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Best Super Mario Games

Updated April 2023
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Best of the Best
Nintendo Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
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12-Player Karting Fun
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Boasts a huge number of characters and tracks, smooth controls, fun items, and online racing modes.


Offers 48 competitive wild-karting courses and 42 racers, including Donkey Kong, Toad, and Bowser Jr. Race online against up to 12 players. Intense Battle Mode is just the right thing for family game night. Compatible with Nintendo Labo and Joy-Con Wheel.


While there are 48 racetracks, you’ll have to win the game’s various Cups to unlock them all.

Best Bang for the Buck
Nintendo Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario 3D Land
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Slick 3D Visuals
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Super Mario 3D Land does a fantastic job of demonstrating what the 3DS can do with its wide variety of levels, stunning 3D effects, and precise controls, all for a low entry price.


Affordable. 3D looks excellent on a Nintendo 3DS. Tanooki Suit returns to help Mario float over treacherous jumps. 16 worlds to explore. New enemies. New abilities.


No multiplayer features. The 3D effect isn’t absolutely necessary to enjoy the game.

Nintendo New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
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Two Games in One
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Two huge Super Mario games in one is an excellent value, and tackling all of these obstacle-packed levels with friends and family will keep players coming back for more.


Includes both New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U. Up to 4 players at once. 164 action-packed levels. Nearly-invincible Nabbit character is perfect for young players. 3 additional multiplayer modes.


New Super Luigi U is a more challenging adventure, as you start each level with only 100 seconds on the clock.

Nintendo Super Mario Maker 2
Super Mario Maker 2
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Infinite Mario Levels
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Whether you’d rather piece together impressive Super Mario levels or blaze world-record times on uploaded stages, testing your devious creativity against the motor skills of other players will never get old.


Use tons of tools to craft your own Super Mario levels. Share your stages with friends. Includes 100 pre-made levels. Try countless levels made by the community. 2-player course creation mode.


It takes serious creative effort to construct a masterpiece Mario level, but practice makes perfect.

Nintendo Luigi's Mansion
Luigi's Mansion
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GameCube Classic
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A great game made even better by the addition of a second player in the form of slimy “Gooigi,” Luigi’s Mansion is atmospheric, cleverly designed, and has its fair share of slightly-spooky surprises.


Up to 2 players. Upgraded remake of the 2001 Nintendo GameCube classic. Suck up cartoonish ghosts with Luigi’s Poltergust 3000. Uncover secrets as you save Mario from the haunted mansion.


Since you’ll tour the mansion from top to bottom, expect to backtrack to rooms you’ve already seen a few times.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best Mario games

Mario has been a beloved classic video game character since his 1985 debut. Since then, he’s saved Princess Peach countless times and emerged victorious in the Olympic games. It’s time to join him in his next adventure, which is why you need a new Mario game.

If you’re new to Mario games, you’ll appreciate how easy it is to learn the controls and make small victories on each board. For Nintendo loyalists, a new Mario game feeds an addiction by welcoming a new challenge. In fact, Mario’s universal appeal is what drives its game sales to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. Of course, it certainly helps that people of all ages — from 2 to 102 — can enjoy adventures with the mischievous yet good-natured Mario.

Wondering how to explore new worlds with Mario from the comfort of your couch? Take a look at our buying guide on Mario games. You’ll be hooked on your next Mario game as much as we are.

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If you’re worried about sold-out Mario games, preorder your title to make sure you get it on release day.

Key considerations

Age and skill level

Mario games are considered appropriate for all ages. Even kids as young as three, who aren’t fully independent readers yet, can navigate the menus. Gameplay is relatively self-explanatory, and there are helpful tutorials along the way, which means gamers of any age can learn how to play. As any seasoned gamer can tell you, though, Mario games are easy to learn, but mastering them is an art form.

ESRB rating system

Video games are rated according to the Entertainment Software Rating Board  system. This organization assesses virtually every video game and assigns each a rating, which takes into consideration humor, violence, and the game’s graphic nature.

Mario games, like the majority of Nintendo titles, are rated E or E10+. An E rating means the content is suitable for all ages and has mild cartoon violence and humor. Video games given the E10+ rating have a higher prevalence of these themes, as well as mild language or minimally suggestive themes.


Always make sure you’re buying the right Mario game for your system. There are Nintendo Switch consoles, as well as Nintendo 3DS or 2DS handheld systems. Some Mario titles are blanket releases, meaning they’re available on more than one system, like Mario Kart and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games 2016. Other titles are released on only one console, such as Super Mario Odyssey or Super Mario 3D Land.


Types of Mario games

If you’ve seen the long list of Mario game titles, you might be wondering what the difference is between them. There’s some category overlap in Mario games, though given the dynamic nature of their design, it’s to be expected.

Here are four popular categories of Mario games, though keep in mind that there are many other Mario games that fall under role-playing games (RPG), music, or strategy, just to name a few.

Action-adventure platformer: Many Mario games, such as Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Odyssey, fall under the category of action-adventure platformer, which is a gameplay amalgamation of three genres. In these games, you have a combination of reaction-driven tasks in an episodic narrative, all while jumping on platforms that are elevated or suspended.

Multiplayer: If you’re interested in competing against friends or the CPU (an opponent that is controlled by the software), multiplayer games like Super Mario Party and Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are the way to go. In these, you can either break off into teams or compete against one another individually. These games often have short, timed challenges, and have self-contained games as opposed to larger narratives.

Racing: As the name implies, racing games are those that let you race various vehicles against others on a course, such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Like multiplayer games, each race is self-contained. Races can have various objectives, and new racetracks or new boards are typically unlocked when you meet criteria or win. Mario Kart is one of the most widely played, best-selling racing games.

Fighting: In fighting games like Super Smash Bros., you compete against one or more players in a battle. The game ends when the clock runs out or when one player is left standing. Like multiplayer and racing games, fighting games are quick and isolated, so it’s easy to steal five minutes to play a game. 

Other types of Mario games

Sequels: If you enjoy a Mario game, there’s always a possibility that there is a sequel or one is in the works. These aren’t the same as rereleases; they’re stand-alone games with new features, worlds, and even characters.

Spin-offs and crossovers: Mario encounters a variety of characters in his games, many of whom have spin-off character games. Mario’s sidekick Luigi, for example, is the focus of Luigi’s Mansion 3. There are also crossover titles that include Mario and other Nintendo characters. In Super Smash Bros., for example, Mario competes alongside Samus of the Metroid series. Mario also tries his hand at the Olympics with Sonic the Hedgehog and has gone on adventures with the Raving Rabbids.

Mario’s motley crew

Pals: You probably recognize Mario’s main pals, such as Luigi, Toad, and Yoshi. These characters can accompany Mario on adventures or compete against him. Some characters like Princess Peach drive the adventure since they need constant saving from precarious situations. 

Nemeses and bosses: Mario’s best-known nemesis is Bowser, who is usually up to no good and kidnaps Princess Peach on a fairly regular basis. He’s considered a boss, or a character who Mario must battle in order to win a board or finish a game. Other antagonists include Goombas, the insidious sentient mushrooms, and Shy Guys, the dreaded masked marauders.

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Did you know?
It’s common for kids to try their hand at drawing characters from the Mario games. There are plenty of online tutorials and Nintendo-licensed coloring books to foster their talent.

Mario game prices

Mario games usually cost between $20 and $60, which mostly depends on how new they are. The games rarely go on sale, so if you want to catch a deal, you’ll need to either buy an older title or wait for a flash sale.


Nintendo 3DS and 2DS Mario games cost between $20 and $40. Older, less popular titles are on the lower end of the scale. Expect to pay top dollar for new releases and hot titles.


Mario games for Nintendo Switch cost between $20 and $60. Pricing follows the same model as the handheld systems.


If you’re getting a collector’s edition of a Mario game or one with downloadable content (DLC), expect to spend up to $100. System bundles with Mario games, regardless of the system, cost between $300 and $450.

"Neither Mario nor any other characters in his games have voices. Instead, there are text boxes, sounds, and garbled grunts. "


  • Practice good sportsmanship. When playing with others, always be fair and respectful. Remember to leave the battle in the game.
  • Follow Nintendo news for the scoop on Mario releases. If you want to know about all things Mario, follow Nintendo on social media to hear it from the horse’s mouth. You can also tap into the gaming community on Twitch or attend gaming conventions like E3.
  • Try more than one Mario game. Game choice is highly personal, so if you don’t like the gameplay of one Mario game, try another one. You might prefer an action-adventure Mario game over a multiplayer one, or vice versa.
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If you’re new to Mario games, stick with those that have self-contained challenges, like races in Mario Kart or games in Super Mario Party. You’ll quickly be able to get your bearings with the controls while having carefree fun.


Q. Why are Mario games so expensive?

A. Nintendo spends top dollar in development, especially when it comes to Mario games. The games frequently sell out or remain hot titles, so there’s little incentive to lower the price. With that said, when you pay $60 for a Mario game, you know it’s been designed and engineered by some of the most talented developers in the gaming industry, so it rarely disappoints.

Q. I used to play Mario games on Nintendo 64 and other older systems. Is the gameplay much different now?

A. It’s dramatically improved to provide a seamless gameplay experience, as well as an overall better interface. The Switch’s Joy-Con controllers are also much different than previous Nintendo controllers, but major buttons are in similar locations. Graphics have also made great strides, and you’re able to see far more detail in Mario games than ever before.

Q. What’s the best Nintendo 3DS Mario game for intermittent gaming sessions during a vacation?

A. Since you’ll be focused on other activities on vacation and probably can’t commit to a major game, choose a Mario title with short games. Mario Party Island Tour is a fun choice. It has the game brevity of regular Mario Party games with an island theme, which might be very appropriate for your temporary locale.