March 15th, 2008
Theres been plenty of hearty debate over which 2D Mario game rules them all. With the release of Super Mario Galaxy this brought about even more discussion. I was never really interested in these debates despite being a lime long Mario fanboy. But after reading the Super Mario World page in The 100 Best Video Games I thought that they mentioned a few good ideas that I want to expand upon.
Okay, a few things need to be made clear. We are only referring to true Mario platformers, so this doesn’t include:
- Yoshis Island
- Super Mario Bros 2
- Super Mario Land 3
- Hotel Mario
- the Edutainment Mario games
- Super Mario All Stars (no compilations)
- Lost Levels (or Japanese only games)
Now, the question at hand is “What is the best 2D Mario platformer?”.
So with these rules in mind, here are the list of possible candidates:
- Super Mario Bros
- Super Mario Bros 3
- Super Mario Land
- Super Mario Land 2
- Super Mario World
- New Super Mario Bros
To kick thing off we can cross off New Super Mario Bros. The game just didn’t live up to the other games in the series. The level design wasn’t as clever, the game was overall far too easy and although it introduces those giant mushrooms it lacked the better abilities from the other Mario games such as the cape, frog suit and Yoshi.
Although they are awesome games and generally do get overlooked during these arguments, I’m going to have to disregard the Gameboy Mario games. Their main strength comes from miniaturizing the console titles rather than pushing the series forward. Gunpei Yokoi also headed up these titles, although I liked how his games didn’t feel like conventional mushroom kingdom games, it did make the games feel somewhat out of line with the Mario universe. Plus they introduced Princess Daisy which made things way too confusing. But then again the sequel did introduce Wario. I guess we can overlook this then ^_^
So we are down to the lastthree: Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World. Out of these three games SMW is the least innovative. Super Mario Bros started it all, Super Mario Bros 3 took it to an all new level and Super Mario World polished it to perfection.
As the rules state, we are after the BEST game. Therefore Super Mario World must win. Despite how ground breaking the other games were, SMW is the most polished and perfected game in the series. It is bigger, better and more refined than its predecessors. Which ultimately makes it the best 2D Mario platformer in existence.