If there’s one thing you can count on Mario (and Luigi) for, it’s fantastic platforming. Every single time a new Mario platformer releases, it delivers nothing but excellence. From his humble console beginnings in 1985, all the way to his oh so NEW branded games of the 2000s, Mario has consistently stayed the most recognizable video game character of all time. Easy to understand, hard to master, and always tons of fun, welcome to the definitive ranking of every 2D Mario title.
11 Super Mario Land
The Game Boy’s Super Mario Land is certainly not a bad game, it is simply a product of its time. It’s the shortest game in all the series, and graphics-wise, Mario is rocking exactly 12 pixels for that bod of his. At the time, the novelty of having Mario on the go was innovation enough. Nowadays, this game doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
10 Super Mario Land: Six Golden Coins
Six Golden Coins improves on everything of the original Super Mario Land. Superior graphics, a longer runtime, its inarguably a better title. Along with that, for better or for worse, we were introduced to Wario in this game. He… he is certainly a man — I'll say that. All in all, while still not the most impressive game, an improvement over the original title.
9 Super Mario Bros. 2
Because Americans need to "better" things that don't need to become better, we got a different, easier version of Super Mario Bros. 2 here, which was actually not a Mario title at all. Instead, the title was a reskin of a game called Doki Doki Panic.
As previously stated, we were idiots and were totally fine with this game that was obviously the evolution of Mario, which obviously featured literally thousands of differences from the original title, of course. A fine game, but certainly nothing special. Also, the whole sequence was a dream. We go to Mario for the storytelling — come on, Nintendo.
8 Super Mario Bros.
The game that started it all is… well, it's not that great. The classics can still be remembered for what they began and are still not great in the time-frame that they're being evaluated in.
It's a dated game that hasn't aged that well. The platforming feels okay, and there's little variation to the entire game, graphically, sonically and gameplay-wise. Great for the time, playable today.
7 Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Ahhh, the actual sequel to Super Mario Bros. that was only originally released in Japan. The game functions as a really intense level pack for the first games where squids really do not care about physics in the slightest. It’s super difficult, but other than that, is shockingly similar to the first game. Which game of the two is better essentially depends on if you like a huge challenge or not.
6 New Super Mario Bros. 2
Yeah, we’re jumping into the New nonsense now. The lowest of that subgroup goes to New Super Mario Bros. 2, which is somehow the 56th title in the new franchise. This is the lowest ranked of the group because it offered nothing new to the formula that had been going for six years at this point. Sure, it wasn’t bad at all, but, you know, why bother at this point? Pop in any of the other New games and you’ll find the same thing save for less obsessive coin placement.
5 New Super Mario Bros. Wii
New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the actual second title in the new series, is responsible for bringing the brand spankin’ new formula to the big screen.
The best aspect of this title is without a doubt the chaotic fun that multiplayer brings. No matter how much experience you have in gaming, this title will bring some sense of fun to everyone involved, even spectators. Bubble up, throw your friends off cliffs, or actually cooperate. However you choose to play, it’s never a bad time.
4 Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros. 3 is often regarded as a favorite among Mario fans, and it’s easy to see why. Huge level selection, great levels, and power-up variety, a weird two-hour commercial called The Wizard, this game has it all.
This title pushed the NES to its limits and was a model for many Mario games to come after it. Without a doubt, Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of the finest titles in the whole series.
3 New Super Mario Bros.
The start of the forbidden new series, New Super Mario Bros. brought back the epic 2D Mario style with a handheld-sized bang. Being the first original 2D title in 15 years, this game was astounding. The new title was full of content and fantastic platforming, and new additions such as the Blue Shell and Mini-Mushroom power-ups were an absolute blast to play with. The most important part of a game is being fun to play. New Super Mario Bros. has no trouble in that regard. Oh, Luigi gambling minigames are also present!
2 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Y'all, it's the newest of the new games. It's so new, you'd be surprised that this game is actually a repackaged, 86-year-old title! In all honesty, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is one of the best deals content-wise in Mario's current catalog of adventures. The entire base game, all of New Super Luigi U, Peachette for no reason at all, it's all here. The fantastic gameplay is there, the HD razzle-dazzle is there, it's a great package, no matter how tired the "new" branding might be.
1 Super Mario World
If you’re looking for near-perfect platforming, unshakeable music, peak pixel art, and most importantly of all, Yoshi, Super Mario World is the game you’ll be pointed to. The SNES Mario entry has all of the above and more.
The cape power-up is a blast to use and helps to find the incredible amount of secrets hidden in this game. Super Mario World is packed to the brim with great content. With 72 levels to explore, you will absolutely lose yourself in this gem of a game.