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Mario historian Dan Ryckert ranks the best Mario games of all-time

Mario historian Dan Ryckert has spent plenty of time deliberating and has finally decided to list what he deems to be the best Mario games of all-time. It’s certainly an interesting list which is sure to divide opinion amongst you. Mr. Ryckert has placed the Super Nintendo launch title Super Mario World at No.1, which seems like a reasonably safe pick, but you will notice Super Mario Sunshine has been placed as the sixth best Mario game, which is sure to spark contention. Also of note is the fact that the iconic Super Mario 64 is missing entirely from the top ten. Mr. Rycker decide to place the N64 launch title at No.11. Here’s the top ten:

  1. Super Mario World
  2. Super Mario Bros 3
  3. Super Mario Odyssey
  4. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  5. Super Mario Galaxy
  6. Super Mario Sunshine
  7. Super Mario Bros. 2
  8. Super Mario 3D World
  9. Mario Party 2
  10. Yoshi’s Island


25 thoughts on “Mario historian Dan Ryckert ranks the best Mario games of all-time”

  1. not my List…
    Super Mario Galaxy 2
    Super Mario Bros 2
    Super Mario 3D World
    This is the top 3 games ever will bi on top.
    because i dont realy like the mario games but these 3 games are awesome.

    New Super Mario Bros
    Super Mario World
    Super Mario Sunshine
    Super Mario Bro 3
    Super Mario Land
    The last place is odyssey, after 2hour i was bored
    Mario 64 i never played

  2. Kind of weird to include a single Mario Party game, but no Mario Kart. Also, very weird to put Mario Bros 2 but not 64. Still, always interested to see other people’s lists, no matter how unusual.

    I don’t have a list, ranking Mario games makes my head hurt. Too much to consider. I also don’t know all of them well enough to remember how I feel about them. Galaxy 2, in particular, I barely remember because I only played through it once. I know it’s great, but other than that vague thought, I have no memory of it.

  3. This list is so wrong in so many ways. There is no way mario party makes it but no mario kart. He should have just stuck with platforming games. My list
    1. Galaxy 2 and 1 (they really should be considered the same game)
    2. Mario 3
    3. Mario 64
    4. Mario world
    5. Mario 3d world
    6. Sunshine
    7. Super Mario bros
    8. Yoshi island
    9. Super Mario bros 2
    10. 3d land

    If you add in spin off series changes a bit.

  4. I’m always going to disagree with lists like this because with the exception of Yoshi’s Island, Mario’s 2D platformers just don’t do anything for me at all. I’ll pick up Mario 3 or World, get bored after a few minutes, then go back to Donkey Kong Country.

    1. I think my list would be

      10. Mario and Luigi SS/Super Paper Mario
      9. 3D World
      8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
      7. Paper Mario
      6. Sunshine
      5. Galaxy
      4. Mario 64
      3. Paper Mario TTYD
      2. Galaxy 2
      1. Mario Odyssey

  5. My list of mainline Mario games ranked from best to worst:

    1. Super Mario Odyssey
    2. Super Mario Sunshine
    3. Super Mario 3D World
    4. Mario Maker- series
    5. Super Mario World
    6. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
    7. Super Mario Galaxy 2
    8. Super Mario Bros 2
    9. Super Mario Bros 3
    10. New Super Mario Bros – series
    11. Super Mario Galaxy
    12. Super Mario 64
    13. Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels
    14. Super Mario Bros

    No spin off games or series just the mainline ones, and only the ones I’ve played.

  6. No Mario 64 but 3d world is there??
    That is the worst game of them all, should not be in that list but to leave out Mario 64 is an absolute crime. This guy does not know what he’s talking about or covid got his brain man!! Jeez!

      1. I’ve yet to find anyone who hates 3D World who can give a coherent reason as to why. It just isn’t an exploration game, which in their book is what Mario is supposed to be, in spite of the series existing long before that was an element of the series.

    1. For all those complaining about the lack of Mario 64: it’s the same thing as missing the original Super Mario Bros, or Donkey Kong. They all helped define the genre, but every game that came after it was superior. We wouldn’t have Sunshine, Galaxy, or Odyssey without 64, but they all took 64 and improved on it. Super Mario World was the pinnacle of the 2D Mario games, although some argue that 3 is where it was perfected. I think it’s just great that we have such a broad set of games to argue over. Growing up and playing all of these had been fantastic and I will look forward to the next new game.

  7. It never ceases to amaze me at all the people who complain that lists like these are “wrong,” when it’s all subjective to begin with. Everyone is going to have different likes and dislikes. Personally, my favorites are Super Mario World for 2D and the Galaxy games for 3D.

    More importantly, I miss Dan Ryckert on Giant Bomb. I love his passion for Nintendo. I don’t frequent their site as much since he left.

  8. Pingback: Mario historian Dan Ryckert ranks the best Mario games of all-time - My Nintendo News - Fiji Online News

  9. With Mario Party 2, it should be “List of Best Games Featuring Mario”, and should probably have Mario Kart 8 in there somewhere.

    I’ve read both of Dan’s Air Force Gator books and can recommend them. They are quick reads, silly but serious toned. Fun books.

  10. SMB 3
    SMB 1
    SMB Lost Levels
    SM World (Gameplay and visual/sound design its up there, but the difficulty is just WAY too low)
    SM 3D World
    SM Galaxy 2
    SM Galaxy 1
    SM Sunshine
    NS Luigi U
    SM Sunshine
    NSMB Wii
    SM Odyssey

    Note that USA SMB2, and handheld titles are disqualified due to not being considered mainline Mario titles, as is SMW 2, as it is more or less just Yoshi 1.

    Yes, Odyssey is that bad. It is borderline not a game at all, just a digital tour of fairly simplistic virtual worlds.

  11. Here is my list:
    1 Super Mario Bros. 2
    2. Super Mario 3D world(underrated)
    3 Super Mario Galaxy 2
    4 Super Mario Galaxy
    5 Super Mario 64
    6 Super Mario Odyssey
    7 Super Mario 3D Land
    8 Super Mario bros 3
    9. Super Mario Bros Wii
    10 Super Mario Bros

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