It is March 10, also known as Mar10 Day. I am a huge Nintendo nerd so I decided I would rank my top five Mario games to mark the big day for our favorite Princess-saving plumber. I am only ranking my top five Mario standalone games in the main series. No sports, no parties, no Smashing, no RPGs. Just the real-deal Mario games.
5. Super Mario 64 – This one doesn’t hold up all that well in 2020 but man did it all blow our collective minds when it came out in 1996. I would beg my parents to take me to Target so I could play the demo. Mario in 3D! It was insane. Then I got my own Nintendo 64 and copy of Mario 64 on Christmas Day and it was all over. This was a new era of Mario games and things would never be the same. Collecting all 120 stars was such a badge of honor back in the day.
4. Super Mario Bros. 2 – The strangest Mario game is by far one of my favorites. No Goombas in this one. Just straight up throwing veggies at bad guys while riding magic carpets and blowing up mice with bombs. It is like a Mario game on mushrooms — not the kind Mario typically eats, the ones that make you see funny things.
3. Super Mario Odyssey – Mario’s first solo outing on the Nintendo Switch was an instant classic. Oh, what is that? Just Mario transforming into a dinosaur real quick. This game is a massive and there is so much to explore and checkout. I have logged so many hours into this one and I know I haven’t even scratched the surface. It also introduced Mario to a new generation of Nintendo fans that might have just thought he was a go-kart racer or dude who fought other Nintendo characters.
2. Super Mario World – This one was revolutionary for a couple of reasons. It was the first Mario game that allowed you to save your progress and, maybe more importantly, was the first Mario game where Yoshii appeared as our sidekick. This one tops the list for a lot of people and is still an enchanting, marvelous game. But I have to go with the old standby for the No. 1 spot…
1. Super Mario Bros. 3 – This game will forever be my favorite Mario title. I remember first seeing the game in the movie The Wizard and was so blown away by it. I NEEDED to play it after seeing that few minutes of footage in the movie. It was, and still is, a total game-changer, and holds up extremely well all these years later. I play the Mario All-Stars version of it i on my SNES Classic quite frequently. It still brings me so much joy all these years later.