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Top Ten Best Super Mario Bros Games of All Time

Updated on August 30, 2017

Classics on the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Wii, DS, and More!

Which Super Mario Bros games are the best of all time? There are dozens of games between all of the consoles, but here, we'll go over the top ten most popular and well reviewed classic games. Consoles included will be the Wii, DS, NES, Nintendo 64, and other favorite Nintendo consoles. From New Super Mario Bros. Wii to the original game for the NES, Mario has been delivering fun video games entertaining hundreds of millions of players. Come along and play as everyone's favorite Italian plumber, or his brother Luigi to defeat the evil Bowser and his army of Koopa, Goomba, and Koopaling minions across dozens of classic games on different Nintendo gaming systems.

Games will be rated for their originality, popularity, replayability, and most importantly, fun. Which games are your absolute favorites? Vote below or read up on the classics here!

The very first SMB game was released in 1983, where Luigi and the Koopa Troopas make their first appearances.

If you're a big fan of the original NES Nintendo games like SMB1, SMB2, and SMB3, as well as Super Mario World for the SNES, this game takes elements from all of those and combines them into one unique game. Yes, it even has 2-D side scrolling!

The best of the best characters return from the entire series, including the long awaited return of the Koopalings from SMB3 and SM World. Making a return are Yoshi, Bowser, Bowser Jr., the Airships, and the mini stages where you battled the Hammer Bros. one on one. There are new power ups, too, like the Propeller Hat, Ice Flower, and Penguin Suit.

You can also play with four different players, which is a lot of fun (and the game doesn't slow down like the old 8 bit games would when too much is going on). All in all, this is an instant classic for the Wii, garnering a solid 4.5 star rating from users. If you love the franchise, you will really love this game.

Why I love this game: It includes four playable characters for the first time ever. This is absolute mayhem sometimes, but completely fun. Remember back in the day when you had to wait your turn to play a 2-player game (those that grew up in the 80's remember anyway)? This is the opposite, which makes it a lot of fun for groups of people to play. Returning to the fold are the much missed Koopalings, in addition to Bowser Jr. Just about every villain, small or big, makes an appearance in this game. As far as platforming titles in this franchise go, this one is hard to beat in terms of fun.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii
New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Own one of the best games ever for the Wii! This game includes:

* The new propeller suit, which can be controlled with a shake of the Wii remote

* Play with up to four players for a really unique gaming experience

* Fun multiplayer elements allow you to save or harm the other players by picking them up

* Ranked 4.5 starts on Amazon


Super Mario Galaxy 2 - New controls, new levels, new characters, new power-ups!

As Princess Peach shows Mario the Star Festival as it rains star bits in the Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser tries to harness the power of the stars and comets. Bowser retreats into the center of the universe to create his evil empire, with Mario in hot pursuit. Will he be able to defeat the evil Bowser once again?

Joining Mario in this game is Yoshi, with Bowser Jr. making a return to this game as well. This is the fourth 3D platforming game, and the sequel to the massively successful 2007 originator. It has received high praise from gamers, Wii lovers, and game critics.

There are a number of brand new power ups Mario can use in the game. Bee Mario has the ability to fly, and Boo Mario can pass through walls and attract other Boos. Ice Mario and Fire Mario make a return, while also introducing Flying, Spring, and Rainbow Mario power ups.

What's really cool about this game: It goes way outside of the box. This is beyond any previous 3D title in the franchise, and has a huge difficulty factor that puts it way beyond the side scrollers. It also incorporates a new way to play with the nunchuk remote, which is challenging yet fun. Lots of new enemies and power-ups are introduced in this game, as well as a more original storyline than you'll find in your typical "Princess got kidnapped by Bowser" storylines of the side scrollers.

Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2

New enemies, new bosses, new worlds to explore, new power ups, and new storylines make this game a huge hit! The level of challenge is really stepped up from previous games.

* Whole new worlds never seen before

* Collect starts as you float from place to place, planet to planet

* Blimp Fruit, Dash Pepper, and other cool new power-ups

* Plenty of opportunities to use Yoshi

* One of the highest rated Mario games -- 4.5 stars on Amazon


Newcomer to the List - Released in 2012 for the new Wii U console

This is the flagship game released along with the Wii U in 2012. Initial reception to the game was mixed, but it has settled into a nice 4.5 star rating, making it one of the better received recent ones. The graphics are one of the biggest improvements in this game. While NSMB Wii was a great game, the graphics were a little bit lacking in comparison to the technology other systems (Playstation, XBox) were using at the time. Finally, Wii U makes a big step up in the graphics department.

The other large addition to this game is the game tablet. The tablet allows for up to five players at the same time. The fifth player can assist the other four players (or just one other player if you decide to play with just two) by tapping the screen. Tapping the screen will create platforms that the gamers can jump on, making it helpful in some circumstances. Tapping enemies can also temporarily stun them, while tapping power-ups can send them in the opposite direction to help gamers attain them.

As for plot, it's more of the same "Princess gets kidnapped" stuff that we have come to expect. This time around, the Koopalings are back as the villains. Bowser Jr. and Bowser also return. The game uses the "star coins" tactic to lure you in to replay old levels, so that you can unlock World 9, Star Road. Collecting all star coins from the game will unlock all of the levels in Star Road.

New Super Mario Bros. U
New Super Mario Bros. U

A great first title released on the Wii U, this game deserves the four and a half star rating that it has on Amazon. Most consoles are now sold with this game.


Warning: Contains Final Battle Scene - The very last bout with Bowser

You can view the bulk of the final battle with Bowser here. Predictably, you'll need to trip the pin behind Bowser to make him fall into the pit below, or spit a bunch of fireballs at him. Before that though, you'll need to escape Bowser Jr. one last time before you can make it to the final battle. If you do, you'll find that familiar scene from the original game waiting for you.

After falling through the lava, Bowser chases you to the final scene. Bowser Jr. and Bowser must both be beaten at the same time. The graphics in this scene are incredible, as you'll see more detail in the background and on Bowser than ever before. Hint: You'll need to get Boswer Jr. before you get to Bowser.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Reaching the flagpole!At Level 8Rainbows connect secret worldsPiranha plants in the secret world.The dragon chases multiple players.
Reaching the flagpole!
Reaching the flagpole!
At Level 8
At Level 8
Rainbows connect secret worlds
Rainbows connect secret worlds
Piranha plants in the secret world.
Piranha plants in the secret world.
The dragon chases multiple players.
The dragon chases multiple players.
Super Mario Bros 2
Super Mario Bros 2

Super Mario Bros 2

Released in 1988 in the USA

SMB2 was the second release for the NES in the Mario franchise of video games (though there were other games before like Donkey Kong that did feature him). In this game, you do not try to defeat Bowser, but the evil Wart who has ruled the land of Subcon. This dream world introduces a whole new bunch of enemies like Shy Guy, Pokey, Mouser, Clawgrip, and Birdo. Instead of stomping on enemies heads, in this game, you'll defeat them by throwing a vegetable at them, or by picking them up and throwing them at another enemy (or down a hole if you can find one).

There are few power-ups, but you will find the Super-Mushroom and the Invincibility star. At the end of most levels, you will face off with the prehistoric looking bird creature, Birdo. Subsequent levels involve more difficult bosses like Fryguy and Mouser. In level 7, you will face off with Wart, who can only be defeated by throwing veggies into his open mouth.

Why this game is cool: This is nothing like the original 1985 title. You'll find few similarities, even with the music. Enemies returning? None, but some power-ups do return like the Magic Mushroom and Invincibility Star. Some of the enemies from this game, as well as Toad, would make appearances in future titles.

Read more about the game, including how it evolved from the previous incarnation, Doki Doki Panic on this page:

Super Mario Bros 2


Spotlight on: Goombas

The most common enemy - SQUASH!

Goombas are a small mushroom creature that are the most common enemies in most Mario games. In fact, it was the first enemy found in the 1985 original game. They are characterized by their trademark small fangs and menacing looking unibrow. They are one of Bowser's most loyal minions, and considering how many appear throughout games, their must be an army of thousands of these creatures.

Goombas can now be found in a number of sizes, sometimes with different abilities resembling the power-ups found in that level. For instance, in 3D Land, Goombas have swinging Tanooki tails and can fly. Large Goombas also typically split into several more smaller Goombas when stomped. They are vulnerable to fire, stomping, and other projectile power-ups.

In the SMB film, Goombas appeared more reptilian and far more grotesque.

In most games, Goombas can be easily defeated by stomping on them. Flying Goombas can be defeated by stepping on them twice.

Favorite Villains - Which is your all-time favorite?

Is it Bowser, Wart, Bowser Jr., or someone else? Tell us below!

Which villain is your all time favorite in SMB?

See results
Super Mario Bros 3
Super Mario Bros 3

Super Mario Bros 3

Is this the best Super Mario Bros game of all time?

Besides the original first game which was included with most NES game systems, Super Mario Bros. 3 was the 2nd best selling NES game of all time. Over 18 million people ran out to purchase this classic video game. To help with the hype, the game was featured prominently featured on the movie The Wizard (1989). Just a few brief clips of Mario flying was all it took for kids to go into a frenzy begging for the upcoming Mario release (I was one of them).

The game featured many new updrades, like an increase of levels, with 8 worlds containing 5 or more levels each (sometimes ten or more). Power-ups were also plentiful and exciting, with new additions like the Hammer Bros. suit, the Raccoon suit, the Tanooki suit, the Frog Suit, and the traditional mushroom and Fire Flower.

Most consider this the very best game in the series. Why? It's highly original, the graphics were a huge improvement, worlds were inventive, power-ups were innovative, and the entire environment was radically different (yet felt somewhat familiar) from the previous games. All future games in the series were based off of this highly successful game.

Below, you'll find photos, cheats, and gameplay tips for this all time classic NES game:

Super Mario Bros 3

The Koopalings - Part of what made SMB3 so cool...

The Airships and the Koopalings are part of what made this game so cool, besides the fact that the power-ups were awesome. The Koopalings, of which there are seven, ruled each of the seven worlds in this game. They were all fairly easy to beat. Three stomps is all it took. The Airships that they ruled were the real challenge. Nonetheless, they were fun to play, and have appeared in subsequent titles on the Wii.

Super Mario World
Super Mario World

Super Mario World

The first game released on the SNES console

Super Mario World took the classic NES franchise to a whole new level with better graphics, more gamplay features, new sound effects, new worlds, and new power-ups. Introduced in this game was Yoshi, the dinosaur creature that can gulp down Goombas, Koopas, and most other enemies with the flick of the tongue. He has turned up in many other games later on, including some of his own titles like Yoshi's Story and Yoshi's Cookie.

The game introduces the Cape Feather power-up, which allows Mario to fly into the air and either float down, or to crash down the ground with a thunderous, enemy crunching blow. Unique worlds were added like the Ghost Houses, which contained mazes, hidden passages, and plenty of Boos for Mario to avoid. At the end of the first 7 worlds, you will face off with one of the Koopalings seen in SMB3, however in a different order. This is considered one of the classics in the series of Super Mario Bros. video games! It's available for download on the Wii Virtual Console.

Why this game is cool: Yoshi. And, the Cape!

This game is considered one of the top games released in the Mario franchise. You can read more about it on the following page:

Super Mario World

SMB World Walkthrough - A very complex game that's tough to beat

This isn't easy to beat. In fact, I've never beaten it. This title introduces a lot of new characters and gameplay elements, and totally reinvents the music. Yoshi is one of the main additions to this game that has survived the long haul. From the beginning, you can tell that this game is a lot tougher than previous ones when a giant Bullet Bill comes shooting out at you unexpectedly in world 1.

New Super Mario Bros - A return to side scrolling, 2D platforming gameplay on the Nintendo DS!

This was the predecessor for the Wii game released in 2009 and was released in 2006 on the DS. It was a return to the classic side scrolling platform the game is known for. New enemies like Lakithunder, Mummikpokey, Petey Piranha, and Dry Bowser make their video game debuts here. Playing a big role in this game is Bowser's youngest son, Bowser Jr, whom you will have to defeat along with Bowser in the final battle of the game.

The game also introduces some really unique power-ups, especially for the tiny DS. The Mega Mushroom allows Mario to become gigantic, crashing through bricks, enemies, and everything in his way. Shell Mario has the ability to swim better underwater, and is able to pull himself into a shell to avoid attacks from enemies. He can also perform the Shell Dash to destroy most enemies.

New Super Mario Bros
New Super Mario Bros

New power-ups, new enemies, and new worlds to explore in this classic 2-D side scroller for the Nintendo DS! Things come full circle, don't they? In a return to 2D platforming, Mario faces his biggest challenge yet against Bowser Jr. and the evil Bowser, who has once again kidnapped Princess Peach.

* A "back-to-basics" return to 2D platforming, side scrolling

* The cool new Mega Mushroom power-up allows Mario to become screen-size and crash through enemies

* 4.5 stars on Amazon -- great reviews!


Which Character Would You Rather Play - Mario vs Luigi - Take a side below, and tell us why!

Everyone prefers to play one character over the other. In certain games, there are actually advantages to using one character over the other. Which is it that you prefer, and why?

Which character would you rather play as?

Super Mario Galaxy - Bringing back the three dimensional feel of SM64

An innovation in 3D gaming, this game has incredibly smooth gameplay and a whole new style of play. Building off the success of previous 3-D games like SMB64 and SMB Sunshine, "Galaxy" involves use of both the nunchuck and the Wii remote. This takes some getting use to at first, but is an awesome challenge.

The plot of "Galaxy" involves Bowser interrupting a Centennial comet event in the Mushroom Kingdom, warping Princess Peach and her castle to the center of the universe. Mario unsuccessfully tries to save her, being cast to a planetoid far away by a Magikoopa.

There are brand new power-ups in this game as well, including Bee, Rainbow, Flying, and Spring Mario. Enemies making a return are Bob-Ombs, Bowser Jr., Bowser, Petey Piranha, Goombas, Koopas, Bullet Bills, Cheep Cheeps, and Dry Bones. There are also unlockable mini games, which can eat up a whole lot of time themselves! This highly entertaining entry into the saga is a must-have for fanatics.

Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy

* Brand new power-ups like the Bee, Boo, Rainbow, Spring, and Flying Mario suits.

* The first appearance of the now classic Ice Flower

* Beautiful graphics unprecedented in the Mario game series

* Unlockable mini games

* Over 500 reviews on Amazon giving it a solid 4.5 star rating!


Classic Super Mario Wii Games - Get these highly rated, fun Mario games to play on the Wii console!

Nintendo really stepped it up upon the release of the Wii system. With many Mario titles available on the Wii, you can play for weeks on end and still not beat all of these games. The following games are other classics which should still be mentioned, though might not be top ten list worthy. The Mario saga of games has produced some of the best video games of all time, so you really can't go wrong with these releases! Click through any product to read the official Amazon description or to purchase.

Other Best Selling Wii Games:

Mario Kart Wii with Wii Wheel
Mario Kart Wii with Wii Wheel

Includes the Wii wheel. This is one of the best -selling all time games on the Wii, and includes all of your favorite characters from Kart games of the past.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for wii
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for wii

You never thought you'd see these two team up (or face off), but it's happened int his highly rated game!

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games - Nintendo Wii
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games - Nintendo Wii

A completely different set of games from the original title, this is a lot of fun.

New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis - Nintendo Wii
New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis - Nintendo Wii

Power tennis done Mushroom Kingdom style.


The Original Super Mario Bros (1985) - It all started here!

The franchise was just getting started when Super Mario Bros was released for the Nintendo NES system in 1985. Sure, he'd been in the original "Mario Bros" and Donkey Kong, but not in this capacity.

For the first time ever, we have a game that can truly suck you in for hours on end and really get addicted to. This was truly the first game worth playing again and again!

What made it so special? There were hidden elements to the game, like the Warp Zones, which were really satisfying to the player. There was the sense of accomplishment when you defeated all 8 levels. There was the triumphant feel of rescuing the Princess. The weird and imaginative world of Magic Mushrooms and Fiery Flowers that allowed you to spit fireballs at Squids, Goombas, Cheep-Cheeps, and Koopa Troopas.

And then, there was the evil Bowser, who you had to defeat not once, but eight different times. It was a long game, but it was amazing! Start here if you've never played a Mario game before, and learn where the entire Super Mario franchise came from. The graphics are a little shoddy since it's 8 bit, but hey, this was the 80s, and the game is classic and fun. And it's still fun to play!

The 1985 Game - Walkthrough - relive the classic

I hear this music and I can tell you I wasted a lot of days of my youth playing this game. Yes, I even tried getting mini fiery Mario to no avail (anyone ever succeed at that?), and perfecting the bounce-the-koopa-off-the-steps 1-up trick.


Spotlight on: Luigi

(Slightly) Younger bro

The younger of the two brothers, Luigi is the traditional second player in most games. Before Super Mario Bros 2, Luigi was depicted exactly the same as Mario, except with green and white colored overalls. This was partially because making Luigi look any different was nearly impossible with the early technology. This changed in 1987 when he finally received his own signature look and style. His clothes were switched to blue and green, he became taller, slimmer, and could jump higher. This has stayed the same since SMB2 for most titles.

Luigi was mostly a background character until he received his own game with Luigi's Mansion. In that game, Luigi hunts ghosts and tries to navigate the large maze reminiscent of the Ghost House seen in SMB games.

In the cartoon TV series, Luigi was voiced by Danny Wells, who also played Luigi in the live action sitcom Super Mario Bros Super Show! In the video games, Luigi is voiced by Charles Martinet. In the 1993 film, Luigi is played by actor John Leguizamo.

It's hard to imagine a Mario game without Luigi. As his fraternal twin, he's at least made a cameo in every game. Their relationship is the epitome of brotherly love.

Super Mario 64 - A readaption of the classic Nintendo 64 title

This was the very first 3D Mario game. It was released in 1996 on the then brand new Nintendo 64 system. There were new gameplay elements that started here and continued on with SMB Galaxy. Once you get used to maneuvering in 3D, you'll have a blast trying to beat Bowser once again! This updated version for the Nintendo DS allows you to play as Wario or Yoshi, which weren't playable characters in the original Nintendo 64 game.

Super Mario 64 DS
Super Mario 64 DS

A 3D version of the Nintendo 64 classic, with Wario and Yoshi added as playable characters! New levels, new mini games, and more.

* One of the highest rated Mario games ever -- 4.5 starts for this remake on the Nintendo DS!

* Play as one of four characters

* Battle Bowser in new 3D, fully explorable worlds!


More Favorite Wii Game Titles - Read more about these well reviewed games on the Wii console

Craving even more? These might not the MOST popular in the series, but these are still fun games nonetheless.

Super Paper Mario
Super Paper Mario

This is the first adventure series to feature Mario going from 2D to 3D. As the never-ending battle against Bowser continues, Mario finds himself in a plot involving a kidnapping of the Princess by the evil Count Bleck, who has brainwashed Bowser and his Koopa army. The game combines platforming and role playing game elements into one. Flipping between dimensions can reveal new areas and access parts only accessible through 3D.

The game makes use of the Wii remote and its ability to shake, tilt, and move the player around the screen. You will also be using the pointer at various points in the game, another feature unique to the Wii remote.

After passing certain points in the game, you will be able to play as Princess Peach, Luigi, and Bowser. Only Mario, however is capable of passing through to other dimensions.

Mario Party 8
Mario Party 8

In one, two, three, or four player modes, experience the board game style play of Mario Party 8 available on the Wii. This game makes great use of the Wii remote to point, shoot, and maneuver throughout the video game. Play characters like Waluigi, Wario, Blooper, Boo, Birdo, Toad, Toadette, Princess Peach, and Yoshi. Invited to the Star Carnival, the ringmaster MC Ballyhoo has offered up the challenge to all of Mario's friends and the other game contestants to win a year's worth of candy if they win the game.

Mario Super Sluggers
Mario Super Sluggers

Released in 2008 for the Wii, this game puts Mario head to head with a battle against Bowser Jr. to recruit players and unlock stadiums. Players available in the game include the team captains, Donkey Kong, Peach, Wario, and Yoshi. Other characters in the game include Waluigi, Birdo, Daisy, Luigi, Diddy Kong, Dry Bones, Magikoopa, Hammer Bros, Blooper, Shy Guy, Monty Mole, and Petey Piranha. There are additional unlockable stadiums that can be earned through battles with Bowser Jr.


Mario Kart - Available on DS, Wii, and other classic Nintendo systems

Go online and challenge friends with the Wi-Fi mode, or just take advantage of the awesome range of classic characters in the 7th title in the Mario Kart series with Mario Kart DS! Choose your player and take part in the Mushroom Cup, Star Cup, Leaf Cup, or the Shell Cup in this exciting adventure. Default characters include Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Donkey Kong, Wario, and Bowser. Available as unlockable characters are Daisy, Dry Bones, Waluigi, and R.O.B. (and also Shy Guy, for download only).

You'll find familiar stages in this game that you might recognize from other games in the series, like the desert world, Luigi's Mansion, and the Airships. Play up to 8 other players at once utilizing the Wi-Fi connection ability, or just go it solo. Like the other Mario Kart games, what makes this one unique is the abilities the cars have like spitting turtle shells, banana peals, and lightning bolts, in addition to your favorite characters on fun Mario themed tracks. For old fans and new, you'll find a significant replay factor here that makes this game worth buying!

Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart DS

* Mario Kart is available on the DS, Wii, and other classic consoles like SNES

* Play as your favorite characters and villains

* Unlock cool characters as you go

* Play others from afar using WiFi

* Solid 4.5 star rating on every Mario Kart game!


The following games are available on the Nintendo DS (and playable on the 3DS). These titles deserve a little shout out. The Nintendo DS has created some of the most memorable games in the Mario series, includes the much loved "New" version of 2007. True fans will also have fun playing the following titles (you can also find the full list of

Super Mario Bros DS games on Amazon

Wario: Master of Disguise - Nintendo DS
Wario: Master of Disguise - Nintendo DS

Wario has quite a few titles on the DS, and this one is a favorite for kids.

Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time
Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time

Partners in Time is one of the lesser known games in the franchise, but has some excellent reviews.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis

Add Donkey Kong into the mix, and you'll get a vastly different game from the original series.


Super Mario 3D Land - Classic side scrolling mixed with 3D - one of the best newer games released in years!

Brand new on the Nintendo 3DS is the much clamored for Super Mario 3D Land! This promises to be one of the best games of the year for Nintendo, and definitely for Mario releases. This game will feature the return of the classic Tanooki suit, last seen in SMB3. There's also new cool enemies like Goombas with tails, Goomba stacks, and ink-spitting Piranha Plants.

What's great about this game: Just when you think it's over, it's not. This game is incredibly hard. It makes incredible use of the 3D of the 3DS, which actually comes in quite handy to time your jumps. This game marks the return of Boom-Boom, a villain who has been missing since SMB3. For the return of the Tanooki suit alone, this game is worth it. A well deserved nearly five star rating on Amazon.

Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario 3D Land

* Being released in November, 2011!

* Available right now for pre-order


A Preview of World 1-1

Which Games are Rated the Best?

New SMB (DS), SM World (SNES), and 3D Land (3DS) have the highest ratings of all games, putting them at the top. Original NES titles are hard to garner ratings for, since they haven't been released singly for modern day gaming consoles and are download-only.

The best selling adventure games right now (if you're into Mario, you might also like....)

Which Game, Character, Boss, Enemy, or Power-Up is Your Favorite? - What do you love about these games?

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    • renagirl profile image


      5 years ago

      nice lens .My grandson loves power up he cant resist them he never passes them up.

    • ernieplotter profile image


      6 years ago

      Toad & Yoshi of course

    • SimonJay profile image


      6 years ago

      My fav as good to be super mario world not played the New super Mario Bros but mario land 3d looks very promising


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