Super Mario: a true working man’s hero. A humble plumber who went on to find his fortune one coin at a time, but despite his fame and royal connections, he has never lost sight of his roots. He is still wearing the same dungarees he did in his debut in Donkey Kong in 1981. Now 32 years on and he is without doubt the most famous and successful video game character of all time.
Having appeared in so many adventures over the years, it is no easy task to rank his games in some kind of ‘worst to best’ order, mainly for the reason that almost all of them are so darn good. To make the task a little easier we’ll just focus on the platforming games in the Mario series, as it hardly seems fair to stack the vastly different genres like Kart Racing to his sports titles such as Basketball or Football. Without further ado, let’s start at the bottom and work our way to the top.
20. Wrecking Crew (NES)
It feels a little unfair, especially since Mario’s name isn’t even in the title, but Wrecking Crew on the NES gets the honour of being bottom. A platform puzzler where you use Mario’s hammer Donkey Kong style to destroy things, but can’t jump… at all. It’s not bad, and is a fun distraction for a time, but that’s about all. It’s never fun enough. It’s little surprise that Mario has never really picked a hammer up as his weapon of choice since!
19. Mario Bros. (Arcade)
An unfortunately low rank for the game that named him, but the fact is this game, though fun isn’t in the same league as the other games on this list. Like Donkey Kong, this game is set on static screens (rather than scrolling) and the aim is to wipe out baddies that will attack from drain pipes around the screen. It’s fun, and was included in most Game Boy Advance Mario games mainly as a multi player extra, but that really sums up its value as an extra rather than as a standalone release.
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