This weekend marked the 35th anniversary of Super Mario. If you sit back to think how much time we’ve spent with a jumping plumber over the past three and a half-decades, it’s a little weird. Did Mario give us unrealistic expectations for our futures? That we might have menial, boring jobs, but at any moment, a dinosaur-lizard could turn up, steal our One True Love, and off we go on a surreal mushroom-fueled adventure quest. Mario’s worked hard these past 35 years, starring in over 200 game titles, and shows no signs of stopping. In tribute, play one of these eight amazing Mario games, spread across multiple platforms over the years.
8 Best Mario Bros. Games
Super Mario Bros. 2
Nintendo Entertainment System
As a kid, it felt like this game was a rare find. Few people had played it, and even fewer people owned it. The game mechanics had stark differences from the original. It scrolled up and down in addition to left and right, plus Mario could pick things up and throw them. Also, turnips??
Mario Kart 8
Wii U and Switch
If you feel like ending a friendship, there’s no better way then Mario Kart. This 2014 release gives you some innovative ways to sow discord in even the happiest of relationships. Challenging courses with additional design features keep expanding on the Mario racing universe.
Super Mario 64
I think Mario’s at his best in these open-world scenarios. The jumping through paintings to access levels is a bit of genius, plus there are hidden levels and Easter Eggs throughout the castle. It’s perfect for gamers less concerned with “winning” who just want to hang out in their favorite places for a few hours.
Mario Party 3
As a diehard N64 fan, I believe some of Nintendo’s best games came out on this platform: Goldeneye, Donkey Kong 64, Ocarina of Time. And Mario Party 3. There are 70 different mini-games, perfect for ordering a pizza with your quarantine pod and forgetting the trash fire of 2020.
Super Mario Bros. 3
It’s the suits that made this game a winner for me as a kid. The Tanooki suit, frog suit, and raccoon outfit made the game more fun to play than the original. Plus, if you weren’t necessarily “good” at video games, like me, it gave you a little extra time before you lost all your lives.
N64, Wii, and Wii U
While Paper Mario incorporates some Mario mechanics, like jumping to avoid just about everything, it’s a role-playing game. Mario, along with a team of allies, engages in turn-based combat to rescue Star Spirits and (of course) Peach from Bowser.
NES and Gameboy Advance
This game might be particularly cathartic to play right now. Mario, a plumber by trade, moonlights as a doctor. He fights deadly world-destroying viruses with capsules of medicine in a falling-block game. Remember losing hours inside your Gameboy on summer vacations?
Super Mario Sunshine
Throughout college, the GameCube was my gaming system of choice because I was that kind of hipster. And because I didn’t want to play anything besides Sunshine. I posit that Delfino Island is the perfect place to escape your current woes.