While we think its super awesome Nintendo is celebrating Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary, there appears to be some missing pieces. Now don't get us wrong, we're not here to bash on Nintendo today. Mario fans should be ecstatic over the announcements that came out. However, that being said, Nintendo showed off this little image here at the end of their Direct video today boasting about how many Super Mario Bros. games are going to be on the Nintendo Switch between now and the end of March 2021. This looks impressive, but there's some stuff missing from this list that we believe needs to be addressed if they truly want to celebrate this anniversary properly. We have a list of five things missing that would TRULY make this a complete celebration.
Just for clarification sake, yes, we know, this isn't the end-all-be-all complete list of missing Mario titles. Also, let's be real, do you really want us talking about Hotel Mario or Mario Is Missing, or even Mario Teaches Typing? We're also not counting games Mario briefly appeared in (Punch-Out!!), nor are we counting spin-offs with other characters like Yoshi, Luigi, or Wario. They'll get their own list someday.
5: Super Mario Galaxy 2
While the company boasted about the release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, they left two games off that list. One of them we can forgive, which is Super Mario Odyssey because we didn't expect the company to put a game that's only been out for three years onto the collection. However, the glaring omission from that list was Super Mario Galaxy 2. A sequel to the first 2007 Wii title, the 2010 game is ranked just as high (and in some cases better) than the original. Aside from adding a number of changes, putting Yoshi in the game, providing a better transportation system, throwing in better power-ups, and essentially getting rid of some of the monotony of certain areas, the game feels like a much better experience. Why it wasn't included in the collection is beyond us as this feels like a must-have in 3D All-Stars.
4: The Complete Mario Kart Collection
Okay, let's get to something that probably should have been taken care of years ago. There are so many versions of Mario Kart spread out across multiple consoles, the series itself deserves a collection. Every single Nintendo console has a version of Mario Kart going back to the original on the SNES. And while you can play that version on Nintendo Switch Online, as well as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch, the rest of the catalog is basically lost to time and only playable on whatever console you own it on. Some you probably don't know about, like the Mario Kart Arcade GP series that's popular in Japan and has had limited releases in the west through a partnership with Bandai Namco. With all of the resources at Nintendo's disposal, it wouldn't take a ton of effort to make every version of the game from N64-Wii U, plus the arcade versions, available as one of the greatest racing game collections ever made. Which would be fitting for the Super Mario Bros. anniversary.
3: Mario Paint
While it may not be a platformer or a racing title, there is a soft spot in the hearts of many a gamer for this Super Mario Bros. SNES title. Hundreds of prominent artists and animators have credited the game as one of their first animation tools, popular gaming composers and musicians have credited the music mode for getting them into making tunes. Fans of Homestar Runner owe the game a thank you as the first episode in 1996 was created on Mario Paint. The game is one of the all-time best-selling titles for the SNES and is still emulated to this day. So why hasn't it been re-released in some fashion? There was a Satellaview version released in 1997 that didn't require a mouse, so that's not an issue. Many suspected we might see it on the Wii U with the stylist much like you use in Super Mario Maker, but it never came. The company doesn't even promote it as part of the SNES history despite being one of the biggest first-party titles for the console. Its almost as if Nintendo tries to forget they ever made the game in the first place. Which is a shame, because it definitely belongs in the anniversary festivities.
2: Super Mario Land 1 & 2
Speaking of games that people tend to forget exists… The original Game Boy had not one, but two Super Mario Bros. games. Super Mario Land 1 & 2 were both successful titles on the handheld console, both presenting unique changes to the game that had an effect on Mario's history. The first game was only four levels long with four stages, so 16 in total. However, Mario used a few different tricks such as piloting a submarine or using the Bouncing Ball power-up (which was revived in Super Mario Maker 2). Meanwhile, the sequel focused on Mario collecting 6 Golden Coins from special bosses throughout the game, it gave us the Rabbit Ears power-up, and was the biggest platformer on the console when it was released as many others chose to make shorter titles. Oh, and by the way, you owe Super Mario Land 2 for the introduction of Wario, who would eventually get his own game in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3. Nintendo could probably make an easy trilogy out of all three in one package, but alas, they're nowhere to be found.
1: Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars
One of the biggest omissions from that entire list has to be Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars. Many, many, many gamers and journalists before us have praised this title over and over again, so we won't bore you with the heaping amounts of praise both Nintendo and Square Enix deserve for this title. But much like other missing SNES RPG titles like Earthbound, Secret Of Mana, and Final Fantasy III, it feels almost blasphemous that this is still missing from the SNES library on Nintendo Switch Online. And it's not like the company has just shelved it and forgotten it. It was on the Virtual Console for both the Wii and the Wii U and it included in the SNES Classic collection (along with all those PRG titles we just mentioned). The game was released in March of 1996, making the 25th anniversary of it near the end of all these 35th Anniversary plans. So… why isn't it here? Is it a surprise for later, or an omission that just isn't in their Super Mario Bros. plans? Only time will tell over the next six months, but of all the games listed above, this one DEFINITELY needs to be added to NSO.