Mario Games We Want Ported To Nintendo Switch
More Mario On The Switch
Online gaming discourse went into overdrive with the rumblings of Nintendo potentially re-releasing some past Mario games to the Nintendo Switch. With the possibility that Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 64 are coming to the Nintendo Switch, fans of the series have been excited with the prospect of revisiting Mario's finest adventures. However, while these games are fantastic, it did call to mind other noteworthy games from the platforming franchise that could potentially release on Nintendo's platform as well.
In honor of the franchise's 35th anniversary this year, the team at GameSpot have decided to pull together a list of games from the acrobatic plumber's past that would be great for a release on the Switch. Since the handheld's debut in 2017, the Switch has proven itself to be a remarkable platform for re-releases, which includes many games from Mario's past like New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and the fantastic Nintendo Online library that includes the classics from the NES and SNES eras. Still, there's plenty more games from the Mario franchise that could see another release, so here's a quick rundown of our ideal picks for Switch re-releases.
Super Mario Sunshine | Steve Watts, Associate Editor
The often-maligned Mario game isn't as groundbreaking as Super Mario 64 or as inventive as Super Mario Galaxy, but it deserves its place in the canon. Super Mario Sunshine's stepchild status has made it the butt of jokes, but it's also a crucial part of Mario history.
After all, it's the game that introduced us to Bowser Jr.--and by extension, sanded off Bowser's rough edges by making him a sympathetic single dad. Its bonus stages built on the foundation of Mario 64's Bowser stages and started the refinement that eventually led to some of the series' best level design in Super Mario 3D Land and World. It helped define Mario's modern 3D look much more clearly than Mario 64's polygonal origami-esque appearance.
Granted, not all of its experimental elements work as well. FLUDD, in particular, is an awkward gameplay element, which makes it doubly baffling why it served as Sunshine's centerpiece. But even missteps can be enlightening to understand the progression of a long-running series. And unlike many other games in the Mario canon, Sunshine isn't easy to find or play since it hasn't been ported to other platforms. A remastered version would give it new life, warts and all.
Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Star | Alessandro Fillari, Editor
One of my favorite RPGs from my childhood, which also happened to be my gateway into the genre, was the SNES's Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. When my parents purchased the game, they had planned to play it with the rest of the family, just like we did with Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island. However, once we booted up the game and saw that platforming levels were replaced with turn-based battles, we almost immediately turned it off. It was a jarring experience, and we all ended up making jokes at the expense of the game. My folks planned on returning it to the store but never got around to it. I was thankful that it didn't happen because a couple of years later, I found the game collecting dust in our closet and booted it up, and I fell in love with Nintendo and Square's collaborative RPG.
Even now, I still think of the game as a remarkable experience. It's got an incredibly humorous story, and the turn-based battle system not only feels unique, but it still possesses many of the elements of a true Mario game. Even though it's a bit of a long-shot, given how strange the licensing issues are with this game, I would like to see Nintendo and Square-Enix come together to get this game on the Switch. More people need to know how the equally amazing Mario & Luigi RPG series got its start and why original characters like Mallow and Geno are so well-loved even more than 20 years after their debut.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door | Kevin Knezevic, Associate Editor
Mario may be a platforming icon, but he's also starred in some fantastic RPGs over the years, and the pinnacle of his role-playing exploits remains Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Released on the GameCube back in 2004, The Thousand-Year Door was a charming, light-hearted adventure that featured some of the most endearing characters to ever appear in the Mario series, and it's long overdue for a re-release.
Like the first Paper Mario game for the Nintendo 64, TTYD was a unique hybrid of a platformer with an RPG, mixing light platforming elements with turn-based battles against some of the franchise's most common enemies. While the fundamentals of the battle system remained unchanged, developer Intelligent Systems embellished it with some clever touches. This time, each battle unfolded in front of an audience. If you timed your attacks well, the audience would throw you helpful items and fill your star meter, which in turn allowed you to pull off special moves. Conversely, if you whiffed your timing often enough, the audience would pelt you, making every encounter fun.
But what solidified TTYD as an instant classic was its hilarious story. The plot whisked Mario through a variety of outlandish scenarios, from a WWE-like fighting promotion (where he was given the ring name "The Great Gonzales" because 'Mario' wasn't marketable enough) to a twilit town whose residents would transform into pigs every time the bell tolled. After TTYD, the Paper Mario series would head in a more platform-oriented direction, shedding many of the elements that made the first two entries so beloved. Whatever you think of the more recent games, there's no denying the series has yet to match the heights of The Thousand-Year Door, and it would be wonderful to be able to replay it again on Switch.
Super Mario Land | Tony Wilson, Video Producer
When I was a kid, a family friend had an original gray Game Boy and just a single game: Super Mario Land. Any time we'd visit, my only goal was to get as much hands-on time as possible with it. At the time, I only knew Mario from the Super Mario Bros. games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, so seeing him in a monochrome world with more distinct settings, power-ups, and unique enemies both baffled and excited me. Today, I want to revisit the land of Sarasaland so badly.
What is the Nintendo Switch, if not the current evolution of Nintendo's handheld line? The Super Mario Land series never had a home console-specific release, but it's clear people have nostalgia for the classic spin-off series. I was so stoked when Mario Maker 2 brought back the Super Flower from Super Mario Land, and now it feels only right for the series to see another comeback.
I leave you with this mic drop: the best Mario tune in the entire franchise is the theme for Chai Kingdom. Fight me.
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins | Dave Klein, Video Producer
While Super Mario Land served as a great proof of concept that Mario could work on the modest power of the Game Boy, Super Mario Land 2 improved upon that formula--and in such style! It brought with it a Super Mario World style world map, with Mario being able to travel to various zones in any order the player chooses. These different settings were imaginative, with one even involving Mario climbing through the insides of a giant Lego-Mario in the Macro Zone.
For many years, this was my go-to game when my family would travel on road-trips. There are secrets abound in the game, giving the levels some incredible replayability. And, lest we forget, this was the game that introduced Wario to the franchise! Instead of Bowser, Wario served as the big bad, an evil version of Mario, and he was such a strong villain that he’s now a series mainstay. Super Mario Land 1 was a good game, but Super Mario Land 2 was even better, and it should see a return to newer platforms.
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 | Dave Klein, Video Producer
Okay, I know I just gushed about how great Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was on the Gameboy, but you know what was even better? Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3! As a longtime Mario fan, I almost felt like a traitor preferring this game as a kid over the mainline games, but Wario Land's gameplay, letting you play as Wario for the first time, made it so exciting to play.
While Mario’s core ability is jumping on enemies, Wario's skills focus on his ability to bash into enemies. He can strike them, pick them up, and toss them around. You’ll also find various hats that add new abilities to Wario, opening up new gameplay possibilities, as well as plenty of secrets! The game has you exploring a map of replayable levels, and the more treasure you find, the better ending you get. That means secrets and exploration abound! With gameplay that really differentiates itself from the previous games, and with such a fun central character, Wario Land holds the crown amongst the Super Mario Land game boy games in my view. This game is a classic, and I truly hope it will come to the Switch someday for new players to enjoy!
Mario Super Sluggers | Steven Petite, Associate Commerce Editor
Mario Tennis Aces was a fun, if slightly shallow game, but after three years, the Nintendo Switch needs another Mario sports game. We're certainly overdue for a new one, and while the upcoming Mario vs. Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020--if it releases this year--may scratch that same itch, it doesn't reach the level of other games like Mario Golf or the original Mario Tennis. There is one game in the Mario sports back catalog, however, that would be perfect for Switch, and it's Mario Super Sluggers.
Originally appearing on the Wii in 2008, Mario Super Sluggers would translate to the Switch with ease. Not nearly enough games take advantage of the Joy-Con motion controls, and Super Sluggers was designed for motion controls from the beginning. It offers an arcadey, lighthearted spin on baseball, giving Mushroom Kingdom denizens over-the-top pitches, swings, and large stadiums filled with zany obstacles.
Like all other Mario sports games, Super Sluggers has a throwaway story, but the plot set in the Baseball Kingdom holds a bevy of fun challenges that gradually teach you the ropes of Mario-style baseball. Super Sluggers' real legs came from multiplayer with friends, which was reserved for local play on Wii. If Nintendo added online multiplayer and public tournaments, I'd play Super Sluggers throughout the baseball season, and beyond.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga | Dave Klein, Video Producer
Paper Mario generally gets all of the praise amongst Mario RPG enthusiasts, and with good reason considering the masterpiece that is The Thousand-Year Door! Unfortunately, the Mario & Luigi series has been swept under the rug a bit by fans. While The Thousand-Year Door remains my personal favorite Mario RPG, and I only stubbornly accepted Paper Mario right after that, I was amongst those who weren’t sure how to feel about the latest step away from a formula that truly worked.
And, here I stand completely mistaken, writing away about how fantastic Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (in particular) is! The game has it all; from charming visuals to fantastic writing, fun puzzles, and some exceptional gameplay that has the unique twist of controlling both Mario and Luigi together, simultaneously. This element comes in during exploration/puzzle segments and the fantastic turn-based combat, which I honestly love. I also can’t stress enough how clever the writing is. I truly feel everyone should have a chance to experience Mario & Luigi: Super Star Saga and its fantastic successor Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. A re-release on the Nintendo Switch would be a great way for new fans to see what made these games so special.
Super Mario 3D Land | Alessandro Fillari, Editor
When people think of 3D Mario games, the ones that are likely to come to mind are Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy. However, there is another 3D Mario game that seldom gets the recognition it deserves. Super Mario 3D Land was one of the first 3D Mario games designed from the ground up for the 3DS. Focusing on bite-sized levels that offered a ton of complexity and thrills in its platforming challenges, it turned out to be a simple, yet still, pure Mario game that offered many inventive levels to power through. With rumors of Nintendo revisiting some of Mario's previous adventures, I think it's time that this stellar 3D platformer got another shot in the spotlight.
What made Super Mario 3D Land so special was its incredible approach to perspective. Throughout many stages, the camera would shift between 2D and 3D planes, making certain level's platforming sections feel like challenging puzzles in their own right. On the surface, this setup seems like a gimmick to make familiar Mario platforming more interesting, especially when coupled with the 3DS' unique autostereoscopic 3D visuals. Yet 3D Land turned out to be a fantastic Mario game because of its focus on pacing and precision that worked in tandem with the inventive level designs. Many fans seem to have more attachment for its co-op oriented sequel 3D World, but 3D Land is a game I look back on fondly, especially in how it focuses on giving Mario's brother Luigi his due. It took advantage of the 3D space in some inventive ways, and a remaster for the Nintendo Switch would be an excellent way for people to revisit one of Mario's forgotten adventures.
Hotel Mario, Mario Clash, and the other lost Mario games | Dave Klein, Video Producer
If you’re like me, you never had access to a Phillips CD-i or a Virtual Boy, and never had a way to experience games like Hotel Mario, or the oddity of Mario Clash. Most folks have never even heard of them, but that’s precisely why I’d love to see them ported onto the Nintendo Switch! I want to see all of Mario’s juicy history on this device, for better or worse. And when it comes to games like Hotel Mario and Mario Is Missing, that’s definitely for the worse.
For posterity, it’s time for some of Mario's lesser-known appearances to get another shot. Most of us never had the chance to experience Mario at his worst, and that’s an absolute shame. I want to see horrible Mario games, and I want to see them on the Switch! That being said, the Virtual Boy's Mario Clash--a 3D reimagining of the original Mario Bros. game might actually be decent to play. For the sake of Mario's history, and the greater purpose of games preservation, these lesser-known games should see another release, and the Switch would be a great way to experience some of Mario's more bizarre detours.