New Super Mario Bros. review

The way games used to be

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    As fun as you remember

  • +

    Spot-on controls

  • +


  • +

    Plenty of multiplayer


  • -

    Easy and short

  • -

    Repeating bosses get boring

  • -

    Old minigames

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

There are only a few franchises in the gaming industry that you can name drop and everyone, instantly, knows exactly what you mean. It's like Tetris, or it's a Doom clone, or, in many cases for handheld games, it's a pale shadow of Super Mario Bros. These practically need no introduction, and New Super Mario Bros. continues that proud tradition.

Other than porting over some of the plumber's moves from Super Mario 64 (butt stomp, wall jump and triple jump), this plays just like the classics you remember. There are eight worlds, divided into separate stages that contain power-ups, hidden exits and a bevy of colorful enemies to stomp on. At the end of each level, there's even a flagpole to scale, just like the original NES game that inspired an entire generation of gamers and developers.

If it's relatively unchanged from something we all played 20 years ago, why bother? Well, if Nintendo can get one thing right, it's a side-scrolling Mario adventure. New SMB still has that magical sense of exploration and broad range of environments to keep the turtle-stomping and block-busting interesting. These games routinely challenge you to think outside the level, and consider multiple ways to reach the end - that means hours of fun.

Then again, it's mere hours that it'll take to put Bowser back in his place and rescue Peach once again. If you're good, you can completely wipe this out in one day, secret worlds and all. The fact that the game practically hands you extra lives on a silver platter only makes it easier - not a complaint, but tougher bosses would have been welcomed.

More info

DescriptionShort and sweet, the Bros. first adventure in years packs in tons of classic moments and a hot two-player mode. Not to be missed.
US censor rating"Everyone"
UK censor rating""
Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.