Series Ranked: Super Mario Bros

This past Friday marked the release of the amazing looking Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch, which is now one of the highest rated games of all time, joining The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

To celebrate this exciting occasion, I am going to rank all of the mainline Super Mario games. There are far too many spin offs to include all of them. Unfortunately, this means RPG, the original Mario Bros, Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Island will not be included in this list, but oh well.

I will rank them from worst to best.

#17

Super Mario Land

Game Boy, 1989

Times Beaten-1

The very first handheld Mario game turned out to be a very short adventure, taking no longer than 20 minutes to beat. It is still a fun little game however.

 

#16

Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels

Famicom, 1986 / SNES 1993

Times Beaten-0

Originally called Super Mario Bros 2, it was somehow never released outside of Japan. Most people didn’t play it until it was called the “Lost Levels” which was added in Super Mario All-Stars several years later. It is very similar to it’s prequel and takes off right where it left off, making this game very infamous for it’s difficulty. I never put too much time into it to really say much about it, for it was so similar to the first game.

#15

Super Mario Bros

NES, 1985

Times Beaten-2 or 3

This is probably the most famous game of all time, and forever will be so. To this day, it is a fun enough game, but I was never that huge a fan of it due to it’s stiff jumping mechanic and constantly having to replay through the same levels to get to the warp pipes so you can continue where you left off.

 

#14

Super Mario Land 2

Game Boy, 1992

Times Beaten-2 or 3

 

This game is quite unique and still a lot of fun to play. The level designs and nifty power ups, not to mention the introduction of Wario, make this a game to be remembered.

 

#13

Super Mario Bros 2

NES, 1988

Times Beaten-2

This game really took the series in a whole new direction. Suddenly instead of jumping oneverything, you were throwing radishes at them. It’s a really bizarre game, but a lot of fun. The fact that there is 4 playable characters, all with unique traits, make this a very ambitious game for the time.

#12

Super Mario 3D Land

3DS, 2011

Times Beaten-1

This was another twist for the beloved series, taking advantage of the 3D graphics to create a different adventure for Mario, combining elements from the side scrolling games with the 3D ones. While it is a fun game, I wished I was playing a regular 2D or 3D Mario most of the time.

#11

New Super Mario Bros

DS, 2006

Times Beaten-1

A return to the side scrolling age after a decade of being in 3D was a most exciting concept. The only bad thing was that this meant it would be facing up against the last 2D Mario, Super Mario World. And it didn’t even come close, having focused more on keeping faithful to the original NES game, but with a ton of new features added to it.

#10

Super Mario 64

N64, 1996

Times Beaten-2

This is also one of the most famous games ever made, responsible for ushering 3D games into the limelight in a good way. Though the game had a few flaws, it was still pretty amazing for the time. I never was too into it, however, for I felt it was far worse than some of the 2D games.

#9

New Super Mario Bros Wii

Wii, 2009

Times Beaten-4

While this game was a huge improvement over the DS game, it still sorely fell behind some other 2D Marios, making me realize they weren’t even trying to create these side-scrollers like they used to. The “New” series seemed to be something completely different, and while not as good as some of the classics, they are still solid games.

#8

New Super Mario Bros 2

3DS, 2012

Times Beaten-1

This game is a lot of fun, especially compared to the previous two on this list. It was so satisfying to just run like crazy, collecting absurd amounts of coins, through some of the best platforming seen in years.

#7

Super Mario Sunshine

GameCube, 2002

Times Beaten-3

This is probably the most unique Mario game around. Cleaning graffiti with a water pack that has all sorts of different settings, while traversing through beautiful landscapes…just awesome. There was plenty of platforming challenges scattered throughout the game as well, making this a fantastic game all around.

#6

New Super Mario Bros U

Wii U, 2012

Times Beaten-1

Now this is what I’ve been waiting for. Amazing platforming chock full of secrets and challenge, new power ups and other ideas, all scattered throughout a massive world. This was the game I have been waiting for ever since they announced the “new” line of platformers back on DS.

#5

Super Mario Bros 3

smb3

NES, 1988

Times Beaten-2

This game was more than anyone could ever have expected at the time of its release. It completely blew every other platformer out of the water, and still does to most even today. It was such a vast improvement over it’s prequels, it’s amazing to think they are in the same series. A huge world, tons of new content, and unique items will keep this one in the record books forever. It is funny I have only ever beat the game twice, for as a small child, I played this game constantly, just goofing around on the many great stages.

#4

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Wii, 2010

Times Beaten-1

The only reason this places lower than the first game is because this was not really the true game. The only reason this game exists is because there was so much that couldn’t fit into the first game, that Nintendo decided to just make another game to put it all in, which is great news for fans! It’s almost like the best DLC ever. So the whole central idea was not fresh at this point, but there were a ton of new ideas and planets to explore and items to grab that made this game stand out by itself.

#3

Super Mario Galaxy

Wii, 2007

Times Beaten-2

This game is a masterpiece. It is probably one of the very few games I can say I could literally not put down. I was so amazed by how good it was, that in only 3 days I got every star and unlocked Luigi, only to immediately beat the game with every star with him too. No other game has had me play so much at one time, and do it over again with no time in between. The game is so unique and incredible, that I long to play it again…(Curse you backlog!)

#2

Super Mario World

SNES, 1990

Times Beaten-At Least 20

This is probably the best platformer ever made, in my opinion. I spent my childhood uncovering every tiny little secret in this diverse, huge world. The game is so vast and just perfect. I absolutely love it and I can pick it up anytime and play through it, taking all the shortcuts to beat the game quickly, or slowly beat every level, and uncover all the secret paths and not stop until I beat Special Land and turn the world into that awesome weirdo place where the Koopas are Marios.

#1

Super Mario 3D World

Wii U, 2013

Times Beaten-1

Here it is, the best Mario game ever made. I was rather disappointed when they announced the next 3D Mario would be in the same 2D/3D combined style like Super Mario 3D Land, seeing that I wasn’t all that impressed with that game.

But the second I played it, I was proven wrong. The new items, particularly the cat, is amazing, the fact that you can play as a variety of characters, each with unique traits, is even more amazing, the humongous world to explore is creative and diverse, and the gameplay is just simply solid. This game delivered everything I could have wanted for this style of game, and I love it to death.

There is plenty to do in the game, giving it some nice replay value too. I had long given up hope that they would ever top Super Mario World, but it seems any game with “world” in the title is destined for greatness.

And there you have it. That is all the mainline games, ranked from worst to best. They are all very good, memorable games, and there are tons of spin off or other series with Mario that are just as good, if not better. It is safe to say that the gaming industry would not be the same without this little fella, so my hat’s off to him. I can’t wait to see where Odyssey fits in this list!

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Nintendo Switch-First Impressions

So this past Friday was a pretty relevant day. In case you haven’t heard, Nintendo’s newest console, the home/portable hybrid called Switch was released. Today, I just want to talk about the system itself. What I like and dislike, etc. And I must say, while it is exciting for any company to come out with a new system, it is a whole lot more exciting when it happens to be a Nintendo console, strictly because they offer something different, new and exciting. It gives gamers a chance to experience something they really haven’t before. It isn’t all about graphics. It’s about the experience, about the gameplay. I seem to be in the minority when I say, I buy video games to play them, not look at them.

Any who, let’s get back to talking about the Nintendo Switch.

To start off, I was amazed how small it is. Even though I knew how small it was from videos and such, I was still completely shocked, for it is much smaller in person than you would expect. The whole console is a screen slightly bigger than the screen of the Wii U Gamepad. I’ve actually seen some of the ridiculously large cell phones come close to the size of it. Once you slip on the Joy Con controllers, that adds like 2 inches (if that) to each side. That is your entire console. By far and away the smallest home console ever made. Placing it in the dock, which connects it to your TV, only fattens it up by another inch or two. So the whole console is roughly 9 inches long with the controllers connected, four inches high, and about 2 inches wide. Those are some nice dimensions.

It is welcome news for someone like me, who has an entertainment stand a bit on the small side. I’ve already got a Ps2, PS3, PS4, SNES, N64, 2 Wii’s, Wii U and a DVD Player hooked up to the TV and I’ve more or less run out of space to put anything else in there. The small size of the Switch couldn’t have come at a better time. I can easily fit it anywhere. It makes me pray that every console in the future should downsize. While the Switch isn’t the most powerful machine out there, it is mighty impressive how small they made it nonetheless. Microsoft and Sony should follow suit, downsizing the technology before throwing out these clunky machines, only to resell them smaller years later. But those slimmed down versions are monstrous compared to Switch.

Now I just talked about how small the console itself is, but what really is shocking is how small the controller is. And I’m talking about when you slide the Joy Cons on the controller dock to play it like a normal controller. It is this tiny little guy! It took a bit to get used to using it, because the buttons are closer together than normal. But after a minute or so, you get comfortable with it. Even playing with one tiny Joy Con becomes comfortable after a short while.

While there are many ways to play the Switch, my personal favorite is having the console docked to play on the TV and just holding each Joy Con in each hand, without the controller dock. It gives you a satisfying feeling of freedom. Imagine it is like the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, but without the wire tethering them together. You are not restricted to one space like you are using any other controller in the world either. You can rest your arms anywhere, have each hand in different positions and still play normally. This is especially welcome, since I have two cats that love to sit all over me when I play games, thus forcing me to move my controller to an awkward position to play around the cats, or having to adjust them so I can still play. Now, thanks to the freedom of the Joy Cons, I can have my arms where ever I want, and the cats can lay however or where ever they want.

And you know what else is small? The game cartridges. The cases are tiny, smaller even than a PSP game, or thinner, but taller than a 3Ds game case. And the actual cartridge is about half the size of a 3DS cartridge!

Now I haven’t had too much time to play around with the Switch, but I will talk about what I’ve noticed once the system is on.

Firstly, just connecting it was a problem because the included HDMI cord is too small. It’s about maybe three feet long, but when you have to weave the thing all over the place, it ended up being a few inches short.

So what’s it like when you turn it on? Right off, I don’t like how they set up the app selection in the main menu of the console. It is now like the PS4 or 3DS where everything is just lined up in one long line. I know in the 3DS you can change this to have multiple apps appear on screen in 4×4 blocks or more. I don’t know if you can do it on PS4 or not, but it’s really annoying to have to scroll through 20 different things to find an app or game you haven’t used in a while. I loved the method the Wii U and Wii used. There was like 16 apps or so on the screen. One button scrolled to the next page, where 16 more things would show up. I have a lot of digital games on my Wii U, and they are all confined to 3 or 4 pages. That’s close to 100 apps you can choose from in no time. With the Switch, it looks like you would have to scroll through each one, one by one until you find what you are looking for. I despise doing it in PS4, and I will here. You may be able to change this though, I haven’t looked into it yet.

Another thing that bothered me is there is no music in the main menu or on the eShop. The eShop itself is rather pitiful. You only have the option of buying 9 games, but hey it’s brand new, so I expect both the menu and especially the eShop to drastically improve once more games and updates come out.

Now speaking of games, how did the Switch do with launch titles? Well, I’ve got to say, it’s terrible. Zelda is the best launch title you could hope for, but other than that, there is nothing particularly a must have. There isn’t really anything at all. 1,2 Switch looks pretty cool, but the other games aren’t really my cup of tea, so whatever. What makes it worse, is Zelda isn’t even actually a true Switch title. It’s just a more advanced version of a Wii U game that was supposed to release almost 2 years ago! What were they doing this whole time? We’ve been hearing about the code name NX for like four years! They couldn’t make some good games for it by launch?

Lack of launch games don’t really bother me though. Games will come and when they do, I’ll get them. I don’t need to have everything right out of the gate, but it’s important to most people, so I thought I’d mention it.

But speaking of launch titles, this whole argument you can find between gamers on the internet with the importance of launch titles really cracks me up. Most anywhere, you will find someone say “I won’t waste $300 on a console with no games. I’ll wait until they come out with more before I buy it.” Or they’ll say things like this… especially pertaining to Wii U, “there aren’t enough games to justify buying the console.”

This argument really makes no sense. I understand what they mean, but it honestly translates to “I can’t waste $300 because it doesn’t come accompanied with 5-10 $60 games I can buy alongside it.” The other example with Wii U translates to “I don’t have money to waste on the console because there isn’t enough money for me to spend on it after I buy it to justify it.”

What sense does that make? If you aren’t going to jump into the console immediately, then yes, it is smarter to wait for a good bundle or price drops in games, but if the argument is you don’t want to waste money, that is just stupid. If you know you are going to buy it eventually and there are games you want, then you might as well get it. But to each his own. I don’t really care what people do, but don’t bash a console for stupid, nonsensical reasons.

Well, I’m getting off topic here. That is everything I have noticed with the short time I’ve used the Switch. It can only get better from here! If you are one of the people who want tons of games, then I would suggest waiting. If you don’t care, then pick one up, you won’t be sorry.

But remember, the more support for a console, especially early on, the more likely more games and support from developers there will be!

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