20 things we still love about Super Mario World 20 years later


We love Mario’s baddies, from the useless Goomba to the annoying Lakitu, and out of all the great additions to rogue’s gallery in World, Magikoopa might be our favorite. Not only do we love the silly visual of a turtle wearing a robe over their shell, along with a hat and glasses, that magic wand that turns blocks into more Koopas is pretty boss too. Magikoopa eventually morphed into Kamek, one of Bowser’s closest advisors.

Monty Mole

While from a gameplay standpoint we may find Magikoopa the most interesting, there’s something undeniably cool about Monty Mole. He literally exploded onto the scene in World, busting out of the ground at a moment’s notice to attack Mario, leaving a cartoony outline where he jumped out. He made such an impact that it’d be strange to see a new Mario title that was missing the pests.

Ghost Houses full of Boos

Though the Banzai Bill was an early demonstration of what the SNES could do, the developers waited until the introduction of the Ghost Houses to really flex their new muscles. As players entered the creepy haunts, they were immediately overwhelmed by dozens of Boos, the shy specters that Mario had only dealt with a few at a time before. Seeing so many characters on screen with no slow down quickly confirmed the SNES’s graphical authority.

It was a “free” game

Until Nintendo brought the concept back in a big way with the Wii/Wii Sports combo, packing in games with a brand new system had pretty much died out, but even when it was standard, the SNES launch was one of the best combos around. Instead of trying to grab the quick cash by selling it separately, World was sold with the system, giving players one of the system’s best games ever as a bonus.

Final fight with Bowser

After running through a huge variety of worlds and beating a cadre of henchmen and mid-bosses, it had all been leading up to this, your final battle with Bowser to free Princess Toadstool. Riding in his not-so-regal, clownish flying machine, Bowser rained death from above as his wind-up toys dropped on Mario. Thanks to his newfound throwing skills (and the occasional helpful mushroom from the Princess) we beat Bowser for the fourth time.

Star World

Just because you beat the final boss doesn’t mean the game’s over, or that you’ve faced the toughest stages in SMW. The more curious players over time found the special Star World area which, if you can find the hidden exits, let you warp around the world map with ease. With new Yoshis and some of the most challenging levels in the game, you haven’t truly finished Mario World until you beat Star World.

Sep 2, 2011


  • GameManiac - September 5, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    @Japanaman LOL "PlayStation buttons" I remember borrowing my friends GBA and version of SMW. I had a blast playing through it. I hope this becomes an eventual downloadable game through the Nintendo eShop.
  • Japanaman - September 5, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    Ahh, Magikoopa. How you tried to kill Mario with PlayStation buttons. Didn't work.
  • Zeb364 - September 5, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    I love when GR lets their editors write an article like this where they can just gush over how much they love a specific game or franchise. Their sincere passion for it really shows. Great article Hank, this is why you're the King of Mario Town.
  • rxb - September 4, 2011 4:08 p.m.

    Sorry to be a cliche but Im another 'cant put into words how much I love this game' gamer. Some parts were bastard hard but it was always fun. Gnarly on special world is a level people wont forget anytime soon. Good pick Hank
  • super0sonic - September 4, 2011 1:45 a.m.

    SMW is the greatest game ever I think. I own it on SNES, GBA, and Wii. I have played it on every PC I have owned and even my Dreamcast. And if it shows up in the 3DS store I will buy it. That said If they release a Ver of SMW that is 3D like Excitebike was I WILL pay $100 on the spot for that.
  • CanadianBeaverHunter - September 3, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    Pretty close to platforming perfection.
  • FanofSaiyan - September 3, 2011 11:35 a.m.

    I remember playing SMW on my SNES. I'm sad that I never discovered all of the hidden exits and levels. I did however manage to beat Bowser with the help of the Star Road.
  • Sjoeki - September 3, 2011 11:25 a.m.

    Wasn't it mario 2 (for america and europe) where you could pick up and throw stuff?
  • dmaster225 - September 3, 2011 11:07 a.m.

    I'm kinda surprised they didn't mention the SPECIAL world that comes up when you beat the star world, those levels were the hardest in the game. If you could beat the SPECIAL world the world map would change color.
  • Zudeo - September 3, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    SPECIAL world was the best kept secret in Super Mario World. Also, you saw that all the Koopas turned to little mustached school "children". I never did find a way to change the colors back though...
  • tntbandicoot - September 3, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    Was and Still my best NES game!Still my best NES game!
  • Shadow Of Death - September 3, 2011 7:20 a.m.

    I played this game to death when I had my SNES. I did all the above in it. Super Mario World and Megaman X were my most played games at the time. I don't think the hours played was surpassed until I got Final Fantasy X, or maybe not even until I got Disgaea: Hour of Darkness!
  • shawksta - September 3, 2011 3:14 a.m.

    SWM was definitly a title no one will forget, it was awesome,challenging and most of all fun! While we are getting Yoshis island and SMB 3, I really hope SMW is one of the free gba games for 3DS ambadsadors.
  • jmcgrotty - September 3, 2011 2:46 a.m.

    *bangs his head out of frustration on the grapes he is eating* "As we’ve shouted from our lawn many times before, kids today don’t know how good they have it." NO! No No No No! Kids today don't have it good. the flood of autosaves and routine save points is a black mark on the industry, basically just dumbing down games for todays players (I mean, come on. Anymore, the general formula of playing a game is 1) play game. 2) save. 3) fight. 4a) If you die or use too many items, restore last save. 4b) if you win the fight, run back 2 screens and save again at that save point you just passed. Can't lose the positive results from even just 1 kill. God forbid that you have to kill 5 enemies in order to get back to where you died, rather than it being just the most recent save. They've sacrificed actual challenge in gameplay just to beg lesser players to play (Yep, the fun buzzword of the industry today, "Casual gamer," started long before the Revolution). Jucienpancakes, you said you still need to beat it twice a year or something. That isn't really saying much. Beating the game twice would just take up like 22 minutes of your life. (OK, that was grossly exaggerated).
  • Hauntor - September 2, 2011 11:19 p.m.

    The GBA version is like 2 feet from me. NOW I MUST PLAY IT.
  • Thequestion 121 - September 2, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    Just an utterly perfect game, it's still one of my favorite Mario games :)
  • Redeater - September 2, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    Hmm. Maybe I missed it but one of the things I loved about this game was the ability to take multiple exits on a level. Damn you Forest of Illusion! I spent a long time trying to star this game when I found out that damn ghost house has 2 of the same exits!

Showing 1-20 of 34 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000