Super Mario 3D All-Stars: Do I need to play these games in order?

Super Mario 3d All Stars Three Games Split
Super Mario 3d All Stars Three Games Split (Image credit: Nintendo)

Super Mario 3D All-Stars: Do I need to play these games in order?

Best answer: No. The Super Mario 3D All-Stars games might reference each other occasionally, but there's no continuity connecting one Mario game to another. You can play them in any way you like. Super Mario 3D All-Stars releases on Nintendo Switch on September 18, 2020.

Classics, remastered in Super Mario 3D All-Stars

With the release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Nintendo Switch owners will get an opportunity to revisit three of the best 3D platformers of all time. Originally released over twenty years ago and across three consoles, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy have been updated with higher resolutions and will be presented in widescreen for the first time. If you are a newcomer to the games or the series, you might be wondering if it's a trilogy you have to play in order.

You'll be happy to know that the answer is no. Each of the Super Mario games exists independently of the others. There may be an occasional reference to other series entries, but there's no strict continuity holding the Mario games together. You're free to experience them in any order you please.

Continuity? What's that?

Super Mario 3d All Stars Super Mario 64 Stars

Super Mario 3d All Stars Super Mario 64 Stars (Image credit: Nintendo)

Super Mario 3D All-Stars represents Mario's last three mainline console adventures, excluding spin-offs, portable entries, and 2D installments. These three games were chosen for a reason — they're considered some of the best games ever made. It's sometimes easy to pass over the significance of these three titles, especially if you are not familiar with the series.

Super Mario 64 set the bar for 3D platformers when it was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1996 that companies are still using today. Super Mario Galaxy is one of the most critically acclaimed Wii games released, and in Super Mario Sunshine, they gave Mario a gun — a water gun, specifically. Super Mario Sunshine might be the black sheep of the bunch, but it has its fair share of fans (me included).

There's no right order to play these Mario games, but it might be worth taking a trip from the start if only to understand how each Mario game continued to build on the mechanics introduced by the previous entry. Super Mario 64 might've laid the groundwork, but Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy both expanded it in their unique ways.

The choice is yours

Whether you're experiencing these classics again or for the first time, remember that you're free to enjoy them in any order you please. Maybe you're a purist who will start with Mario's 3D origin, or a fan just looking forward to jumping back into a personal favorite; the choice is yours. I know I'll be heading to Delfino Plaza the first chance I get.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars releases on September 18, 2020 on the Nintendo Switch.

Zackery Cuevas

Zackery Cuevas is a writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. He likes playing video games, talking about video games, writing about video games, and most importantly, complaining about video games. If you're cool, you can follow me on Twitter @Zackzackzackery.