Mario has quite the resume after over 30 years in the gaming industry. He’s saved princesses from all manners of monsters as a hero, cured countless diseases as a doctor, and has probably even plumbed a toilet or two. But there’s a lot more that Mario has done during his gaming career, and in places you might not expect! Here, we’re going to cover ten of the best Mario cameos in other games, and what they add to the red plumber’s legacy.
For the first item on the list, we’re going back to Mario’s early years. Even back in the days of the NES, Mario was already comfortable enough to pop his head into other series. In Punch-Out!!, Mario served as the referee for Little Mac’s climb to the top of the WVBA. Here, his countdown signaled either a triumphant victory that moved Mac forwards in the rankings, or a humiliating defeat at the hands of King Hippo or Great Tiger.
SSX on Tour and NBA Street V3
This duo of sports titles during the Gamecube era were some of Mario’s more surprising cameo appearances. Exclusive to the Gamecube versions of both titles, Mario, Luigi, and Peach would take to the slopes and courts, respectively, to compete against plenty of real-world athletes. Who knew plumbers and princesses could dunk and grind so well?
Scribblenauts is a pretty ambitious franchise, allowing you to spawn in just about any item you can think of (and spell properly). For their Wii U outing, Scribblenauts Unlimited, the developers decided to add Mario and friends to the mix. Players can spawn in Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and a whole lot more of the Mushroom Kingdom’s residents to help them out with the game’s many tricky puzzles.
Remember when Mario was president? No? Well, we don’t either, but we also don’t think Pilotwings 64 would lie to us. Here, Mario’s head adorns the in-game Mount Rushmore, alongside Abraham Lincoln and the rest. Shooting Mario’s head though, will cause the bust to explode and reveal Wario’s head underneath. Maybe Pilotwings 64 isn’t all too trustworthy after all.
Kirby Super Star
A rare double cameo, Mario shows up in two different ways in Kirby Super Star. The first is as a spectator during the King Dedede bossfight, where he, Luigi, and Birdo can be seen watching the puffball and penguin do battle. The second involves the Stone Copy Ability, as one of it’s many transformations is a golden statue of the man himself.
As weird as it would be for Microsoft to add a Mario cameo to one of their games, that’s exactly what happened with Minecraft: Super Mario Edition. Included are a cavalcade of Mario-related costumes for players, reskins of the base game’s mobs to turn them into Mario characters, and gorgeous builds of classic characters and locales from across the series.
Hitman is certainly not the franchise you’d expect Mario to make a cameo in, but he and Luigi snuck into the Sapienza level of the 2016 reboot all the same. There, you can find Mario and Luigi “Saltatore” hard at work in the level’s sewers, a fitting place for the plumber brothers. Some challenge levels even ask you to take the duo down! Don’t worry though, we’re sure they have a spare one-up pocketed away somewhere.
One of the early outings of Tetris also included one of Mario’s earliest cameos, as well as a few for his fellow Nintendo icons. Mario, Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, Samus and more all appeared in the Stage 9 levels of the game, dancing and playing instruments to celebrate your victory as you completed some of the game’s more difficult block-dropping levels.
Just Dance Series
The Just Dance franchise features music from all kinds of artists, but only one track features a plumber. The Just Mario track featured in Just Dance 3 and onwards plays a rendition of classic Mario music, all while Mario busts a serious move along to the beat. Looks like all that practice in Mario Dance Dance Revolution on the Gamecube paid off in the end.
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Mario and Snake have been butting heads in Smash for years now, but they’d actually met quite a bit before then. Otacon, friend to Solid Snake, genius inventor, and nerd extraordinaire, has a display case in his room featuring statues of both Mario and Yoshi. Shooting Mario would even give you a health refill. Yoshi, on the other hand, would only make a few noises when shot, so we know who the real hero is here.
And there you have it! Ten of the best Mario cameos from across his many years of gaming appearances. Which Mario cameos are your favorites? Are there any big ones we missed? Let us know!