Top 3 – Best Mario Spin-Off Games

Everyone knows Mario.

Let’s face it, the guy is pretty much a global icon. He has kept us up many nights past our bedtime just so we can step on some goombas and jump on some turtles. Super Mario Bros on the classic Nintendo is where he really took off. Then came Super Mario Bros 2 and 3. Mario likes to save Princess Peach from castles, but he enjoys other activities as well. He is pretty versatile believe it or not.

Some (non-popular) Mario games have been swept under the rug. I am going to bring back the memories and list the top Mario spin-off games of all time (in my opinion).

#3 Mario Party

Take all of the Mario characters that we have loved over the years and throw them on a virtual board game (sounds awesome, right?). Throw in dice to roll, some coins and a star to collect and you have party…. a Mario Party. This is the ultimate, quick, fun, sit down and play Mario game. There have been 9 Mario Party games (so far, since this post) and I think Nintendo can make 100 of them.

The basis of the game is to win mini-games and collect coins. In Monopoly when you pass Go, you get $200. Instead of gaining $200 in Mario Party, if you have enough coins you can exchange them for stars. Whoever has the most stars when the game is over, wins! This game is a lot of fun especially when playing with a lot of friends. Definitely worth of a spot in the top Mario spin-off games.

#2 Mario Tennis

Mario loves his sports. There have been games such as Mario Golf, Mario Baseball, Mario Basketball and Mario Soccer. I would not be surprised to see Mario Volleyball. Let’s not forget about Mario Tennis either which makes #2 on my list.

Mario Tennis is not like regular tennis. Sorry to say but, tennis on television is pretty boring. Two people hit a little, green ball back and forth over a net until someone misses. That is not very exciting at all, but when you add Mario and his gang to the mix, it is a lot of fun. Mario Tennis has backhands and even drop shots. It still stays true to the game of tennis, but for some reason it is a lot more fun than real tennis. It is faster paced and playing doubles with a friend makes it even more exciting.

Mario Tennis for the N64 was fun, but Mario Power Tennis for the GameCube is a lot better. In the GameCube version, players have a special shot that adds a whole new element to the game. Take Diddy Kong for instance. When you use his special shot he will automatically go to the ball and hit is back. It is not your normal return though, he puts a crazy banana shaped curve on the ball, making it hard to hit back. This game takes tennis to the next level. I sometimes wish real life tennis was exciting like it is in Mario Tennis.

#1 Mario Kart

Who even knew that Mario was old enough to drive? I honestly never knew he was able to. I also didn’t know that a dinosaur and a monkey were capable of operating a vehicle. I have no clue who passed them for their drivers licenses. Whoever it was, I would have to thank them.

Mario Kart is the hands down #1 Mario spin-off.

There have been Mario Kart games released for handheld systems like the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 3DS. The classic Mario Karts on the N64 and GameCube is where it’s  at. Mario Kart puts Mario and his crew behind the wheel of go-karts and lets them race to the finish. It is no simple three lap race though. There are items that you can pick up along the way. Some of them include, shells that you can throw at other divers and bananas that you can place down, in hope that your opponent drives over it and spins off the track.

Mario Kart first started off as one person behind the wheel. Then Mario Kart Double Dash was released on the GameCube that featured two drivers on one cart. One driver would throw the items and the other would drive the cart (you could switch back and forth between drivers). Each character has a special item, similar to special shots in Mario Tennis. The courses are awesome as well. Courses take place in deserts, jungles and even on top of Daisy’s Cruiser. Yes, you get to drive on a yacht in the middle of the ocean.

Mario Kart is a classic and is my #1 Mario spin-off game! (Debate below!)

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Author: Vinny Lanni

I'm a fan of writing and Italian food.

20 thoughts on “Top 3 – Best Mario Spin-Off Games”

  1. I really liked Mario Kart on the DS LIte, but the one problem I have with it (and by extension, ALL racing games) is that you get severely punished for even the slightest mistake. So you’re saying I can be winning by a ridiculous amount, clip a tree at the end of the last lap and all of a sudden I’m in 4th place? Madness.

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  2. Yes! go out and buy it right now! Mario Party is just so much fun. It’s never boring because there are so many mini-games that you can play over and over. Well your not forever alone, you have Mario by your side lol(: I haven’t played the new Mario Karts, but I head they are really good!

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  3. Never played Mario Tennis, but the vehement love in these comments is convincing me I need to give it a shot. I was surprised by how much I loved Mario Party the first time I played (I suspected I would get bored). I bought MP8 Wii to bust out at parties, then gave to a nephew as a gift, and now am finding myself wanting to buy 9 just for myself . . . I’m that “forever alone” ;)

    And goes without saying: Mario Kart is DA BOMB. Want to buy a DS just to play that Mario Kart game.

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  4. I’ll still take the old school Nintendo and N64 over the PS3 and Xbox 360 any day lol The N64 Mario Tennis took a lot of skill, that game was intense. I think the GameCube one was more fun, they added a bunch of crazy stuff in that one!

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  5. It’s all about Mario Tennis man. But we are talking N64 games I hope! There have been times when the N64 was used more than the PS3 at my apartment… many times haha

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  6. I don’t think Super Smash Bros is really considered a spin-off game. It wasn’t really featured around Mario, even though he was in it. Every Mario character in the game are among the weakest ones idk why. I thought about including it, but just wanted to stick to the Mario name! Smash Bros is a freaking amazing game though.

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  7. I don’t know if you only chose these because the name Mario is in them, but I think that Super Smash Bros is the #1 best of all time. It got it’s beginnings from Mario, and his cast of friends. It also translates the best across genres of systems. Mario Kart is definitely up there, but it doesn’t have anything on Super Smash Bros.

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    1. I can relate to that. That game was pretty intense. I remember one mini-game when you had to tap A over and over and over to get out of this slim thing. That was freaking hard as heck lol

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  8. I’m definitely better than you are in Mario Kart! lol Koopa and Toad in Double Dash and Yoshi in the originally N64 version. I can not be beat!

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  9. Nice post! You’re absolutely right on with Mario Kart. N64 – 4 Player – Battle Mode – Block Fort! Burnt many an hour…and (I think) it was the first legitimate 4 player game. I agree with the comment about Paper Mario – definitely underrated. I liked Mario RPG too on SNES. Anyway, great post man.

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    1. Mario Kart has so many things to do. Battle Modes, Grand Prix, try and beat your personal lap records. So much fun! Paper Mario was pretty cool. Head to head battles, Mario is a diverse guy, geez. He does so many things lol Thank you very much!

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  10. Thanks! You really need to play Mario Party or Mario Tennis both of them are a lot of fun. I thought Paper Mario was pretty good, but it didn’t have that classic Mario fun to it. It was more of a Pokemon type game, with the head to head fights. Still pretty good though!

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  11. I’ve never played a Mario Party game, or a Mario sports game, but I’d definitely agree with Mario Kart being the best. Those games are always just a ton of fun.

    I’d consider Super Paper Mario a spin-off since its a deviation from the classic Mario that people think of (and even his 3D adventures). I consider it one of the best games on the Wii.

    Nice write up.

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    1. I agree, all of these games are amazing! I think Mario will never go away. They can keep making more Mario Party and Mario Kart games and keep continuing the Mario legacy. I wish I came up with Mario. I would be a billionaire lol

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