Premiering with its first title in 1985, the Mario series has been an absolute smash within the gaming community. The challenges each player would have to face to find and save Princess Peach excited everyone. Soon after though, Nintendo began to release spin-off Mario games.
With so many games now occupying the Mario universe, many have debated on which are the best. From racing adventures to playing baseball as your favorite plumber, here are the top five Mario spin-off games.
Mario Spin-Offs: Which games are the best?
Mario has had quite a plethora of games released within its universe. Some of these games too became instant hits, allowing them to turn into incredibly large franchises.
Here are the best Mario spin-off games.
5. Super Mario Strikers
With all the energy Mario has, it was no surprise when they started making sports-related games for him. One popular title, Super Mario Strikers, instantly became a fan favorite. In this game, Mario and everyone in his universe face off against each other in a series of soccer matches. The game was released for the GameCube in 2005 and did so well that it got a sequel on the Wii in 2007.
4. Paper Mario
The Paper Mario series, which has had 7 installments, is unique due to the fact that it’s a 3D game but all of the characters are drawn in 2D. The series was first released in 2001 with the original title being on Nintendo 64. Since then, Paper Mario has had a game on every single Nintendo platform, with its most recent being on the Switch.
You cannot have a list of the best Mario spin-offs without including Mario Vs. Donkey Kong. The first of the series was released in 2004 on the Gameboy Advance. Players loved taking on the infamous Donkey Kong instead of playing as him, creating a brand new dynamic for the characters’ universe. The series has had multiple releases with a new title set to drop for the Nintendo Switch in 2024.
2. Mario Party
Mario Party is arguably bigger than most of the regular Mario games nowadays. The large-scale party game allows for players to play as different Mario characters, as they try to make their way around a large board game. The series has a set of mini-games that everyone has to compete in, making it ridiculously fun. Not only is the series extremely popular, but it has 25 installments, including platform games and arcade games.
1. Mario Kart
The last on our list of the best Mario spin-off games is Mario Kart. Mario Kart has had 14 installments and is considered one of the highest-grossing franchises in the Nintendo world. Players can play as various different characters within the Mario universe, racing each other across various different maps. You can even customize your own vehicle, preparing it to take on even the fiercest competitors.