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Top 10 Super Mario Platformer Games According to Negative World [top ten]
 
If there is one character that is synonymous with the company Nintendo, it has to be Mario. Mario made his debut way back in the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong (although he was called Jumpman at that point), and the success of the game propelled him into the spotlight. However, it was really 1985’s Super Mario Bros. that cemented his role as Nintendo’s flagship mascot, a position that he has held without serious challenge ever since. With Mario’s next big platformer (Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U) just around the corner, I felt like it might be a good time to stop and take a look back at the games that have led us to where we are.

As you probably already know, Negative World is clearly the best though not the biggest Nintendo fan site on the Internet, and we have top ten lists that span all kinds of Nintendo-related topics, from the commonplace (Top 10 NES Original Soundtracks (OSTs)), to the obscure (Top 10 Animal Crossing Fan-Art), to the esoteric (Top 10 Weird Things About Nintendo's "White Knuckle Scorin'") and everything in between. You want lists, we got ‘em.

So it came as quite a surprising revelation to me when I realized that we have never done a top 10 list for Mario platformers. We have done top ten lists for our favorite Zelda, Kirby, and even Castlevania games, but Mario platformers have fell by the wayside. I believe that it is time to rectify that omission.

Before I begin, let me clarify something here. This is not a list of my personal favorites, or a list that a small amount of Negative World editors have put together. Instead, this is a list based on the average scores of the Mario platformer games as rated by Negative World members in our game database, or in other words, this list is about as close to a consensus from the entire body of users of Negative World as we can possibly get. This isn’t just my list, this is our list. Because that is how we roll here.

You will see a few numbers in the header for each game in the last. The first is the average score (out of 10) for that game calculated from all member ratings, and the number in parenthesis is the amount of members who have scored this game (IE the amount of ratings that went into the calculation.) Sweet.
Posted: 10/25/13, 00:02:47  - Edited by 
 on: 10/29/13, 23:14:11
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Super Mario Bros. 2 (US) (NES) - 8.98 / 10 (42)
To be honest, I had little experience with video game sequels way back when Super Mario Bros. 2 was released on the NES, so I didn’t realize how entirely strange of a sequel that it was. Nor, at the time, did it ever cross my mind to suspect that the reason it was such an oddball sequel was that it was not the “true” (Japan-only until released with Super Mario All-Stars) Super Mario Bros. 2, but rather a game called Doki Doki Panic given a Mario skin swap in the West. So where did this Doki Doki Panic game come from? Well, it was originally started as a Super Mario Bros. sequel as well, but then got scrapped and later revived as Doki Doki Panic. Confused yet?

Anyway, dubious origins or not, Super Mario Bros. 2 is still an excellent game that deserves a spot in our top 10. I would have put it up a bit higher myself though.

 
New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) - 9.14 / 10 (90)
When New Super Mario Bros. was released on the DS it was an interesting concept (taking Mario back to his 2D roots) that resulted in a relatively well received game. However, most of us at Negative World seem to agree that the Wii game took things to a whole new level, introducing 4-player co-op and battle modes, as well as polishing and tightening the core New Super Mario Bros. gameplay to create a superior sequel. Cue Grant’s objections in 3… 2… 1...

And I still maintain that New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s Coin Battle mode is one of the best multiplayer modes on a Wii game, but I guess others don’t feel quite as enthusiastic about it since no one ever wants to play it with me.

 
Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) - 9.23 / 10 (39)
I wasn’t totally sure what to expect leading up to the release of Super Mario 3D Land, which was, as far as I can tell, Nintendo’s first serious attempt to take 3D Mario and make him appeal to the (much larger) 2D Mario fanbase. Super Mario 3D Land was clearly going to be, in many ways, a more straight-forward and linear game than the 3D Mario outings leading up to it (the Super Mario Galaxy games), and I was worried that the result might feel like a shell of a Mario game.

However, I was wrong. Nintendo’s gamble paid off, and Super Mario 3D Land ended up not just a highly rated Mario game, but a best selling Mario game as well. More importantly, we love it here at Negative World, which is all that really matters in the end.

 
Super Mario Bros. (NES) - 9.36 / 10 (72)
Oh man, this is the game that started it all! I’m not just talking about Mario here, I’m talking about video gaming as we know it. Alright fine, technically there were some good video games before Super Mario Bros. came along, but I honestly believe that Super Mario Bros. was the first mind-blowingly excellent video game ever made, and it became a blueprint for a lot of what was to come in the industry. If you weren’t around and paying attention when it released, you will probably never understand how quickly the entire landscape of video games changed with the release of a single game.

However, some could argue, and perhaps rightfully so, that it has not passed the test of time as well as some of the other Mario games. This could very well explain why such a monumental game is only in our 7th spot.

 
Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario World 2 (SNES) - 9.46 / 10 (64)
I’m not sure if Yoshi’s Island should technically count as a Mario platformer when a very strong case could be made for calling it the first Yoshi platformer. Strictly speaking, Mario is not doing any platforming himself, but is relegated to the role of a baby who doesn’t do much of anything but ride on Yoshi and whine in a really annoying way every time that he gets knocked off. Yoshi is the true star of the show. Still, Nintendo put “Super Mario World 2” in the title in the West, so if we’re counting Super Mario Bros. 2 (NA) as a Mario platformer when it originally released as a non-Mario game, why not count Yoshi’s Island as well?

And what an excellent game Yoshi’s Island was. Yoshi’s Island had a nice mix of Mario staples and brand new concepts like Yoshi transformations, riding on balloons, and touching fuzzies then getting dizzy, combined with exploration-focused gameplay and a load of collectibles (that were actually fun to collect.) Hard to top that.

 
Super Mario 64 (N64) - 9.50 / 10 (108)
Super Mario 64 is yet another Mario game that was incredibly groundbreaking when it released. Various developers had made attempts at 3D platformers before, but Miyamoto and Nintendo stepped up and said hey, look, this is how you do it! In fact, Super Mario 64’s influence spread beyond platformers into 3D video game development as a whole. The camera work alone was much studied and emulated in years to come. The tight controls and variety of environments to explore didn’t hurt either.

It’s also another Mario game, however, that some believe has not quite passed the test of time as well as some of the others. And, as you will see soon enough, we at Negative World generally consider it to have since been surpassed by other 3D Mario games…

 
Super Mario World (SNES) - 9.52 / 10 (106)
I have to admit, my own personal rankings would not put Super Mario World up quite this high, although that probably has a lot to do with the disjointed way that I originally played through it due to not owning my own Super Nintendo when it released. But it’s clearly a very well loved Mario game here at Negative World, and hey, I can totally understand why. It was a pretty spectacular way to kick off the 16-bit era for Nintendo, and it made me jealous of everyone who did have a Super Nintendo at the time.

Also it was the game that introduced Yoshi. Who doesn’t love Yoshi? And the Cape Feather. Who doesn’t love the Cape Feather? And Ghost Houses. Who doesn’t lo… hmm. I’ll have to think about that one.

 
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - 9.59 / 10 (145)
In the midst of the epic console wars during the Wii / PS3 / 360 era, many of us Wii owners wanted that one killer game we could point to and say this is one of the best games of the generation and you simply can’t find it anywhere else. Well, and also we wanted that killer game because we actually like playing games, sometimes. Super Mario Galaxy provided all of that and more, instantly becoming one of the most highly rated and beloved games not just of its generation, but of all-time.

How did it do that? Stunning visuals and an epic soundtrack helped, for sure, but at its heart was a wealth of creative ideas and the execution to back those ideas up. And whether you feel like the planetoids and gravity mechanics resulted in “Super Mario 64 in space”, or that Super Mario Galaxy created a brand new way to play Mario platformers (as I do), it’s tough to deny both the polish and fun factor of this game.

 
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) - 9.60 / 10 (101)
I don’t even know where to start with my praise for Super Mario Bros. 3. I recently wrote a top ten list where I named it the best same-platform sequel in video games, and I will stand by that. Yep, as revolutionary as Super Mario Bros. was at the time, Super Mario Bros. 3 came along and blew it out of the water, raising the stakes to even greater heights. Hosting excellent visuals, a stellar soundtrack, tight controls, a variety of environments, a non-linear overworld map, tons of secrets areas, and a bunch of power-ups and suits that were just plain fun to use, Super Mario Bros. 3 was not only one of the best games of the NES era, but is one of the best 2D games ever made, period.

Also, it basically had an entire feature film created to market it to us unsuspecting children in The Wizard. A movie without which we would have never had this gem of a quote. That’s… something. I guess.

 
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) - 9.63 / 10 (100)
How do you top something as amazing as Super Mario Galaxy? By doing the same thing again, but better. Super Mario Galaxy 2 will never be called a groundbreaking game, as it stuck closely to the formula of the first Super Mario Galaxy, but it exudes pure creativity on every level, managing to be one of those rare sequels that feels familiar yet fresh at the same time. That’s not to say that it didn’t introduce anything new, it as it had a variety of its own unique power-ups, including the first playable Yoshi that doesn’t suck in a 3D Mario game sorry Super Mario Sunshine.

Whether you prefer the original or the sequel, it is tough to deny the impact that the Super Mario Galaxy games have had on the Mario platformer. Nintendo seems to be moving Mario in another direction with the upcoming Super Mario 3D World, and it looks pretty spectacular, but I just can’t help but hope to see a Super Mario Galaxy 3 someday.

 
So there you have it, the top 10 Super Mario platformers based on member ratings here at Negative World. If you agree, disagree, or have anything else to add, why not do so in the comments below? And don’t forget to rate some games! If you’re not a member yet, you can sign up quick and be posting and rating games within minutes. Why be a passive observer when you can change the course of history?

Now let’s all get pumped for Super Mario 3D World together!

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Posted: 10/25/13, 00:02:47  - Edited by 
 on: 10/29/13, 23:14:11
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The lack of Super Mario Sunshine validates this list. I can't refute it.
Posted: 10/25/13, 00:12:54
Super Mario Sunshine, while fun, is easily the most challenging game for me in terms of being able to go back and play. I like the concept, but I feel the execution doesn't allow it to stand up past a single play thru. I did 100% it though so maybe that caused eternal burnout.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 being the top isn't really surprising. I'm quite pleased to think that we've so recently had the greatest mario game to date (according to NW). Super Mario Galaxy 3 will surely be amazing, if or when it comes.

Super Mario World in the top five makes me happy, though I'd swap it with Super Mario Bros. 3 if I could. I always felt it was a souped up version of SMB3. I love the art. The music. The gameplay. Yoshi. The powerups. The world themes. The amount of content. Just superb.
Posted: 10/25/13, 00:41:05
I can get behind this list, for the most part. I was never one of those who felt Galaxy 2 particularly outclassed the original, but it's pretty much a flip a coin situation. We could almost consider them 2 parts of the same game.
Posted: 10/25/13, 01:52:48
I'm in agreement with most of this list, though Yoshi's Island and Super Mario 64 could have been a bit lower.
Posted: 10/25/13, 02:00:05
I don't know if I could sort out my own list of Mario games, I like a lot of them, and many are quite different from each other. All I can say is that SMB1 and Super Mario 3D Land would not be in my top ten.

I never got to try NSMBWii's battle mode, everyone just wanted to play co-op. It's definitely one of the best multiplayer games on the Wii, and I hope 3D World can recapture that magic.
Posted: 10/25/13, 02:01:29
@anon_mastermind By lower do you mean lower down physically aka a better position in the rankings? Or the reverse?
Posted: 10/25/13, 02:05:06
@Mr_Mustache

But a Yoshi game on a Mario list invalidates it. I think it's cancelled out now and doesn't exist.
Posted: 10/25/13, 03:08:16
Wrong.
Posted: 10/25/13, 03:09:27
@Het_Nkik This man knows the score. If Yoshi's Island counts, then so does Wario Land. (Wario Land doesn't count, no.)

Otherwise this list is not terribly blasphemous, I suppose...
Posted: 10/25/13, 03:13:22
kriswright said:
I can get behind this list, for the most part. I was never one of those who felt Galaxy 2 particularly outclassed the original, but it's pretty much a flip a coin situation. We could almost consider them 2 parts of the same game.

That's how I feel too. I don't know which one to call better... You just need to play them both to get the whole Galaxy experience.

Turned out to be a pretty good list. I would also place SMB2 a couple spots higher. Love that game, very badly want Nintendo to revisit Subcon in a 3D sequel.
Posted: 10/25/13, 03:23:44
@Het_Nkik

..Ugh, I just realized its #6, too.

--HOW IS SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 at #10!? Whats WRONG with you people?!
Posted: 10/25/13, 03:26:34
NW knows what's up! Good list.

I'm in the camp that really liked Sunshine (not more than the other 3D games, but I still thought it was great), but I totally understand why it doesn't get the same amount of love as 64 and Galaxy.
Posted: 10/25/13, 03:36:28
@anon_mastermind

Agree totally. Otherwise, good deal.
Posted: 10/25/13, 03:42:27
Hmm, I honestly didn't realize including Yoshi's Island would be so controversial. I've always considered it a "Mario" game... a strange side Mario game of sorts, but a Mario game nonetheless. And although I never really thought of it as Super Mario World 2, it felt like a part of that world to me, an extension of the Yoshi stuff in Super Mario World, and having that in the name sort of legitimized it as some kind of Mario game in my eyes.

To be honest I might have thought this way about Wario Land aka Super Mario Land 3 but it didn't rank high enough to get into the top 10 anyway so I didn't think about it.
Posted: 10/25/13, 05:42:41  - Edited by 
 on: 10/25/13, 05:45:09
Yeah, YI is sort of a strange one that opens up a slippery slope. Like, would "Super Mario Land 3" count? If so, what about the Wario Land sequels? Master of Disguise? Shake It? What about Yoshi's Island DS? Yoshi's Story? Super Princess Peach? DK '94?

Nice list though! I'm a little surprised to see SMG2 above SMG1 actually. I'd probably put SMG1 slightly higher myself, but SMG2 is certainly an amazing game and one that I can go back to again and again. Nice to see SMB3 as the top 2D one too, although I do fall on the side of wanting SMB in a higher (better) position.
Posted: 10/25/13, 05:45:32  - Edited by 
 on: 10/25/13, 05:46:04
I've never played Yoshi's Island, and I've barely played SMW, although I do own it on Wii VC, I'd say pretty good list. I'd put Galaxy 1 in the #2 spot, and keep Galaxy 2 right where you put it.
Posted: 10/25/13, 05:51:36
@TriforceBun My own arbitrary feelings aside, I just kind of went with Nintendo's call on this one as well. They considered it Super Mario World 2 (in the West anyway), it's Super Mario World 2 (in the West anyway), even if none of us really think of it in those terms. However, I consider Yoshi's Island to also be the start of the Yoshi platformer franchise, and every Yoshi game since is just a Yoshi game. So Yoshi's Island is like the in-betweener that counts as both franchises or something.

In that respect I'd probably think of Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 in the same way... as both a Mario and Wario game, and then the sequels are just Wario games.

Does this make any sense? Heck no it doesn't. Blame Nintendo though for their weird naming conventions, not me!
Posted: 10/25/13, 07:05:08  - Edited by 
 on: 10/25/13, 07:05:53
It's tough to choose which Galaxy game is better. The original SMG had a bigger impact on me since it was the first one, and so it had that element of learning the game and freshness. But, I think SMG2 may have better level design, and there are a few levels in SMG1 that are really annoying, but SMG2 didn't really have anything that was on that same level of annoying. I'd probably still give the nod to the original since it's, well, the original, but both are excellent, easily some of the best games of the generation, and will remain classics throughout the channels of history.
Posted: 10/25/13, 07:49:00
1NB43DW0RLD
Posted: 10/25/13, 07:59:28
I think when it comes to Super Mario Galaxy 2 versus 1, all other things being equal, the "post-game" in 2 was way better... collecting the green stars was actually pretty fun and some if it even felt fresh, whereas in 1 it was basically play the same exact game over again with Luigi.

Of course, I think Super Mario Galaxy 2 had the edge in design as well. Just felt like it took things up a notch.
Posted: 10/25/13, 08:37:24
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