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

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.