Top 10 Toughest Levels In Mario Games

Sure, there are many stages that players can breeze through, but every while there comes along a Mario stage that's so brutal and infuriating! Even to today, it's still a challenge for many Mario addicts! So, let's go back and remember these Top 10 Stages in Mario Games!

The Top Ten

1 The Perfect Run - Super Mario Galaxy 2

You only have 1 life and no checkpoints and most enemies are hard to defeat without dying. You also can't touch any spikes or anything so you have to go around them. Yoshi is also pretty hard to control. All in all this is the hardest Mario level ever. - MarioMaster101

It Is very hard with no checkpoints and only 1 life.

Overhyped in terms of difficulty but otherwise I agree - darthvadern

A bunch of Hammer Bros, flipping platforms and only 1 piece of life. It's no wonder this is at number 1.

V 39 Comments
2 Champion Road - Super Mario 3D World

This is harder than Perfect Run. At least that one has some easy parts. This one's challenging from start to end - darthvadern

This level is just impossible with Luigi/Mario/Toad. All the other levels in this game are pretty easy but this is probably the only level where I have trouble with:
The first part is pretty easy with any character. The ocotgoombas aren't too much of a threat
The second part is also easy and the chargin chucks aren't a big threat but occasionally, they can make up mess up
The third part is easy with Peach + Rosalina. This part is not too hard with Luigi as he can jump really high but the 3rd set of blocks is extremely difficult. This is like nearly impossible with Toad as he doesn't jump high.
Killling the magikoppas is honestly no problem
The spike part is not a big deal but this is the part where I am likely to get hit by and I am now small.
Wall jumping and avoiding the ants is pretty easy but it takes a while and it requires patience
Jumping up with the piranhas can take a bit of practice but it becomes a cakewalk later. I sometime have some misfortune where I ...more

I never want to play this nightmare again!

The only reason this isn't as bad as Perfect Run is because you can take multiple hits. - Qryzx

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3 Tubular - Super Mario World

Second level in the special world and the difficulty is preventing me from getting further into the world - darthvadern

The enemies are placed ever so annoyingly and their projectiles are programmed specifically to impede your forward progress. This level is made even more brutal by the speed at which the P-Balloon runs out, which in this level seems far quicker than it was in other levels.

I could never beat this level as a kid, and even now it may take me multiple tries... By far the hardest Mario level I ever played.

I've been stuck on this level for ages once, can't express how much I hated this level back then.

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4 Poochy Ain't Stupid - Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

In this level, Baby Mario and Yoshi must hop on the back of Poochy, as they make their way past a dangerous, lava-colored floor, with enemies attacking at every angle. The level itself is auto-scrolling, so players will need to stay alert. But throw in the fact that Baby Mario and Yoshi have to balance themselves on a small, constantly moving Poochy, things get serious. It also doesn't help that the lava kills Yoshi instantly. - YMCA

Poochy doesn't like to cooperate with you in this level, evidently. He often moves faster than the auto-scrolling camera moves, and sometimes he stays completely still during high pressure situations where you need to move quickly out of the way. You'll be disagreeing with the title of this level after a couple playthroughs of it.

Just the title scared me, if it said "Poochy Isn't Stupid", I wouldn't be as worried, but Nintendo wanted to prepare us. Is it me or should this not be in World 1?

Should be so much higher!

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5 World C-3 (Super Mario Bros 2 Japan)

That wind, enough said - darthvadern

Might as well lump the rest of World C with this level, since after this, you have C-4, which is 7-4, only much harder with a ridiculously impossible sneak under a fire stick section.. And if you lose all your lives there, you have to do C-3 again and again. Anyone who's made it past world C is a god among Mario players.

Green springs + constant wind + Lakitu = Me is sad.

I once hit a Lakitu on my way down from falling...

6 Lava Spire Daredevil Run - Super Mario Galaxy

This one's easy compared to the rest on here - darthvadern

The Super Mario Galaxy version of the Perfect Run

Took me 10 Tries to beat this stupid star, and I'm pretty sure that was mostly luck. - greenshyguy

WOAH this one was difficult...the original star wasn't even that hard but trying it again without any checkpoints and not being able to get hit once? It makes it about 50 times harder! Even though the original level wasn't bad, it is very likely you got hit ONCE in that level, meaning you have to do better than you did originally or else you have to go all the way back to the beginning. Seriously, the amount of times it took me to beat this level is crazy! As I was working to get all 120 stars, I would play this a few times, get frustrated since I died so much so I would move on to a different level, come back to it, and repeat the process until at some point I finally beat it. Honestly, I just tried backflipping onto the question block while climbing up the tall spire and then backflipped again to the top, and if I hadn't done that, I may have died that time too. It's a fairly helpful trick, but with or without it, this level is very hard and takes some serious practice to beat.

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7 Final Level - Super Mario 3D Land

I know that level is hard because I played it before

This one's easy. Way more simple than other levels. Just use statue leaf and it's a piece of cake - darthvadern

like dying

If you don't have a toonokie leaf your but will get kikked

8 Wing Mario Over The Rainbow - Super Mario 64

Wing mario was annoying to control to begin with - darthvadern

Why is it every hard level in Super Mario 64 seem to play the Athletic Theme, huh? Anyway, in this level, Mario must collect eight red coins in the clouds all throughout the level. The catch is the coins can only be grabbed by flying around the level using Mario's Wing Cap. Now, don't get me wrong, flying around with the Wing Cap is amazing, but in this level, flying leads to rage. If Mario isn't fast enough before the Wing Capand plummets into the sky below, he will land back outside Princess Peach's Castle near the moat, meaning the player will have to travel all the way back up to the top of the castle just to attempt to complete this ridiculous. Level again. - YMCA

Only level in the game that I actually HATE! - HeavyDonkeyKong

I can't beat it without having my strategy guide with me

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9 Corona Mountain - Super Mario Sunshine


That boat is annoying and so is the rest of the level - darthvadern

First a roller coaster ride then bowser its HARD!

Getting blue coins took me a long time

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10 Luigi's Purple Coins - Super Mario Galaxy

Who knew Luigi could make things so HARD?!

Ugh - darthvadern

Luigi's Purple Coin Chaos was an absoloute nightmare.

Yeah this one was pretty hard, but it never seemed as daunting as a few other stars in the game to me. I died just as much, but I was always confident that SOME DAY I would beat it, and I was right. I ended up beating every star in the game, but I was legitimately worried about the Lava Spire Daredevil Run in Melty Molten Galaxy the trash level in Dreadnought Galaxy, and strangely enough, Purple Coins on the Puzzle Cube from Gusty Garden Galaxy. A lot of the purple coin stars were HARD, but that one gave me the most trouble, which is weird, since I never see anyone else struggle with that one. Whatever, Luigi's Purple Coins was a good challenge! This game is easy at first, but it has some serious challenges later on.

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The Contenders

11 World 8-3 - Super Mario Bros.

Hammer bros. everywhere - darthvadern

This level is made out of nothing but massive pits, Bullet Bills, Koopas, and Hammer Bros.. All of that is already insanely hard, but imagine trying to pull all of this off with only a whopping 300 seconds on the timer, AND the fact that this is the longest level in the game! Timing your jumps is the key here to beating this level! - YMCA

Sorry but it's not the longest level in the game. That reward goes to 8-1.

This one is hard for sure, but I found tubular way harder

How is this bs number one!? I can beat this anytime anywhere small on my first try no problem and I'm not the best player. the secret is to move very quickly and speed run the level and to run right over hammer bros without stopping because once you get onto the screen they are on they take a second to load the hammers so you can easily jump over them if you don't hesitate - YOSHIA2121

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12 World 8-2 - Super Mario Bros.

This level is way more difficult than 8-3

World 8-2 is an annoying level

13 Fire Bar Sprint - New Super Luigi U

Just flat out hard and use nabbit

14 The Impossible Pack - New Super Mario Bros. 2

Honestly super underrated. I've had a 3ds for so long with this game, and I have still never beaten all 3 levels in one run

This is so underrated it's ridiculous. It took me over 100 attempts to beat this, and I can now flat out say this is harder than any other Mario level I've ever beaten, even harder than Champions Road.

Ridicoulus is it - darthvadern

Three levels that are harder than 98% of every official Mario level. The catch? It's Coin Rush, so you have to do all three in a row, with no save. No power-ups exist in any of the levels, either. It's extremely well-named.

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15 World 8 Doomship - Super Mario Bros. 3

Dry dry desert is harder

World 8 is all around hard in this game - darthvadern

The only two that are hard are the boat one and that stupid on with the small ships. I always think the wrenches are platforms!

I beat them all small first try they are simple and shouldn't be on the list - YOSHIA2121

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16 Rainbow Road - Super Mario Kart

Remember in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, where you could just time your drifts and the level became a joke? Haha, not here. - GodFlowey

Hardest rainbow road - darthvadern

The original Rainbow Road tests skill. - Qryzx

This isn't a level! this is a track! And super Mario kart isn't a mainstream Mario game!

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17 Secret Shine Challenge 14 - Super Mario Sunshine

Super Mario Sunshine was for the most part a really relaxed and laid back game. That is until the Secret Shine Challenges come in. Some of them were an enjoyable challenge, but then some were like Challenge 14 and were the annoying kind of difficult. Just getting there is excruciating, then you've got to actually do it. I did not finish the game my first playthrough partially because of this challenge - FirearmsKill

The trip to this stage is hard enough. The actual stage is much worse. Mario has to hop on a pad while that pad is on a river, while trying to collect eight red coins. The catch is the river is poisonous and is an instant death. - YMCA

I beat this level on my first try, no joke, I'm serious.

Even harder then wing Mario over the rainbow

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18 World 9-7 - New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Those star coins, after all - darthvadern

I spend like a week getting all three star coins

Why is this so low this level is annoying

Pain in the ass to get the star coins took me days, but the level is not to hard if you aren't trying to get star coins - YOSHIA2121

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19 Don't Touch Anything - New Super Mario Bros.U

To be fair, this is a Challenge mode level, but it's almost impossible. You have to complete the stage without gaining a single point. This means you need to pull off several frame-perfect jumps in a row. I've seen sadistic romhacks more forgiving than this.

This needs to be higher! You need perfect frame jumps to avoid touching coins or enimies!

Don’t touch anything. More like Don’t die in 20 seconds

20 Awesome - Super Mario World

I find this harder than Tubular.
Not as hard as most of the top 10 but I think that this one is a pain among the pre-N64 era.

21 100 Mario Challenge (Expert) - Super Mario Maker

I have the 3ds port and I tried this and...It's IMPOSSIBLE! There are so many trolls and don't get me started on super expert dear lord

Ugh, not this. I was so desperate to get all the costumes and it took me ages. Just look at it brings back bad memories.

Troll and Kaizo land and speed running with pixel perfect jumps.

The worst part about it is that literally half of the mario costumes in the game can only be unlocked on this mode AND when you play easy and medium modes enough times you can only get more costumes from expert mode (And did I mention that there is a super expert mode as well for people that are dumb enough to try it? )

V 7 Comments
22 Darker Side - Super Mario Odyssey

Good luck it was SO hard I completed it though

Easy compared to other final levels - darthvadern

This level is so difficult. No checkpoints and if you don't get 6 hearts, you're screwed. I'm never going to beat this level. If you're done this level, first try, you're probably a zombie who plays super expert.

Good luck.

23 World 7-5 - Super Mario Bros. 3

World 7 was difficult - darthvadern

Worst Water level EVER! It scrolls for you and there's tons of enemies every where! It's not just cheep, it's cheep-cheep

7-4 is the water level and 7-5 is an optional maze level to unlock a mushroom house that contains a hammer suit, a raccoon suit, and a frog suit - YOSHIA2121

Why is SMB3 the only game with the Frog Suit?!

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24 Kamek's Revenge - Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

The first part of the level, the player will have to avoid Kamek and his spells. The hard part is Kamek throws his staff wildly Baby Mario and Yoshi will have to reach a key, which will unlock the second part of the level. Once there, the duo will equip with skis, still trying to avoid Kamek. - YMCA

Not that hard...

By far the hardest level in yoshis island snes

25 Tick Tock Clock - Super Mario 64

Its hard enough but I dare you to play it with the crappy controls of Super Mario 64 DS. I DARE you! - HeavyDonkeyKong

Once you work out the 12:00 hand trick it's a bit easier but then there are stars that require the movement. - LoneShadow379

It's not too difficult but it is one of the hardest level sets in the game

I do agree the ds version has bad controls, but it really isn't that hard.

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26 Bowser's Castle - New Super Mario Bros. Wii


Not too terribly hard - darthvadern

Me and my three friends couldn't beat it in multiplayer in two hours. Had to go to single player and use super guide. - nolttr21

I can beat this with the wii remote behind my back

V 10 Comments
27 Neo Bowser City - Mario Kart 8

Easy for a mario kart pro like me - darthvadern

So, there's a neat little trick to Mario Kart 8/Deluxe. While you're drifting, you can press/hold the B button to slow down during your drift, but if you do it too much you stop drifting. When you use this technique, the track becomes super easy. I honestly though that I was going to see 200cc SNES Rainbow Road, 200cc Rainbow Road, 200cc Ice Ice Outpost, or Super Bell Subway in GENERAL on this list, but no? OK. - GodFlowey

This race track is easy, you just do drifting and drifting. - MaxPap

28 Special 8-5 - Super Mario 3D Land

Easy - darthvadern

This is basically a rush level. Where it begins, you will only have 30 seconds to complete the level. There will also be a Cosmic Clone chasing you throughout the level. Trying to rush through the level is hard enough, but having someone dangerous chase you while doing it really takes the cake. Don't expect to get this on your first try. - YMCA

I did it on the 5th try

I got it on my first try as Small Mario.

29 The Watermelon Festival - Super Mario Sunshine

It was easier than expected but I just had luck. It's so hard anyway - darthvadern

This shine is as easy as the first shine

Tip: Once you get to the watermelon. Take the route closer to the place you take it to. Simply take the risk of going over the tricky parts. Chase after it if it falls. And go careful one the bridge. About 72% of my fails were on that thing.

The level requires you to take a watermelon to a fruit stand. Sounds easy. The problem? It is super sensitive and cataquacks all over the level. If a cataquack touches it, you have to do it again. You won't die a lot but it is time consuming and annoying. It took me days to complete.

V 5 Comments
30 Wario's Castle - Super Mario Land 2

Screw this level. So many enemies can't be killed

This level's hard as hell

31 Pachinko Machine - Super Mario Sunshine

The controls are broken here - darthvadern

That feeling when you get all the coins except for one and you slip and have to restart. enough Said

32 Para-Beetle Challenge (Super Mario Advance 4, Super Mario Bros 3)
33 Mystery House Marathon - Super Mario 3D World

Can't beat it - darthvadern

Actual torture. I still can't beat the level and when I play it, I feel like dying when I loose.

This took me HOURS! - xDan

34 Rainbow Road - Mario Kart 8

To be honest this level is easy as long as it's not 200cc. - Qryzx

Every time I play this track, I fall off because of the following:
1: Lack of guardrails.
2: Speed boost that may throw you off the track if you have no idea what you're doing.
3: Me playing bad or someone else playing bad.
4: Getting hit with items while gliding.
It's one of the hardest Rainbow Roads, but the Mario Kart Wii one is worse.

I thought this level was easy, so I had no problem beating it.

I absolutely despise this level.

V 1 Comment
35 Pit of Panga - Super Mario Maker

It's not really a level made by nintendo, so it doesn't count, but yeah U-break is almost impossible. - MaxPap

Really hard definitely the hardest level in any fame here!

I beat it but it is hard as hell

36 Bowser's Castle - New Super Mario Brothers DS

Haha we do not speak of this stage - GodFlowey

No, not really at all - darthvadern

This one was outrageous

I think that the bosses are the hard part of this!

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37 Frustration (All Melons) - Yoshi's Story

Easy boss

Two minigames and challenging jumps.

Fiding melons in yoshi's story is tedious and annoying

38 Donut Plains 3 - Super Mario Kart

Hardest donut plains track - darthvadern

I put this on here because someone said that this track is arguably the hardest in the entire game. This is the original and not the Wii you version.

It's the second hardest behind Vanilla Lake. - HeavyDonkeyKong

39 Rainbow Road - Mario Kart Super Circuit

A bit challenging - darthvadern

Jumps, boost panels to get you out of control, bad kart physics. Do I really need to explain? - recaller

So hard expecialy the controlls

40 Wario's Gold Mine - Mario Kart Wii

Overhyped in difficulty - darthvadern

Not that hard annoying though

They made this way easier in Mario Kart 8, since when you hit the minecarts, they boost your speed instead of slowing you down. - MaxPap

It is so easy to fall off the track. I mean anywhere, at the beginning,when you hit a mine cart,and at the end. Also the stupid mine carts block the shortcut 99 percent of the time.

V 2 Comments
41 Outrageous - Super Mario World

It's outrageous - darthvadern

This level talks the other tough level after Tubular.. Outrageous is RAGE, really tough forest stage..

This Level Is Torture!

42 The Edge of the Mushroom - Super Mario 63

Yeah it's challenging but I love it - darthvadern

What the crap its 64

It's just a flash game

43 World 6-3 - Super Mario Bros.

It's the clunky jumps that ruin it - BigDanielCo

44 Toad's Turnpike Extra Cup - Mario Kart 64

Not really - darthvadern

You are driving the wrong way down a dual carriageway. Enough said

Really hard cup to win in fast trafic

45 Toad's Turnpike Reversed (Extra Cup) - Super Mario Kart 64

Yes - darthvadern

The hardest Mario Kart track by far. It is very hard to dodge the cars, especially when there are 2 trucks side-by-side. The item placements are also annoying as well. I have raged at the game many times on this course.

Super Mario Kart 64 - what an awesome re-entitlement for this awesome game!

Only time in a Mario kart game where, all of the cars come towards you. Their is no path tod rive with the cars like in Moonview Highway, you spend the whole level dodging. - HeavyDonkeyKong

V 1 Comment
46 World 2-5 - Yoshi's New Island

This level is too easy and even the levels in yoshi's old island are harder and less slow even though the original was an easy snes platformer

47 Special 8-Crown - Super Mario 3D Land

Already on list - darthvadern

A secret level that is only unlocked if every level is played with both Luigi and Mario and you have to reach the top of flag each level

For those who haven't played this level, ya know how hard it is? As hard as TRYING IT 500 TIMES AND ONLY BEATING IT TEN TIMES!

Took me about 100 tries to realize that I needed a statue leaf. Then it took about 20 more

V 3 Comments
48 Rainbow Road - Mario Kart Wii

One of the hardest rainbow roads - darthvadern

You can use mushrooms on the straigher parts of the track and even to jump certain parts, but it takes too much skill and would not reccomend doing in online ranked. - subleaf82

Oh lord, this track is hard. There is almost no guardrails so don't think about using speed boost or Mushrooms unless if you want to be a comet set for impact on Peach's castle. Also, if you fall of, you loose so many places.


V 2 Comments
49 Chapter 8-3 - Super Paper Mario

8-4 with that maze was harder - darthvadern

50 World 7-2 - Super Mario Bros. 2

Of course, it's the last level - darthvadern

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List Stats

700 votes
65 listings
5 years, 334 days old

Top Remixes

1. Final Level - Super Mario 3D Land
2. Fire Bar Sprint - New Super Luigi U
3. Luigi's Purple Coins - Super Mario Galaxy
1. The Perfect Run - Super Mario Galaxy 2
2. Champion Road - Super Mario 3D World
3. Tubular - Super Mario World
1. World 8-3 - Super Mario Bros.
2. World 8 Doomship - Super Mario Bros. 3
3. Tubular - Super Mario World


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