breath of the Wild
    2) A Link to the Past
    3) Age of Calamity
    4) Twilight Princess
    5) Wind Waker

    What about you?

  2. I’m gonna declare Odyssey as my favourite 3D open-world Mario game. I love it – it’s fun, it’s silly, it’s something to easily jump in and out of – it’s a complete game. My favourite Mario game of all time though, is easily Super Mario World. Legend has it Nintendo consider the game to be somewhat rushed, which is news to me, for it feels and plays like a polished labour of love!

    1. I absolutely love Super Mario World. It was THE Mario game for me growing up. I’ve got a lot of love for Super Mario Bros. 3, but playing SMW on SNES was my childhood. I enjoy Mario games today like 3DW, but that one was special. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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