7. Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario 3D Land did something quite impressive; it brought a full-fledged 3D Mario experience to a handheld system. It’s also just a pretty darn good game to boot. The title is unique, however, in that it combines elements from both the 2D and 3D entries of the Mario series. The game is split up into different linear levels that you complete, some of which play out in a side-scrolling view, but you have the option of moving Mario in 3D around each level. There are a number of items and power-ups to collect like the Fire Flower, and the game still uses a system for a shrinking and growing.
3D Land proved to be a refreshing entry for the Mario series, combining much of what worked best about both types of Mario entries. There was a ton of content to dig into, and for the most part level design was exceptionally good. It also helps that 3D Land is probably still the best use we’ve seen of the system’s 3D functionality, adding true depth to the game and its world. Although it may be last here, that’s a testament to the overall quality of 3D Mario games.