Nintendo Showdown 3D Mario

Welcome back to another edition of Nintendo Showdown! This is a weekly series at Nintendo Enthusiast, and it requires some audience participation. Every week we’ll compare two (or more) Nintendo games and pit them against each other in a showdown. Your votes decide the winner, so choose wisely. In honor of the launch of Super Mario Maker 2 later this month, we’re taking a tour of the Mario franchise. Earlier, you voted Super Mario World as the best classic 2D Mario, but what about 3D? It’s time to vote!

Vote for the best 3D Mario

A Super line-up

Super Mario 64 was a pioneer of 3D gaming and an instant classic. It brought Nintendo’s biggest mascot into the third dimension in a way that let everyone know “the future is here!” Super Mario Sunshine on GameCube improved the visuals and added in the impressive new FLUDD mechanic to spice things up.

Super Mario Galaxy on Wii introduced a new gravity mechanic with some clever camera work to create a new type of 3D Mario game. Toss in some simple and intuitive Wii remote controls, and you’ve got one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time. The Nintendo followed it up with a sequel that added in new power-ups and features, including the ability to ride Yoshi!

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Super Mario 3D Land brought 3D Mario gameplay into the handheld space. This 3DS title featured 3D environments, but linear level design that gave it something of a 2D-hybrid feel.  It also made use of 3DS’ stereoscopic 3D functionality for some unique puzzles. Nintendo then brought this new 2D/3D hybrid style to the home console in the form of Super Mario 3D World on Wii U. This game swapped out stereoscopic 3D for HD visuals and added in cooperative multiplayer.

Finally, there’s Super Mario Odyssey. The latest entry in the 3D Mario series hearkens back to the 64 and Sunshine style, but with lots of modern enhancements. With stunning visuals and a wide variety of power-ups (thanks to Cappy), it quickly earned a place right alongside the Galaxy games as one of the top-rated games of all time.

With so many fantastic 3D Mario games to choose from, which one is the best? Cast your vote to help us decide!

Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.

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