Mario Time: The Best Mario Games to Play on Nintendo Switch

Mario Time: The Best Mario Games to Play on Nintendo Switch
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Nintendo’s Mario really has his work cut out for him. He’s already a plumber, older brother, and the saviour of the Mushroom Kingdom. But when it comes to games, he needs to put on a lot of extra hats. Kart racers, sports, platformers and minigames for the Nintendo Switch are just a few of the games you can find Mario in.

With a stack of Mario games announced for the Switch in the recent Nintendo Directs, including a remake of Super Mario RPG and the new side-scrolling Super Mario Bros. Wonder, what better time to play through the previous Nintendo titles that feature everyone’s favourite plumber.

The best Mario games for the Nintendo Switch

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Image: Nintendo

Super Mario 3D World is an updated and extended Switch port of the 2013 Wii U platformer. What really makes this title stand oout is the addition of a new game, Bowser’s Fury. In this open world platformer, Mario teams up with Bowser Jr. to find Cat Shines to clear the black goop and help Fury Bowser transform back into his old self.

The game features local and online co-op for up to four players, and with the portability of the Switch, you can play at home or on the go. For a port of a 2013 game, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury holds up extremely well, and both new and old Mario fans are singing its praises.

Where you can buy Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury:

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Image: Nintendo/Ubisoft

On paper, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle sounds like something that shouldn’t work. A tactical RPG that mashes up the world of Super Mario with Rabbids? That sounds a bit much. But, as the old saying goes, you should never judge a game by its cover – because, as it turns out, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is not only an absolute joy to play, it’s one of the best Mario titles for the Switch.

Kingdom Battle is a solid strategy title that’s a lot more challenging than its bright and poppy visuals would make you think. The Rabbids aren’t as annoying as you’d expect, and, as a whole, Kingdom Battle really speaks to the versatility of Mario as a whole. It even has a fun soundtrack scored by Grant Kirkhope, the composer behind Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64.

The sequel, Mario + Rabbids Sparks Of Hope, is also a fantastic game that has captured the hearts of Mario and Rayman fans around the world.

Where you can buy Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle:

Where you can buy Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope:

Mario Party Superstars

mario party superstars switch
Image: Nintendo

Nobody parties harder than Mario. That’s a stone-cold fact. If you’ve never played a Mario Party game before, they’re pretty simple. You and a group of players move around a game board while trying to collect as many stars as possible. The person with the most stars when the round counter hits zero wins. As you make your way around the board, you’ll need to compete in a series of random minigames.

Released on the Switch last year, Superstars is the latest instalment in the long-running Mario Party series and acts as somewhat of a “Greatest Hits” title. It features 100 playable minigames from Mario Party’s long history, along with five remade boards from the Nintendo 64 era of the series.

Superstars supports online play for all of its game modes, but nothing can top getting a few mates together for some couch co-op. Mario Party Superstars is an all-around fun Switch game, even if some minigames might make you want to pull out your hair.

Where you can buy Mario Party Superstars:

Mario Golf Super Rush

mario golf switch
Image: Nintendo

Name a sport and there’s a pretty good chance there’s a Mario game for it. While weighing up which of these sports titles we like the most, ultimately, Mario Golf Super Rush won out (although Mario Tennis Aces isn’t that far behind). While Super Rush uses a traditional game of golf as its basis, it mixes things up by adding fun Mario-themed obstacles that change depending on where in the Mushroom Kingdom your course is located.

Super Rush also includes a chaotic “Speed Mode”, where the aim of the game is to race through a course as quickly as possible – your stroke count be damned.

Like most other Mario sports games, Super Rush is at its best when playing multiplayer, but you’ll still get a real kick out of it when playing solo. Nintendo’s ability to take one of the most boring sports ever (sorry, golf fans) and turn it into something exciting is a testament to how fun Mario Golf Super Rush can be.

Where you can buy Mario Golf Super Rush:

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

mario kart 8 switch
Image: Nintendo

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best-selling Nintendo Switch game of all time makes an appearance on our list. With over 45 million copies sold, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the gold standard of kart racing games and leaves competitors in its dust. That’s especially impressive when you consider that the Switch edition of Mario Kart 8 is a Wii U port. With a wide selection of maps, racers and vehicles, Mario Kart 8 is the kind of Switch game you play over and over while never getting bored – whether it’s against friends or just sneaking in a few races after dinner.

There’s nothing that beats the thrilling feeling of scoring a string of items and boosts to blast yourself from 6th to 1st. Although getting hit with a blue shell and being knocked from 1st place to 6th is a different story. While Nintendo has announced that Mario Kart 9 is in development, it has some big shoes to fill if it wants to live up to the standard set by Mario Kart 8.

Where you can buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe:

Super Mario Odyssey

Image: Nintendo

Despite all of the different spin-offs, Mario games have always been at their best as classic platformers. Super Mario Odyssey is not only the best Mario game for the Switch, but it’s also one of the best Nintendo Switch games, period.

In terms of setup, Odyssey doesn’t reinvent the wheel – Bowser has kidnapped Peach, again, so now you need to make your way through a series of vibrant worlds while acquiring certain collectables that’ll unlock the next stage. Odyssey introduces a new mechanic where you can toss your hat, Cappy, onto unsuspecting creatures, which allows you to possess them and access their abilities. It’s an incredibly fun skill and since each stage is full of different types of enemies and challenges, it forces you to reconsider your playstyle each time.

You know a game is great when you fire it up for your fifth, tenth or twentieth playthrough and still feel as excited as you did the first time.

Where you can buy Super Mario Odyssey:

Lead Image Credit: Nintendo

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At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.