Mario is one of the most recognizable characters across pop culture, and for good reason. Almost every game in the mainline Super Mario series is a critical and commercial success, with each entry redefining what it means to make and play a video game. One of the reasons why he is such an enduring character is the cast of supporting characters he surrounds himself with, from heroes like Princess Peach, Luigi, and Yoshi to villains you love to hate such as Bowser, Goombas, and Bowser Jr. But Mario isn’t always a spotlight hog—throughout the years, he has been known to share the spotlight and let some background characters take center stage to lead their own games. It’s a great opportunity to introduce the world to more of the lovable characters in the Mushroom Kingdom as well as bringing new genres to the Super Mario pantheon. Which begs the question—which side character from the Super Mario series deserves their own game and, most importantly, what genre would it be?
As I’ve mentioned, several side characters have already had their moment in the sun. After his breakout success in a set of mini-games in Super Mario 3D World, Toad got his own excellent game in the isometric puzzler Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on the Nintendo Wii U (and eventually on the Switch). Yoshi has explored his own islands with baby Mario on his back, providing an easier platforming challenge for younger players; Luigi has a second job as a ghost hunter, providing the series with exploration and point-and-click style play; and even Princess Peach got in on the action in the underrated Super Princess Peach, flipping the script and having her save Mario for once in her life.
The character that has gotten the most solo adventures is Wario, who has had is own set of platformers in the Super Wario series as well as several entries in the WarioWare series—collections of rapid-fire mini games that have become a big hit over the years. That being said, there are several characters who deserve their fifteen minutes of fame. Waluigi, the oft-forgotten purple-clad opposite of Luigi, would be a great lead in a detective-style playable novel. Imagine him trying to solve crimes throughout the Mushroom Kingdom and putting clues together to figure out whodunnit? Or what about a Metroid Dread style game starring Bowser where Mario is constantly pursuing him as he tries to win over Princess Peach? The options are limitless – which side character would you like to see have their own game and which genre would it be? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: Goombastomp.