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

Banzai Bill

Bullet Bills were the bane of Mario’s existence for years, what with their straight shots and angry faces, but players were in for a bigger surprise when they started up Super Mario World. They were quickly and violently introduced to Banzai Bill, the screen-filling nemesis that you were better off dodging than fighting. It was a memorable visual and great way to show off the new system’s power.


The “P” in “P-Balloon” allegedly stands for power, though the power that Mario is bestowed is quite strange. Unlike the P-Wing of Mario 3, which basically let you skip a stage by flying to the end, the P-Balloon inflated Mario for a brief time, as he lazily drifted through the level. Perhaps it wasn’t the most useful thing Mario ever found, but we appreciate its uniqueness.

Baby Yoshis

Yoshi on his own is cute enough, but what about when one has just hatched out of the egg? With his sleepy, half-lidded expression, tiny potbelly and his insatiable appetite, we just want to hug that little Yoshi all day long. Sadly, they grow up so fast, usually within a minute of hatching after eating a few enemies.

Smashing Castles

After beating a boss, a thank you is nice, especially when it comes from inside an egg, but what was most fulfilling was the destruction. After dispatching with one of Bowser’s shitty kids, Mario then sent their fortress toppling down in a different way every time. These comical interludes added to the wonderfully cartoony vibe of World that Yoshi’s Island expanded upon brilliantly.


Though we enjoyed the P-Switches on their small scale in earlier Mario titles, as they revealed coins and secret exits for tantalizingly brief moments, World took them to another level. Throughout the game there were hidden, huge switches that made new, special colored blocks permanently appear throughout the game, and those blocks often lead to cleverly hidden…

Secret exits

Mario games are famous for their secrets, as seemingly every nook and cranny was hiding something special and World was no exception. Many stages had some unknown door or exit out that opened up some new path, several demanding you carry a key from one end of the stage. Thanks to the counter on the title screen, you always knew how many you’d cleared and how many of the 96 total remained.

Punching a fence

Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.