Monday, June 17, 2024

The 5 Best Super Mario Spin-Offs.

October 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Gaming, News, Top 5/Top 10

( The Super Mario franchise has a number of spin-offs in its over 40-year run. We touched on two spinoffs in our “Here Are 5 of the Best Video Game Spinoffs” piece.

Now we’re focusing just on Super Mario and ranking the spinoffs from strongest to pretty damn strong. Will Mario Party and Super Mario RPG make the list this time?

Mario Kart

Listen, Mario Kart is a thing. I’m not even a racing game fan but I will play the hell out of a kart racing game. When Mario Kart 8 dropped on the Switch and Wii U, everyone was on that game—if they had a Switch.

You don’t even have to be great at racing games to enjoy Mario Kart! It’s just a fun racing game where stress mainly comes from getting hit with a shell, missing a turn, or hitting a banana peel.

For the most part, you just stay on track, avoid the other racers, and focus. Yeah, it sounds like I’m coaching here but that’s literally all you have to do to do well in Mario Kart.

The real fun in this game comes from playing with others. When that element comes into play, it kind of reminds me of the enjoyment I got from our next entry.

Mario Party

Yes, this franchise made the list! I can’t say anything else I didn’t already say about Mario Party before. This game was just a blast to play with others. When it debuted on the Nintendo 64, you knew you were in for a good time if everyone brought their controllers.

Thinking back on it, this was the game that showcased what could really be done with the Nintendo 64’s four ports. Yeah, you could play a game with four people—that’s what you’re supposed to do—but Mario Party was the best example of that.

The Dreamcast also launched with four ports but you never really had that fun-for-everyone game to showcase that. That’s probably why so many people I knew with a DC only had one or two controllers instead of multiple ones for others.

Then again both the N64 and DC were meant for others to bring their own controllers to join the fun and not for one person to supply all the controllers.



Super Smash Bros

The first game of the franchise also dropped on the Nintendo 64. That period of Nintendo gaming was very important as far as creating more spinoffs as our next entry will show.

Super Smash Bros is a fighting game franchise featuring mostly Nintendo characters duking it out in one-on-one or fatal four-way fights on platforms and sometimes even moving stages.

It’s where Brawlhalla gets its approach from and it works. This took fighting games outside of the open battle arena and side-scrolling stage by adding in vertical combat and weapons to use.

When I first played Super Smash Bros I was blown away. You just knew this was a franchise that was here to stay and not a throwaway like Mario’s Time Machine or Mario’s Missing.

Mario & Luigi

When the first Mario & Luigi came out, I was excited! While it wasn’t Super Mario RPG or our last entry, it was a Super Mario roleplaying game and I’m all over that!

What was awesome about this and other Mario RPG series is that it added some backstory to the Mushroom Kingdom. You weren’t just thrown into a world where odd construction, unfinished plumbing, unchecked enemies, and flying bullets roamed free.

Yes, that’s the best explanation of the Super Mario platformers that I can give. Instead, Mario & Luigi featured plenty of that but it was all there for a reason. Do you realize how long it took from the first Super Mario Bros until our final entry for goombas and koopa troopas to talk?

Fifteen years. I’m always glad to see an RPG in the franchise.

Paper Mario

Now, Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi are actually interchangeable as far as positioning goes. The main reason that’s fifth on this list is because the third game Super Paper Mario on the Wii didn’t hit like the first two on Nintendo 64 and the Gamecube.

It wasn’t a bad game but it kind of got away from being rooted in RPG territory even though it an RPG at the core. Sometimes even Nintendo falls a bit short with Mario.

However, if you look at it and the games as platforming first, RPG second then those games on the Wii and onward are all incredible games.

The OG Paper Mario and Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door are incredible RPGs and I really wish we saw more in this vein. Hell, more Mario & Luigi would be great as well.

I look at the two series as Nintendo finally running with continuity in their games. Whenever a new Mario game comes out, it’s rarely—if ever—linked to the previous game in that series.

Outside of Metroid, this is a thing with most Nintendo franchises. With these two series, there’s a little building off of the events of the last game before diving into this new adventure. I love it.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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