Top Ten Mario Games of the 2000s

What are the greatest Super Mario games released during the 2000s decade? Vote on the list to find out.
The Top Ten
1 Super Mario Galaxy Super Mario Galaxy Product Image

What's the better game between Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel? Well there are many right answers, and each game does something better than the other. To be honest, I'd say they're equally great, as they both have pros and cons over each other. Anyways, Super Mario Galaxy is without a doubt the best mainline Mario game of all time, excluding Super Mario Odyssey. Not only is it crazily innovative with its gravity gimmicks and new power-ups, but it also has some of the best level design in Mario history. The first galaxy game for example did better than 2 in having open-world galaxies that don't make you feel as if you're forced to choose a certain path. Galaxies like Beach Bowl, Freezeflame, Honeyhive/Gold Leaf and Sea Slide Galaxy are great examples of this. Did I mention the stellar music, which I'd consider to be the best of the mario franchise as well?

This is my most nostalgic game... but it might be the reason while it is not in my top 10 favorite Mario games ever made. Look at my top 10 guilty dislike to know why. That being said, if I have to judge it in a more objective eye, this game is great. The graphics are amazing for the Wii (it looks better than some Wii U or switch title), the soundtrack is in my personal top 5 favorite soundtrack of all time, and Odyssey is the only Mario game to ever have beaten this soundtrack in my opinion, the level-design, while not at its full potential (use the Boo mushroom more please), and is the main reason why I find Galaxy 2 better, it is still great, and is much more original than... every 2d Mario games that are not Mario Land 2, and I won't deny that the gravity gimmick is pretty cool. Also it has the best story presentation of any Mario games (besides maybe Odyssey and Origami King), with amazing cutscenes that really makes Bowser an impozing threat, and makes you forget the story is ...more

2 Super Mario Sunshine Super Mario Sunshine Product Image

Definitely the most divisive game in the franchise. When it first came out, people didn't like it for how different it was, but now in 2020, it's one of the most famous games in the entire franchise, after the repetitive New Super Mario Bros. titles. But it still has its haters..., and problems. Me personally, I adore the level design and setting. It's cool how they managed to make a beach-themed game make all of the levels feel unique from one another. You have a beach, a hotel, a harbour, a cliffside bay, etc. Not to mention that Fludd gives this game its own unique gimmick, as it lets you hover over the air for a few seconds, and stuff like that. However, everything else was pretty bad in my opinion. The difficulty spike is way too high and frustrating, like several levels in the first world are harder than the most difficult Super Mario Odyssey power moons. It also doesn't help that the camera sucks, and Mario is too slippery. So yeah..., it had potential but those problems ruined ...more

3 Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Product Image

Now this one is famous..., and pretty overrated too though not gonna lie. Most of the fame of the Paper Mario franchise stems from the second installment of the series, The Thousand Year Door, and I gotta say, it's definitely the most mature and interesting Mario game as a whole, just getting edged out by Super Paper Mario in interestment and Partners in Time in terms of maturity. This game is essentially a treasure hunt, as there is said to be a treasure hidden behind a thousand year old door underneath the town of Rogueport, and in order to open it, you need to get the seven crystal stars, but villains are also out after it to get the treasure. It sounds amazing so far, but then comes my main problem with the game: battling. I'm sorry, how can anyone like the battle system? It's way too clunky and complex to start off, and defending yourself is practically impossible. You must "super-guard" by pressing B as soon as the enemy pretty much touches you, and if lucky you won't get hurt. ...more

4 Super Paper Mario Super Paper Mario Product Image

Ok, let's talk about the gameplay first. While yes, it is not as good as Paper Mario on N64, at least it is not the same thing but worst like Sticker Star or Color Splash, and solving puzzles, and fighting enemies is still quite fun, and has a surprising amount of strategies involved. Not to mention the great soundtrack. Then there is the story. This is not only my thrid favorite plot of any video games, but one of the best plot in all fiction. If Super Paper Mario was a movie it would legit be better than every Star Wars movie ever made. I really mean that! I guess that between that game and Majora's Mask, I guess that the least your story ha something to do with the series you are from (in terms of the worlds and mythologies, not the tone) the better your story is! That being said, I would say that this is a pure coincidence. Anyway, this game's story is just a good balanced between happy and funny moments, and sad moments that we don't find in a lot of movies. Basically, without ...more

This game was just really amazing on so many levels. I did get it kinda late, but once I got my hands on it, I beat the entire game in just four days, because of how addicting and interesting it was. It has one of the best plotlines in any mario game, going incredibly deep and not being afraid of being incredibly dark at times (such as River Twygz bed and the destruction of Sammer's Kingdom for example), while at the same time keeping a somewhat child-friendly tone, as in the first world, and having tons of humour. The change from an RPG to a platformer is something most people didn't like, and while I agree it removes some immersivness, I thought the game was less frustrating and clunky that way, which made the experience much more fun. Overall, Super Paper Mario is one of my favourite Mario games of all time.

favorite game of all time

5 Super Mario 64 DS Super Mario 64 DS Product Image

I just want to mention how this game improved and more importantly ADD so much on the original, and should be a tutorial of how to do a remake of a 3d Mario game if Nintendo plan remaking 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy for the Switch this year.

6 Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story Product Image

Like Dartvadern, I've only played the remake, and I still allow myself to comment on this game for the same reason. That being said, damn this game is a masterpiece. It is my favorite game of my favorite franchise (when Alpha Dream went bankrupt I almost cried) which already says a lot, but I will say it already, this game is worthy of being in my top 10 or even top 5 favorite games ever made. It has a great concept of occasionaly going inside Bowser, the battle system is amazing as always, being able to play as Bowser is amazing and give the gameplay more variety, the humor is still great, Fawful is the most impozing antagonist in all fiction if it isn't the Joker from the Dark Knight (I'm dead serious), and is not my favorite villain, but is still rank pretty high, the giant battles were a good idea, the graphics while a downgrade from Partners N Time (for the original not the remake) are still great, the soundtrack is a musical masterpiece all around. Like every games it is not ...more

Although I played the remake only, the original is essentially the same thing, only slightly weaker. Therefore I'll allow myself to add the third installment in the Mario & Luigi series. While this isn't my favourite M&L game, it's definitely a close second behind Dream Team. It did, however, definitely help the most with innovations, as a lot of stuff we know from the M&L series originated in this specific game, like 2D-sections, giant battles, etc. On top of that, Bowser is the main protagonist of this game, and his moveset is completely different from the Mario Bros., which always keeps the game interesting enough in wondering what next moveset will Bowser get. It also brought back a villain from the first game, Fawful and added character development to him, which was nice, to see that the games were chronologically in order. Overall, this game is #3 on my list.

7 Paper Mario 64 Paper Mario 64 Product Image

Here we have the best game on the N64 in my opinion. And since I didn't play TTYD yet which is the only game that might be able to beat this game in my opinion, this is my favorite Paper Mario game. And this is even considering the great Super Paper Mario, and Origami King. The battle system is different from M and L, but is amazing for similar reason. Basically, it is less interactive, but more strategic than M and L. It also has a good soundtrack, amazing visuals for a console famous for its ugly polygon, and the best Mario plot that involve Bowser as the main antagonist. Sorry Odyssey, but if I would give you the gold medal for everything it would be ridiculous. You really tried though. Also I really love the partners with their different personalities, and their skills in battles.

8 Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Product Image

This is the first game of my favorite franchise, and unlike other franchises, let's just say, it was already great from the start. everything that you like about the Mario and Luigi series was already there. A great plot with amazing humors, and orignal settings and characters? Check! Great music especially for the battles? Check! Great cartoony visuals? Check! One of if not the best turn based combat of any RPG franchises? Check! I think the Gameboy Advance is a very underrated console, and this game is one of the reasons why. Sure this game feels odd after you played the future games in the franchise, but if that really bothers you, just play the remake. Also, this game created the god that is Popple, and therefore it is a great game no matter how the rest of the game is.

The very first Mario & Luigi game, and without a doubt the most nostalgic and memorable one. While most features of this series weren't ironed out yet until BiS and even PiT, Superstar Saga is still an immensly fun game, with great humour, an engaging storyline, and a unique main setting, as Beanbean Kingdom does make its locations feel very much alive and unique. For example, the forest is a bit of a spooky area with a castle, the desert feels dead yet very vibrant, etc. Not to mention that it started what I consider to be the best of the Super Mario spin-off series, as it has always been consistent in quality, even Paper Jam.

9 Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Product Image

I don't have this game, but I managed to play it a few times with friends who do have this game, and honestly, this is the second best Mario Kart game. Not only does this game has many features that prevents it to be like Mario Kart Wii and 7 and being totally overshadowed by 8 deluxe, since they were never brought back in any Mario Kart games since, like special items all cup tour, and the two characters mechanics, but also this is the only game in the franchise in my opinion that made the items fun. This game is a pure chaos, but thanks to the fact you don't slow down too much when being hit by an item, it is an healthy chaos, that makes the game really fun. Also this game has my favorite controls of any Mario Kart, since they are hard to master, but when you master them it feels so good. The tracks aren't the best in the series though, but I like them quite a lot.

While this isn't my favourite Mario Kart title, it's probably the best one. This game was ahead of its time, having not only introduced 3D graphics for real to Mario Kart, it also added TONS of other features and stuff that for some reason hasn't made a comeback, such as two characters per kart, special items, All-Cup Tour, and double item boxes (although the latter made it to MK8DX). The music and tracks aren't as great as say in DS, Wii or 7, but they're still pretty great and fun.

10 Mario Party 7 Mario Party 7 Product Image

Now, out of the Gamecube Mario Party games, I do believe 6 might be an objectively better game, but you see, I haven't played it, or 4 (which looks bad though). So Mario Party 7 takes a high spot on this list. I think all of us who don't judge by nostalgia can agree that the peak of Classic Mario Party was during 6 and 7, as prior to those titles, all of the games played nearly the exact same, with only minor alterations. Mario Party 6 on the other hand, revamped a lot of the party mode, as now, each board has its own specific rules for getting a star, wether it'd be the classic gimmick, star stealing, star splurge, etc. Mario Party 7 closely follows in its predecessor's footsteps, although it's not nearly as innovative as its predecessor, removing day/night, and instead adding the dreaded Bowser Time, not to mention tedious turns. But for what it is, it's essentially Mario Party 6 but slightly different, and that seemed fun, and I liked this game. So this one is #4 for me now.

The Contenders
11 Mario Kart Wii Mario Kart Wii Product Image

Now this was a childhood favourite of mine, being my first Mario game ever alongside Mario Party 9. It was the game that introduced me to Mario Kart as a whole, and I remember spending hours trying to 100% it. It took several years, but eventually, I beat it. I'd say Mario Kart Wii is the winner in Mario Kart in several categories, namely the huge roster, the track selection and VS mode. The biggest downside to the game though has got to be controlling. You're forced to use motion controls if you only got a Wii Remote. You can buy a Gamecube or Classic Controller too, which are better and make manual drifting feel more natural, but tricking off boosts with those is super annoying. But that's a small price in an otherwise great Mario Kart title.

I personally think this game is a bit overrated, since for me almost everything in that game is either outclass by 8 deluxe like the tracks, and game modes, either not really significant like half pipes or the difference between bikes or kart, either things not intended by the developpers which therefore is an accident like all the unintended shortcuts, either not in the game anymore since it was exclusive to online plays, like an equivalent to the Mission mode in Mario Kart DS which is really sad, either not actually in the game like the custom track. I guess at least the Wii+Nuncuk is the best controller implemanted in a Mario Kart game, and that this game have some characters that are not in 8 Deluxe even though there are other characters that are in 8 deluxe that aren't in Wii to compensate, but other than that, I don't see what other reason than nostalgia for liking that game more than the rest. That being said, this is still really good, and back when 7 and onward weren't ...more

12 Mario Kart DS Mario Kart DS Product Image

While probably one of my least favourite Mario Kart games overall, I still won't deny how innovative this game was in so many ways. It was the Mario Kart that made retro tracks mainstream, the roster finally started to feel natural, online mode, the battle mode could finally be played on single player..., and speaking of which..., Single Player, which was heavily embraced through the excellent mission mode, which I'm surprised still hasn't returned yet! Either way, some huge problems with the game has got to be the rubber banding, overuse of blue shell, and overall broken controls. But that's about it. This game is good!

13 Super Mario Strikers Super Mario Strikers Product Image
14 Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time Product Image

Out of the 4 M and L games I've played, Partners In Time is my least favorite, but that doesn't say a lot, since this is my favorite franchise. Partners in Time has a very original story involving time travel in a cool way, and I really like the babies, not because they add a lot to the gameplay, but because like if the interactions between Mario and Luigi in that series weren't entertaining enough, adding two babies makes those interactions priceless. Also the combat, and visuals are great. Big surprise. However, I don't like it as much as other games because of the absence of Bros Point, and the fact that while the shroobs are very impozing, they are also the least interesting or entertaining villain of the Mario RPGs.

Partners in Time has always been the black sheep of the Mario & Luigi quintology, as it does a number of things differently. For one, the plot is time-travelling, and to be completely honest, it makes the entire game's story feel very out of the blue. Essentially, when Mario & Luigi were kids, there was an alien race plotting to invade the planet, and so they teamed up with their future counterparts to stop them. Not only does this mean you're controlling four characters at the same time..., but the alien invasion essentially always happens, because not only did the babies fight them, but their future counterparts too. That means the shroob invasion always happens. It makes the game feel unique, but it's also my least favourite of the M&L series, because of two major flaws: linearity and bros. item system. One takes away immersiveness, and the other makes the game kinda broken. But all in all, it's a really fun game.

15 Mario Tennis Mario Tennis Product Image
16 Mario Party 6 Mario Party 6 Product Image
17 Mario Super Sluggers Mario Super Sluggers Product Image
18 Mario Hoops 3 on 3 Mario Hoops 3 on 3 Product Image
19 Mario Party 5 Mario Party 5 Product Image
20 Mario Party 8 Mario Party 8 Product Image
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