For close to 40 years, the Super Mario series has been Nintendo’s flagship franchise that every Nintendo platform has been built around. Some of the Super Mario games are highly regarded as some of the greatest games of all time. It is worth noting that there haven’t been many 3D Super Mario games, meaning that some entries on this list are considered great. So, claiming they are the ‘worst’ is more really ‘the least good’. Here are the five worst 3D Super Mario games.
5. Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey is the latest 3D Super Mario game at the time of writing, and it was released a month after the Nintendo Switch launched in 2017. In his latest adventure, Mario heads to many different Kingdoms to collect Moons to help rescue Princess Peach from her forced marriage to Bowser. This is one of the most fun Super Mario games since the Galaxy series and it shows that the 3D Super Mario formula is still working as well as ever.
Most Super Mario games are standalone titles with very few exceptions, but one of those exceptions is Super Mario Galaxy 2 which is a direct sequel from the previous title. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is more of the same, with players once again having to navigate various planets and worlds to collect a total of 242 Stars, but this time with Yoshi by their side. The game feels more like DLC for the original game rather than a standalone title, as it is largely the same game with some quality-of-life improvements, but with the first game being fantastic, there is no reason not to play Super Mario Galaxy 2 as well.
3. Super Mario 3D World
The ‘3D’ series of Mario games became a popular seventh-generation spin-off, with the games being similar to the 2D ‘New’ series that began in the generation prior. Super Mario 3D World brought the fun and lighthearted nature of the New Super Mario Bros. series to 3D, with a four-player co-op allowing friends and family to get together and explore the various worlds and power-ups on offer. Super Mario 3D World is much easier than most previous 3D games, likely due to the co-op design of the game, but that doesn’t stop it from being fun to play. If you missed out on the Wii U, Super Mario 3D World was ported to the Nintendo Switch with the exclusive Bowser’s Fury expansion included.
Super Mario 3D Land was the first Mario game to be released on the Nintendo 3DS and brought a new spin-off series to the iconic franchise, similar to how the New Super Mario Bros. series debuted on the Nintendo DS a generation prior. The game incorporates both 2D and 3D elements, with the 2D sections being more traditional and linear while the 3D is more open-world. Overall, it is a great game in its own right, although it is held back by the limitations of the handheld hardware, it would have been great to see this game ported to a home platform.
1. Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine is a game that has a love/hate relationship with gamers. Following on from Super Mario 64 as the first new Mario game in six years, all eyes were on Super Mario Sunshine as it would become a flagship title for the Nintendo Gamecube. Unfortunately, Super Mario Sunshine fell flat for the most part due to the main mechanic being based around using water to clean paint from the environment and to use it to defeat enemies. It was great to see Nintendo try new and unique things with the series to keep it fresh, but if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it.