Top 10 Hardest Super Mario Games

The Top Ten
1 Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels was the second game in the Super Mario Bros series. It was initially titled Super Mario Bros 2, also known as Super Mario Bros: The Most Levels. However, it was only released in Japan, as Nintendo believed it would be too challenging for American players. Instead, a reskin of Doki Doki Panic was provided to American players under the title Super Mario Bros 2. This reskin featured Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad as playable characters.

Eventually, the true Super Mario Bros 2 became available to players, and it proved to be significantly more difficult than the American version. It closely resembles Super Mario Bros in terms of appearance and controls. This similarity led players to think of it as downloadable content (DLC) or extra levels for the original game, when in reality, it is an entirely distinct game. It is notorious for its high level of difficulty and is considered one of the most challenging Mario games ever.

The game introduces new elements such as the Poison Mushroom, which appears as a power-up but is actually detrimental. It causes the death of small Mario/Luigi and inflicts damage on normal or fire-powered Mario/Luigi. Additionally, the game features backward warp zones, wind mechanics, and four additional worlds labeled A, B, C, and D. Enemies are more aggressive, and some, like hammer bros, are tougher compared to the first game.

Notably, some levels incorporate invisible blocks that can aid or hinder players. There are instances where players need to navigate specific paths within castle levels. Failure to do so results in looping gameplay. The game's cover screen bears the phrase "FOR SUPER PLAYERS!" indicating its intended audience of those who have mastered the first game.

Despite being challenging, Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels has found its place in gaming history. It was featured in Super Mario All-Stars and is accessible through the NES version on Nintendo Switch... more

2 Super Mario Sunshine

Hardest game ever. Harder than lost levels. I hate how in (SPOILERS) Bianco Hills, they introduced levels like Secret Of The Dirty Lake, And Red Coins On The Lake Way Early Into The Game. And don't get me started on Yoshi.

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

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.

3 Super Mario Bros. 3

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.

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.

4 Super Mario Bros. 2

The Enemy placement is stupidly difficult!

One level is simply long as heck!

5 Super Mario 64

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.

Hardest 3D Mario only due to the fact the camera angles are awful... also the flip isn't as responsive as the newer games

What the hell were they thinking when they made this?

6 New Super Luigi U

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 literally had Super Mario Galaxy for less than a month, and I've already beaten the final Bowser battle, with only 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!

7 Super Mario Kart

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

The controls and the weird drifting make this so hard.

8 Super Mario Galaxy

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

9 Super Mario Galaxy 2

I have this game and I couldn't pass several levels but my YOUNGER cousin played it and he passed those levels and he was only like 9 or 10 at the time.

He gave me some pointers but I still failed.

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.

10 Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

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.

The Contenders
11 Super Mario Land

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

This is Number 1 material for sure.

12 Super Mario Bros.

This game is 32 levels long, and force you to replay the entire game if you fail too much. That's why it's the hardest.

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

Not too hard, I've beaten it twice.

13 Super Mario 64 DS
14 Super Mario Maker

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

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

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

15 Super Mario World

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.

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

Very challenging, especially the star world levels.

16 New Super Mario Brothers Wii

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.

Yeah, I beat every level in the game with all Star Coins except for 9-7, which I still haven't beat even to this day. Probably the hardest 2D Mario level (that wasn't a Mario Maker level) that I've ever come across.

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!

17 New Super Mario Bros U

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

It is kinda challenging in World 9, took me a long time.

18 Super Mario Odyssey

Impossible especially the secret dark side moons and darker side.

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

No way this was super easy! SMO's Darker Side is easier than SMS's Bianco Hills!

19 Super Mario 3D World

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 piece of chaos but it's worth it.

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

20 Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

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.

This game is just brutal, I didn't even defeat bowser until 2022!

21 Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

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

22 Super Mario 3D Land

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.

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.

23 Super Mario Maker 2

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

24 Hotel Mario
25 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
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