[Top 10] Newest Mario Games

Let's-a-go!


The Super Mario Universe

Every video game has its own universe. For the Super Mario franchise, that in-game world is Mushroom Kingdom, ruled over by Princess Peach. Although each iteration of the Mushroom Kingdom differs by game, this magical land is always scattered with connecting Warp Pipes, floating bricks, question-mark blocks filled with coins, and a multitude of short, mushroom-capped people called Toads. Over time, we have explored new regions, discovered new landmarks, and even visited neighboring kingdoms. And I don’t see Nintendo stopping to add in new destinations anytime soon.

 

1. Mario vs. Donkey Kong (February 16, 2024)

Mario vs. Donkey Kong - Official Trailer - Nintendo Switch

This remake of the 2004 GameBoy Advance title of the same name got that fresh coat of paint it deserved. With new art styles, a rearranged soundtrack, and  new content, we can now revisit an enhanced Mario vs. Donkey Kong on  the Switch.

The goal of this remastered adventure remains the same. In a new spin on the original arcade games, Mario has opened a toy factory. But when his new “Mini-Mario” action figures rise to popularity, to the point where stores can’t keep them in stock, an impatient Donkey Kong steals some toys right out of the factory. Now, we have to help Mario get back his toys and teach the misunderstood ape about the consequences of theft. 

As I said before, Mario vs. Donkey Kong for the Switch is unique for not merely being a carbon copy of the original title. On top of improved visuals and audio, we got fully animated cutscenes to replace the original slideshow-esque ones. The remake added two new worlds and multiplayer mode as well. Nintendo hit all the right notes in remastering the game, and we can now enjoy Mario vs. Donkey Kong in full glory. 

Hey! Give those toys back, you crazy ape!

 

2. Super Mario RPG (November 17, 2023)

Super Mario RPG - Official Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Although Squaresoft left Nintendo for Sony shortly after the original 1996 Super Mario RPG, that didn’t stop anyone at Nintendo from remaking the plumber’s first role-playing adventure in 2023. As is the case with the Mario vs. Donkey Kong remake, Super Mario RPG on the Switch was bigger and better than the original. Personally, I beat the game in four days (which, for me, is VERY fast) - that’s how good it is.

Mario is in the midst of rescuing the princess from Bowser, when a new evil, the Smithy Gang, breaks into Bowser’s Keep, shatters the Star Road that grants us all of our wishes, and spreads mayhem across the Mushroom Kingdom. To take down Smithy and his troops, Mario joins forces with two  new characters, the cloud-like prince Mallow and the Star Road’s own warrior, Geno, who takes the form of a wooden doll, as well as Princess Peach and Bowser… wait, WHAT?! Yep, we have to team up with our old nemesis to defeat Smithy, and repair the Star Road. 

This remake is unique amongst RPGs in the franchise because it is closer in style to traditional RPGs than later installments. We could equip our five heroes with unique gear to buff them up in battle and use special attacks, from Mario’s traditional fireballs to Geno’s interstellar magic blasts, to crush the opposition. Also, Super Mario RPG for the Switch added triple attacks where, depending on which three characters were in battle, could combine their power to unleash a devastating assault or provide enhanced utility support. While the original SNES game is a classic, the remastered Super Mario RPG on the Switch is the ultimate experience across all of the RPGs in the franchise’s catalog.

Teamwork, the real star of the show!

 

3. Super Mario Bros. Wonder (October 20, 2023)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder - Official Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Mario and company have received an invitation to the neighboring Flower Kingdom. There, we meet Prince Florian who shows us the legendary Wonder Flower… uh-oh, Bowser’s found us! The Koopa King steals the precious flower, seizes Florian’s castle, merging it with his own, and wreaks havoc throughout the kingdom.

It’s up to you to guide Mario across this new land to defeat Bowser,  help Florian restore his castle, and take back the Wonder Flower! As we travel across seven new worlds in the Flower Kingdom, we have to collect each world’s Royal Seed to slowly restore the stolen castle. Once we have all seven seeds in our possession, we can confront Bowser and bring peace back to the Flower Kingdom.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is unique for its new location, power-ups, and playable characters. Princess Daisy and Toadette made their playable debuts in the mainline Super Mario franchise. We also saw three new power-ups, as your character could shoot bubbles, drill through surfaces, and… transform into an ELEPHANT?! Yep, you heard me right. Elephant Mario is now a thing, and he can use his trunk to wallop enemies and spray water. And, just like real-life elephants, our heroes’ bulky physiques means an untold boost in size and strength. This game also adds in charm not seen in other Super Mario platformers.  I mean, come on. We saw an ENTIRE level littered with singing Piranha Plants. As bizarre as it is, we can’t stop listening to their simple, yet endearing song. These new and innovative ideas make Super Mario Bros. Wonder unique, giving us a refreshing new take on the traditional formula.

Stomping our way through a symphony of plants.

 

4. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope (October 20, 2022)

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope - Official Trailer - Nintendo Switch

The original Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was a very-much welcomed crossover, and its sequel was praised by critics as an improvement. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope sees Mario and crew team up with Rabbids once again. This time, some Rabbids had found the Comet Observatory and met Rosalina and her Lumas. But, an evil entity known as Cursa was drawn to the space station, where Rosalina sacrifices herself to save the others and is kidnapped, while the Rabbids and Lumas inadvertently merge to create a new species, “Sparks.” 

The goal of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is to cleanse the five planets afflicted with Cursa’s “Darkmess,” and rescue Rosalina. Us players, along with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and the Rabbids, team up with Bowser, whose minions have been brainwashed by the interstellar monster, and Edge, a Rabbid who was one of Cursa’s four Spark Hunters, but betrayed her leader after realizing his true intentions. We must help them restore the sunlight to Beacon Beach, calm a howling blizzard plaguing Pristine Peaks, restore color to Palette Prime, repair the trains and foliage of Terra Flora, and fix Barrendale Mesa’s central windmill. Once we do so, it’s time to confront Cursa, save Rosalina and Bowser’s troops, and clear out the Darkmess.

Just like its predecessor, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is a real time strategy game. Before these two titles, neither franchise had a true strategy game in their lineups. Thus, this game is unique for both sides of the crossover as it expands upon the prequel’s take on a genre that neither the red-clad plumber nor the psychotic rabbit-like creatures had partaken in before. The Rabbids also continue to take on the personas of Mario and his friends, showing a strong bond between the two groups. The Rabbids look up to the Mushroom Kingdom heroes, and I find their way of showing it very endearing. I’m confident we will see a third game featuring Mario and the Rabbids in the near future - Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope has established that this crossover spin-off series isn’t going anywhere, and is just as iconic as the Rabbids war cry of “BWAAAAAAAH!”

BWAAAAAH! What is THAT?!

 

5. Mario Strikers: Battle League (June 10, 2022)

Mario Strikers: Battle League - Opening Cinematic - Nintendo Switch

The Mario Strikers spin-off series lay dormant for over fifteen years, but re-entered the spotlight with a boom upon the release of Mario Strikers: Battle League. The third Strikers entry didn’t do anything crazy to spice up the formula, but, with Nintendo having finally fine-tuned online connectivity with the Switch, Battle League had more options for multiplayer modes.

Unlike the other sports spin-offs in the franchise, Battle League does not have a story mode. Rather, the goal of the game is to win each and every cup, simple as that. No need to stop Bowser from ruining soccer with some ridiculous scheme or to endure some painfully cheesy sports narrative - we’re in it just to win it. In contrast to most other genres of games, fleshed out narratives often do more harm than good in a sports title. By focusing solely on the game of soccer, Mario Strikers: Battle League excels at being both a good Super Mario game and a good soccer game.

Mario Strikers: Battle League is not your typical soccer video game. But, the differences we see here compared to the traditional game make playing it easier to grasp for new players, while also providing us fun and competitive gameplay. Battle League, like its predecessors, is five-on-five soccer, rather than the teams of eleven we played on for our town’s rec league as kids. We also see the return special moves, known as Hyper Strikes, where each character’s unique ability kicks in to add flair to the match. While Battle League still retains the limited character rosters and stadium options from the previous two titles, the gameplay, visuals, and presentation remains top-notch and, in my opinion, is the best Super Mario sports spinoffs we’ve seen in a very long time.

Let’s-a-get our game faces on!!!

 

6. Mario Party Superstars (October 29, 2021)

Mario Party Superstars - Official Trailer - Nintendo Switch

The Mario Party series has undergone a lot of massive changes over the years, which have not been popular with hardcore fans, including myself. However, Mario Party Superstars is the love letter us longtime fans have yearned for, while also adding some twists to appeal to the newer party-goers. Bringing back five classic boards from the Nintendo 64 era, as well as over one hundred minigames from the first ten main series party games, Superstars finally brought an entry that both older gamers and rookies can all enjoy.

Just as is the case with past Mario Party titles, the goal of Superstars is to win the board you are playing on. To do so, we must have the most Stars at the end of the final turn. It’s important to play each turn strategically - using items and board events to your advantage is critical to achieving victory.

Mario Party Superstars is unique because it doesn’t add anything new, but rather brings back past content to create a new experience. Since Mario Party 7 was my very first game, I grew up with the anxiety of role reversal in Monty’s Revenge and the button-mashing craze that is Pokey Pummel, and seeing these minigames return on the Switch with polished graphics is a real treat. So… what are you waiting for?! Go grab your friends and play a board of Mario Party Superstars (but be warned this game is capable of ruining friendships)!

Watch out for that fish, Toadette!!

 

7. Mario Golf: Super Rush (June 25, 2021)

Mario Golf: Super Rush - Opening Cinematic - Nintendo Switch

Mario Golf: Super Rush is a hole-in-one (pun very much intended)! After a seven-year hiatus, the Mario Golf spinoff series came back with a bang. With new courses, characters, and perhaps one of the best story modes of any Super Mario sports title, Super Rush is the definitive golf experience on the Nintendo Switch.

Super Rush is also one of the few Super Mario sports titles to boast an enjoyable story mode. Each of the five areas had objectives to complete, while also beginning as a tutorial to sharpen your skills. A new enemy, the Snow King, has the cold intentions (again, pun intended) of transforming the world into a frozen wasteland. Since nobody in their right minds plays golf on solid ice, we have to stop this not-so-jolly snowman from spreading his coldness to every last corner of the universe!

What sets Super Rush apart from the competition is its roster of playable characters and its story mode. In addition to the returning cast, Koopa Troopa, Pauline, Wiggler and Shy Guy made their golfing debut, while three old-school baddies, Ninji, Chargin’ Chuck, and King Bob-omb, were playable for the first time ever. Super Rush is also one of the few Super Mario sports titles to boast an enjoyable story mode. I think it’s safe to say that Nintendo hit all the right notes with this one! Unlike our chilly nemesis, this is one hot title!

Nice shot, Mario!

 

8. Paper Mario: The Origami King (July 17, 2020)

Paper Mario: The Origami King - A Closer Look - Nintendo Switch

The Paper Mario series has been controversial with its more recent entries, as Nintendo and Intelligent Systems decreased the RPG elements in favor of more action, adventure, and puzzle-solving. However, Paper Mario: The Origami King succeeded in making the new mechanics enjoyable, by bringing back the turn-based battle systems of old (albeit with some twists), with a clever and creative story to boot. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I think this title has started to get the series back on the right track.

Our story begins when the Mario Brothers are invited by Princess Peach to the Origami Festival in Toad Town, but, when they set foot in the princess’s castle, chaos ensues. The princess has been brainwashed and turned into origami by King Olly, who has also captured Bowser and his minions and folded them up as well. After getting separated from Luigi, Mario manages to rescue Bowser, as well as Olly’s sister, Olivia, who betrayed him (but, while escaping, Mario and Olivia are separated from the Koopa King). Now, we have to help Mario and Olivia have to destroy the five streamers guarding the castle, find Luigi and Bowser, defeat Olly, and save the princess.

The Origami King is unique by further expanding on the paper aesthetics seen in the previous Paper Mario titles, while also giving the series a breath of fresh air with new ideas. This is easily the most innovative game in the series, as the developers added new paper-themed concepts, including confetti, streamers, and, of course, origami. In addition, we had a more open world to explore, and weren’t restricted by a linear plot. Along with the return of the quirky writing, clever plot, and vibrant visuals the Paper Mario series is known for, the new ideas that The Origami King presents give the old-school fans hope for the series’ future.

Uh…princess? You seem a bit… off…

 

9. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (November 5, 2019)

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - E3 Reveal Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Mario and Sonic had been bitter rivals since Sega dared to challenge Nintendo in the 1990s. Upon Sega’s exit from the console market, however, we have seen the blue blur and the red-clad plumber team up on several occasions, with the Mario & Sonic series set at the famous Olympic Games. The two franchises have competed in Beijing, Vancouver, London, Sochi, and Rio, and most recently, in Tokyo. Nintendo and Sega teamed up to bring the fun of the real-life competitions to our home consoles, while also adding some fitting twists into the mix.

In this game’s brilliant story mode, the two villains, Bowser and Dr. Eggman, plot to trap Mario and Sonic within an old video game based on the previous Tokyo Olympic games in 1964. However, after Bowser’s impatience gets him and Eggman (as well as Toad, who was used to deliver the game to Mario and Sonic) trapped inside with the two heroes, it’s up to Luigi and Tails to bring them back to the real world. You and the two underdogs have a twenty-chapter plot to progress through, as you compete in various events en route to saving Mario, Sonic, Toad, Bowser, and Eggman.

This game’s brilliant story sets it apart from other titles. We have a good dose of meta in this narrative seeing as our favorite characters get stuck in a video game inside a video game. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 doesn’t add too much new content this time around, but the genius narrative of its story mode, along with the nostalgia of intertwining the 2020 and 1964 Tokyo games, is what cements this title as the best crossover we have gotten between the two powerhouse gaming mascots.

Wow, what is THIS?!

 

10. Luigi’s Mansion 3 (October 31, 2019)

Luigi's Mansion 3 - Overview Trailer - Nintendo Switch

You think Luigi would have learned from his first ghost-hunting foray to not fall for winning a sweepstakes he didn’t enter, am I right? Well, sadly, he hasn’t, as he, Mario, Princess Peach, and a trio of Toads accept an invite to stay at The Last Resort. In another trap set up by King Boo, who is aided by the resort’s owner Hellen Graveley, Mario, the princess, and the Toads are sealed away. Thankfully, the green-clad plumber reunites with our old friend, Professor E. Gadd, who equips us with new and improved technology to help put an end to yet another nightmare. 

The goal of Luigi’s Mansion 3 is to defeat and capture King Boo and Hellen and save his friends from their painting prisons. With only an upgraded vacuum, the Poltergust G-00, his slimy clone, Gooigi, by his side, and, of course, us players, our favorite underdog has to brave the horrors of this haunted hotel. I hope you’re not afraid of ghosts, because Luigi’s counting on you here!

Luigi’s Mansion 3 brings, among other new mechanics, a multiplayer option and new functions for his upgraded vacuum. You can have a friend control Luigi as you travel through The Last Resort together in the main story, co-op with up to eight players in the ScareScraper challenge, or engage in a tag-team in the ScreamPark to compete to catch the most ghosts. On top of making the series more multiplayer-accessible, Luigi’s Mansion 3 also throws in new gameplay mechanics, as the Poltergust G-00 can combat ghosts by combining traditional vacuuming with slamming those good-for-nothing ghouls into the floor to tire them out, or can be used as utility support with the Suction Shot to break through surfaces and uncovering hidden secrets. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a nightmare that we won’t be sleeping off anytime soon. It’s a scary good game to say the least!

Be careful, those sneaky spirits are lurking around every corner!

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Undeterred by the tendinitis in his right thumb, Harry continues to mash that A button his GameCube controller and won't be quitting anytime soon!
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Pokémon Crystal
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