Game Guides

Super Mario 3D All-Stars – Which Game to Play First and Which is Best

So many great games, but who has the time?

by Kyle Hanson

Super-Mario-3D-All-Stars-Which-Game-to-Play-First-and-Which-is-Best

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is finally here! Nintendo fans around the world have anxiously awaited this collection of three of the best 3D platformers ever made. While that excitement has finally paid off, it has also given way to questions. These three games will take dozens or hundreds of hours to complete, depending on what “complete” means to you. So with such an investment ahead of you, you might wonder which game to play first and which is best in Super Mario 3D All-Stars.

Which Game to Play First

Super Mario 3D All-Stars combines three all-time greats: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. Each offers its own unique highlights and issues, but there are distinct reasons you might want to play a specific game first. Of course, most of this will be determined by your own history with the games and franchise. If you’re coming at this as your first introduction to Mario or to these games specifically you’ll want to play them in different orders from a seasoned veteran.

If this is your first introduction to these games, or Mario as a concept then going through them in order from 64 through Sunshine and finishing with Galaxy would truly be ideal. The games build and work off of each other in interesting ways, adding mechanics and expanding the universe while also improving the gameplay. But that last bit is important too.

I would recommend that new players try out Super Mario 64 at first

Each game improves on its predecessor in many ways, so going all the way back to Super Mario 64 might be jarring, especially if you’ve played other 3D platformers and are expecting more modern mechanics, like auto-save. So what you need to avoid is burning out on the older games and missing out on the new ones. With this in mind I would recommend that new players try out Super Mario 64 at first, but with the mindset that they may want to jump ahead at any time.

And that jump might take them all the way to Galaxy, surpassing Sunshine. In fact, that might be a good idea if Super Mario 64 isn’t clicking well for you. Sunshine was somewhat experimental for its time, and also had some parts that felt rushed. It builds off of 64 but also falters in some areas where other Mario games didn’t. So while it is a leap forward in a lot of ways, it can also still feel antiquated depending on your experience level. Galaxy was experimental as well, but all of its experiments paid off quite well, which leads us to the next question.

Which Game is Best

There’s no easy answer to which game is best in Super Mario 3D All-Stars as each has its own unique charm. Super Mario 64 is the originator of 3D platforming (at least good 3D platforming), but that also means it’s very rough around the edges. Super Mario Sunshine has tons of cool changes and improvements, and the setting is quite unique for the series, but it’s also showing its age more than it likely should. However, it’s also been improved much more than 64 in the shift to 3D All-Stars. Super Mario Galaxy though…this is the answer really. It’s the newest in the collection, it got the most enhancements in the transition with better resolution and framerate, and it still looks amazing to this day. If you’re wondering which game will give you the most fun, sans nostalgia, Super Mario Galaxy is probably the right call.

So that’s our thoughts on which game to play first and which is best in Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Whichever way you go, you can’t go wrong here. These are three of the best games ever made.

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