Super Mario Strikers review

Mario drinks from the World Cup and looks absurd while doing it

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Another well-crafted Nintendo sports title

  • +

    Signature power-ups rip up the field

  • +

    Shines with two or more players


  • -

    Won't find many frills here

  • -

    Fresh art style totally ignored in-game

  • -

    Trash-talking Mario? Um

  • -


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.

We've seen Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom pals infiltrate every sport under the sun, from tennis to baseball to golf. Now it's soccer's turn to get a makeover and the result is yet another approachable sports title that flies high when you've got a group of friends going at it.

Super Mario Strikers does to soccer what Mario Kart did to racing: make it completely nuts. You choose a captain (Mario, Luigi or one of the other headliners), pick their supporting players and take turns abusing the crap out of the opposing team with the usual Mario power-ups. Banana peels slip up the competition. Chain Chomps decimate the entire opposing team. But the items seem more brutal now, often slamming players into a surrounding electrified fence like rag dolls. It's morbidly satisfying when playing with friends, where you really get a sense of how much all the tripping, freezing and blasting can make a placid friend want to bite your damn head off.

Each of the main players has their own supercharged, goalie-murdering attack that looks right out of Dragon Ball Z. These shots take some time to set up and execute, but are guaranteed goals if done right. In fact, high scoring games are the rule here.

With all the instant goals and power-ups flying everywhere, it's almost impossible to gain a sense of momentum. More than once we shot a goal from midfield as soon as the ball was dropped. This would break any typical sports game; for Mario, it makes sense. You never know who could win,with one item or face-planting tackle changing everything.

The friendly atmosphere from earlier Mario sports games has been replaced by a questionable "street" mentality that's ill-fitting for the Nintendo realm. It's just too bizarre to see Luigi talking smack to Donkey Kong and Princess Peach parading around in skimpy, dare we say, sexy shorts. What happened to sportsmanship, guys?

The gritty promotional artwork plays up the in-your-face attitude, though in-game it's the same cutesy character designs we've seen since the Nintendo 64 days, trying to look tough. It's borderline embarrassing.

More info

DescriptionAnother souped-up sports outing for the Mario posse that stumbles solo but explodes with friends.
US censor rating"Everyone"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
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.