Without a shadow of a doubt, Mario and Luigi are two of the most popular and recognizable video game characters of the Nintendo brand. The two friendly plumbers on a quest to save the princess of Mushroom Kingdom have made their mark on the industry, starring in countless titles of the Mario Bros. series and its spin-offs.
Now, thanks to Nintendo Switch, you can experience the best adventures of Mario and Luigi, involving anything from rescue quests to kart racing, and even Rabbids.
Let's take a look at the best Mario games for Switch.
Super Mario Odyssey
The first title on our list takes us into outer space and beyond. Super Mario Odyssey puts a unique spin on classic Mario games, introducing new mechanics but also bringing back those familiar to the players of original Super Mario Bros. The plot of the game takes the hero to space on a quest to once again stop Bowser from forcibly marrying Princess Peach.
The core gameplay mechanics of Super Mario Odyssey are similar to other 3D installments of the series. As the titular character, the player can roam about various locations, collecting items to unlock new areas and fighting enemies. An awesome addition to the gameplay is Mario’s hat which can be thrown at an adversary to possess them for a few seconds, allowing the player to use their skills to their advantage. The game also features 2D segments, reminiscent of the classic Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Odyssey was met with positive reviews and won several awards, including Best Console Game at 2017 Game Critics Awards, and ranks among the best Mario-related games of all time.
Super Mario Maker II
|Developer/Publisher||Nintendo EPD, Nintendo|
If you ever played Mario games, you know that the levels developers throw at the players are the epitome of challenge. The internet is full of lists on which level is the hardest and why. But what if you could design a hellish map, filled with piranha plants, koopas, and other deathly dangers to torment your friends with? That’s where Super Mario Maker 2 comes in, the latest of Mario games at the time of writing.
In SMM2, the player can use the variety of assets from all across the series to design their own levels. Nothing restricts the player from making them as easy (or difficult) as they want. The game also includes a story mode, in which the player must pass through 100 levels, collecting coins to rebuild Princess Peach’s castle. Super Mario Maker 2 was well-received among the players and the critics, was nominated for several industry awards winning Family Game of the Year at 23rd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards.
Super Mario Party
Whoever thought that Mario games would make for poor choice during parties with friends was only partially wrong. Now, we’ve all heard horror stories about how Mario Kart ruined friendships and broke up marriages – we’ll get to that in a bit. For now, let’s focus on a game that emphasizes fun in the Mushroom Kingdom, Super Mario Party.
Like in many other party games, in SMP the player chooses one of several competitions to participate in against their friends. There are several modes the players can choose, including a free-for-all, 2-vs-2 and 1-vs-3, co-op, and a team mode. Each of these has its own colorful minigames, such as Trike Harder, Candy Shakedown, Smash and Crab, and many, many more. With Super Mario Party, no get-together will ever be boring again. The game received positive reviews from the critics.
Mario Tennis Aces
|Developer/Publisher||Camelot Software Planning|
Mario Tennis Aces is a brilliant combination of a sports game and Mario mechanics. In MTA you can play as one of several players from the Super Mario series, including both plumbing brothers, Bowser, Peach and Rosalina, Toad and Toadette, Wario, and Waluigi, as well as Donkey Kong.
The gameplay mechanics of Mario Tennis Aces are pretty straightforward: the player uses the Joy-Con to initiate strikes and block the serves of the rival player. The so-called “zone strikes” and “zone speed” are new mechanics added in this installment: the former allows the player to fire a powerful shot that can damage the rival’s racket, while the latter slows down the time around the player, allowing them to launch a surprising serve. Mario Tennis Aces was met with positive reception and was crowned the Sports Game of the Year at 2019s D.I.C.E. Awards.
Super Mario World
|Developer/Publisher||Nintendo EAD, Nintendo|
|Release year||1991 / Feb 12, 2021|
Super Mario world is considered one of the best games in the Mario series and one of the best selling video games of all time. A SNES classic, SMW combines the best aspects of the Super Mario series, providing the player with a great gaming experience.
Super Mario World features gameplay mechanics similar to those of Super Mario Bros. series, while also introducing new ones. A new power-up, Cape Feather, is added, which allows the player to fly in the air, avoiding obstacles on the ground. The player can now store one additional power-up to use it later in the game. SMW introduces Yoshi, a dinosaur companion that Mario can ride. Yoshi can devour almost any enemy and in case of Koopas, spit them out damaging the foes in front. Super Mario World was met with nearly universal acclaim and was the recipient of multiple awards.
You can play classic Super Mario World on your Nintendo Switch, but you’ll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. The good part is that the sub includes over 70 other games from the NES and SNES era.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
|Developer/Publisher||Next Level Games, Nintendo|
For years, Mario’s brother Luigi was neglected when it comes to video games, always playing second fiddle to his more popular sibling. One of the few games that prominently featured the character was Luigi’s Mansion. The series turned out to be highly popular and so far spawned three installments, the most recent of which, Luigi’s Mansion 3, we will discuss below.
The story of LM3 follows Luigi and his friends who arrive in a luxurious, high-rise hotel called the Last Resort. While Luigi and his pet Polterpup awaken from a nap, they find that everyone is gone and the building has turned into a haunted version of itself. Mario’s brother will have to explore the floors of the hotel, fighting ghosts and collecting various items. The game features a multiplayer mode, in which the players can work together clearing the building floors of ghosts. Luigi’s Mansion 3 received positive reviews and won several awards, including Game Critics Award for the Best Family/Social game.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is a crossover event between Sega and Nintendo, commemorating upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. The game features popular characters from both companies, first and foremost the friendly plumber and lightning-fast blue hedgehog.
The gameplay of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 includes participation in several competitions based on various Olympic disciplines. Players familiar with the series will feel right at home with returning sports like boxing, swimming, and gymnastics, as well as new competitions: karate, surfing, and skateboarding, among others. The game offers both single and multiplayer experiences. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 came out to solid reviews from the critics.
Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle
|Developer/Publisher||Ubisoft Milan, Ubisoft|
Considering that both elements of this particular crossover are very much the antithesis of careful and strategic planning, one could wonder what possess the developers at Ubisoft Milan to throw Mario and Rabbids into an RPG genre. As it turns out, it’s always good to give the developers a benefit of the doubt – Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle is an engaging and unique title fully using the potential of both Mario and crazy Rabbids.
The gameplay of M R is based around turn-based combat, in which the player controls a party of three characters, and exploration of the map, filled with a variety of objectives and challenges to be completed. The game features other typical RPG mechanics such as leveling up, expanding skill trees, and unlocking new items. The game received critical acclaim from the reviewers and won several industry awards.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 is one of those games that can ruin even the strongest of friendships. Its relationship-devastating potential was felt on many parties when an initially friendly competition turns into a vicious grudge match until someone throws the controller and leaves in a huff. This is life, this is Mario Kart 8.
The gameplay mechanics of MK8 Deluxe are based around, you guessed it, racing. The players can choose from one of several competitors from all across the Nintendo game series: Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Princess Peach, Toad, and more. Throughout the race the participants can pick up various items to hinder their opponents progress. New items include Boomerang and Piranha Flowers and the Super Horn, which can be used both offensively and defensively, even against the notoriously unavoidable Blue Shell. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe received widespread critical acclaim, with reviewers praising the revamped game modes and improved mechanics.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
|Developer/Publisher||Nintendo EAD, Nintendo|
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the perfect place to start your journey with Mario games, as well as a nice walk down the memory lane for those who had a chance to play the series from the very beginning. Featuring all the elements of the classing Super Mario Bros. as well as more modern gameplay and visual solutions, NSMBU Deluxe brings to the table the best of both worlds.
The gameplay remains largely unchanged in comparison with the 1983’s classic, but several new mechanics are introduced. These include new power-ups, new playable characters and modes. New modes include challenge mode and boost challenge, throwing the player against a series of increasingly difficult challenges and in a breakneck race, in which the pace seeds up with each collected coin. The game can be now enjoyed in multiplayer with up to 5 simultaneous participants. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe received positive reviews from the critics.
More than 30 years have passed since the release of the first Super Mario Bros. During that time the series went through many changes, transitioning from 2D to 3D, and dipping toes in various genres that had nothing to do with its platforming origins. And yet somehow it managed to stay true to its core – a tale of a plumber in a magical land trying to save a princess from a fire-breathing reptile. And while what’s in store for Mario is still up in the air (as of writing this article, no new games in the series were announced), but one thing is for sure – the princess is still in another castle and the mustachioed plumber has not said his last “It’s-a me, Mario!”