1. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)- this is simply the best 3D Mario game and possibly one of the best 3D platformers of all time. Nintendo got everything right with this title and even after you get all the basic stars you can continue your journey to 100% completion with some extremely challenging stages. Great game, my favorite Wii platformer.
2. Super Mario World (SNES)- The first game to include your trusty companion Yoshi. With all the hidden stages, secret exits, high challenge, and creative level design, Nintendo really helped push SMB3 to the next level.
3. Super Mario Bros 3 (NES/SNES)- Arguably the best 2D platformer of all time, it even had a movie made just to promote it. Best NES platformer and possibly one of the best games of all time. Personally, I like SMW better but this game is so infamous that you couldn't make a top Mario list without including it.
4. Super Mario World 2 Yoshi's Island (SNES)- Baby Mario, land of Yoshi's, awesome power ups and some of the best graphics on the SNES make this game a stand out title for the console.
5. New Super Mario Bros Wii (Wii)- This was a huge success on the Wii and for good reason. This is the first Mario game to let two to four players co-op through the stages. You can be a jerk and kill your friends, or you can work together and dominate the stages. This also had some of the best extra stages after the main game, making it a personal favorite.
1. New Super Mario Bros 2 (3DS)- This game was a huge disappointment and the main gimmick of this game was collecting lots of coins. I found this game average at best, and where were all the cool power ups?
2. Mario Sunshine (NGC)- This was a hard choice but the fact of the matter is this game just doesn't live up to the amazing Mario 64 or the later Wii releases. It does have Yoshi though. Still, this game was above average, but for a Mario title it loses points. I'm glad Nintendo got rid of the Water pack.
3. New Super Mario Bros (NDS)- I really found this game average at best as well. It is still better then NSMB2 (3DS) but it lacked the wit and charm of the SNES titles. I feel like most people praised it for returning back to the 2D roots but it didn't have nearly the same fun factor as the previous titles.
4. Super Mario Bros 2- The only Mario title that was actually another game, with Mario characters just placed in front of the original cast of characters. This game was actually quite fun and I enjoyed it a lot, but the fact that it wasn't an original Mario title says a lot. Still, Mario Advance (GBA) has this title and re-did a lot of the game, making it a much stronger title overall. I suggest the GBA title if you can, it was a really solid game.
5. ???? Mario games tend to be really solid so I can't seem to throw another title into the worst list.
Strong Mario titles that weren't platformers:
1. Mario Party (N64)- loved it! The best Mario Party title and was a ton of fun for all ages. I still remember the commercials for it, "tell it to the judge".
2. Mario Tennis (GBC) - The best Mario Tennis title was also on the Game Boy Color. This game allowed you to level up your characters, RPG style, and had a simple, yet deep, system for some incredibly tense matches.
3. Mario Kart DS (NDS)- Damn, best Mario kart game ever. You could Snake to speed up your kart, there was a wide selection of courses, many racers, online play, and was a stand out title on the NDS. This was a close call between this version and the SNES game, but this had many different modes, such as challenge mode, allowing you to have things to do after you started dominating the 150CC.
4. Mario Golf (N64)- A very solid Golf game from Nintendo which basically mimicked Hot Shot Gold (PS1) but was a very strong title on the N64.
5. Paper Mario (N64)- this was just a darn good game. It really took the best parts of Super Mario RPG and expanded the whole scope of the game. This game was simply awesome and is one of the best N64 games.
1. Super Mario Bros 3 - my #1 favorite video game of all-time.
2. Yoshi's Island - my favorite Mario game on the SNES.
3. Super Mario Kart - 2nd favorite Mario SNES game, unbelievably fun.
4. Super Mario World - Exceptional.
5. Super Mario Bros 2 - REALLY unjustly maligned by some. AMAZING game.
1. Any education Mario game, like Mario's Missing
2. Hotel Mario, though it's not terrible.
3. Mario Golf (NES version), though not too bad either I guess. Just not fond of golf video games.
Honorable mentions that I've played (couldn't fit in top 5): Paper Mario, Super Mario Bros, Mario Bros, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario 64.
Anyway, hard to rank my favorites, so basically, any of the platformers I don't have as my least favorites are my favorites (and I don't count Yoshi's Island as a Mario game, and I don't think it's necessary to include those awful educational games). Here are my least favorite Marios in no particular order:
1)Lost Levels/Mario 2 Japan -- So glad we got a different game for our sequel. Lost Levels is full of stupid traps and poorly designed levels. It's fun, but considerably less than other Mario games, and feels like a lazy hack of the original
2)Mario Land 1 -- Not a bad game, but barely feels like Mario. The graphics make it look like an early cell-phone game, and it has some weird gameplay that doesn't seem in place in a Mario game. Love the sequel though.
3)New Super Mario Bros 2 -- I liked the original DS New Super Mario, and really like the Wii and Wii U games, but found this one very underwhelming. It seems as though they churned this one out on an assembly line; only the last world felt like it had any of the charm of a Mario game.
Honestly I was never that big of a fan of Super Mario Bros. 3, it wasn't bad, it just didn't quite impress me the way the other titles, SMB2 is also lower on my list.[/QUOTE]
I'm not a big fan of SMB3 either, though it's not bad of course. The ones that really stand out for me (I haven't played many in all honesty) were the original Super Mario Bros. and Yoshi's Island.
1. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES) - Probably the greatest 2D platformer of all-time. Rounded out with some of the best visuals on the Super Nintendo. Even if you don't dig the game itself (or baby Mario's crying) you can't deny that this is the most creative Mario game ever created.
2. Super Mario World (SNES) - I still remember seeing this game in a kiosk as Nintendo's way of advertising the Super Nintendo. I'd become obsessed, looking at pictures in Nintendo Power and now I was actually seeing the game in motion. Sure, it's a cakewalk, but it's considered an all-time classic for good reason.
3. Super Mario Bros 3 (NES) - Formerly my favorite video game ever. My nostalgia is strong with this one; I still know it backwards and forwards. Each world that Shigeru envisioned is so unique they could have each been their own game. 8 games in one ain't too bad.
I agree that one of the worst would probably be a Mario learning or "Mario is Missing" type game. But of the main series, these would be my least enjoyable games.
1. Super Mario Bros 2 (J)/Super Mario: The Lost Levels (NA) (NES) - Never really played this game as anything more than a curiosity, and I certainly never enjoyed it. The difficulty is frustrating for all the wrong reasons. Nice for a historical perspective, but this is a "C" grade game at best. Every time I see this game on my Wii dashboard, I roll my eyes. Very happy we got the Doki Doki Panic sprite-swap game instead. Now *that* is a SMB2 to be proud of.
2. New Super Mario Bros 2 (3DS) - To be honest, I've never been a big fan of this sub-series of Mario games. They look similar to the Mario games of old, but have none of the heart or creativity. Even the best one (NSMB Wii) couldn't really hold my interest. And though there was a nice boss battle with Bowser at the end and a few pretty graphics here and there, NSMB2 is the worst game in a very generic sub-set of Mario titles. Sold it back 2 months after buying it.
3. Super Mario 64 (N64) - Okay, don't write me off just yet. There's a reason for its placement here. As a kid, 2D games were the only thing that interested me. I didn't give the PlayStation a second look and was surprised to learn several years later that it was successful. I hated polygons and thought the associated mechanics were clunky and boring. When I saw SM64 in action the first time, I felt like Nintendo had betrayed me. How could they follow up the Mario SNES games with... *this?* I've relaxed my stance over time and I have played SM64. It's an important game in the history of 3D platformers and a fine game in its own right, but I still much prefer 2D platformers. Also, the Galaxy and 3D Land games are leaps and bounds more fun than this one.
1. Super Mario 64 - Yep. It's overrated and has aged like crap. This game pushed the series towards it's current trend of going through levels over and over again to obtain stars! The big sparse stages felt so bland compared to the vibrant SNES games. I've always been disappointed by this game and my opinion of it has lowered throughout the years.
2. New Super Mario Bros (DS Version) - Sure it's not a main game, but I feel like this 'series if you will' didn't peak until the Wii version. It's a very playable and even enjoyable. However, I felt like it was boring and didn't really offer much of a challenge. Not one of my favorites.
That's pretty much it - I don't really dislike any other Mario games that aren't CD-i garbage or Mario is Missing.
My favorite Mario games:
Super Mario Bros 2 - I don't care if this is a 'real' Mario game or not. It's bleepin awesome. You got to play as multiple characters, the levels and enemies were highly imaginative and the graphics were a massive upgrade to the original SMB. The game had a nice cartoonish vibe that I still adore. I usually liken this game to that weird experimental album from your favorite band. It's not something that immediately grabs you, but after a while you grow to like it. Then you become obsessed with it. Finally you get pissed off because the band never tries anything like it ever again. I'm still holding out hope that Nintendo one day revisits this world and Mario has to kick Wart in the nuts one more time to save the day.
Super Mario World - This game took everything that was great about SMB3 and jacked it up to the next level. This is easily one of the best and most thoughtfully designed platformers ever created. The ghost houses, finding all the keys and secret locations, the great level design, Yoshi! It offered some real hard levels too. Some of those Rainbow Road levels were crazy to complete. I could never get tired of this game. Just talking about it now makes me want to play it.
Super Mario Bros. 3 - All you need to know is that they basically made an entire movie to help hype this game (yea admit it...The Wizard is just a huge buildup to that SMB3 demo at the end lol). The game ditched the style of SMB2 and added new power ups, a map world, toad houses...tons of crazy stuff! This game blew my mind when I was a kid. I would have heated discussions about supposed secrets and things you could find in the game while at school. Even today I can still play it and find it to be just as fun as I did back in the day.
Vs. Super Mario Bros. -- The arcade version of Super Mario Bros. was my first Super Mario Bros. game, and the first I ever completed. I spent so many hours in the arcade playing this and mastering it that by the time I got an NES, its version of SMB seemed watered down by comparison.
Super Mario Bros. 2 (The US Version) -- I know folks who despise this game because it was originally an unreleased game of another intended series, but I didn't know that when I played it, and if someone hadn't told me I would never have guessed it. The gameplay mechanics fit Mario completely, while also stirring things up a good bit.
New Super Mario Bros. U -- IMO, this is the best of the New Super Mario Bros. series.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii -- Also a great entry. There is never much to say about these because they seem like rehashes, but all I can say is I had more fun playing this and U than I did going back to SMB3 and SMW.
Super Mario 3D Land -- Nintendo's thing has always been to take a gimmick and run with it, showing how it can be used to enhance gameplay at almost every turn. 3D was the gimmick here, and it was used to greatly enhance the gameplay in numerous ways.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 -- Improved on its predescessor in almost every way. This game had so much variety, throwing new things at me at every moment.
Super Mario Galaxy -- This game blew my mind when I got into it. It seemed like a game that couldn't be improved upon, until its sequel came out and did just that. The only complaint I had was the collection of star bits... something that was ok for a while but became tedious for me.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island -- Another departure from the Mario formula that worked wonders. It was a very refreshing change. That we didn't see a sequel to it for so long seems crazy to me in retrospect.
Wario Land for the Virtual Boy -- If you have never had a Virtual Boy (and that's most people), then you missed out on this incredible game. Really the same thing that could be said for Super Mario 3D Land could be said for this game: 3D isn't just for special effects here, it's an integral part of the gameplay.
Least favorite: Super Mario Sunshine -- Motion sickness at every turn followed by pastel puke that all the water in the world couldn't wash away. I just couldn't get into this game at all without becoming nauseated.