Hands down, Mario has to be one of the most recognizable and beloved video game characters of all time. In fact, few virtual heroes have been as impervious to the test of time. Mario has appeared in over 200 official titles since first jumping onto the scene in 1981 in a little game called Donkey Kong, and a huge number of gamers are already anticipating his next opus, Super Mario Galaxy 2, due out on the Wii sometime this holiday season.
In aid to Mario fans everywhere, I’ve scoured the Internet to round up a list of the best free Flash games featuring the mushroom-scarfing, baddie-stomping, princess-rescuing, Italian plumber. There’s plenty of coin-collecting, adventuring, and boss-battling to be had, including a few humorous parodies and mash-ups. Moustaches and stylish overalls are recommended.
Without further ado, “let-sa go!”
Classic Mario Gameplay
- Super Mario Bros. Deluxe: An extremely faithful recreation of the original Super Mario Bros., minus the sound. (Press “D” to proceed through the menus.)
- Mario Forever Flash: One of the most visually stunning Mario freebies out there, with exceptionally polished gameplay and a lengthy adventure.
- Super Mario 63: A personal favorite of mine, this 2-D reimagining of Super Mario 64 is well-polished and has some truly inspired level designs.
- Super Mario Sunshine 64: Mario is equipped with Fludd (his water-jetpack) and must once again collect the Shine Sprites and explore Peach’s castle.
- Super Mario Flash: A great rendition of Super Mario World.
- Super Mario World Flash: Crisp graphics and sound and nineteen well-designed stages make this tribute stand out.
- Paper Mario World: More like a traditional Mario title than any of the games in the Paper Mario series, it’s still graphically impressive and has some fun gameplay and action-based puzzles.
- Old Mario Bros.: A great original Mario game with hand-drawn graphics (and slightly wonky controls.)
- Infinite Mario Bros.: Randomly generated levels make this Mario adventure different each time you play.
- Monolith’s Mario World 3: Another great adventure spanning 3 worlds, with 3 boss battles.
- Super Mario Defense: Bowser’s attacking the castle with an evil army of cloned Marios and Luigis. Build up your defenses and thwart the advance of the little plumbers.
- Pipe Panic: Pac-Man meets Mario. ‘Nuff said.
- Mario Tetris 3: In Mother Russia, Mario plays YOU!
Mario Parodies and Mash-Ups
- Super Gangster Bros.: Mario with shotguns.
- Mario Combat: Punch and kick your way to Bowser’s castle and crack open a can of whoop-ass. Or, try the graphically enhanced remake, Mario Combat Deluxe.
- Mario Remix: In addition to classic platforming, Mario can opt to take on some bosses from the Megaman series, or fly through space and blast stuff – Gradius-style!
- Mario Remix – Boss Edition: This time, Mario must face off against a combination of 35 different new and classic bosses from a variety of retro games. Old-school and tough as nails – in a good way.