5 Best Mario Games On The Super Nintendo (& 5 Worst) The Super Nintendo was a huge era for Super Mario, but which were the best and worst games starring the iconic mascot on the SNES?
A convincing case can be made that the Super Nintendo era brought out the best in Mario. While this period would spawn the release of atrocities like Hotel Mario and Mario Clash, Nintendo wisely kept the most awful games off its main home console.
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That”s not to say the brand produced nothing but timeless classics during this period, but even the worst titles had some redeeming features. Conversely, the best Mario games on the SNES are genuine masterpieces that have arguably aged better than most of the offerings on the NES and Nintendo 64.
10 Best: Super Mario All-Stars
A compilation set might seem like a cop-out, but Super Mario All-Stars offers a lot more than just a convenient way to own the original three Super Mario Bros. entries. Nintendo remade the NES games so they could take advantage of the SNES”s 16-bit capabilities, resulting in the definitive versions of each title.
Furthermore, Super Mario All-Stars marked the first time that The Lost Levels were made available outside of Japan. That alone makes this compilation worthy of a spot on this list.
9 Worst: Yoshi”s Cookie
Just to be clear, Yoshi”s Cookie is a solid tile-matching puzzle game and only ranks as one of the worst Mario releases on the SNES due to the consistently high quality of its competitors.
Yoshi”s Cookie“s simplistic gameplay is a better fit for a handheld system than a home console, although the SNES version”s stunning color palette does make the Game Boy alternative feel inadequate in a lot of ways.
8 Best: Super Mario Kart
1992″s Super Mario Kart was a landmark release in gaming and officially launched a hugely successful series that continues to go strong more than two decades later. With this game, Nintendo effectively established the kart racing subgenre, and Super Mario Kart was comfortably among the best racers on the SNES.
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The improvements implemented in the franchise”s subsequent releases make Super Mario Kart difficult to revisit in this day and age, but the game”s legacy is beyond question.
7 Worst: Yoshi”s Safari
Yoshi”s Safari was perhaps the best Super Scope game on the SNES, even though its commercial failure would spell doom for the peripheral. One of the license”s more obscure titles, Yoshi”s Safari is better than its non-existent reputation suggests, as the spin-off is a solid light gun shooter with pleasing visuals and fun gameplay.
Yoshi”s Safari only ranks as one of the worst Mario games on the SNES because the alternatives are Mario Paint and Mario & Wario.
6 Best: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
A precursor to the Paper Mario franchise, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars saw Square crafting a fantastic entry-level JRPG using Nintendo”s iconic characters. When not traversing the isometric 3D world, Mario and his allies can find themselves engaging in turn-based battles that combine traditional commands with timed button presses.
Super Mario RPG is ideal for newcomers to the genre, but it should also keep veteran JRPG players entertained throughout its 20-hour campaign.
5 Worst: Mario Is Missing!
Despite garnering a somewhat positive reception upon initial release, Mario Is Missing! has steadily grown more hated with each passing year. The Software Toolworks released a couple of educational Mario games on the Super Nintendo, with Mario Is Missing! being arguably the best of the bunch.
It boasts okay visuals for the era, more gameplay than its contemporaries, and earns extra points for being the first Mario title to use Luigi as the main character. Mario Is Missing! is acceptable when graded on a curve, but it is still pretty awful when compared to most other Mario games.
4 Best: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi”s Island
Representing a significant departure for the Super Mario series, Yoshi”s Island promoted the titular dinosaur species to the main role. After the Koopalings kidnap Baby Luigi and (accidentally) drop Baby Mario on Yoshi”s back, the latter has to go through a whole side-scrolling adventure with a crying toddler on its back. Well, backs, as different Yoshis are used throughout the campaign.
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Yoshi”s Island is a masterpiece. The coloring book art style is timeless, the puzzles that dominate the gameplay are engaging, and the levels are expertly crafted.
3 Worst: Mario”s Time Machine
Educational games are not designed solely to entertain, but they would need to be somewhat decent to keep young children interested enough to actually learn their lessons. Mario”s Time Machine has Mario traveling through history to collect artifacts; along the way, he picks up a thing or two about the item”s legacy.
Although not a horrible concept, Mario”s Time Machine is held back by tedious gameplay, an uninspired presentation, and a lack of any real platforming. It is a Mario game only in name.
2 Best: Super Mario World
After three fantastic games, Super Mario World needed to show that Nintendo”s iconic series could offer something more than just prettier visuals. While the core gameplay loop remained largely intact from the NES titles, Super Mario World added new features (Yoshi) and power-ups (Cape Feather) to keep things fresh.
The biggest change was in the overworld map, as Super Mario World offered alternative routes that could be followed to complete the campaign. This greatly enhanced replayability.
1 Worst: Mario”s Early Years!
Mario”s Early Years! is barely a game. Split into multiple islands each offering activities relating to numbers or letters, Mario”s Early Years! is an educational minigame collection that does not have any real minigames.
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The SNES port was even worse than the DOS version, as it excluded some activities in a package that already lacked content. Even if it is given some leeway due to being an educational game, Mario”s Early Years! still falls short in most departments.