Nintendo: What’s the Hardest Mario Game?

Play news Nintendo: What’s the Hardest Mario Game?

If the Mario adventures today have the image of games available to all audiences, this has not always been the case, especially in the beginning of the career of the famous Italian plumber with mustache. To prove it to you, the JV editorial staff therefore invites you to return to THE MOST DIFFICULT Mario title, but also to extend the question to others of its often less quoted productions.


  • The Lost Levels, played too hard for the West
  • Tough Mario games, more than you think?

Today, it is clear that games in the Mario series are seen as easy adventures that seek to reach the widest possible audience. As proof, we can quote the assisted state of the Super Mario Odyssey or the White Tanuki costume in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, which is there so everyone can enjoy the game without too much hassle. This does not mean, however, that the Italian plumber with a mustache was only entitled to walks, on the contrary, as these first titles were not available to everyone., especially one that is still widely accepted today as THE most difficult Mario game: Super Mario Bros. : The lost levels.

The Lost Levels, played too hard for the West

To fully understand why The Lost Levels is so difficult, we must first return to the context of the times. When Super Mario Bros. released in 1985, it was a huge success as the title reached 40 million copies sold worldwide. But despite this popular success, we must not be mistaken, the first game in the Super Mario series is far from an easy experience, especially with its limited number of lives which quickly leads the player to Game Over. In fact, you have to make it through eight sometimes really complicated worlds with very intense stages, while the green mushrooms, the famous 1UP, are becoming rare.

Nintendo: What's the Hardest Mario Game?

Despite this obvious level of difficulty on the first Mario, this did not prevent Nintendo from raising the level a notch with the next episode. First of all, if today we used to call it The Lost Levels, the title is first under the name Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan in 1986, but was renamed Super Mario Bros .: The Lost Levels when it was re-released in 1993 in the Super Mario All-Stars collection on the Super NES. On the visual side, this second opus is very similar to Super Mario Bros. with a few minor graphical improvements. But controller in hand, this is where things get complicated. Very fast, we understand that we have to deal with a much more vicious and punitive level design than before, with real passages of dying and retrying as it is impossible to avoid certain pitfalls without knowing them in advance. For example, the game is filled with invisible blocks that Mario may bump into while jumping, causing him to fall into a hole and thus lose a life. Conversely, sometimes one even has to jump on these invisible bricks, which requires great precision, which is not always obvious.

Nintendo: What's the Hardest Mario Game?

Among the elements that received more than one rage, we can also mention the famous poisonous mushrooms which inflict damage on Mario if he touches them, an object that we will hardly find in the series anymore. Worse than that, those who have already played the title will surely remember the wind, which is able to push our plumber back in full motion, even in full jump, which often ended in death. Ultimate proof of sadism in this game, the latter also includes warp zones, like the first episode, but … which brings back to worlds already traveled before, and therefore sends the player back.

The lost levels in the Super Mario All-Stars Compilation

Nintendo: What's the Hardest Mario Game?

If you are familiar with video game history, you probably know the story surrounding the Western release of The Lost Levels and why it does not match Super Mario Bros. 2, which we had at home. But for those who have never heard of it, a little reminder of the facts. Faced with the difficulty level of the title, Nintendo made the decision not to release the game in the rest of the world, especially in North America and the West, because the experience was considered too difficult for Western audiences., which may adversely affect the image of the franchise. Instead, it was decided to use an existing game called Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and replace characters, enemies and other details with elements from the Mario universe, resulting in Super Mario Bros. 2, which we know at home.

Tough Mario games, more than you think?

Nintendo: What's the Hardest Mario Game?

If The Lost Levels is qualified by the majority of players as the most difficult Mario game, we can still extend the question to mention other titles as difficult. Most recently, we could consider Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2 as the most difficult in the series. If the campaign in the second episode is pretty easy to learn the basics at all, many levels created by the players are particularly noticeable. When we see the completion rate for certain internships, which is below 1%, it is clear that we are faced with almost impossible internships. With these kinds of levels, we find the spirit of Kaizo Mario, a series of Super Mario World hacks that have gained a solid reputation on the internet due to their absurd and deviant severity.

Nintendo: What's the Hardest Mario Game?

To complete this brief overview of difficult 2D Mario games, we can quote a specific case. If the first titles in the series were necessarily tougher than the recent ones, the New Super Luigi U is an exception to the rule. A kind of stand-alone from New Super Mario Bros. U, the title offers a unique approach with shorter but more treacherous levels, which the player must cross at full speed in less than 100 seconds. As the name suggests, we control Luigi, who has a different gameplay than Mario, with jumps definitely higher, but also more fluid and less precise, which sometimes complicates the task.

Nintendo: What's the Hardest Mario Game?

Go, as a bonus, we can also mention the Mario 3D game, which is considered to be the most difficult of most players: Super Mario Sunshine. Besides being a particularly divisive episode, it is also a title with unique gameplay mechanics due to Mario’s jetpack / water pump, the famous JET and all the moves it gives access to. Nearly twenty years after its release, it is very likely that certain levels still mark a majority of players, such as Pachinkos. In reality, where Sunshine is really difficult, it is especially to achieve its 100% as the blue and red pieces at many stages require great dexterity which is not within everyone’s reach. Like what, the name of Mario is not always synonymous with ease.

Buy Super Mario Odyssey from Amazon

Buy Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury at Amazon

Buy Super Mario 3D All-Stars at Amazon

Buy Super Mario Maker 2 at Amazon

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