Best Games and Comics Featuring Mario

Mario Day is March 10. The unofficial holiday celebrates the Nintendo mascot Mario, the Italian plumber who is one of the most well-known characters in the world. To date, the entire Mario franchise has exceeded 700 million in sales worldwide and done at least $20 billion in revenue.

Here are the best games and comics featuring Maro that feature your favorite Italian plumber.

Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64 debuted on the Nintendo 64 game console in 1996 and took full advantage of the system’s ability to render three-dimensional graphics.

The game received critical acclaim for its graphics, platforming, and for helping to grow interest in the platforming genre.

The game begins with Mario being requested to Princess Peach’s castle for cake. Following his arrival, Mario is informed that Bowser has kidnapped Peach and many others inside of the castle. Additionally, Bowser has stolen the Power Stars and has them hidden throughout the castle. 

The gameplay centers around running through the castle and entering the paintings to regain the stars, and finally saving Peach. Each painting is its own level and contains stars that you are awarded for completing missions that are explained in the name of the star. Mario is free to fully explore the world of the painting.

Finally, Mario can also find caps that allow him to fly, walk under the water, and move through barriers. 

Super Mario Adventures

Super Mario Adventures is a comic series that ran in the monthly magazine Nintendo Power. The comics were loosely based on the world of Super Mario but still feature many characters from the Mario video game series. 

Charlie Nozawa was the artist on the series, with Kentaro Takekuma writing the story. The central plot of the series mirrored that of the video games. Mario and Luigi set out to rescue Princess Peach after being kidnapped by Bowser.

What is notable about the series is how it went beyond the normal combat and platforming activities of the series. Readers saw more of the everyday life of Mario. One specific example is that Mario is actually a psychologist. Still, many of the elements from the game series are present here, so fans of the games won’t be disappointed. 

Super Mario Odyssey

We wanted to put the latest Mario game available for the Switch on this list to both encourage you to buy a Switch, which is a great system, and the game, which is simply incredible.

Super Mario Odyssey is a fully 3D platforming game and the 18th title in the Super Mario series. The game is noteworthy for having won numerous awards, including winning several games of the year awards. 

The gameplay for Odyssey is somewhat similar to Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. The title, Odyssey, refers to the ship that Mario takes to move between the many kingdoms in the world. 

A primary mechanic of the game is the ability to switch between hats. Hats can also be used to take control of enemies, or they can be used as a platform to reach higher areas. 

The story follows Bowser as he plans a wedding and plots to capture Princess Peach. Mario, during an attempt to save Peach, is thrown over the side of Bowser’s ship, and his hat is destroyed, except for one piece. A creature, Cappy, who finds this piece, seeks the aid of Mario to help save his sister, who was also taken by Bowser.

Mario and Cappy explore all of the areas of the game to collect Power Moons to fuel Mario’s ship and save Princess Peach. 

The game takes full advantage of the Switch, and offers many hours of gameplay. It is quite a worthy addition to this list.