Super Mario Odyssey is finally here! Everyone’s favourite jumping plumber-turned-galactic hero is back for more turtle slaying. There’s something pure and unrivalled about 3D Mario games in particular; every level a delightful mastery of pinpoint polygon perfection. It was a tough ask, but we’ve picked out seven of our favourite Mario levels from his past escapades. What are your favourites?
Hands-On Hall – Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario 3D World is packed to the brim with inventive; creative levels. One of the more unique stages has to be Hands-On Hall. Set within a traditional Japanese castle; this particular area draws heavy influences from Asia. It all seems like a standard side-scroller initially; but one floor up and the genius kicks in. You can take on the role of sneaky Goomba; with Mario able to dress up as one of his plodding foes! With hidden doorways and an intense climb to the top; it’s a memorable ode to Nintendo classics like The Mysterious Murasame Castle.
Tiny-Huge Island – Super Mario 64
One of the biggest stand out levels in Super Mario 64 has to be Tiny-Huge Island. With Mario taking his first steps into 3D worlds; this one demonstrated just how the new perspective was truly game changing. In one half of the level; Mario is a teeny, tiny little hero with baddies towering above. After years, players finally knew what it felt like to be chased by enormous enemies; the predator became the prey! The other segment sees Mario becoming quite the opposite: A towering menace; able to wreak havoc on the level itself.
Bowser’s Galaxy Reactor – Super Mario Galaxy
If Bowser’s your antagonist; there’s bound to be a brilliant final level just before that ultimate showdown. When it comes to Super Mario Galaxy, the final stage is quite the epic one. Frozen platforms, twisting desert dunes, broken castle fragments and running on the ceiling are highlights in this high octane challenge! It’s a highly rewarding end to a heart-warming adventure; tough but worth every attempt.
Gusty Garden Galaxy – Super Mario Galaxy
Contrasting Bowser’s final challenge is a level that’s a little bit floatier. Gusty Garden Galaxy is a bright, bustling garden in space; full of adorable plodding alien rabbits, mazes and even a giant goofy caterpillar for, well, why not? After a little horticultural action, out comes a disgruntled mole who has cravings to devour a certain plumber. Top off the greenery with a stunning level soundtrack; and the galactic garden is in bloom!
Sirena Beach – Super Mario Sunshine
Mario has been on hundreds of adventures – overground, underground and even across space itself. It’s about time he finally gets a break, right? Sirena Beach is a resort with its own hotel and casino? Sounds like the ideal place to catch some much needed sun. But, Mario being, well, Mario, brings danger where he roams. This particular level is a memorable one because of a slightly haunted hotel; where nothing is quite what it seems…
Tick Tock Clock – Super Mario 64
Snowy mountains, underground mines and undersea caverns were common themes in Super Mario 64, but as the game crept to a close; one level stood out. Tick Tock Clock saw you, literally, enter a clock. A mechanical world with cogs; tricky jumps and pinpoint platforming; this was a toughie to complete!
Footlight Lane – Super Mario 3D World
Nintendo upped their game with Super Mario 3D world – and one of the most challenging, but worth it, stages has to be Footlight Lane. In this level, Mario runs about castle turrets – as per normal – but the path is invisible. Invisible, you say? Invisible. The way forward is only revealed in a small splodge by Mario’s feet. Throw in homing Bullet Bill, Thwomps and rolling spikes for a challenge. Easy peasy!