Every Mario game available on Nintendo Switch, ranked

Every Mario game available on Nintendo Switch, ranked

There have never been more Mario games available on a single console than on Nintendo Switch. There are brand-new entries in the core 2D and 3D series; numerous spinoffs, sports, and party games; a few remakes, including the freshly released Mario vs. Donkey Kong; the best-selling Mario game ever, in the shape of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe; plus a roster of classic titles on Nintendo Switch Online as it has expanded to include NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance titles — including among them what are indubitably some of the greatest video games ever made.

By our count, there are no less than 43 individual Mario games available on Switch. (In fact, there are more than that, but we’ll get to that in a second.) By “Mario games,” we mean games in which Mario is the main character, or that feature his name in the title (sorry, Luigi). To help you sort through this morass of Mario content, we decided to rank them all.

To make sense of this gargantuan task, we decided to try something new and rank the games in a tier list — S-tier, A-tier, B-tier, and so on — rather than use a numerical ranking. This is a clearer way to present such a long list, and also avoids a lot of arbitrary decisions when comparing games in such a wide range of genres: platformers, RPGs, puzzle games, racing games, sports games, and more. Unlike our numerical rankings, we’ll start with the best, S-tier games at the top, and work our way down. The games are listed in no particular order within each tier.

Similarly, to keep things simple and avoid duplication, we ruled out a few games. The Super Mario Advance titles, a series of remakes for Game Boy Advance now available on Nintendo Switch Online, are out, because the original versions are all also playable on Switch. (The Advance versions are good, though, and we’ve made a note under the original entries when one is available.) The same goes for the SNES remake compilation Super Mario All-Stars, which collects the NES-era Super Mario Bros. titles; it’s also a great way to play these games.

It was a more tricky decision to decide to exclude Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a limited-edition collection for Mario’s 35th anniversary, which is the only way to play Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy on Switch. (It also includes Super Mario 64.) The collection leaves something to be desired (not least for omitting the amazing Galaxy 2), and Nintendo’s baffling decision to limit its run has made it difficult to acquire now without spending a fortune on the used market, so we left it out. Hopefully Nintendo will find a better way to honor these classic games in the future. But for now — let’s rank!

Update (Feb. 18, 2024): This article has been updated to remove some unavailable games and add many new releases.

S tier

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Daisy, Peach, Luigi, and Mario, in elephant form, run through a pipe-filled level in Super Mario Bros. Wonder Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

An expression of pure creativity, Super Mario Bros. Wonder takes the 2D platforming strain of Super Mario games in delightful, constantly surprising directions. Exploring the all-new Flower Kingdom, Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, and friends embark on a quest to take down Bowser — who has become a menacing flying castle! Super Mario Bros. Wonder famously introduces all-new power-ups, including the ability for our heroes to become elephants and a reality-altering upgrade called the Wonder Flower. That new flower is the source of Wonder’s many surprises, turning classic Mario mechanics upside down and treating each level as if it were a theme park ride. Expect the unexpected.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is cleverly designed with cooperative play in mind, with concessions for younger players. It can be played solo for a challenge, with a friend collaboratively, online for a sense of community, or as the guide for anyone new to Mario games — you can literally carry your friends and loved ones on your back as Yoshi, in one of Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s many smart ideas. —Michael McWhertor

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario aiming a green shell at Bowser Jr. in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Image: Nintendo

60 million Mario Kart 8 Deluxe fans can’t be wrong. The Switch’s best-selling game is big for a reason: This is the ultimate Mario Kart package, with dozens of racers and courses, and finely honed classic karting action. Bolstered by the Booster Course Pass downloadable content, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe spoils players with choice.

Accept no imitators. Nintendo has been the king of console kart-racing games since 1992, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is so jam-packed with content and expertly polished gameplay that it’s almost impossible to predict where the franchise could go from here. —MM

Super Mario World

Mario jumps over a giant Bullet Bill in Super Mario World Image: Nintendo

When it came time to update its world-conquering Super Mario Bros. series for the launch of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo chose smoothness, finesse, and design sophistication over a huge leap in graphical quality or a ton of new features. The result is a game that has aged far better than it might have, and arguably better than many Mario games that came before and after it.

Super Mario World is gorgeous, effortlessly legible, and delightfully chaotic and surprising. It ties everything that made Super Mario Bros. 3 great into a more rounded and coherent package, and also gave us Yoshi. Is it the greatest 2D platformer of all time? Probably — and its closest competition is also on this list. —Oli Welsh

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s SNES collection. Also available as Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s GBA collection.

Super Mario 64

Mario runs past Bob-ombs in Super Mario 64 Image: Nintendo

Super Mario 64 brought a new dimension to Mario games, literally. Originally released on the Nintendo 64, the game showcased the capabilities of Nintendo’s console and allowed Mario to jump, skip, and fly in fully 3D-generated worlds, breaking free from his humble 2D origins. From the explosive speckled green fields of Bob-omb Battlefield to the squawking penguin babies of Cool, Cool Mountain, Nintendo managed to convey a sense of wonder and surprise, all nestled into the regal halls of Princess Peach’s castle.

Since its initial release in 1996, the game has been ported to several Nintendo consoles and has become a touchstone of the Mario franchise. The platforming might not feel as polished when compared to modern Mario games, but it still has aged well, and it remains a popular choice for competitive speedrunners and casual players alike. Super Mario 64 is massively influential, not just for Mario but on video games more widely — and for that, it earns a top spot on this list. —Ana Diaz

Included in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s Nintendo 64 collection. Also available in lightly remastered form as part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, if you can track a copy down.

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey - Bowser with Tiara in his hand Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

In Super Mario Odyssey, the Switch’s main entry in the 3D Mario platforming canon, Mario can transform into various creatures and inanimate objects with a quick flick of his hat. By introducing this gimmick, Nintendo turns each of the game’s worlds into a veritable playground for Mario; our dear plumber can become a frog, or fling himself by transforming into a street delineator. Pair this with some of my favorite visuals in a Mario game ever, and you have the makings of a great game.

Super Mario Odyssey has a lot to love, but I’ll remember it as a game that really innovated on the standard 3D Mario formula. Instead of having set levels with specific missions or tasks, Odyssey just plops Mario into each world with no particular guidance. The developers created worlds that invite curiosity, as players freely explore and discover its collectible Power Moons. It brings an open-world feel to the game that largely works, and kept me interested in discovering all its delights and surprises. Last but not least, Odyssey showed us shirtless Mario and his nipples, so I have to give points for that. —AD

Super Mario Bros. 3

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Super Mario Bros. 3 is the perfect mixture of innovation and execution of Mario’s core attributes. This was the actual sequel to the original Super Mario Bros., after Super Mario Bros. 2 bifurcated into different versions in Japan and the West, both with their own compromises. If you were hoping for more of that unalloyed Nintendo magic, here it was: You could fly, you could turn into a statue, and there were secrets galore. The game’s release was a gigantic cultural event, complete with one of the most memorable video game commercials ever created. And it’s still a stone-cold classic now. —Ben Kuchera

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s NES collection. Also available as part of Super Mario All-Stars in the SNES collection, and as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s GBA collection.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

A crowd of Yoshis gathers round baby Mario in a pastel colored forest Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Leave it to Nintendo to make an escort mission actually enjoyable, as Yoshi takes center stage as the hero in this Mario game — and Mario himself is turned into a baby who must be kept safe. (Its inclusion in this list is something of a technicality — while it’s technically a sequel to Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island can also be seen as the start of Yoshi’s own series.)

It’s also one of the best-crafted platformers of all time, and one of the funniest. Yoshi’s Island looks like it was drawn and colored by hand, and the whimsical tone hides how every aspect of the game seems to have been fussed over and perfected. This was a huge departure for the Mario franchise at the time, but it’s only gotten better with age. —BK

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s SNES collection. Also available as Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s GBA collection.

A tier

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Mario runs from Fury Bowser in Bowser’s Fury Image: Nintendo

Building on ideas from the also-great Super Mario 3D Land for 3DS, 3D World is a wonderful exploration of three decades’ worth of Mario mechanics, power-ups, and enemies, all delightfully remixed in a gorgeous, lengthy adventure. Super Mario 3D World is also where players were introduced to the clever puzzles of Captain Toad and the admittedly weird concept of Cat Mario.

Originally stuck on the Wii U, Super Mario 3D World was given new life on Switch, giving Nintendo fans another chance to experience this celebration of 3D Mario. Paired with the lovely Bowser’s Fury — an experimental, slightly open-world take on the 3D Mario formula — it’s an amazing package.

Super Mario 3D World suffers only slightly from its focus on co-op play, which supports up to four players, but can make navigating its diverse worlds challenging at times. —MM

Super Mario Maker 2

creating a level in Super Mario Maker 2 with a Banzai Bill aimed at a rectangle of bricks with invincibility stars inside it Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Super Mario Maker unleashed a digital toolbox that shaped the culture of how Mario is played as we know it. And the sequel built upon that foundation.

As its name suggests, Super Mario Maker 2 allows players to design and share their own 2D Mario levels. (The game does have a single-player campaign, but the design elements are the main draw.)

Players of Super Mario Maker 2 took its creative elements and ran with them. Whereas some leaned into the creative elements and pulled off feats like recreating popular songs inside levels of the game, others took to designing super-difficult challenges for Kaizo Mario players.

Custom levels allowed fans to produce some of the toughest Mario levels yet, and put the best Mario players in the world to the test. Nintendo showed just how much players can do with the freedom to imagine their own levels. —AD

Super Mario Kart

Super Mario Kart’s title screen, showing a variety of characters and the game’s logo Image: Nintendo

Super Mario Kart is the first game in the Mario Kart series — the success that likely inspired just about every game company on the planet to put its characters in karts at least once in the past 30 years, and one of the first games to show what Mario could bring to genres far outside of his platforming origins.

Super Mario Kart also showed off the 3D capabilities of the Super Nintendo by using its Mode 7 technology, which kept the characters in the middle of the screen and moved the world around them to simulate movement. None of this would have mattered if the game hadn’t been a blast, though, and Mario Kart came out of the gate with confidence and plenty of the most important aspects of the series already in place. Even today, it’s a really tight, well-tuned, and satisfying racing game to play. Some characters only change the face of gaming once, but Mario has done so for more genres than I can count. —BK

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s SNES collection.

Super Mario Bros.

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There’s no doubt that the original 1985 Super Mario Bros. for NES is one of the most important, influential, and brilliantly designed games of all time. There’s even an argument that Shigeru Miyamoto’s classic is the game responsible, more than any other, for firing the video game industry back to life after the crash of 1983. It expanded Mario’s world from one screen to a scrolling infinity. It’s a cornerstone of the console gaming industry, and perhaps the first game that opened a space between arcade gaming and computer gaming for games that could be simple and accessible, but deep and sophisticated at the same time.

So why’s it only in our A tier? Simply put, it’s just not as fun to play now as Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World — games that took its revolutionary ideas and refined and expanded them to a point of perfection. Super Mario Bros. is a hall-of-famer and essential for students of the medium, but for pure fun value, play its successors first. —OW

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s NES collection. Also available as part of Super Mario All-Stars in the SNES collection.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Mario and Luigi line up against some Goombas for turn-based battle in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Image: Nintendo

The third Super Mario role-playing game, following Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and Paper Mario, is one of Nintendo’s strongest. Boasting expert comedy writing and a clever combat system, Superstar Saga kicked off a brand-new subseries of Mario games in 2003, thanks to its memorable mechanics and hilarious antagonists Cackletta and Fawful.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga sends the plumber bros on a mission to a new land, the Beanbean Kingdom, in search of Princess Peach’s stolen voice — as fresh a spin Nintendo had at the time on the kidnapping trope that Peach has been subjected to for decades. More inventive than another rescue-mission story are the game’s mechanics, which build on previous Mario RPGs’ timing-based, turn-based battles with weapons, super powers, and cooperative special moves.

But it’s the writing of Cackletta, Fawful, and supporting characters that makes Superstar Saga so wonderful. Paired with lovely sprite work and music from composer Yoko Shimomura, the first Mario & Luigi game is (still) a must-play. —MM

Included in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s GBA collection.

Mario Kart 64

Mario chases down Toad past a yellow bus in Mario Kart 64 Image: Nintendo

Although Mario Kart’s template was brilliantly laid out in the first SNES game, this N64 sequel made a few crucial changes that have left a lasting mark on the series. The first was four-player split-screen. The second was a change in the philosophy of the course design, from tight, technical circuits to more open tracks littered with hazards, secrets, and moments of spectacle. The third was embodied in the infamous blue shell, a homing weapon guaranteed to take out the leader, awarded to a player far back in the pack.

Thus the spirit of Mario Kart was born: fair, but only in the most unfair way; controlled, beautiful chaos for as many people as you can fit around your TV. It’s still a blast to this day. —OW

Included in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s Nintendo 64 collection.

B tier

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

Mario and Toadette run through a spooky level in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe for Nintendo Switch Image: Nintendo EAD/Nintendo

Another updated version of a game that was first released on Nintendo Wii U, the Deluxe version of New Super Mario Bros. U throws in the New Super Luigi U expansion.

Even if you’ve played it before, it’s worth revisiting what may be some of the best, if also toughest, 2D Mario design ever created — all with four-player support. This game also proved that the New Super Mario Bros. series does best when put on a portable system; after all, this offshoot franchise began on Nintendo DS. If you want a more modern take on the classic Mario of the NES and Super NES eras, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is worth checking out, even if it has been superseded by the more imaginative and forgiving Wonder. —BK

Mario Party Superstars

Mario and friends on a big mushroom in Mario Party Superstars Image: Nintendo

These days, there is only one Mario Party game I load up when the inevitable social gathering calls for it: Mario Party Superstars.

It’s not the best Mario Party game because it’s the most recent or has flashy new features; it’s the best because the entire game is actually a callback to previous Mario Party games. Superstars pulls every minigame and board from a previous series entry, so it’s basically a hall of fame for Mario Party games.

For me, it’s my go-to Mario Party game because its basic retro controls and mechanics make it an easy game for a wide range of abilities to play; anyone from my Overwatch-obsessed esports cousin to the 4-year-old who prefers to play games on an iPad can enjoy it. Retro Mario Party games found new life through Mario Party Superstars, and these days it’s the only Mario Party you really need. —AD

Super Mario Bros. 2

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Originally not a Mario game but a reskin of a completely different game released only in Japan, Super Mario Bros. 2 is sometimes considered a strange deviation and not a “true” Mario game — in part because the ending implies it was all a dream. But Nintendo’s sort-of sequel to the classic Super Mario Bros. is now a core part of Mario lore. It introduced Princess Peach and Toad as playable characters and brought a host of new creatures and enemies to the Mushroom Kingdom. If it weren’t for Super Mario Bros. 2’s strange path to becoming a Mario sequel, would we have Shy Guys, Birdo, and Bob-ombs in modern Mario games? Maybe not!

Super Mario Bros. 2 may be a weird retrofit aimed at Western audiences, but its gameplay mechanics had an enduring impact on the franchise. And it’s got some of the catchiest music of any Mario game, thanks to composer Koji Kondo’s ragtime-inspired soundtrack. —MM

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s NES collection. Also available as part of Super Mario All-Stars in the SNES collection, and as Super Mario Advance in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s GBA collection.

Super Mario RPG

A character in a viking hat and three henchmen discover Mario behind a curtain in a room containing several toys of Mario characters in Super Mario RPG Image: ArtePiazza/Nintendo

Super Mario RPG is an original role-playing Mario adventure given a long-awaited and fairly lavish Switch remake treatment. It’s an odd bird, this — it was made by Square at the height of Final Fantasy’s popularity, and despite the characters feels as much like a Square game as a Nintendo one. It’s clunky in places, but very charming, and it established the streamlined, rhythmic “my first RPG” formula that Nintendo went on to use in Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi games. The remake makes some wise improvements but is very respectful to the slightly wonky, funhouse-mirror look and feel of the original. —OW

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong Arcade Archives on Nintendo Switch Image: Nintendo

The game that started the Mario franchise, Donkey Kong is still a highly replayable arcade game full of challenge. The version available on Nintendo Switch Online, available as part of the Nintendo Entertainment System collection, is not the best version of Donkey Kong, sadly. It’s the meager NES port, which does not feature the arcade version’s cutscenes and only features three playable levels — the fourth, the cement factory level, isn’t present.

For the full experience, you’ll need to shell out separately for Arcade Archives: Donkey Kong, a faithful, stand-alone port of the original arcade game. Either way, the retro sights and sounds of Donkey Kong are worth returning to for a dose of classic Nintendo nostalgia. Keep your fingers crossed for an eventual release of the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong from 1994, which takes the original game in creative new directions. —MM

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s NES collection, or as the stand-alone game Arcade Archives: Donkey Kong on the Nintendo eShop.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

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Although Game Boy Donkey Kong remains the greatest Mario platformer to grace Nintendo’s original handheld hardware — sadly unavailable on Switch at the moment — Super Mario Land 2 is no slouch. Leaping forward from the original’s imitation of Super Mario Bros. to take in the innovations of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, it’s an amazing feat of miniaturization for its time, and still a lot of fun to play. Also, this is the game that gave the world Wario — he’s the antagonist, and Mario’s quest is to go bop him on the head. For that alone, Super Mario Land 2’s place in culture is assured. —OW

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s Game Boy collection.

Paper Mario

A paper cut-out Mario stands on a pipe in front of a textured 3D scene in Paper Mario Image: Nintendo

Paper Mario is one of the most original and beguiling visual treatments Mario’s world — it’s up there with the delightful crayon scribbles of Yoshi’s Island. Very cute paper cutouts of Mario and all his pals scamper around 3D dioramas made of simple but richly textured geometry; it’s just gorgeous stuff.

Gameplay-wise, this is another evolution of the simple, approachable Mario RPG framework, with rhythmic battle inputs to keep you involved. Its storybook approach is more wistful and less uproarious than the out-and-out comedy of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, though. This first Paper Mario is still wonderfully pretty, but if you want to play the best game in the series, wait for the upcoming Switch remake of the GameCube classic Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. —OW

Included in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s Nintendo 64 collection.

C tier

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle and Sparks of Hope

This screenshot from Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle shows Mario standing in front of two rabbids who are crossing a bridge. One of the rabbids is dressed as Princess Peach, and one is dressed as Luigi. Mario has an exclamation point above his head and is Image: Ubisoft Paris/Ubisoft Milan/Ubisoft

On sheer quality alone, you could arguably place Ubisoft’s pair of tactical squad combat games, which mash up the worlds of Mario and the Minionesque Rabbids, a little higher on this list. They’re really good, but there’s something a little off-brand about Mario with a gun, isn’t there? Which you pick is a matter of taste: Kingdom Battle for classic turn-based action, Sparks of Hope for a more fluid system. —OW

Super Mario Party

After years in the doldrums, the first Switch Mario Party was something of a return to form, with a more strategic board game layer and some great minigames. There’s no beating Superstars’ greatest-hits package, though. —OW

Mario Golf: Super Rush

Mario takes a huge swing on Mario Golf. He’s wearing a crisp polo shirt, a red visor, and some white pants because he’s fearless of other people’s opinions. Image: Camelot Software Planning/Nintendo

For those of you who find golf to be a bit slow and stiff, may I suggest that you check out Mario Golf: Super Rush? Instead of neatly putting and lining up shot after shot, this game turns all of the course into a race against other characters as you frantically run from shot to shot. Super Rush oozes with character and turns an otherwise respectable sport into the ultimate Mario slugfest — it’s perfect. —AD

Mario Golf and Mario Tennis

Mario had been in sports games before — arguably the first is NES Open Tournament Golf, a straightforward, early golf sim that has Mario in it — but it was this excellent Nintendo 64 pair that really established the formula of solid, semi-serious sports games with a little outlandish twist. Mario Tennis is still an absolute riot in four-player. —OW

Included in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s Nintendo 64 collection.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong

Mario jumps on a blue switch, surrounded by red and green platforms and outlines of blue ones Image: Nintendo

While we wait for the incredible 1994 Game Boy Donkey Kong — Nintendo’s best-ever puzzle-platformer — to be made available, we’ll have to make do with this Switch remake of its unofficial Game Boy Advance sequel, Mario vs. Donkey Kong. A solid challenge for both brain and thumbs. —OW

Mario Kart: Super Circuit

The Game Boy Advance’s Mario Kart was in many ways a throwback to the original SNES Super Mario Kart, only with even tighter, more technical courses. That makes Super Circuit something of an outlier in the series, but a very fun and rewarding racing challenge still. —OW

Included in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s GBA collection.

Mario Strikers: Battle League

Luigi does a super strike in mario strikers: battle league Image: Next Level Games, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Mario and friends get to slug it out on the soccer pitch once again in Mario Strikers: Battle League. While it can be hard to stand out when Mario sports games are a dime a dozen, this game has a whole lot of character when it comes to the in-game taunts and interactions. Where else could I see a cutscene of Wario butt-slamming a soccer ball into oblivion? —AD

D tier

Mario Party, Mario Party 2, and Mario Party 3

The original Nintendo 64 trilogy of party games — blending anarchic minigames with a somewhat ponderous board game framework — are all absolutely fine, and worth dipping into if you have Switch Online. But in a world where Superstars exists, they’re somewhat redundant. —OW

Included in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s Nintendo 64 collection.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

You play Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit by controlling a physical toy car around your living space with your Switch, and viewing everything from the point of view of the car itself, as if your physical home had been turned into a Mario Kart track. Which is pretty much the reality of the situation! Delightful, if a total gimmick. —BK

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels was actually Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan, and was aimed at players who had mastered the first game, so the difficulty was increased substantially. If you want a super-difficult, punishing take on the original Super Mario Bros., though, here you go. The mushrooms can kill you now, by the way. —BK

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s NES collection. Also available as part of Super Mario All-Stars in the SNES collection.

Arcade Archives: Mario Bros.

The Mario Bros. arcade game was, conceptually, Nintendo’s answer to Williams’ Joust, and yet somehow even harder. Having to hit the Sidestepper crabs twice to flip them over introduced me to the term “difficulty spike” at a very tender age. This game was not only the debut for Mario’s sibling, Luigi; it also established the two as plumbing professionals, and made turtlelike beings their mortal enemies for the next four decades. —Owen S. Good

Mario’s Super Picross

This Switch Online edition of Mario’s Super Picross is the first time the game has been made available in the U.S. If you haven’t played any games in the series, imagine a mixture of sudoku and maybe Minesweeper, in which you’re trying to reveal a Mario-themed image hidden in each puzzle. It’s fine. (And there are far better Picross games on Switch.) —BK

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s SNES collection.

Paper Mario: The Origami King

Paper Mario: The Origami King Tape boss fight guide Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon

Why are the boss battles so hard? Without that issue, this game might have been at least a little higher on our list. As it stands, this is a fine but quirky RPG with some ridiculous difficulty spikes. Good luck. —BK

Mario Tennis Aces

The return of Mario’s tennis adventures on Switch in Mario Tennis Aces is not the sports RPG some hoped for, but delivered the easy-to-learn/hard-to-master challenge I enjoy facing in all kinds of sports titles. Also, the 29-strong cast of characters provides a lot of depth and variety to local and online multiplayer. Let’s not forget the fact that this thing has a story mode, too. —OSG

E tier

Dr. Mario and Dr. Mario 64

Dr. Mario, the capsule-matching puzzle game, was not a fun game, but we love it due to nostalgia and the inclusion of Mario. This isn’t just me being grumpy! More and more people are seeing the truth: Dr. Mario is not, and was not, a good game. I’m sorry I have to bring this hard truth to you, but you deserved to hear it from a friend. —BK

Included in Nintendo Switch Online’s NES collection and Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s Nintendo 64 collection.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

The Olympics have never translated well to video games. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is the same kind of button-mashing gimmickry for which its forebears were also known, although it does try something novel by sucking the characters into a time vortex and spitting them out in the 1964 Tokyo Games, which are played as 8-bit throwbacks with a CRT filter. But it all comes off like Nintendo and Sega’s civic obligation to support a local economic development project. —OSG

Arcade Archives Vs. Super Mario Bros. and Wrecking Crew

The Vs. arcade version of Super Mario Bros. is much harder, more mean-spirited, and more frustrating in ways that aren’t fun. I’m glad you can buy it and play it, because it’s a part of Mario history, but if you’re not a historian, you can safely avoid this whole mess. Wrecking Crew, available in either arcade or NES form, is a completely different game in which Mario and Luigi are demolition experts and have to take down buildings. Both games are mere curiosities. —BK

Wrecking Crew is included in Nintendo Switch Online’s NES collection, or in an Arcade Archives edition.