10 Games You Need To Play Before Watching The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Unfortunately, the highly anticipated Super Mario Bros. Movie is still a little while away. The film, which stars Chris Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, and Jack Black as King Bowser Koopa, comes to theaters on April 5 in the US and April 28 in Japan.

Unlike a lot of big franchise movies these days, there are no previous movies you need to see before watching The Super Mario Bros. Movie, but what you can do is play some classic Mario titles that will be referenced and featured in the movie. Currently, we don’t know everything the Super Mario Bros. Movie will cover, but the trailers we have seen have already made several hints to characters and locations from throughout Mario’s history. This helpful list will suggest which Mario games you can play while you’re eagerly waiting for the movie to hit theaters!

1. Mario Kart

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass

Due to the longevity and popularity of the Mario Kart series, it’s no surprise that the racing games will be referenced in the upcoming film. Trailers and posters show Mario, Peach, and other characters racing along Rainbow Road, one of Mario Kart’s most iconic (and most difficult!) tracks. Rainbow Road appears in several different Mario Kart titles, so you can pick your favorite one to play! Mario Kart 8 is a great option, as it contains a variety of “greatest hits” tracks and locations from throughout the series.

2. Super Mario 64


Super Mario 64 may have been far from the first Mario game, but it’s the first one to feature the plumber in his now-iconic 3D design. It also introduced a number of Mario’s classic moves, including the double jump, the triple jump, and the somersault. Super Mario 64 was also the first appearance of Charles Martinet as the voice of Mario! (Although Chris Pratt voices Mario in the film, Martinet will have a “currently undisclosed” cameo.) The design of Princess Peach’s Castle appearing in the movie also seems to be inspired by Super Mario 64.

3. Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey Cappy

As Super Mario Odyssey is one of the most recent entries in the Mario franchise, it’s not surprising that the Super Mario Bros. Movie draws a lot of aesthetic inspiration from the 2017 title. Mario and his allies (and enemies!) are at their best, brightest, and most colorful in the film, much like in the hit platformer Odyssey. A recent trailer also indicated that Mario will be visiting at least one location from Odyssey in the film, the Sand Kingdom and possibly Tostarena Town. We don’t know why he’s there yet, but we can’t wait to find out!

4. Super Mario Galaxy

This intergalactic adventure saw Mario meeting Princess Rosalina and her companions, the star-shaped, ever-hungry Lumas. A Luma appeared in the most recent trailer for the Super Mario Bros. Movie, imprisoned in Bowser’s dungeon alongside Luigi. The Luma quickly became one of the most talked-about elements of the trailer thanks to its bizarre combination of a cheery attitude and despair-filled statements about Luigi’s chances of survival. While Rosalina’s appearance in the film has not been confirmed, the Luma has definitely caused fans to hope!

5. Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Country

The great ape himself has been a sometimes-ally, sometimes-enemy of Mario throughout the years. The film seems to continue this trend, as Donkey Kong (voiced by Seth Rogen) is shown fighting both against and alongside Mario. There are plenty of games that could serve as an introduction to Donkey Kong, the original game – where he first met Mario – is a great place to start. Another fun option is Donkey Kong Country, a popular title that introduces Kong family member Cranky Kong, who will be voiced by Fred Armisen.

6. Super Mario Bros. 3


Over the years, Mario has gained access to a number of powers, including the flying Tanooki Suit, the extra-cute Cat Suit, and the inferno-causing Fire Flower. Several of these power-ups are shown in trailers for the film, but Pratt’s Mario seems to especially enjoy gliding around the Mushroom Kingdom in the Tanooki Suit, which first appeared in Super Mario Bros 3. You should definitely check this game out if you want to try out the Tanooki Suit for yourself!

7. Super Mario 3D World

Like Super Mario Bros 3 above, this title introduced one of the power-ups Mario will be utilizing in the film – specifically, the Cat Suit. Cat Suited characters can sprint, run up walls, and use their claws to scratch at enemies. In the movie, Mario dons the Cat Suit as part of his fight against Donkey Kong. Plus, Super Mario 3D World featured a Toad with an explorer-like personality, which seems to inspire the movie’s portrayal of Toad, who will be voiced by Keegan-Michael Key.

8. Yoshi’s Island


It wouldn’t be a Mario movie without Yoshi! This adorable, rideable sidekick has been by Mario’s side almost since the very beginning. One particular shot in the trailer, where a variety of different-colored Yoshis frolic in a lush tropical setting, brings to mind the 1995 platformer Yoshi’s Island, where the Yoshi family finds themselves in charge of baby versions of Mario and Luigi. Is it too much to hope that Baby Mario and Baby Luigi will be making an appearance in the movie too? They’re absolutely adorable!

9. Wrecking Crew


OK, this one is a deep cut, but, before becoming the plumbers we know and love today, Mario and Luigi used to work as part of the Wrecking Crew. In this 1985 action title, players control Mario and Luigi to destroy a variety of objects. Seems like foreman Spike still isn’t happy about the brothers deserting him – in one trailer, he leaves a scathing review of their plumbing business criticizing their lack of loyalty! Oops! Hopefully Spike doesn’t get even more upset when the brothers leave for the Mushroom Kingdom.

10. Luigi’s Mansion

Luigi's Mansion 3

OK, this last one is kind of a cheat, because we likely aren’t going to see much action from Luigi in the upcoming film. The producers have explained that they didn’t want to use Princess Peach as the “damsel in distress” this time around, so it’s Luigi who winds up getting captured by Bowser and needing rescue. Still, Luigi is great, and Luigi going up against ghosts is even better, and you could argue that Bowser’s creepy dungeon definitely draws inspiration from the spooky aesthetic of Luigi’s Mansion. So this game – and Luigi himself – earn a spot on the list!

How are you hyping yourself up for the release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie? Which games would you add to this list? Comment below and let us know!

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