What are the best games like Super Mario?
Super Mario is one of the biggest video game series in the world, having sold over 380 million copies worldwide.
Although there are dozens of games in this franchise, if you’re in the mood for something different, you’ve come to the right place.
Today, we’re looking at the games that serve as the best Super Mario alternatives by providing a similar gameplay experience!
The 10 Best Games Like Super Mario
Super Mario has set the standard for platformer games, and because of this, many titles have followed in its footsteps.
To create this list, we’ve considered the gameplay, popularity, and sales of similar games to determine which are worth playing!
So, let’s-a-go and jump right into our list of the 10 best games like Super Mario:
10. Yooka Laylee
Kicking off our list, we have Yooka Laylee, a platform game that was released in 2017 as a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie.
Played from a third-person perspective, players control Yooka, a chameleon, and Laylee, a bat, as they explore worlds spawned from magic books.
Both characters can learn a variety of skills as the game progresses, such as tongue whip and sonar blast to help players get past enemies.
There is also a two-player co-op mode and a two to four-player local multiplayer that features eight minigames.
Yooka Laylee even comes with an optional 64-bit mode that makes everything look like an old-school Nintendo 64 game.
This is easily one of the best PS4 games you can play right now, and we definitely recommend it for fans of Super Mario Bros.
9. Mail Mole
Okay, Mail Mole is an adorable game filled with creative platforming and sleek yet simple graphics.
Released in 2021, this 3D platformer follows the adventures of Molty, a delivery mole, as he tries to save Carrotland from impending doom!
There are a ton of different worlds to explore and loads of engaging puzzles to solve, along with many great NPCs to meet and befriend.
Players can even customize Molty with accessories ranging from silly hats to gold chains and jetpacks!
Mole Mail is an exceptionally charming game, and with over 30 levels to complete, you won’t run out of content for a while.
A bit like Super Mario 3D World, we highly recommend this platformer to any fans of the Super Mario series!
8. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove was released as a complete collection in 2017, and it includes the base game and all DLC.
This 2D side-scrolling platformer has an old-school 8-bit graphics style, and its base campaign revolves around Shovel Knight fighting the Order of No Quarter.
Aside from the main quest, this game encourages players to find as much treasure as possible while exploring the world and uncovering secrets.
Although Shovel Knight does have infinite lives, death will cause players to lose a bit of money, which can then be re-gained at the site of death.
If you’re someone who likes high risk and high reward, there is also an option to destroy checkpoints to gain more treasure.
However, this means that if you do die, you will be sent back much further, usually to the start of the level.
Along with the base campaign, Shovel of Hope, the Treasure Trove collection comes with Plague of Shadows, Specter of Torment, King of Cards, and Showdown DLCs.
Since being released, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove has quickly become one of the best Nintendo Switch games, especially for Super Mario Bros fans!
7. Super Meat Boy
Released in 2010, Super Meat Boy is a platformer and successor to the 2008 Flash game Meat Boy.
In this game, players control a cube-shaped Meat Boy with the goal of reducing Bandage Girl from the evil Dr. Fetus.
Super Meat Boy is split into different chapters, which combined contain over 300 levels for players to get through.
Every level presents various challenges, such as crumbling blocks and saw blades, that will have to be avoided to reach the end.
Unlike Super Mario Bros, this game relies heavily on split-second timing and precise controls to keep Meat Boy alive.
While the levels can be played in any order, you’ll have to complete a certain number of them to unlock the boss fight that allows you into the next chapter.
If you’re able to get an A+ ranking on a level, a harder version in the “dark world” will be unlocked.
Despite its challenging gameplay, Super Meat Boy is a must-play for anyone who loves platform games!
6. New Super Lucky’s Tale
An enhanced version of Super Lucky’s Tale, this game was released in 2019 for the Nintendo Switch and in 2020 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Taking inspiration from some of the best retro games, New Super Lucky’s Tale is a 3D platformer with five unique worlds to explore.
Each world features its own central hub, which can be explored in a nonlinear fashion, giving players a lot of freedom.
All of the levels inside each world have to be cleared in order to open up a boss fight that allows players to progress to the next hub.
Although the game is 3D, some levels place players inside a 2D scrolling environment, while others involve sliding or shrinking.
New Super Lucky’s Tale has also reworked the original story and expanded the cast of NPCs to interact with.
Similarly, the order of worlds has been changed, and some of the hubs have been updated and renamed.
So, even if you’ve played the original, there is a ton of new stuff to explore, and we highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t already!
Celeste is an indie platformer that follows the story of Madeline, a trans woman struggling with depression and anxiety.
In this game, players control Madeline as she tries to climb Celeste Mountain while encountering the personification of her self-doubt along the way.
As a 2D platformer, in Celeste, players have the ability to run, jump, and climb walls, but only for a limited amount of time.
There are eight chapters in the base game, each of which is divided into multiple challenges with checkpoints in between.
While it is a relatively simple game, it has a high level of difficulty, which makes overcoming hurdles feel much more rewarding.
Thanks to its engaging gameplay, Celeste has earned a dedicated fan following, including an active speedrunning and modding community.
Easily one of the best video games of all time in our book, Celeste will challenge even veteran Super Mario Bros fans with its unforgiving level design!
4. Spyro The Dragon
Of course, we have to include one of the best Spyro games, more specifically, the one that kickstarted the series!
This 1998 platform game features Spyro and his friend Sparx as they set off across the Dragon Kingdom to defeat Gnasty Gnorc.
As an open-ended 3D platformer, Spyro the Dragon has numerous large levels where players can explore to find collectible items.
While the original game was released for the PlayStation, it has since been remastered as a part of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
This remaster is available for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch, and it remains extremely faithful to the original.
The only big changes were the removal of content that is no longer seen as appropriate; for instance, the weapons fired by enemies now shoot slime instead of bullets.
Aside from that, even the levels were meticulously recreated to match the layout and size of the originals.
If you’re someone who loves Super Mario Bros, you will definitely enjoy Spyro The Dragon and all of its related spin-offs!
3. Rayman Legends
Rayman is one of the most popular video game characters, and he made his debut back in 1995.
However, Rayman Legends is the fifth installment in the series and a direct sequel to the 2011 Rayman Origins title.
This game allows for up to four players to tackle levels while defeating enemies, collecting Lums, and freeing Teensies.
Collecting Teensies will allow players to unlock new worlds, all of which can be played in any order once you have them.
Along with Rayman, Teensies, and Globox, players can control a new female character called Barbara the Barbarian Princess, along with her sister and cousins.
There are over 120 levels, including 40 that have been remastered from the original game, which can be unlocked using Lucky Tickets.
Murfy the greenbottle also makes a reappearance as an assisting character that can grab enemies, cut ropes, and activate mechanisms.
Although this game had slow sales at the start, it received universal acclaim from critics and fans, praising its imaginative design and level variety.
In our humble opinion, Rayman Legends is one of the best games in the franchise, and definitely one that every Super Mario Bros fan should check out!
2. Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Following up with another classic IP, we have Crash Bandicoot: Warped, one of the best Crash Bandicoot games ever made.
Originally released in 1998 for the PlayStation, Warped has since been remasted as a part of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
This collection was released in 2017 for the PS4 and in 2018 for the Xbox One, and it has since sold over 10 million copies.
However, while the trilogy includes two other games, it is Warped that stands out as the most successful.
The third game in the franchise, Warped, features Dr. Cortex teaming up with Dr. Nefarious Tropt and Uka Uka as they try to gather crystals scattered across time.
Of course, Crash isn’t about to let this dastardly trio nab these powerful items, so players have to help him and Coco traverse time to grab the crystals for themselves.
There are 25 crystals to collect, along with five bosses to defeat that will become available after completing five levels.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped is one of the best classic games like Super Mario, and its remastered version brings everything to a modern audience.
If you haven’t yet played this game, you’re really missing out, especially if you’re a fan of Super Mario!
1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Taking our number one spot is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, a 2014 platformer published for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch.
Aside from being one of the best Donkey Kong games, Tropical Freeze has everything that a Super Mario fan could want!
In this game, players have to help DK and his family traverse across five islands in order to save their home after it’s been frozen by the evil Snowmads.
Tropical Freeze is a side-scrolling platform game that allows players to control DK while being assisted by Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, or Cranky Kong.
If you’re playing the Nintendo Switch version, you will also have the option of playing as Funky Kong in the optional Funky Mode.
Assisting companions can either be controlled via AI or used by another player in multiplayer mode.
Each has their own unique abilities that make getting through levels a little bit easier, which is helpful since this game can be difficult at times!
If you’re a fan of Super Mario Bros, you’re probably well familiar with Donkey Kong, and a lot of the gameplay remains the same between the two.
As such, Tropical Freeze is our pick for the best game like Super Mario, and we couldn’t recommend it more highly!
We certainly hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 10 best games like Super Mario and that it has helped you find some similar games to play.
The Super Mario Bros series has definitely set a high bar for all platformers, but we think these games are able to live up to these high standards.
If you haven’t played any of these games yet, we would highly suggest starting with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze as it’s most like Super Mario!
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best games like Super Mario:
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- Crash Bandicoot: Warped
- Rayman Legends
- Spyro The Dragon
- New Super Lucky’s Tale
- Super Meat Boy
- Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
- Mail Mole
- Yooka Laylee
Which of these games are you going to play first? Leave a comment below.
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