Super Mario 3D All-Stars – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Super Mario 3D All-Stars – Review

Site Score
Good: Great collection, Subtle tweaks enhancing gameplay, Still great after all these years
Bad: Lack of Galaxy 2, Could use a central achievements hub
User Score
(5 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.6/10 (5 votes cast)

It’s hard to imagine that the Super Mario Bros series is already 35 years old. And if we look back, the actual character of Mario is even older, and some may not know that he actually was also seen on other consoles over the years, outside of the regular Nintendo mishmash. We have seen the plumber pop up on Philips’ CD-i and even on some of the Atari consoles. That being said, knowing that the series is already 35 years old, and with the regular releases in the series, there have been many iconic entries. Now, Nintendo decided to publish Super Mario 3D All-Stars, which contains three major entries in the series, namely, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. While there are several more 3D entries, Nintendo had to make hard choices to create a proper collection. Even if you’re more a fan of the 2D version of the Super Mario games, this 3D collection is still worth checking out.


The Super Mario games are not known for their deep narrative, as they mostly involve a big bad guy who either steals a princess, messes up an entire island or in some cases, even threatens the existence of an entire galaxy. While the latter sounds impressive, it all boils down to Mario running and jumping around, with certain game-specific skills and abilities to beat poor unsuspecting henchmen into oblivion. At the end, and sometimes in-between, you’ll have to battle bigger bosses, progressing the story a tiny bit, to come closer to the bigger villain of the game. That’s basically it.


As this collection includes three different games from three different eras, you can expect the quality to be a bit varied. The first game in the collection is basically the original 3D Super Mario game, Super Mario 64. This game dates back from 1996, and looked amazing for the time it came out in. Even now, with only a slight HD upgrade, the game still looks quite appealing. You’re treated to a bright and colorful world, albeit a bit empty at times. Nonetheless, it’s still a fairly attractive game, but it’s clear that it’s not recent.

The second game in the package is Super Mario Sunshine, which has updated GameCube graphics and looks very appealing as well. We see a lot more life in this game, and there’s a lot more to look at. This is clearly a big leap for the 3D Super Mario franchise, even though, at that period we were also treated to the great graphics of Luigi’s Mansion.

Lastly, there’s Super Mario Galaxy, which isn’t a gigantic upgrade compared to Sunshine, but the usage of the different tiny planets, the many assets, and very colorful items make the game easily the best-looking of the collection.


When just thinking of Mario, you can probably immediately hum several iconic tunes from the series. Nonetheless, as the series advanced, the soundtracks became more and more cinematic, which results in more than four hours of musical content to listen to in this collection. You can boot up the collection, skip the games themselves and just dive into the soundtracks of all three titles for your enjoyment. While it’s best to enjoy these perfect tunes on a proper sound system, it’s always nice to brighten up a room with your Switch when playing these tracks in handheld mode.

The Mario games in this collection range from having proper voiced lines, to basically gibberish sounds that tell you when a character is speaking. It’s always nice to hear the voice of Charles Martinet, but don’t expect any deep and engaging dialogues being voiced. Sure, Sunshine has a proper amount of voiced cutscenes, but they will not bring home any Oscars.


The Super Mario series has always been divided into two portions, namely the 2D and 3D spectrum of games. These are all basically adventurous platformer titles, with the 3D series being a lot more expansive. In the three titles of this collection; Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, you’ll be running around, collecting stars (or the game’s respective variant), to progress through the different levels. The more stars you collect, the more levels you’ll unlock. More than often in the 3D Mario installments it’s all about that game’s mechanics to beat your enemies, solve puzzles and maneuver through the obstacles in front of you.

Owning these games in their original form, it’s easy to say that Nintendo did their best to subtly upgrade these titles, be it with smoother textures, tighter controls or just other tiny barely noticeable changes. It’s quite fun to play Super Mario 64 with more responsive controls, while Super Mario Galaxy uses the Joy-Con functionality for better single and co-op play. Overall things feel the same, but also ready for the current generation. It would have been nice to have a central hub for certain ‘achievements’ you get by playing all the games, so you could basically track your progress for the entire collection.


Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a wonderful collection for fans of the Mario series, be it those who have already experienced these games, or those playing them for the first time. There are some differences between each release, where you can clearly see the technological advancements if you play the games in their release order. Nonetheless, these fun Mario titles have withstood the test of time quite well, and with the subtle improvements Nintendo added to the mix, you’ll certainly have a lot of fun.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.6/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Super Mario 3D All-Stars - Review, 8.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

1 Comment

  1. […] resumé might not be as impressive as that of Mario, but one area where our purple-and-yellow friend beats his rival is video game development. You […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.