Besides being a lot of fun, the best Lego Super Mario sets are nostalgia in brick form. They allow you to recreate the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond in miniature, and there are now dozens of kits inspired by the beloved video game series. Only this time, you're in charge of designing the levels.
Which packs are worth adding to your Lego courses, though? And how do you get the interactive figures that make it all come to life? We're big fans of the Nintendo mascot here at GamesRadar, so our master builders have created a shortlist of the best Lego Super Mario sets that are worth your time. These really are some of the best Lego sets out there.
We've also rounded up the lowest available prices - if there's a discount to be had on the best Lego Super Mario sets, you'll find it below.
Ready to see what you should prioritize? Let's-a-go!
Lego Super Mario sets - top 5
If you're unsure of where to begin, it's a no-brainer to pick up the starter set. In fact, we'd argue that it's an essential purchase - despite being a little more expensive, it's the only kit to include Mario himself. More importantly, the jovial plumber is compatible with all of the other Lego Super Mario sets out there. That means he'll interact with Lego Luigi and Lego Peach figures if you add them to your collection down the road.
Nintendo's mascot isn't the only reason to pick up this kit, though. Along with the digital Mario figure, this boxset contains the means to create a course with the franchise's most iconic elements (including a green warp pipe, blocks for Mario to hit, and an end-of-level flag pole for him to slide down). This can be set up any way you want and mixed with other sets too, so it's far from a one-hit wonder.
Naturally, every good hero needs a baddie to fight - and in this case, it's Bowser Jr. That makes this an all-in-one package and the perfect start to your Lego Mario world.
Want to keep costs low but still get in on the Lego Mario action? These blister packs are perfect. Besides being incredibly affordable (some cost less than a cup of coffee), they're surprisingly well made and are lovely little display pieces for your shelf or desk even if you have no intention of using them as a part of your course.
There's a lot to choose from, too. Four lines are now available, giving us roughly 40 figures in total, and these can be used with all other Lego Super Mario sets or put on a display stand if you'd rather keep them as decoration at home. And because those stands are only a hop, skip, and jump away from being mini-dioramas, they don't look out of place by themselves.
Not sold on the current lineup? Don't worry, fresh additions seem to appear every few months. That means you've always got something new to collect, especially as you never know what you'll find in each bag.
Despite being the priciest kit on this list, the Lego NES is undoubtedly one of the coolest. As a bricky slice of retro heaven, it's a real show-stopper that isn't just for looking at. Yup, you can actually play on it.
Built from a whopping 2,646 pieces, this model recreates the 1980s console and controller to go with an old-school CRT TV. Seeing as the latter has a side-scrolling screen showing the first Super Mario Bros. level (complete with a moveable Mario sprite), you can 'run' through that iconic stage and dodge obstacles.
Add the interactive Mario figure and things get even juicier. Plug him into the top of the TV and he'll start playing the game's theme tune as well as responding to enemies or power-ups when you encounter them. It's an awesome addition that elevates this Lego Super Mario set from simple replica to head-turning display piece.
Every Super Mario world needs a final boss, and who could be a better choice than Bowser himself? This set lets you recreate the king Koopa's lair in all its imposing glory.
Built on a bed of 'lava' that features its own Lava Bubble baddie (as is tradition for Bowser's Castle), this particular kit turns heads thanks to a sizeable - and moving - statue that looms over proceedings. It isn't an empty threat, either. Dry Bones and Boo are along for the ride to protect their master, not to mention towers with shaking, rotating platforms.
This gives us a suitably epic conclusion to any course, especially because players can actually defeat Bowser using flippers that move the bridge under him. It's just one of the unnecessary but very cool touches that make this set worth the higher price tag.
This kit may not be as attention-grabbing as other packs in the Lego Super Mario range, but it's a worthy purchase nonetheless if you like to freestyle your own courses. Besides giving you loads of extra tiles for expanding your world, it allows players to choose their own level rewards.
That's because of the helpfully-named 'Customization Machine'. This steampunk contraption pairs with certain blocks included within the box, letting users decide what comes out when they're activated. If you're buying for the little ones in your family, this gives them the means to create tailored stages for each other. There's even a time-trial Special Pipe if they want a greater challenge.
Getting more enemies to bash is no bad thing either, and this box contains four - Larry, Goomba, Bob-omb, and Koopa Paratroopa figures have come along for the ride. When combined with the interactive sliding platform obstacle, there's a lot of value on offer here.
Lego Super Mario sets - FAQ
Is Lego Super Mario worth it?
Mileage will vary from person to person, but we'd argue that Lego Super Mario is worth it no matter whether you're an adult looking for something to put on your shelf or a child hoping to get a new toy they can play with. As we mentioned in our Lego Super Mario hands-on, it serves both audiences surprisingly well.
However, your age-range will make certain kits more worthwhile than others. To be precise, the Mario starter set is great for everyone because of the interactive figure and iconic elements it features, but other expansions (like the Master Your Adventure set) just provide extra tiles or revolve around gameplay. This means they'll be probably more appealing to a younger audience hoping to play through their own levels.
Is Lego Mario sold separately?
Yes, the Lego Mario figure is sold separately. In fact, you can only get it in the Super Mario Adventures Starter Course (which is $59.99 at Amazon). The same is true of Lego Luigi and Lego Peach - they're available in specific starter sets, meaning you won't get them anywhere else.
Luckily, none of these are hard to find. Starter courses will be front-and-center wherever Lego Super Mario sets are sold. In other words, it won't take you long to track down the plucky plumber himself.
Is Lego Mario limited edition?
Don't worry, Lego Super Mario sets aren't a limited-edition flash in the pan. Much like Star Wars, Marvel, or Harry Potter, they're here for the long haul.
Nonetheless, it is worth noting that some kits are harder to find than others these days. Although the starter sets are pretty safe, many of the older models go out of production after a year or so. While that isn't to say they're impossible to get your hands on, they will require a bit more legwork if they've been discontinued by Lego. Basically, we'd recommend grabbing a set you want sooner than later to avoid disappointment down the road. That's especially true of the smaller blind bag sets - these are regularly replaced with newer kits.
Looking for gift ideas? Be sure to drop in on these must-have gifts for gamers. It's not a bad idea to scope out the best Harry Potter merchandise and Star Wars gifts too (speaking of which, there are more than a few Lego Star Wars sets to choose from...)!