Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart has a long history as one of the best Mario spinoffs dating all the way back to the SNES era. However, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch tops all others.
It carries over the same great gameplay from Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U. Better yet, all the DLC is included in one package. That one fact pushes it over the top and it doesn’t hurt that you can play this one on the go thanks to the portability of the Switch.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Mario had some fun adventures on the SNES traveling through time and driving cars, but no SNES Mario spinoff was quite as memorable as Super Mario RPG. It was a new experience for Mario fans and introduced the world to everyone’s favorite puppet, Geno.
Now it doesn’t seem that different since we have many Mario & Luigi RPG games. At the time, it was a major genre shift from Mario’s typical running and jumping. Not only that, but it had a unique pseudo-3D art style that adds to the argument that this is one of the best Mario spinoffs.
Super Mario Strikers
I originally judged Super Mario Strikers as just another Mario sports game. And sure, that’s not entirely wrong. Yet, This is one of those games that will stick with you and will keep you coming back because of its gameplay. It’s undoubtedly one of the best Mario spinoffs.
This was Mario’s first foray on the pitch and it was a masterful work of game creation. A Super Strike shot could make the match take a vicious left turn in an instant and the power-ups would help balance the score back in the other direction just as quickly.
Mario Party 3
It’s not easy to narrow down the best Mario spinoffs or the best Mario Party game. But if I only choose one from this franchise, it has to be Mario Party 3 for the N64. The first two are great games, but this one just brought the franchise to the next level and made each future release a must-buy title.
The introduction of the story mode in Mario Party 3 was one of the biggest additions to the franchise. It wasn’t a gripping tale that pulled at your heartstrings, but it at least gave you a reason to play through every board by yourself. It also made this title more than a collection of board games.
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Mario Golf games are arguably the best Mario sports games out there and you can’t get much better than Toadstool Tour. There was just something magical about the sports games on the Gamecube and especially Toadstool Tour that makes it one of the best Mario spinoffs.
Toadstool Tour dropped all of the new original characters from the N64 version in favor of more recognizable Nintendo characters like Boo, Petey Piranha and Princess Daisy. It was also an exceptionally beautiful Gamecube game that still looks great today.
If you’ve played any Picross game, then you have played Mario Picross. These nonogram puzzles of Japanese origin are already fun, but adding our favorite platforming hero to the mix makes it one of the best Mario spinoffs.
This game originally released on the Gameboy and also made its way to the 3DS Virtual Console. Mario’s Picross was the first Nintendo-themed Picross title with a whopping 256 total puzzles. Even though it wasn’t the most popular at the time, it got the ball rolling for Nintendo-themed Picross.
Mario Superstar Baseball
Mario Superstar Baseball is the last good Mario Baseball game and it may even be one of the most fun baseball games of all-time. The multiplayer mode is sure to entertain with friends, but the single-player is where this masterpiece shines.
Traveling around the map and challenging the different teams of Super Mario characters to collect the best team is so much fun. It may even be a better experience than playing any season mode in a realistic baseball sim.
If you have ever played Dr. Mario then I have a feeling I know what song is playing in your head. If I was wrong, then I’m very sorry for putting that thought into your head for the rest of the day, week or month.
Catchy music aside, this is one of the best Mario spinoffs because of its gameplay. You may hear comparisons to Tetris but it’s more like the color matching gameplay of the Puyo Puyo games. It’s just stellar puzzle gameplay that never gets old.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
When it comes to the best Mario spinoffs you can’t forget the Paper Mario series. And the best game in that franchise is undoubtedly Thousand-Year Door. There are even many people willing to argue that it’s one of the greatest games of all-time.
The papercraft world is simple, yet it looks absolutely incredible. The turn-based gameplay which is usually limiting in other games feels incredibly open with numerous attack options. Most of all, the writing is incredibly witty and intelligent.