Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Top 10 Mario Games.

Good old Mario. Easily one of the best video game franchises of all time. I tend to think you have to be a rather joyless bastard to not enjoy Mario games, especially if you're a child of the 80's or 90's. This was a hard list to do, Mario has had so many games and so many were just awesome. But here are my ten favorites.

10) Donkey Kong. The first game ever to have Mario in it, and back then he didn't even have a real name. I had this on the Donkey Kong Classics cartridge on my NES and even though it was rather primitive compared to some of my other NES games I found myself going back to it a lot. It's just a damn fun game and is even fun to play to this day.
9) Super Mario Bros. The first game to establish most of the main mythos behind the Mario franchise, it would be impossible to do this list and not include it. Some might wonder why this isn't higher, well this game didn't age all that well to me. After playing Mario 3 I found I never really went back to this, and when I did it would be fun for like a level or two then I would quit. It's very repetitive. I mean in later Mario games levels would have different themes, but this was just the same looking levels over and over again. Still, an amazing game for the time, and who doesn't remember the music from it?
8) Super Mario Bros. 2 (American). This is one of the oddest Mario games. The real Super Mario 2 was basically part 1 but on hard mode. Nintendo realized Americans might not like it as it was the same game but obnoxiously hard so they took another game called Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and turned it into a Mario game. The interesting thing about this game was you had four playable characters, Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess and they all played very differently. I personally played as the Princess a lot just because of her gliding ability. Sometimes I wish more elements from this game would have stuck around. We tend to see things like the Shy Guys or that crazy tranny Birdo pop up in Mario Party and Mario Kart games, but never in the more mainline titles.
7) Super Mario Land 2. I feel like the Mario Land games for the Game Boy were pretty underrated in general. They had some rather creative game play and enemies compared to other Mario games at the time. The first one had Mario riding airplanes and submarines and this one has Mario as an astronaut. And this one also introduced Mario's evil double Wario. That lead to an interesting boss fight as Wario duplicates all of Mario's power ups in this game. It wasn't a very difficult one but it was interesting.
6) New Super Mario Bros Wii. While this game did introduce something kinda new to Mario in the form of the four player mode, it was more about going back to basics and giving people a classic Mario game experience with modern graphics and sound and it did that perfectly. This game was an absolute blast but my only real complaint was I wish Princess Peach had been a playable character instead of just two different color toad men. Maybe we could have been rescuing her sister Princess Daisy. Still this game was a blast.
5) Super Mario Galaxy. Not only was this Mario game just gorgeous in it's design, but the planetoid gravity system provided a really interesting new dimension to the old Mario 64 type formula. This is the game that when I first played it I knew I had to get a Wii.
4) Mario Kart Wii. You know, I pretty much love all the Mario Kart games, but decided to only put one on here or they might dominate the list. This one is my favorite, not only does it take advantage of the Wii's gimmick to let you steer by actually steering, but it also featured not only new levels but levels from past Mario Kart games with updated graphics. Truly one of the best multiplayer games of all time.
3) Super Mario 64. A lot of characters from classic 2D games had rather bumpy, if not outright disastrous jumps into the third dimension, but Mario hopped right into it like he was made for it. Mario might have saved the Princess by the end of this game, but I can't help but wonder if he ever got that cake he was promised.
2) Super Mario Bros. 3. It takes a special kinda game to have it's commercial be disguised as a theatrical movie. Super Mario 3 was, not only one of the best Mario games, but one of the best games period. And I would say easily the best in the NES library. Nothing like getting the Hammer Bros suit. Those hammers could kill anything, even send already dead enemies like Boo Ghosts and Dry Bones back to 8 bit hell. Ahhh memories.
1) Super Mario World. This was hard, I had to really think about my number 1 and 2 placement here, but I think this is ever so slightly better than Mario 3 and not just for the jump in graphics. This game introduced so many things that ended up sticking around the franchise like the spinning jump, Ghost Houses, and of course Yoshi. And what kid didn't love Yoshi? It's a dinosaur you ride around on who eats your enemies.

So that's my favorite Mario games. I doubt the top two are any surprise to anybody. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I have a Princess to go save. 

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