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Super Mario Odyssey
Image via Nintendo

The 10 best Mario Games on Nintendo Switch

You have plenty of options, from Mario Spinoffs to retro games available via Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

If you have any of Nintendo’s consoles, you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to at least give the company’s flagship series a shot. And although the Nintendo Switch is missing a couple of Mario’s better outings, its roster of games featuring everyone’s favorite plumber (or at least some of his friends) is still incredibly deep and broad. This is especially true when you consider both the long list of Mario spinoffs and the added collection of retro games available via the Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here are 10 of the best Mario games you can play on Switch in no particular order.

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What are the best Super Mario Games on Switch?

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
Image via Nintendo

This slow-paced puzzler isn’t the most impressive introduction to the Mushroom Kingdom, but it’s no slouch either. Toad can’t jump, and it seems, at times, he can barely walk on his way to find the treasures hiding around each of this game’s levels. Toad isn’t the star, though. Instead, it’s the charming levels that unfold delightfully, one by one, like bite-sized puzzle boxes. This spinoff is truly an overlooked gem, earning itself a spot amongst the best Super Mario games for the Switch.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Nintendo adds Luigi's Mansion 3 developer Next Level Games to company roster
Image via Nintendo

At its core, the third entry in Luigi’s spinoff series may be the simplest of the bunch. Mostly, you’ll move from room to room, sucking up ghosts and solving simple puzzles. These rooms, though, might just be the most thoughtfully decorated (and just plain nice to look at) environments of any game on the Switch. Add in a sprinkle of physics-based environmental destruction, and the whole hotel practically jumps off the screen like Luigi spotting a ghost.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Image via Nintendo

If you’re looking for a party game that just about anyone can understand, it’s hard to beat Mario Kart. There are advanced levels of strategy that can be employed, but even those aren’t totally airtight, meaning that in most cases, all it takes is a couple of lucky item drops to propel even the most novice racer to the top of the standings. Mario Kart has become such a classic to newcomers and fans alike that it’s hard not to make room for it with the rest of the best Mario games for Switch.

Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey
Image via Nintendo

What better game to put on this list than the best Mario game on 3D of all time? Galaxy and 64 may have been more innovative, and Sunshine may have had a more cohesive world, but Odyssey has plenty of its own flair and the most airtight level designs in the series (in huge, open zones, no less.) Using Cappy to control the game’s vast array of creatures is fun, but the real star here is a world overflowing with personality and surprises.

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

Image via Ubisoft

The sequel to Ubisoft’s take on a Mario-themed tactics game makes a few innovative improvements on what was already a surprisingly sharp formula in its predecessor. It’s not XCOM when it comes to depth or flexibility, but it’s far more readable for new players while retaining just enough satisfying scenarios to untangle that it shows off a taste of the potential the genre has to offer. The Rabbids might grate a bit (especially for adults,) but they rarely steal the spotlight from a fantastic introduction to turn-based tactics.

Super Mario All-Stars (NSO)

Image via Nintendo

A compilation of all 4 of Mario’s appearances on the NES, this hodgepodge shows how the world’s foremost platforming series found its footing. The first three games are charming, historically significant, brutally difficult oddities that come with their fair share of missteps along the way. Super Mario Bros. 3, on the other hand, is just as difficult and almost as strange, but it’s also a soaring success and the genre’s first unmitigated classic. How could this achievement not be enough for it to become one of the best Mario games?

Super Mario World (NSO)

Image via Nintendo

Mario’s first outing on the SNES took a lot of what worked in Super Mario Bros. 3 and added piles of new mechanics, along with all the added polish and graphical fidelity that came with the hardware upgrade. It’s also a gentler experience, although it’s still pretty tough by modern standards. Most of the new stuff here sticks the landing, though, making this the blueprint that 2D Mario games have followed in the years since.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Image via Nintendo

This bundle gives the underappreciated Wii U outing, Super Mario 3D World, a fresh coat of paint, and a deserved chance at a fresh audience on the much better-selling Switch. But the addition of Bowser’s Fury is the real reason to check this out. The hook here is how the game takes a page from Breath of The Wild, putting Mario in a small but fully-formed open world. Time will tell whether it’s a one-off experiment or a blueprint for the future of the series.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Image via Nintendo

This competitor for Mario Kart’s spot as your Mario party (not Mario Party) game du jour is a choice for a different audience. As a fighting game, it’s not nearly as intuitive as Mario Kart, meaning it rewards a more experienced gaming group. But purely as a gaming event that pulls in characters from every corner of the medium, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is something to behold. Playing with from the comfort of a handheld console makes it one of the best Switch Mario games ever.

Yoshi’s Island (NSO)

Image via Nintendo

The follow-up to Super Mario World is the first in the series to pass the spotlight to Yoshi. Mario is still here, although he’s a baby who acts more as an extra hit point in situations where Yoshi bumps into an obstacle or enemy. And, in a sign of things to come, this was also the biggest step toward a more straightforward experience the series had taken to that point. But among all the charming visuals of early Mario games, the soft, almost painterly style stands head and shoulders above the rest.

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Image of Cande Maldonado
Cande Maldonado
Though Cande started her journey in the video game industry as a localization specialist six years ago, she soon realized that her true calling was to annoy NPCS, smash virtual pottery, and complete every side quest available in RPGs. Throwing that useless degree out of the window, she has been writing professionally for the past three years ever since. Her passion for games dates to 2006, when she mounted a Chocobo for the first time. Under Nintendo and Square Enix's chokehold, she will willingly pour hours upon hours into reaching 100% completion in the longest roleplaying games ever made. But hey, who needs fresh air and sunlight when you can just live in Ivalice?