Cary’s Top Five Favorite Mario Platformers and Characters

In honor of Super Mario 3-D Land being recently released, here’s a quick blog about my top five favorite Mario platformers and my top five favorite Mario characters! Let’s-a go!

Cary’s Top Five Favorite Mario Platformers

First of all, I want to stress that I said “PLATFORMERS” so I could narrow down the category a bit. Otherwise we’d have all those Mario RPGs, kart racers, and sports games which are great fun, too. But I just wanted to streamline this list to just Mario’s hop and bop adventures.

Super Mario World

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who think FF7 is the best, and those who think FF6 is better. But this isn’t about Final Fantasy, this is about Mario! So there are two kinds of those people in the world: people who like Mario 3 the best, and those who like SMW the best. I fall in the latter category (and I like FF6 better in case you were wondering). Don’t get me wrong, Mario 3 is great, but it’s not my favorite. Even though Mario 3’s suits were more creative, Mario’s powers in World, like Yoshi and the cape, were more versatile. Plus, the levels were longer and more interesting than in 3. And I thought the play control was better in World, too. I don’t know if it was any easier, but World was one of the few Mario games I beat 100 percent (all 96 exits with the star next to them, and the changed enemies and map after beating the Special World). I think it has to do with the sharper controls that World had. Plus you could save nearly after every level. And World had one of my most memorable boss fights ever: Bowser in his clown copter!

Yoshi’s Island

Some may not consider this a ‘true’ Mario game, but this is my blog and I can do what I want. Plus, Mario IS in the game, even if it stars Yoshi and Mario is just a whiny baby. Yoshi’s Island is a special game to me because it came out when I was in college. It was Yoshi’s Island that got my college roommate’s girlfriend (now his wife) into video games. Plus, my little brothers adored Yoshi’s Island as well, so I have a lot of good memories playing this game with all of them. The gameplay was very innovative and so was the crayon styled graphics and other next special “FX.” It’s too bad the sequels: Yoshi’s Story and Yoshi’s Island DS, weren’t as good (but they were fun games in their own right).

Super Mario Bros. 2

You may think I’m crazy now after what I’m about to say. I like Mario 2 better than Mario 3 as well. I just love how creative and fresh the game feels (since it’s not really a Mario game at all, but everyone knows that already). Plus, I think it has tighter play control than Mario 3. Better graphics, too. And it’s pretty quirky and weird. I also like how many Mario 2 aspects are now staples in the Mario world (like Shy Guys, Bob-Ombs, etc.).

Super Mario 64

Remember how amazing this game looked when you first saw it? Mario 64 may not have been the first 3-D game, but it was the first to really do it RIGHT! I don’t think any other 3-D Mario game has surpassed the brilliance of this one (although the Galaxy games come close). Plus, aside from Mario World, Mario 64 is one of the few Mario games I’ve beaten 100 percent. All 120 stars and Yoshi on the roof.

Donkey Kong GB

I had a hard time deciding what was going to be my fifth favorite Mario game, but then I remembered this one. It DOES have Mario in it, and it is a platformer, so it counts. To this day, I think the Donkey Kong Game Boy update is one of the best classic arcade remakes ever. Over 100 levels of puzzle platforming fun, and Mario has almost as many moves as he does in Mario 64. And the game still keeps the same feel of the classic DK arcade game somehow! Best of all, you can download this game on the Virtual Console service on the 3DS, so if you are able, I’d highly recommend it.

Honorable Mentions

There are a bunch of Mario games that I enjoy that didn’t make it in the top five list. Like some of the RPGs and kart games. But as for platformers, some honorable mentions include Super Mario Bros. 3. I especially liked the GBA version of Mario 3 because of the e-Reader support. It may have been dated and gimmicky, but I loved being able to swipe cards and get endless power-ups, and even new levels! The Super Mario Galaxy games were also great. I loved the creative levels and orchestrated music. Mario Sunshine wasn’t quite as good at Mario 64, but they did get the tropical vacation feel down to a T. And finally, even though they’re not technically Mario games, I just love the Wario Land titles. Especially 2 and 3. I think the Wario Land games are better than most Mario platformers anyway.

Cary’s Favorite Mario Characters

Mario games have quite a memorable cast of characters, so here are the ones I like the best.


This little guy wasn’t ALWAYS my favorite. He had to earn that spot. I kind of liked playing as him in Mario 2, and he was cool in the cartoon. But back then, Luigi was still the best. Until Super Mario Kart came along. Toad was the best racer in that game, and in any subsequent Mario Karts, I always pick Toad. Since then, he beat out Luigi as my favorite. In many ways, I’m a lot like Toad. I’m kind of smallish, but stronger than what I look (like he is in Mario 2). I enjoy helping out others, even if I’m not in the spotlight. I’d much rather give others power-ups than use them myself. Plus, some folks might find me annoying, just like Toad sometimes. Even though it wasn’t in the title, Toad even had his own game with Wario’s Woods, a super fun puzzle game that I played the heck out of in college on the SNES.


He’s one of my favorite characters, originally out of necessity. Usually I would play NES games at a friend’s house (until I got my own NES), and I was always Player 2. But I didn’t mind since green is my favorite color so when we played Super Mario Bros., I was happy to be the green guy. Later on, Luigi started developing his own character, and I think he has more of a personality now than Mario does. He was especially great in Luigi’s Mansion; I can’t wait for the 3DS sequel! I’m glad that in more recent Mario games like Galaxy 1 and 2, they’ve given more attention to Luigi as well.

Koopa Kids

Bowser is a great villain, but I think the Koopa Kids, who first appeared in Mario 3 and Mario World, added some much needed personality and variety to the bad guys. I was ESPECIALLY happy to see then return in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, as I thought Bowser Jr. had replaced them. Well that game proved the Koopa Kids and Bowser Jr. can co-exist. I hope that Nintendo continues to use the Koopa Kids in the future. My favorite one? Probably Iggy or Lemmy, but I really like them all in some way.


Originally a final boss in Mario Land 2, Wario has really come into his own since then. He’s definitely more versatile than Mario. Strap a water gun to Mario’s back and things feel a little off. But Wario can set himself on fire and wear a biker outfit and no one bats an eye. The Wario Land games on the Game Boy Color were better than most Mario platformers, I think. And the Wario Ware mini-game collections are some of my favorite ‘new’ Nintendo IP series. Well, new-er anyway.

Captain Syrup

Mario games have many leading ladies: Princess Peach, Daisy, Pauline, Rosalina, etc. But my favorite is Captain Syrup, a pirate woman. She’s really the villain in some of the Wario Land games, but I think she’d fit right in the Mario universe. Her mechanical boss fights in Wario Land 2 are almost Dr. Wily-ish, and I love how they brought her back in Wario Land: Shake It on the Wii. I’d like to see Nintendo continue to use Captain Syrup in the future. I think she could play sports, party, and race along with the rest of them!


And that’s all I feel like talking about Mario right now. In the comments section, let me know what YOUR favorite Mario games and characters are! –Cary

No Responses to “Cary’s Top Five Favorite Mario Platformers and Characters”

  1. Favorite is clearly Super Mario 64, the fact I can replay it again on my DS with bonus little mini games blows my mind. The world creation for this was just crazy good how each little “world” had multiple tasks to do in this platformer.

    For runners-up, I’d agree with Yoshi’s Island and Donkey Kong GB. Both were awesome, although I’d lean towards DK GB actually being a puzzle game, not a platformer.

    Character-wise, I’m still a Luigi fan. I guess I’ll just have to look down on you for only being a fair weather fan. I’ll just have to beat you at MK with Luigi next time you play Toad… Where’s the love for Luigi lately? He had that haunted house game, and hardly anything after that…

  2. Well there IS going to be a Luigi’s Mansion sequel on the 3DS…

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