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Top 5 Super Mario Games

Everyone on the planet knows who Mario is. He’s the guy who saves Princess Peach, jumps his way around the world, collects coins and fights Bowser! With over 200 appearances in both his own titles and many others including Super Smash Bros, Mario has got to be one of the most iconic and loved video games characters. Having first appeared in the arcade game Donkey Kong in 1982 we have seen Mario go from strength to strength since then with many different styles and genres of games. We’ve seen him as the hero saving Princess Peach, to go karting around and playing all sorts of sports like Golf, not to mention his various Mario parties as well. The thing I like most about Mario is the fact that each new title brings something new to the table without affecting the fact that most Mario games are essentially running and jumping games, simple but wonderful. I spent a lot of my childhood playing video games and Mario and Co were a big part of that. I could easily do a breakdown of my top 20 favourite Mario games but that would take far too long, so ill break it down into my top 5.

At number 5, I am going to go with Mario Kart: Double Dash. The Kart title that had the job of following on from Mario Kart 64 was always going to have a tough time. However, after a long wait Nintendo released Double Dash in 2003 for the GameCube and I was not disappointed. The game followed the same path as Mario Kart 64 giving you the option of several cups to enter into, each with their own set of tracks. A majorly fun Mario karting game that gave you an interesting twist as all the characters were in teams of two. Played with a hint of strategy compared to Mario Kart 64 in the sense that each team of two could switch out who was driving the Kart and who was in charge of item use such as bananas and shells. This was made even more interesting due to each individual character having their own personal item to use, for example Toad and Toadette could use a golden Mushroom boost whilst Donkey and Diddy Kong had the use of a giant banana. This game was great because you could choose the likes of Bowser and team him up with Mario, something that would never happen in any other setting. The graphics were a big upgrade from the previous title and the gameplay was competitive and fun. Not to mention that this game had the LAN feature so in theory you could have 16 players all playing at the same time! A first for a Mario title! Overall I enjoyed this game due to the cheeky twist of teamed play. Something a bit different, carrying on the trend of coming up with something new for each title.

Mario Kart Double Dash

Next at number 4 is a bit of a cheeky one, the game doesn’t allow you to play as Mario but he’s in the game so I’m including it. If you hadn’t guessed it, it is Luigi’s Mansion. Released for the GameCube in September 2001, Luigi’s mansion threw us a curveball and allowed us to play as Mario’s taller, slightly less brave, younger brother. A totally different style to any Mario title as there was no jumping and very little running, plus the whole game was set In the one place. Mario has been captured and for a change it is Luigi’s turn to play the hero and save Mario. The game focused on exploring an old, dark mansion and capturing ghosts using the Poltergust 3000, given to you by Professor Elvin Gadd, your ally and guide in this tale. The variation of ghosts, the spooky setting and the lack of music accompanied by Luigi’s fear give us as gamers a slightly more chilling and eerie gaming experience, especially since I was only around 6 or 7 when I played this game for the first time. One of my all-time favourites and a great showcase for our much beloved Luigi. A game that sometimes gets forgotten but really shouldn’t, another success for the GameCube.

Luigi's Mansion

In at number 3 has to be Mario Kart 64. Where would any Mario game list be without this classic title. The first racing game I ever played. Released in Europe in 1997 on the Nintendo 64, this title was one of the Nintendo 64’s biggest names with people still playing to this day, including myself. It’s the type of game you and your friends can just sit and enjoy over and over again. Many of the tracks and levels of the game have went on to be re-used in so many newer Mario Kart games as they are seen as timeless classics and a huge hit of nostalgia. It kept itself simple with eight characters to choose from such as Mario, Toad and Donkey Kong and only the one kart for everyone. The main reason many people still love this game is the multiplayer mode, you and three others can play against each other in either racing games or in the battle mode which was another huge part of why this game is so fantastic. At the time of the games release there wasn’t any other console you could play 4 player multiplayer and Mario Kart 64 changed all that. It was a pioneer for the Karting franchise and it paved the way for future Mario Kart titles by giving Nintendo a base to build and expand from. It’s one of the few Nintendo games I still have. A 10/10 for sure.

Mario Kart 64

Next at number 2 is the Nintendo 64’s other main Mario title, Super Mario 64. Released in the same year of 1997 in Europe, many consider this game to one of the worlds finest. It was the first time we could see Mario as a 3D character and it again gave Nintendo the base to shape the Mario Franchise into what it is today. If it wasn’t for the success of this game then many of the Mario titles of recent years might not have been released. The game is simply so much fun to play, the story is the classic find stars to get to the next levels, defeat Bowser and save Princess Peach. What I think is so awesome about this game is that from the beginning of the game all the way to the end you are basically only equipped with an ability to run and jump as I’ve mentioned before. People thought it was fantastic, no weapons or special abilities or buffs or perks just an ability to jump insanely far and high, yes you get to experience swimming and flying but the main ability is jumping and I love it. When I think back to playing the consoles of my childhood Super Mario 64 was possibly the first game I ever played and the fact that I’d happily sit down and play the whole game again speaks volumes to the timelessness quality the game has. When you think of the Nintendo 64 you think of Super Mario 64.

Super Mario 64

In at number 1, and my favourite Mario game, is the absolutely stunning Mario Sunshine. Again released for the GameCube (can see a trend starting here) in 2002, Mario Sunshine to me is the most fun and exciting Mario game I have ever played. Once again Nintendo add that new feature of a new Gadget Side Kick, F.L.U.D.D. (Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device), to help clean up the beautiful tropical landscape of Isle Delfino. F.L.U.D.D. has once again been invented by our friend Professor E. Gadd. In this story Mario is being framed by Bowser Junior who is impersonating Mario as shadow Mario and leaving areas of Isle Delfino covered in Goop using his Magic Brush which he claims an old man in a white trench coat gave him (Sounds very much like Professor E. Gadd if you ask me). Once again Princess Peach in kidnapped by Bowser Junior, as he thinks she is his mother, and once again Mario has to save her whilst also trying to clear his own name. I like the fact that Nintendo have taken the time to work on an engaging story campaign. Super Mario Sunshine follows on from its predecessor Super Mario 64 in the 3D gameplay style, still keeping up the tradition of jumping and star collecting. However, as Mario is joined by his sidekick F.L.U.D.D., it grants him many different abilities such as spraying, hovering for a short time and shooting up into the air all with the use of water , which I’ve got to say is a lot of fun! This is a fantastic element that makes this game what it is in my opinion. Not only is the gameplay and story line great but the location and setting is wonderful. The different areas of Isle Delfino are colourful, well designed and each area has its own personality. The musical score is very memorable, I can identify a Mario Sunshine piece of music from any other Mario Game quite easily (love a good game soundtrack). Another aspect of this game that I love is the small attention to detail that is spread throughout the game. This could be things

Super Mario Sunshine

like the variety of fruits that are found and can be used, the reactions of the Isle of Delfino residents to being soaked or jumped on, plus many more small details that add to the overall experience. 100% my favourite Mario game of all time, what I would give to play it for the first time again!

I am sure that many of you have different Mario titles in your top 5, but that’s what makes Mario so popular and most importantly fun. I could have named so many more excellent games but with over 200 hundred titles I might have found myself typing forever! I think I feel a Mario Marathon coming on after all this! LET’S-A-GO!

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