Super Mario is one of the most iconic video game characters of all time. He has starred in so many different video games at this point, that it can be difficult to keep a handle on every single title! Throughout every game he has appeared in, there have been various power-ups that help the player along their way. Below is a list of the ten most iconic Super Mario power-ups, with the best at the bottom and the worst at the top. This is the ranked list of the most recognizable power-ups ever seen in a Super Mario game!
10 Super Mushroom
This power-up has been in pretty much every single Super Mario game. It often allows the player to take more than just one hit before they die. Despite being arguably the most recognizable power-up on this list, it doesn't change the fact that it's the weakest. Most other power-ups also offer the player a chance to be hit more than once, while also throwing in something else to sweeten the deal. Never say no to the mushroom, but be aware there's always something better around the corner!
9 Frog Suit
Despite being a lot of fun to use in the water, there's no way this could be any higher on the list. It's purely situational, in that it makes water levels a lot easier in Super Mario Bros. 3, but restricts movement on the land.
In a game that is all about pinpoint jumping and platforming, it seems silly that a power-up would make this harder. There are very few water levels that come one after another, so this power-up is only good for one use before it's inevitably lost.
8 Super Acorn
Mario has turned into a lot of different animals throughout his career, but it has started to get weird over the past few years... Nobody would've ever guess that he'd end up turning into a flying squirrel at any point! No matter how cute it might make him, it doesn't change the fact that it just isn't that good a power-up. Sure, it gives the player an extra hit, but the little jump boost they get is pretty pitiful and it's much better being able to fly!
7 Super Leaf
Many of the power-ups in Super Mario Bros. 3 would actually give Mario a suit, rather than turn him into a completely different creature. One of the truly iconic suits that players still remember to this day is the Tanooki suit. The main way that Mario came across the Tannoki suit was by picking up one of these leaves. Giving Mario a tail to hit people with and the ability to fly with the right run up, the only reason it isn't higher is because the cape looks cooler!
6 Cape Feather
No matter how much time will pass, nobody will ever be able to decide whether Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World was the better game. However, one thing that everyone should be able to agree on is the fact that Cape Mario looks better than Tanooki Mario. Not only does it look better, but it actually takes some skill to control as well! It's annoying just pressing the same button over and over again to fly. Having to use the air and the space available to capture air under Mario's cape is much more satisfying.
5 Super Bell
Look, there is nobody out there that felt Mario needed a catsuit, but apparently, Nintendo disagreed with everyone on that! Despite the understandable skepticism, this bell power-up became one of the fan favorites. It is incredibly useful. Not only does it offer Mario an attack that can take out enemies before they get anywhere near him, but he can use the cat claws to climb up walls. This makes it very easy to overcome difficult obstacles and even makes looking for secrets that little bit easier as well.
4 Fire Flower
Super Mario games are all about jumping over bottomless pits and taking out enemies. This power-up makes it a lot easier to do the second by allowing Mario to shoot fireballs in front of him!
These fireballs go on for a long time, and in the old 2D games, they even allowed the player to take out enemies that weren't on the screen yet. In a game where people become too obsessed with the jumping to even notice the enemies sometimes, this power-up can really come in handy at times.
3 Red Star
If there's one thing that every single video game should have, it's a flying mode. There's nothing better than being able to soar through the sky of a platformer, looking down at the ground where the player was once forced to stay. While everyone will likely think of the wing hat as being more iconic, it was also incredibly difficult to control. Super Mario Galaxy had a far better flying power-up, and that was the red star! Sadly, it could only be used in a very select part of the game.
2 Mega Mushroom
Just one below the greatest power-up ever picked up by Mario is the Mega Mushroom. When Mario picks it up, he grows into a giant, crushing everything in his path. Not only that, but not even pipes will be able to stand in his way, allowing Mario to kick them right off the screen. The only reason that this hasn't made it to the top of the list is that it can sometimes destroy pipes or platforms that are needed to grab secrets!
1 Super Star
Is there anything better than invincibility? Not only does it often come with its own brilliant soundtrack whenever Mario picks it up, but it makes him impervious to pretty much all damage. While it cannot save him from a fall into a bottomless pit, it will take down pretty much every enemy that he runs into. Throw in the fact that in some of the games the player can use it to gain lives and this has to be the best power-up that has ever been seen in a Super Mario game.