It’s time to waggle that remote and eat a super mushroom as we check out the best Mario games on Nintendo Wii of all time!
Nintendo’s video game brand was built on, sustained and exploded thanks to Mario.
Though starting out in platform games such as the iconic Super Mario Bros games, Mario has starred in an incredible variety of titles, encompassing countless genres.
Don’t forget him notably making a first appearance as Jumpman in Donkey Kong (which you’ll find on our best arcade games list!)
Despite being a plumber, Mario’s adept at driving, playing sports and even fighting – there’s seemingly nothing he can’t do!
That can be seen with the range of titles he starred in on Nintendo’s motion control-based Wii console. The Wii played host to a good number of games featuring the Italian plumber, but which are the best?
Let’s find out as we check out the 10 best Mario games on Nintendo Wii of all time!
Though the Wii is closely associated with Wii Sports, no other sports game – not even pseudo-sequel Wii Sports Resort – came close to having the impact of the game that was packed-in as a freebie for new Wii owners back in the day.
To its credit, Mario Sports Mix doesn’t even try. Instead of being a collection of motion-controlled simulations of sports, Mario Sports Mix is a collection of four team sports given a lick of Mario-esque paint: basketball, volleyball, hockey and dodge ball.
This focus on multiplayer gives it an almost Mario Party-esque feel, which is reinforced by the sports-themed minigames that also feature.
Players can choose to play either one-off quick matches or tournaments, with plenty of unlockables to uncover as you play through the longer tournaments.
The sports feature environments and even hazards that’ll be familiar to players who know the Mario franchise well.
It’s a creative, fun and ultimately very competitive experience. Definitely worthy of a place on the best Mario games on Nintendo Wii list!
Sonic was created as Sega’s answer to Mario, way back in 1991. He was seen as cooler, edgier and, of course, much faster.
Even though Sega’s Dreamcast (which was a very underrated machine – as you’ll see from our best Dreamcast games list) was their last home console before they switched to being a software only company, I’m not sure anyone believed that we’d ever see Sonic share the limelight with Mario by teaming up with him in the same game.
Though it’s now happened countless times, it was a surprising and exciting development when the two characters first made a crossover appearance in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games back in 2007.
They then teamed up again in this entry, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. It featured lots more sports-themed, competitive events which see players waggling their Wii remotes like there’s no tomorrow!
What pushes this third Mario & Sonic Olympic title over the finish line for us is the London Party mode, which is a Mario Party-style board game experience with the sports events as mini-games.
It’s great fun, with lots of London landmarks to see, as well as trivia questions to answer between events and lots of unlockable items to collect.
Talking of Mario Party, this ninth entry in the board game-based, competitive mini-game series – which started way back on the N64 in 1998 – was the most balanced, polished and fun entry on the Wii.
Changing things up a bit, Mario Party 9 saw players sharing a vehicle that drove around the board, instead of being on foot and moving separately.
With more polished mini-games and even boss fights in which players have to co-operate as well as compete, Mario Party 9 was easily the pinnacle of the series when it was released. A
In fact, Mario Party 9 still stands as one of the most fun entries in the series even today. It features quite highly on our list of the best Mario Party games for good reason!
Yep, another sports-based entry hits the best Mario games on Nintendo Wii list. Though this time, it’s a game entirely focused on soccer (or, as we call it in the UK, football; even the game was called Mario Strikers Charged Football over here!).
Clearly, there’s nothing Mario can’t master!
This was a hugely fun game and built impressively upon the GameCube original (which was called Super Mario Strikers), with well-implemented motion control features added in for good measure.
It’s one of our picks for the best 4 player Nintendo Wii games too – and has even spawned a recent sequel on Nintendo Switch, in the form of Mario Strikers: Battle League!
Another iconic franchise and a genre which was originated entirely by Mario (in the form of Super Mario Kart on the SNES, spawning countless kart racing imitators), Mario Kart Wii was the first of the popular Mario Kart games to utilise motion controls.
It used the Wii Wheel accessory, which players placed their Wii remotes into, simulating the feel of holding and controlling an actual steering wheel!
Though this wasn’t entirely necessary, it certainly added a layer of appeal to Mario Kart Wii and perhaps made it even more accessible.
The addition of motorbikes to the series for the first time was a neat touch too!
Mario Kart Wii features on our best multiplayer Wii games list as well; just like any other game in the Mario Kart series, it’s an absolute joy to play in local multiplayer.
Back in the day, it also had online multiplayer but servers have long since been turned off, unfortunately.
Still, the fact remains that this was a classic entry in a series that’s rarely made a misstep – and is absolutely one of the best Mario games on Nintendo Wii!
Placing Mario into a 3D world and making him – and everyone around him – into flat, 2D shapes was a genius idea that lent itself to lots of clever game design and a unique visual style.
The Paper Mario games are action RPGs, with real-time world exploration and turn-based combat. They’re charming, wittily written and so much fun – with Super Paper Mario being no exception.
The first game made it onto our best Mario games list, but as my first experience of the series I have a real soft spot for Super Paper Mario.
Its unique 2D/3D perspective flipping – used to solve puzzles and discover areas not otherwise visible – was extremely clever and gave the game a unique feel.
Super Paper Mario is – like many Mario titles – a game that’s aged beautifully. It’s a game that we can wholeheartedly recommend playing for yourself if you’ve never tried it!
Mario conquered the third dimension in 1996’s Super Mario 64 (which itself conquered the charts – it features in the top position on our best selling Nintendo 64 games list!), though his 2D adventures remain high water marks not just for non-3D platformers, but for video games in general.
So it was great to see the Super Mario Bros series return to its 2D roots somewhat with the New Super Mario Bros games.
Though not the first New Super Mario Bros game (the original hit the DS to critical and commercial acclaim in 2006), New Super Mario Bros Wii was the first 2D Mario game for home consoles since Super Mario World in 1990!
This Wii instalment was fantastic, featuring four player simultaneous multiplayer modes (including co-op for the entire campaign!) and even a leap forward for accessibility in the form of the Super Guide.
The Super Guide popped up if a player failed to complete a level after losing it eight times in a row. If the player says yes to the Super Guide, an AI Luigi takes charge and the level can be automatically be completed by Mario’s computer controlled brother.
In a further neat touch, players can take back control at any time by pressing the + button.
This meant the New Super Mario Bros Will could be played, enjoyed and completed by anyone of any age or skill level – it’s no wonder this features so highly on our list of the best Mario games on Nintendo Wii!
Similar to the reaction when players first heard that Mario was going to be starring in a racing game, no one knew quite what to make of the news that Mario would star, alongside numerous other Nintendo characters from various franchises, in a multiplayer arena fighting game.
Obviously, we needn’t have worried. The Super Smash Bros games are a genuine phenomenon in their own right and have sold untold millions of copies.
The series has arguably never been more popular with mainstream players than it is right now, with Super Smash Bros Ultimate being one of the biggest Switch games in the world.
Super Smash Bros Brawl even makes it to the very top of our best Nintendo Wii fighting games list and – just like the other games in the series – is an accessible game which can be picked up and played by just about anyone, but long term players can absolutely master the deep and rewarding fighting system.
The Subspace Emissary mode even gives the game a campaign for players to conquer. No wonder this one ranks so highly on our best Mario games on Nintendo Wii list!
Retaining the dizzying, often spherical level design of its predecessor – as well as what feels like endless inventiveness in power ups, challenges and boss fights – Super Mario Galaxy also adds Yoshi into the mix.
With the addition of Yoshi and other, sometimes fleeting, new game mechanics and ideas, you’d think that Super Mario Galaxy 2 would be at the number one spot on our best Mario games on Nintendo Wii list, except there’s a big ‘but’ on the way.
Yes, inventive gameplay elements are more numerous than ever in Super Mario Galaxy 2 – and here’s that big ‘but’ – BUT it’s significantly more difficult than the first game, which is a real shame.
Though Mario games are often challenging, you can generally reach the end credits fairly easily – though getting 100% is more of a challenge.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 ramps up the challenge to a degree where it can sometimes feel like it moves a little too far away from being fun, occasionally into the realms of frustration.
Sure, it’s still a dazzlingly imaginative and brilliant game to this day – but in our opinion, the first game trumps it in terms of sheer enjoyment.
To say that Super Mario Galaxy felt completely unlike any other platformer upon arrival would not be overstating things.
The 2D Mario games on the NES and SNES set the standard for platformers for years, then Super Mario 64 did the same for 3D platformers.
Super Mario Galaxy then brought such a high standard of level design, imagination – and a wide variety of different ways to complete each world – that it has not even been equalled by any game except, arguably, Super Mario Galaxy 2.
As inventive and gloriously fun as Super Mario Odyssey is on Switch, it still can’t meet the constant invention and re-invention that Super Mario Galaxy displays.
Not only one of the finest games bar none on the Wii – and as good an excuse to own the console as any – but, to this day, one of the best 3D platformers ever made.
It’s available as part of the Super Mario 3D All Stars collection on Switch too – take a look at our Super Mario 3D All Stars review to see if it’s worth picking up!
In our opinion, Super Mario Galaxy is undoubtedly the right choice for the number one spot on the best Mario games on Nintendo Wii list!
Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.