The five best Mario spinoff series are so successful that they rival even the main Super Mario franchise. These spinoff games either focus on a side character from the main Mario franchise or feature an ensemble of characters coming together.
Mario has been a prominent figure in the gaming industry for nearly 40 years, but the spinoff games are what made him a household name. Not everyone will want to jump through eight worlds of levels, but the whole family can gather for a round of virtual board games or kart racing. Here are the top five Mario spinoff games.
5 Best Mario Spinoffs: Top Game Series
1. Mario Golf
First game: NES Open Tournament Golf (1987)
Most recent game: Mario Golf: World Tour (2014)
The Mario Golf franchise is the one of oldest Mario spinoff series, first appearing on the Famicom Disk System. 1999's Mario Golf modernized the series to what we know it as today, and a new installment is set to release in 2021.
2. Mario Kart
First game: Super Mario Kart (1992)
Most recent game: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017)
The Mario Kart series is one of Nintendo's staple franchises and has been the go-to party game for nearly three decades. Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are among the highest-selling Mario games of all time.
3. Yoshi's Island
First game: Yoshi's Island (1995)
Most recent game: Yoshi's Crafted World (2019)
Mario's trusty steed Yoshi was awarded his own 2D platformer on the NES. Yoshi's Island saw Yoshi watching over Baby Mario and armed with projectile eggs he can launch at enemies. While there are technically only two Yoshi's Island titles, the green dinosaur has since gone on to star in other games that retain gameplay elements from Yoshi's Island.
4. Mario Party
First game: Mario Party (1998)
Most recent game: Super Mario Party (2018)
The Mario Party series certainly has an argument with Mario Kart for being the most popular Mario spinoff franchise. Mario Party is designed for anyone to be able to pick up and enjoy, and is always more fun in groups.
5. Luigi's Mansion
First game: Luigi's Mansion (2001)
Most recent game: Luigi's Mansion 3 (2019)
Mario's brother finally got his chance at the spotlight when Luigi's Mansion debuted on the Nintendo Gamecube. The game was critically acclaimed for its unique gameplay and after popular demand was awarded a proper sequel nearly 20 years later.