Here you’ll find a list of the 10 best Mario games featuring everyone’s favorite Italian plumber who always seems to be on a quest to save a princess from a giant reptile.

Mario is to video games as water is to the ocean. He more or less been there from the start, and we couldn’t think of what video games would be without him. He’s been the figurehead for video games ever since he leapt onto TV screens everywhere. Like the Legend of Zelda games, Mario seems to be locked in a never ending struggle to save a princess from some malignant force. But no matter who gets into trouble, we’re always happy to help Mario save his friends.

This is a list of the 10 best Mario games. Jump on some Goombas for joy and forget that there was ever a Super Mario Bros. Movie.

10. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

Even with Mario as a little baby, he still manages to get himself into trouble. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island takes us back to when the plumber was just a babe and his trusty companion was charged with getting him out of trouble. With Yoshi, you were able to fly around and use that elastic tongue to eat up baddies before they could steal away the baby plumber. It was a departure from the original game and that’s what made it new and great and one of the 10 best Mario games ever.

9. Super Mario Galaxy

This was the first game to really take the Mario concept into the next solar system. With numerous levels centered around a hub-based interstellar platform, this game had the same DNA as Mario 64, but brought along it’s own sense of style. The numerous planets all had their own character and blasting from tiny orb to tiny orb kept things exciting.

8. New Super Mario Bros.

Here’s the recipe: Take the original game, give it some shiny new paint, add some multiplayer, and slap on some new levels and power ups. What you’re left with is the insanely fun experience that is New Super Mario Bros. It’s the multiplayer Mario game you always wanted. When your partner doesn’t do what they’re supposed to, you gently bump them into a nearby pit until they take the hint.

7. Super Mario Bros.

The grandaddy of all the Mario games as we know it weighs in heavily as an all time classic on the list of best Mario games. The controls were so crisp as you catapulted from level to level over baddies on your way to dunk Bowser in a pool of molten lava. The level designs were perfect and each one was memorable. Most people could probably get thought World 1-1 with their eyes closed.

6. Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Bros. 3 was the first game to push the Mario formula forward in the right direction. With the addition of a world map and all sorts of power ups, this game became an instant classic in the Mario cannon. The sheer variety in the levels were mind-blowing at the time and the cannon littered flying ships became iconic.

5. Super Mario Galaxy 2

It isn’t often that a sequel really improves upon the formula of the first, but Super Mario Galaxy does just that. Having an entire solar system for Mario to whiz about meant endless possibilities, and this game took advantage of them. Like the first, the unique landscape allowed for a ton of gameplay possibilities which allowed for hours of fun exploration. Plus you get to shoot through the stars riding on Yoshi. What more could you want?

4. Mario Kart 64

With the exception of Diddy Kong Racing, no other franchise has ever been able to so successfully pull off a racing game. Mario Kart 64 provided us with hours of fun in dorm rooms and continues to delight us when we break out the old N64 for a late night round. Nothing made your blood crawl like that sound of an approaching red shell and many players saw the red mist they drove right off the edge of Rainbow Road.

3. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Quite possibly the most overshadowed gem to be released on the SNES, Super Mario RPG was one of the greatest games to grace an angular grey cartridge. Epic in size and scope, the story was multilayered, engaging, and hilarious. The fast and fun, turn based combat made this Mario game feel fresh and new. It wasn’t just about jumping on baddies anymore. Well, it was, but now there was a bit more strategy involved.

2. Mario 64

Many franchises fall flat on their face when transitioning from 2D to 3D, but Mario 64 proved that it could be done so elegantly that it lands right here at the number two spot on our list. The expansive, open-ended levels set the bar for games to come and the control scheme was so tight that some current generation games feel floppy. Sure, Bowser had napped Peach once again, but Mario 64, literally and metaphorically, added a whole new dimension to the Mario game experience.

1. Super Mario World

It can be argued that Super Mario World is the culmination and peak of all Mario games. Dinosaur island looked lush and exciting on the SNES and Mario was on full form as he bounced, dashed, and rode his trusty steed, Yoshi, through hoards of Goombas, Bloopers, and Koopa troopers. More so than any other game, Super Mario World took advantage of the capabilities of the SNES to provide us with the first true “Super” Mario game.

More From 96.5 KNRX