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


  • chrisat928 - September 2, 2011 4:04 p.m.

    20 years ago? Christ I'm old.
  • DecoyOctorok - September 2, 2011 4:55 p.m.

    I was 7 when the SNES was released and my nostalgia meter is off the charts right now after looking at those images from the game manual. Except for the Dreamcast, no console has ever wowed me in the way that the SNES did. The graphics were just such a huge jump up from the NES. It's amazing how much the games industry has changed since those days.
  • DryvBy - September 2, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    Ugh, same here. I remember when this came out and when I beat it. Why can't my memory remember last night?
  • MaynardJ - September 2, 2011 4:29 p.m.

    Wait a sec... there was a vertical throw?? Back in the day I borrowed this from a friend without the manual. I beat Bowser by flying up with the cape. and tossing the downed enemy at him at the exact right time while coming down. It took me ages, and I could have saved a lot of trouble just knowing about this move. Also, I don't think I knew about punching through fences and how to properly fly using the cape either. I have to play this again SOON!
  • tomthespesh - September 2, 2011 4:45 p.m.

    Dammit this is the only Mario Game I haven't played in my 19 years on this planet. I had a NES but went straight to the N64, I feel a trip to the virtual console might be in order...
  • lilspooky - September 2, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    Super Mario World is still my Fav Mario game. 20 years! Damn it, im old!
  • MonocledYaoGuai - September 2, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    Mario World is still my favorite Mario game of all time. Awesome article!
  • gondarpwns - September 2, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    Man now ima go play my SMW rom
  • CitizenWolfie - September 2, 2011 5:08 p.m.

    This was my first ever console game and the first I ever finished 100%. Or *96'd at least. I cannot describe how much this game means to me.
  • CitizenWolfie - September 2, 2011 5:24 p.m.

    Oh by the way GR, you do realise you can complete SMW with only one castle and Bowser's castle finished? Thank you Star World!
  • juicenpancakes - September 2, 2011 5:38 p.m.

    Truly one of my top five all-time favorite games, I have to beat it at least twice a year. It's genuinely as great now as the day it came out.
  • D0CCON - September 2, 2011 5:54 p.m.

    I played a GBA port of this. I remember liking it a lot. I also remember hating Magikoopa, so I can't agree to everything on this list.
  • 510BrotherPanda - September 2, 2011 8:09 p.m.

    1. The word "Macikoopa" is misspelled in the Magikoopa entry. 2. The music in the Ghost Houses would sometimes slow to a crawl because of the Boos; Brett pointed out that the SNES sometimes couldn't handle the extra stuff, like in Star Fox. 3. Even after all these years, I have NEVER betrayed Yoshi; I always died with him.
  • 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!
  • Thequestion 121 - September 2, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    Just an utterly perfect game, it's still one of my favorite Mario games :)
  • Hauntor - September 2, 2011 11:19 p.m.

    The GBA version is like 2 feet from me. NOW I MUST PLAY IT.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Showing 1-20 of 34 comments

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