New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Developed in Japan by Nintendo
Published by Nintendo
Released in 2009 for the Nintendo Wii

New Super Mario Bros. Wii continues a quarter-century tradition that Mario is at its best when Shigeru Miyamoto is leading the charge. The most glaring flaws in 1989’s Super Mario Bros. 3 and 1991’s Super Mario World are gone, doing away with the ability to fly and replacing it with some of the best items featured in a Mario game. Players can no longer ignore that pesky “level design” and go right over the top of it. Most important? With the ability for four players to fight over the same field of view and limited space, perfectionists will find that this is theoretically the most challenging Mario game to-date. That challenge level does what no Mario game has done since the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2: It once again makes coins and extra lives meaningful objects. Unfortunately, cooperative play comes at the cost of tight-as-nails level design, which more often opts for crazy party madness instead of setting standards. And yes, the game is way too easy for a single player. But get four players in a room and let the “supar party actionz” commence.