If there’s one thing Nintendo fans count on every year, it’s a handful of brand-new games starring Mario, the company’s popular mascot. Throughout his 33 successful years (he debuted in Donkey Kong today), the publisher discovered new and exciting ideas, from dunking basketballs over rivals in EA's retired NBA Street franchise to exploring the cosmos in the Super Mario Galaxy adventures and racing in Mario Kart 8.
With millions of games sold, Mario has plenty of starring roles in 2014 and beyond, including a pit stop in one of the most beloved fighting franchises of all time. On that note, here are the new Mario games coming soon to Wii U and 3DS. Well, the ones we know about, anyway.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS
Here it is, the video game that’ll put Wii U and 3DS systems in millions of homes around the globe, thanks in large part to Mario, who’ll mix it up with the likes of Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog and new challenger Pac-Man, in addition to Smash mainstays like Link, Bowser and Kirby. Regardless of which platform you choose (we suggest buying both), you can expect Mario to come out punching and torching his adversaries with fireballs. Considering his all around skills, pound-for-pound, you can’t go wrong with Mario.
Thus far, the new Super Smash Bros. delivers the hard-hitting fun you’ve come to expect from this series ever since it made its memorable N64 debut, except Nintendo went the extra mile with two unique-looking versions with signature graphics and levels; the Pilot Wings stage on Wii U rekindled fond SNES memories. Smash 3DS comes out October 3rd and the Wii U edition will most likely drop late fall or early winter. Your body is ready.
Mario Maker for Wii U
We’ve dreamed of a game like Mario Maker for well over a decade, and Nintendo came through in such a big way. As the title implies, you’re free to build your own Mario levels from the ground up with the help of an editor that is so user friendly you’ll create something in minutes; you can switch between Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. U levels on the fly. Place goombas, green pipes and coin blocks wherever you want. That alone has us drooling, and how Nintendo handles online connectivity will be crucial to Mario Maker’s success. The only downside? You have to wait until 2015 for this game. Check out this brief tutorial that explains how to make levels in Mario Maker.
Mario Party 10 for Wii U
Thus far, two features make this new Mario Party unique. For starters, it’s the first game in the series to make the jump to high definition. On perhaps a more important note, the person holding the Wii U GamePad can play as Bowser and attempt to squash the four other players controlling their characters with Wii Remotes. Get ready for a variety of Bowser Party mini-games, but don’t get too excited. This is another 2015 release.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong for Wii U
Now for something more strategic. The head-scratching Mario vs. Donkey Kong series will once again enthrall players next year. Gamers will help guide toys called Mario Minis through more than 80 puzzles via the GamePad touchscreen. Similar to Mario Maker, you can design custom levels, but we know for a fact that the game will let you share these stages through MiiVerse. On top of that, new community features give you the chance to vote “Yeah” on favorites, and even encourage other users to design more puzzles. Once again, it’s a 2015 game.
What’s next for Mario?
While sequels to games like Super Mario 3D World, Galaxy and even Super Mario Sunshine are pure speculation at this point, you can bet Nintendo has a generous helping of Mario goodness on the way. We’ll know a lot more in the months ahead, and for now, keep an eye on the Mario games on this list.
What is your most highly anticipated Mario game? Let us know.