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10 Best Mario Games for Nintendo Switch You Can Play

Mario has been around so long now that we’ve pretty much become collectively desensitized to just how weird it is. A pair of dinosaur riding, turtle-monster battling Italian plumbers working hand in hand with the monarchy of a high fantasy kingdom full of anthropomorphic everythings? Yeah, when you put it that way, you do have to wonder what kind of fever dream it takes to come up with that idea. Not that it matters.

The series has spanned multiple decades and numerous console generations to give us one of the widest spectrums of genre-blending fun any of us are likely to see in our lifetime. Thus, in celebration of everybody’s favorite platformer, we thought we’d go for a stroll through the most awesome Mario games on Switch.

Related: 12 Best Nintendo Switch Games for 5 to 8 Years Old Kids

Super Mario Odyssey

  • Released: 17 July 2020
  • Developer: Intelligent Systems
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Price: $59.99

Super Mario Odyssey is as close to the Witcher 3 as a Mario game gets — which is to say… not very close. But it is a freely explorable open world full of adventure, a compelling main questline, and tons of extra content to dive into. In Super Mario Odyssey, players move about fully three-dimensional environments with Yoda-style acrobatics, collecting special items to unlock new worlds and further their quest to save Princess Peach from the unusually persistent Bowser.

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Super Mario Odyssey is considered by critics and fans alike to be one of the best, if not the best, Mario games ever made for its innovative gameplay and richly developed world and offers a special appeal to longtime fans of the franchise.

Download Super Mario Odyssey: Switch

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

  • Released: 27 April 2017
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U
  • Price: $59.99

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the updated, revamped version of the Wii U game that came out in 2014 and offers all of the classic, fundamentally cooky competitive racing that has made every installment in the series a perennial hit. Players get behind the wheel of a Go-Kart as any of their favorite characters from the franchise and race across a wacky, obstacle-filled track while doing their best to trip up opponents with a variety of collectible abilities and powerups.

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This latest installment adds a few new characters and mechanics like Anti-Gravity racing that makes everything drivable — including walls and ceilings. If you somehow managed to make it to adulthood or somewhere close without playing any of the games in the series, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is as good a place as any to start.

Download Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Switch

New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe

  • Released: 10 January 2019
  • Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development
  • Platform: Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Switch
  • Price: $59.99

The Wii U might have failed to make much of a splash in the lukewarm waters of its fan reception, but just because Nintendo had to send the console to a farm upstate doesn’t mean every game had to go with it. Thankfully, New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe was saved from oblivion and re-released on the Switch in 2019 and, though it might not shine as bright when shelved alongside its more technologically advanced brethren like Super Mario Odyssey or Paper Mario: The Origami King, it certainly has plenty of its own to offer Switch gamers.

The game hearkens back to its original platforming rules and does nothing to mess with the age-old formula. Anybody who wants a proper Mario game with a semi-modern presentation would do well to check out New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe.

Download New Super Mario Bros Deluxe: Switch

Super Mario Maker 2

  • Released: 28 June 2019
  • Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Price: $59.99

Super Mario Maker 2 is a shockingly robust game creation tool with a thin patina of a story spread on top of it. Players are essentially tasked with repairing Princess Peach’s castle by running the gauntlet of 100+ premade levels to collect enough coins to finance the repairs. Simple. Straightforward. By far, not the reason to buy Super Mario Maker 2.

The star of the show is the level creator that lets you build sprawling Mario worlds with intricate detail, with players able to select from a massive library containing all of the bits and pieces of past Mario games in their original style.

You can build a short and sweet 8-bit Mario akin to the very first games, or create an ode to Super Mario 64 or a Paper Mario love letter. It’s all up to you. The game even comes with a list of beginner to advanced game development lessons that cover general design principles that can even be applied elsewhere.

Download Super Mario Maker 2: Switch

Luigi’s Mansion 3

  • Released: 31 October 2019
  • Developer: Next Level Games
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Price: $59.99

The third title in Luigi’s own, Ghostbusters-styled spinoff, Luigi’s Mansion 3 this time takes place in the not-at-all suspiciously named Last Resort hotel rather than a mansion. When Mario and the rest of the party go missing, it’s up to Luigi to get them back. Players must traverse the thematically diverse 17 floors of the hotel, capturing ghosts with Luigi’s copyright-defying ghost vacuum and fending off big ghost-bosses.

The game allows for more free exploration and sports some of the most cinematic visuals of any Mario game and is great for fans of Luigi and those who want to try their hand at a different sort of Mario game.

Download Luigi’s Mansion 3: Switch

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

  • Released: 29 August 2017
  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Platform:
  • Price: $59.99

Few could have predicted a crossover between Mario and Rabbids, the Rayman-spinoff turned animated series, but it exists and makes no apologies. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle begins with the Rabbids appearing in the Mushroom Kingdom and quickly raising the chaos that the world’s most frightening race of humanoid rabbits excels at. Players assemble teams of the Mario characters to work their way through some exceedingly difficult turn-based strategy levels in the same vein as X-COM.

The game is beautifully animated and the mashup of art styles goes down surprisingly smooth. Anybody looking for what might be the weirdest Mario game ever (which is saying a lot) or those interested in seeing Princess Peach shoot rabbits in the face should definitely check out Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

Download Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Switch

Mario Tennis Aces

  • Released:  22 June 2018
  • Developer:  Camelot Software Planning
  • Platform:
  • Price: $59.99

Mario Tennis Aces can be thought of as something like Tennis meets Mario meets Super Smash Bros. What you get is a thinly-cloaked fighting game that combines the basic concept of tennis (see the ball? Smash it with your racket) with the over the top wackiness and indomitable spirit of Mario. Players can choose from a wide roster of familiar faces of the Mario Universe and engage in highly combative games of tennis that adhere to the basic premise of the sport but add in flashy gameplay mechanics like Budokai-style special moves and even a tennis version of bullet time.

It’s pretty wild. Anybody that likes complex 1v1s and wants to try a more novel format should give Mario Tennis Aces a shot. Over the top wackiness and indomitable spirit of Mario. Players can choose from a wide roster of familiar faces of the Mario Universe and engage in highly combative games of tennis that adhere to the basic premise of the sport but add in flashy gameplay mechanics like Budokai-style special moves and even a tennis version of bullet time. It’s pretty wild. Anybody that likes complex 1v1s and wants to try a more novel format should give Mario Tennis Aces a shot.

Download Mario Tennis Aces: Switch

Super Mario Party

  • Released: 5 October 2018
  • Developer:  NDcube
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Price: $59.99

Super Mario Party is a premier source of wholesome entertainment that you and up to three other players can sink many hours into with ease. The long-overdue eleventh game in the series, Super Mario Party consists of a few game boards that players are set to navigate while collecting stars and pretending that’s what they care about until the real fun begins: the mini-games.

This time around there are 80 different games for players to play, and each one of them is good, if not great, fun and highly recommended for players looking for a great couch co-op (though online works great too!) game. The game can be played on the joy-con, so any pair of buds can hop right into the game with a single Switch.

Download Super Mario Party: Switch

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

  • Released: 13 November 2014
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Platform: Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch
  • Price: $59.99

Almost as improbable as the Rabbids crossover is the Mario game without a Mario, the platformer without much platforming. Captain Toad Treasure Tracker is a remake of the 3DS game of the same name that comes with almost unnecessarily beautiful visuals. Based on The Adventures of Captain Toad mini-games in Super Mario 3D World, the gameplay is pretty simple.

Players can freely rotate the multi-tiered level as they do their best to guide Toad to a gold star hidden somewhere on the level without being taken out by the many recognizable enemies moving about. The game is one of the prettiest games on the Switch and one of the best puzzle platformers to come out in a long time.

Download Captain Toad Treasure Tracker: Switch

Paper Mario: The Origami King

  • Released: 17 July 2020
  • Developer: Intelligent Systems
  • Platform:
  • Price: $59.99

Paper Mario: The Origami King is a stylish action-adventure game that makes a marked improvement over its predecessor, Paper Mario: Color Splash. The game follows Mario in a quiet to keep the whole of the Mushroom Kingdom from being transformed into Origami (would that really be such a bad thing?).

Origami King introduces a novel, ring-based combat system that operates somewhat like a puzzle in its own right, with players rotating the rings around them to line enemies up for the cutesy, PG slaughter. The standout feature of the game is unquestionably the incredible art style. Everything is rendered with a beautiful, high-fidelity paper texture that manages to make one of the most surreal concepts ever imagined incredibly immersive.

Download Paper Mario: The Origami King: Switch

What’s your favorite Mario game? And why do you think Yoshi is so criminally underrepresented in today’s Mario games?