Hardest Mario Games

The Top Ten
1 Super Mario Bros the Lost Levels

The game is brilliantly hard but maybe Nintendo made the right call on its initial release not reaching America as they believed it was too hard for them and would ruin their perspective on Mario. They weren't THAT wrong... It's quite the challenge and bearable... after failing each level 100+ times (1000+ for Level C-3).

Has no equal. Punishing level design, unfair features like the poison mushroom (looks similar to a regular mushroom but actually kills mario instead), and often awkward controls make this by far the hardest mario game ever released.

This is literally the worst design decisions Nintendo has ever made to be honest. It's somehow still fun for me to play, but half the level mechanics are like Mario Maker.

The original Super 2, this was not originally released in America because it was deemed to difficult for Americans.

2 Super Mario Bros. 3 Super Mario Bros. 3 Product Image

The game is very difficult, although very unique, this is one of the Mario games where it is not possible to blow through levels with no remorse. Requiring the player to time every jump, use "pocket powerups" wisely, and decide whether it's worth it to grab that 1up or not. The game gets increasingly difficult, so make sure to save your P wings for the final levels.

Yes its best. The game plays like a casino game as you have to know when to holdem, foldem, walkaway and run as they say. When I finished it as a child of 8 I had to leave the nes on over night, take breaks, skip some levels and most of sky world. I cannot remember if I had 1 or 2 lives remaining when I defeated bowser. But it was that close. A good mario game for any fan of mario. Part of the magic was movies adverteisments on T.V. and magazine. This game had a hype that frankly it deserved.

Each of the first 7 worlds provides unique challenges, but world 8 combines all of your prior experiences and skills. Without an acute knowledge of all of the games mechanics, world 8 would be nearly impossible. I have only beaten it after hours of grueling farming for secrets and Easter eggs to help me along my way.

Hard for me as well, I got to world 2 tower and its painful for me, recommend two players.

3 Super Mario Sunshine Super Mario Sunshine Product Image

Just started playing this game and it's the hardest Mario I've played next to lost levels. They start throwing difficult levels at you early and me being stubborn tried to beat them but I need more practice first lol.

Although they were hard to use, super mario sunshine was the first game I ever played and it is one of my favorites.

This is so hard! The first world in the game is harder than The Perfect Run in Super Mario Galaxy 2!

Just beat this game recently some levels are easy but others seem like they are impossible

4 Super Mario World Super Mario World Product Image

Maybe this is a "me" thing, but I found the controls in this game to be pretty funky and slightly out of control and had trouble adjusting to them. Plus I can't figure out how to work Cape Mario correctly.

I downloaded it on my Wii U and today I made it to Vanilla Dome and I accidently pressed Erase Data!

This game is easy! Miyamoto even said he wanted to make this game simple for newcomers.

Very challenging, especially the star world levels.

5 Super Mario Galaxy 2 Super Mario Galaxy 2 Product Image

Grandmaster Galaxy: The Perfect Run. I have only beaten that level twice in my 5 years of playing the game. SMG2 is one of the greatest games of all time however.

The motion control levels are frustratingly hard.

Easy fun game... Oh wait, what is this final course...

Pretty easy. Have 110/120 power stars beat it in 6 hours.

6 Super Mario 64 Super Mario 64 Product Image

The first 3D Mario and it shows. It's easy to take for granted how difficult it is when watching it be speedrun by grandmasters on GDQ, but for casual players you'll be spending most of your time fighting (and being killed by) the camera doing what it wants.

What the hell were they thinking when they made this?

That damned Bowser finale is beyond hard

Impossible to get to bowser!

7 New Super Luigi U New Super Luigi U Product Image

This is the hardest Mario Game I've played in my life! I'm still stuck on the first World! New Super Mario bros. U is the second hardest! Super Mario 64 is a piece of cake and Super Mario World isn't too hard either. Super Mario Sunshine isn't even as hard as New Super Luigi U! I don't know if it's just because I'm an excellent gamer, but I've litterally had Super Mario Galaxy for less than a month and I've already beat the final Bowser battle and I only have 50 stars left to collect! You don't know a truly hard game until you've played NSMBU or NSLU! What makes New Super Luigi U so much harder than NSMBU is that you only have 100 seconds to complete each level! It's impossibly hard!

This is super easy! Beat fairly quick.

Can’t get past the 5th world yet. And I’ve tried for 2 months

Basically a hard mode of NSMBU

8 Super Mario Kart Super Mario Kart Product Image

This is harder compared to the later entries due to the more limited controls.

The controls and the weird drifting make this so hard.

You'll be hardpressed to find a challenge more frustrating than the 150cc Special Cup

Can't even get second to last place on esaiest level

9 New Super Mario Bros U New Super Mario Bros U Product Image

New super Mario bros u: fairly easy to the 6th world. Then it gets really hard and, in the 8th world, it is just almost impossible. New super Luigi u: very easy with toadette or nabbit. But in the 5th world onwards, just undeserved punishment. Boost rush: Very cool mode, 11/10. Challenges: don’t even wanna talk about them. Coin battle: 6.8/10. Just, average. Coin edit: Boring HELL. -11/10

Way too easy I beat when I was 8 years old

I beat it in a week when I was nine

No way, it's easy!

10 Super Mario Bros. 2 Super Mario Bros. 2 Product Image

When did plucking vegtables from the ground become a good idea for a Mario game

The Enemy placement is stupidly difficult!

Hate this game but I keep playing

One level is simply long as heck!

The Contenders
11 Super Mario Bros.

This game should be #2. World 8-3 is crazy. It's a matter of chance whether you're gonna survive those hammer bros.

Being an old school game, its hard

World 8 is hard as hell

It’s too hard for me!

12 Super Mario Land Super Mario Land Product Image

Easy at first, quickly gets difficult later in game. Turtles are effectively bombs.

This is Number 1 material for sure.

Play the game and youll get it

13 Super Mario Maker Super Mario Maker Product Image

Expert/Super Expert should be about skill but goes too far:
1. Invisible Blocks (going for Mushrooms, 1ups, Fire flowers, etc. but get tricked)
2. Enemy spam
3. Frustrating Parkour
4. Random Chance (Pipes/Doors lead to death)
5. Kaizo Levels

(I mean the Expert/Super Expert mode, not the game in general.)

Why is this not number 1? this is so hard because
no one knows how to make a mario level

Trolls, enemy spam, YES! A level which kills Hammer Bros!

14 Super Mario Galaxy Super Mario Galaxy Product Image

As with super mario odyssey easy to beat bowser but imposible to get all 120 power stars.

This one is hard getting used to

Its Hard for no reason

It's hard! I'm stuck.

15 Super Mario 3D Land Super Mario 3D Land Product Image

The regular worlds are super easy and the early specials are easy, but the later worlds such as Special 6, and Special 7 are so difficult.

Up until S5, it is easy. From S5 + onwards, it gets brutally difficult (especially S7 + S8)

It is easy at first but when you beat Bowser in world 8 you goto the special world's and they are hard.

This game is not hard until the special worlds. This should not be hear.

16 Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins Product Image

How was this not on the list already? The first Mario Land was hard but this game is 10x harder. Wario's castle is incredibly hard to get through and the boss in outer space is also really hard.

17 New Super Mario Brothers Wii New Super Mario Brothers Wii Product Image

Same I found 9-7 easy to beat without the star coins but completing it with star coins is like trying to earn £1M in just a month but I finally did it and now yhave all star coins from whole game yay! But I do have to say 9-8 was just way to easy with or without star coins! Geez!

World 9-7 is difficult on its own, but trying to get the star coins is like herding cats: you can get 1st and even the second one fairly easily but the 3rd one is insanely difficult. Why this game is below sonic and mario at the olympic games (at the time of writing this) is beyond me.

This game was relatively easy but getting the star coins were challenging.

Getting the star coins is extremely difficult

18 Super Mario 3D World Super Mario 3D World Product Image

The game starts out easy, then, once you reach World Star, it gets SUPER BRUTAL. The difficulty drops a bit during Worlds Mushroom and Flower, but then goes up again on World Crown. AND DON'T GET ME STARTED ON BEATING EVERY COURSE WITH EVERY CHARACTER >:(

This game is fun, but it can be challenging, especially the champions road on world crown because there are no power ups, and I died like 70 times so far without making it through the whole level.

this is a rlly hard game just because of one world and no its not one of the main worlds

that's right world flower I haven't even completed world flower yet and the worst part is it gets worst world star is ok until you get further in the world and don't get me started with world crown they were even lazy just putting in mario galaxy music instead of a custom music the hardest level in world crown about how it looks is the long one with the stupid speed panels

Feels difficult to win that every 3-D level I went through it took 100 days to win it 100 days

19 Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Product Image

The most strategic game based on X COM, this game is like X COM in later levels when it starts to kill all three of your characters in half a turn.

It has to be number 1

20 Hotel Mario Hotel Mario Product Image

The only hard part is not shutting down the game

It's the hardest one to sit through

I have trouble even purchasing this game. lol

21 Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story Product Image

Almost all the mario games are too easy, but this one is so hard.

Compared with the other rpg games, this one is hard

THE BOSSES ARE SO LONG

I love Starlow

22 Super Mario Maker 2 Super Mario Maker 2 Product Image

If you add up all the online courses this game has, it's number 1 since Nintendo announced there are 10 million courses uploaded to the game. This means SMM1 is number 2 because it only has 7.5 million. Then the 3DS port of SMM1 is number 3 because it has the same courses from the Wii U version although some are blocked. Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is number FOUR.

Super Mario maker two difficult very difficult call I love it

Same problem with troll levels

23 Super Mario Odyssey Super Mario Odyssey Product Image

This one is all one of my favorites it's so hard to Win it 4 endings just to let you know because there is moons and it's hard to get those as well

Darker side was hard even though I am the master at super Mario odyssey I can master every jump

Impossible especially the secret dark side moons and darker side.

Easy to beat bowser but impossible to get all 999 power moons.

24 Super Paper Mario Super Paper Mario Product Image

Personally, I think that this game has the best story line out of all the other Mario games and it’s challenging at times

25 Mario's Early Years: Preschool Fun Mario's Early Years: Preschool Fun Product Image

Oh my God, the hardest game. I can't get past the very first lesson!

Died so much broke game from raging on this

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