When asked to think of addicting video games, a good chunk of people around the world are likely to recall Nintendo’s iconic Mario series, which is the best-selling game franchise of all time. But the task becomes much more difficult when faced with the dilemma of choosing the best Mario game series within the incredibly varied franchise. How could anyone possibly choose a favorite from the dozens of Mario games and spin-offs spanning all the way back to the NES?

Fortunately, Japanese portal site MyNavi Woman put out a survey in August to ask its readers to choose their favorite Mario games, so you don’t have to make the difficult decision yourself. But you can make a prediction–which five series do you think topped the list?

MyNavi Woman‘s online survey was conducted between August 14-21 and garnered a total of 448 responses, 163 of which were from men and 285 from women. Part of the appeal of the games in the Mario franchise is that they are accessible to players of all ages, sexes, and skill levels, as you’ll see in some of the survey comments below.

Q: Which game in the Mario series is your favorite? (multiple answers are possible)   

1) Super Mario Brothers series: 55.6%

“I got a Famicom [NES in the West] when I was a first-grader in elementary school, and this was the first game that I got into. Mario is fun whether you’re playing alone or with a friend, and I never get tired of it.” (33-year-old, female)

“I remember it well because it was the first game that I ever played.” (30-year-old, male)

“When people talk about getting addicted to video games, it’s definitely this series. It isn’t hard to play, and I discover something new every time I play it.” (27-year-old, male)

Over half of all the respondents agreed that you can’t get more classic than this. The first game in this ground-breaking series appeared on shelves in 1985, and it hasn’t stopped since. Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Princess Toadstool/Peach, Goombas, Koopa Troopers, etc. are some of the most recognizable characters in video game history, along with the game’s iconic theme song. Yep, we’d totally visit the Mushroom Kingdom if it really existed…

▼Pure nostalgia in a box

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2) Mario Kart series: 23.2%

“Even though the original game is now 18 years old, special items appearing once you clear certain requirements is still thrilling, and the quality of music is quite good. That’s why I still play it every now and then and never even notice its age.” (25-year-old, male)

“It’s a standard game to play whenever I get together with my friends.” (27-year-old, male)

“They’re exciting games that anyone can play.” (24-year-old, female)

First released in 1992, one of these racing games has appeared on almost every Nintendo system since the SNES. Nothing beats picking your character for some all-out racing action on differently themed courses. Plus, don’t you just love that feeling of satisfaction when someone skids over a banana peel that you’ve casually tossed behind you?

 ▼This year’s installment for the Wii U also features Luigi’s now infamous death stare.

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3) Mario Party series: 5.1%

 “I really like the mini-games that follow each round.” (24-year-old, male)

“This was always really popular to play with my friends at real parties!” (25-year-old, female)

“It’s fun to play noisily with friends but also by myself.” (23-year-old, female)

N64 owners had a party themselves when this series first graced the shelves in 1998. The object is for players to move around the virtual board game while collecting as many power stars as possible. The tenth installment in the series is set to be released next year for the Wii U, and will feature a new Bowser Party Mode in addition to the standard Party Mode.

 ▼It’s just like the box says–who can resist “Frantic 4-player fun!”?

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4) Dr. Mario: 4.9%

“I like it because it’s easy. I can enjoy it with my family.” (48-year-old, male)

“I’m the kind of person who can’t stop once they’ve started something, so I played it with my family until the showdown at the highest level.” (26-year-old, female)

“I liked the fact that you can choose the music. I always wanted to clear Level 20.” (31-year-old, female)

Hailing back to 1990 and both the NES and the original Game Boy, the Dr. Mario series of games features Mario’s alternate persona as a lab coat-wearing, stethoscope-toting doctor of the Mushroom Kingdom Hospital. He combats Viruses using Megavitamins, which even make an appearance with the unlockable Dr. Mario character in Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers Melee. By the way, last year’s Dr. Luigi game saw the entrance of Mario’s medically-minded brother as well. With all of their enemies to defeat, when did either of them possibly have the time to graduate from medical school?

 ▼Those Viruses are almost as cute as our resident mascot Satosshi.

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5) Mario Tennis series: 3.6% 

“I like the competitive nature of the games. ” (29-year-old, female)

“They’re easy to understand.” (22-year-old, female)

“I often competed with my four siblings.” (23-year-old, male)

Sorry, Mario Golf fans–it appears that Japanese fans prefer Mario Tennis to its other sports-related sister series. Interestingly, the first game in the Mario Tennis series was released for the largely ignored Virtual Boy video game system in 1995, followed by the second installment for the N64 in 2000. The six games in the series feature Mario and his friends engaged in tennis matches over a series of different courts. The N64 game also marked the debut of Waluigi, whose name is a blend of the words warui, meaning “bad” or evil”, and Ruiiji, or Luigi as it’s pronounced in Japanese, and who became a recurrent character in other games of the Mario franchise as well.

 ▼Recognize this game? Probably not.

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There are a handful of games that didn’t quite make the cut, with titles such as Mario vs. Donkey Kong and Yoshi’s Island receiving honorable mentions but, sadly not quite racking up enough votes to make the top five. If there’s a game from the Mario series that you feel deserves a mention, be sure to leave us a comment below.

Source: Niconico News
Top image: DeviantART (YoshiGo99)