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The 10 Best Super Mario Characters (Ranked)

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The Best Super Mario Characters

What are the best Super Mario characters?

The Super Mario series is over 30 years old, with the first game appearing on the NES in 1985.

Ever since then, the Super Mario world has given fans some of the most memorable characters in video game history.

Today, we’re paying homage to the best characters this series has to offer, particularly the ones who have impacted fans the most!


The 10 Best Super Mario Characters

Each one of these Super Mario characters has been chosen based on their popularity and impact on gaming history.

While there are many characters in the series, these 10 have stood out the most from all the rest!

So, let’s-a go on a trip down memory lane with our list of the 10 best Super Mario characters:


10. Waluigi

Best Super Mario Characters Waluigi

Kicking off our list, we have Luigi’s lanky, mustache-twirling trivial, Waluigi!

The partner of Wario, Waluigi, made his debut in Mario Tennis, one of the best N64 games of all time, back in 2000.

Since then, he has made several appearances in the Mario franchise as a playable character and has become incredibly popular with fans.

While he started out appearing primarily in Mario Tennis games, he has since appeared in Mario Party and the Super Smash Bros. series.

Waluigi can also be found in many Mario Kart games, most recently in Mario Kart Tour, released in 2019.

Although this character is most known for being a boastful, ill-tempered comic relief, he has also been shown to have a great amount of self-pity.

According to his voice actor, Charles Martinet, he often feels like good things happen to everyone except him.

Knowing this, it’s hard not to feel a bit bad for this over-the-top baddie, especially given how often he gets beat.

Despite being the rival of one of the best-known Mario characters, Waluigi maintains a strong fanbase as one of the best Super Mario characters ever.


9. Donkey Kong

Best Super Mario Characters Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong is a fascinating character in the Super Mario series, and he has a fascinating video game history.

Now the main protagonist of his own franchise, DK got his start in 1981 in the arcade game Donkey Kong.

In that game, he served as the main antagonist, stealing Mario’s girlfriend, Lady, and prompting the plumber to pursue him.

While he started off as a bit of a villain, he has since been transformed into a brave and friendly hero who loves his friends and his bananas.

Since his debut, this great ape has gone on to be featured in many of his own games, which have become incredibly popular.

He can also be found in Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Mario, and Super Smash Bros. as a playable character.

Despite starting off as an antagonist, DK has since become one of the most beloved characters in the Super Mario series.

You can now check him out in the best Donkey Kong games, which really highlight how awesome this ape is!


8. Bowser Jr.

Best Super Mario Characters Bowser Jr

Up next, we have yet another antagonist, this time the son of Bowser, known aptly as Bowser Jr.

As prince of the Koopas, Bowser Jr made his debut in Super Mario Sunshine, where he appears with his alter ego, Shadow Mario.

Junior has since gone on to help his father kidnap Princess Peach numerous times, and he has also become a playable character in a few spin-offs.

Most notably in Mario Strikers Charged and Mario Superstar Baseball, where players have the option of controlling him.

While he is an antagonist, Bowser Jr is still just a child, and his main goal is to make his father proud.

In his alter ego of Shadow Mario, he bears a striking resemblance to Baby Bowser as he’s been seen throughout the franchise.

Like father, like son definitely applies here, but it’s hard not to like this trouble-making tyke.

It is likely we will be seeing much more of him in future games, which will only continue to increase his popularity!


7. Toad

Best Super Mario Characters Toad

Toad is one of the most recognizable characters to come from the Super Mario series, and he is often seen with Princess Peach.

As the Princess’s attendant and protector, Toad is often a supporting character in the games, though he has taken center stage a few times.

Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D World gave Toad the chance to become the main protagonist, and fans definitely enjoyed it.

Aside from appearing in one of the best Nintendo Wii games of all time, Toad can also be found in many other games.

These include the Mario Golf series, Mario Kart series, and numerous other spin-offs, comics, and cartoons.

Some fans even claim that Toad is the best Mario character based on his flexibility and helpful nature.

Whatever your feelings are for this particular Super Mario character, it’s hard to deny his inherent popularity!


6. Princess Rosalina

Best Super Mario Characters Rosalina

Princess Rosalina is a relatively new addition to the Mario crew, and she made her debut in 2007 as a character in Super Mario Galaxy.

A powerful character, Rosalina, is tasked with protecting and watching over the entire cosmos.

This princess is also the adopted mother of the Lumas, star-like creatures that assist Mario throughout the galaxy.

While Princess Peach may be the most well-known female character in the franchise, Rosalina has conjured up a lot of popularity as well.

Since her debut, her kind personality has quickly won over many fans, which has prompted her reappearance in numerous games.

After debuting, Princess Rosalina has gone on to star in many Mario Kart titles, as well as Super Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. games.

Despite being fairly static and reserved in Super Mario Galaxy, Rosalina has since come out of her shell a bit in later games.

She is now shown to be a bit more upbeat and energetic, especially in Mario Kart, which has only made her more popular.


5. Yoshi

Best Super Mario Characters Yoshi

Yoshi made his debut in 1990 in one of the best SNES games ever created, Super Mario World.

This tiny dinosaur-like creature is a frequent ally of Mario and Luigi, but he has also become the protagonist of his own franchise.

Within the Mario universe, Yoshi is an interesting character because all members of his species are identified by the same name.

Essentially, this means that each iteration of the character that we see may not be the same one!

Despite this, fans have come to love Yoshi and his egg-laying antics, which have made him popular in every game he appears in.

In the Super Mario series, he even appears as a rideable character, carrying other members of the series on his back.

Aside from appearing in his own franchise, Yoshi frequently appears in many other Mario games, such as Mario Kart and Super Mario.

Most recently, Yoshi was seen in Mario Strikers: Battle League, which was released in 2022.

It’s safe to say that we will be seeing much more of Yoshi in future Super Mario games, as he is a fan favorite the series can’t be without!


4. Princess Peach

Best Super Mario Characters Princess Peach

Of course, we can’t name the best Super Mario characters without mentioning Princess Peach!

Notorious for being kidnapped, this princess made her first appearance in Super Mario Bros. in 1985.

Since then, she has remained a staple in the franchise and the main love interest of Mario himself.

The princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, Peach, is often seen in her castle, surrounded by Toads, her loyal servants.

While she is often a damsel in distress, she did prove to be able to hold her own as the heroine of Super Princess Peach in 2005.

Most recently, she appeared in the Super Mario movie, which has grossed over $1 billion, voiced by Anya Taylor-Joy.

To date, Princess Peach has appeared in more games than any other female character in video game history.

With game appearances spanning three decades so far, this Super Mario Princess is certainly one of the most important and popular characters in the series.

It is very likely that we will continue to see her for many more decades to come, given how significant she is to the Mario franchise.


3. Bowser

Best Super Mario Characters Bowser

Sometimes known as King Bowser or King Koopa, Bowser is the main antagonist of the Mario series, and he is instantly recognizable.

Having been the arch-nemesis of Mario since his debut in Super Mario Bros. 1985, Bowser has since appeared in 149 Mario titles.

Most recently, he appeared in the Super Mario movie, voiced perfectly by actor Jack Black.

Despite being unapologetically the villain, Bowser has drummed up a strong fan following thanks to his bold personality.

While he is often intimidating, boastful, and threatening, he has been shown to have a softer side in regard to his son.

In fact, he can be a downright loving father figure when he needs to be and even demonstrates a softer demeanor toward his loyal minions.

Similarly, in games like Super Marion Party and Mario Tennis, he can be seen crashing the events for a friendly bit of competition.

Having been around for so long, it should come as no surprise how multidimensional this villainous Koopa is.

There is much more to him than meets the eye, which has helped make him one of the best Super Mario characters of all time!


2. Luigi

Best Super Mario Characters Luigi

Taking our number two spot is none other than Mario’s younger brother and the secondary protagonist of the whole series.

Luigi has been front and center in many of the best Super Mario games of all time, and it’s hard to imagine the franchise without him.

His first appearance came in 1983 in Mario Bros. for the Game & Watch, a handheld console that allowed for simultaneous two-player action.

Since then, Luigi has become one of the most recognizable video game characters in the world, appearing in games, anime series, and many spin-off titles.

While he was originally created for two-player purposes, Luigi has since gone on to be a great hero and main protagonist in his own series.

The Luigi’s Mansion games have become incredibly popular and show off how great this character really is.

Despite being depicted as more cowardly than his brother, Luigi is heroic when the need arises and won’t hesitate to step up for his friends.

As a bit of an underdog, Luigi has resonated with many fans of the Mario series, earning millions of fans across the world.

There is no doubt that we will continue to see much of this green plumber in future installments as his popularity continues to grow.


1. Mario

Best Super Mario Characters Mario

It’s-a-me, Mario! Of course, Mario takes our number one spot! How could he not? This titular character has made a huge impact on the gaming industry!

One of the most popular video game characters of all time, Mario, has been around since 1981, making his first appearance in Donkey Kong.

The titular protagonist of one of the longest-running and most successful franchises in history, the popularity of Mario can’t be overstated.

Known for his trademark stomping and jumping abilities, Mario has brought hours of fun to gamers across the globe for decades.

In many of the games he stars in, players have to follow him on an adventure to save Princess Peach after she is captured by Bowser.

However, he has also been shown doing many other activities, such as racing, golfing, and tennis with his brother and his friends.

It’s hard to imagine how different gaming would look without this platforming pioneer who has become universally recognizable.

As of 2022, the Mario franchise has sold over 820 million units, largely due to the overwhelming popularity of this enthusiastic Italian plumber!



We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 10 best Super Mario characters and learned a bit more about your favorite characters!

While these Super Mario characters have been around for decades, it is unlikely that they will fade into obscurity any time soon.

If anything, we can expect to see much more of these characters for decades to come, given the impact they’ve each had on fans!

Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best Super Mario characters:

  1. Mari
  2. Luigi
  3. Bowser
  4. Princess Peach
  5. Yoshi
  6. Princess Rosalina
  7. Toad
  8. Bowser Jr.
  9. Donkey Kong
  10. Waluigi

Which Super Mario character is your favorite? Leave a comment below.

Shawna Schofield is a professional freelance writer and part-time YouTuber. When not writing or recording she spends her time playing Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and Dragon Age.

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