Top 10 Mario Characters

So you’ve had a taste of just some of the best Mario games out there in our previous article, but now it’s time to look at the characters who make these titles great sellers. These characters are perhaps the shining light behind all of the best selling Mario titles, and they’ve become such an influence on the development of future titles. There’s such a diverse array of characters in the Mario universe that at times, it can be quite difficult to keep up with all of them. Be that as it may, they’re always featured in a variety of titles such as Mario Tennis, Mario Party, and the very popular Mario Kart. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more notable characters and just why they’re such an attention grabber.

10. Boo

Boo has been a part of the Mario conglomerate since the beginning, and has always managed to spook players whenever the opportunity arises. What makes Boo such a strong candidate on our list is that Boo is simply just a ghost, and it knows exactly what it needs to do in terms of its objective. Whether you’re wandering through a dark dungeon and need to find the right door, or racing on the kart tracks, Boo always manages to somehow appear out of nowhere and shock you.

As we mentioned earlier, Boo has appeared in almost every Mario related title up until now, and that doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Some of the notable games that Boo took part in are of course the classic Super Mario Bros., Mario Party, Mario Kart, and Mario Tennis to name a few. We especially like Boo because despite its simple design, Boo is determined to ensure that the player has to work for their accomplishments and Boo isn’t afraid to call upon his other friends to assist on scaring you.


9. Waluigi

Waluigi is one of the newcomers to the Mario franchise, and he’s basically a hybrid of Wario and Luigi. He takes the wild and crazy side of Wario, with the very goofy yet skillful abilities of Luigi to create this very agile and crafty character. Waluigi first appeared in Mario Tennis and since then acts as the arch rival to Luigi, and works closely with Wario. He’s known for causing a lot of mischief and doesn’t really like following the rules that often, similar to Wario. The two are a match made in arch rival heaven, as they always try to meddle in Mario and Luigi’s plans and cause problems when possible.

What makes Waluigi a worthy character despite the mixed reception is that, he’s very different from the typical Mario cast. He isn’t incredibly adorable like Princess Peach, and he’s not this triumphant super hero like Mario is. Waluigi is just in a league of his own and his appearance commands respect despite who you are. He’s much taller than a lot of the Mario characters which makes him intimidating at times, but it’s truly his quirky and random behavior that make him a great addition to the Mario franchise. Some other notable games he’s been showcased in are Mario Party, Mario Kart, and Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix.


8. Rosalina

If you’re a heavy follower of the Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U competitive scene, Rosalina shouldn’t be a stranger to you. Rosalina made her debut appearance in Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii, who resides in the Comet Observatory. She’s well known for being the adoptive mother for those cute little Lumas, and helps Mario save the Princess from the evil Bowser. Rosalina’s appearance has a slight resemblance to that of Princess Peach in that they both come with long beautiful blonde hair, and act as somewhat of a princess in their own respective region.

However the main difference, of course, is that Rosalina comes equipped with her own unique abilities. With her star wand in hand, Rosalina can attack enemies and also summon Lumas to assist her in times of trouble. We love Rosalina because she’s graceful in her movement, yet retains this incredible power that can render any foe unconscious with a few swings of the wand. Aside from Super Mario Galaxy and Smash Bros. for the Wii U, Rosalina has made other appearances in games such as Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart, Mario Golf: World Tour, and Mario Party 10 to name a few.


7. Wario

Wario is like that mini boss before the main boss in those classic beat em’ ups in the 90’s, where you must go through him before getting to the big guy. In the Mario universe Wario is seen as the arch rival to Mario and always made it his mission to stop Mario in his tracks whenever he could. Wario’s name is a portmanteau of Mario’s name and the Japanese word 悪い(Warui) which translates to bad. Wario is just as eccentric as Mario is but with a little more attitude behind him, and misbehavior. He has no shame in what he does, letting off farts whenever he feels it’s necessary and doesn’t care what anyone has to say. We like that about Wario because he’s fearless in his approach, and doesn’t let anyone judge him.

Wario stands alone and works hard to ensure his objectives are met, so long as it comes with a bag full of coins. Since his debut in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins where he played the part of the main antagonist, Wario has had the spotlight swing in his favor and has become a fan favorite despite his wacky persona. His own spin off called Wario Land is an instant classic, along with the funny and crazy antics of the Warioware series. Other popular titles Wario has been in are Mario Tennis, Mario Kart, Mario Party, and, of course, Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U.


6. Toadstool

Toadstool, or as many in Japan call him ‘Kinopio’, is the cute little mushroom that is a loyal attendant to Princess Peach, and also acts as a guide for players in various Mario titles. Most of the time, Toadstool is an NPC which only stands around, and will speak only when you approach him. Before Princess Peach would become the official name in future titles, she was also known as Princess Toadstool since many of her servants were these cute mushroom people. While much of his occupation pertains to making sure Mario finds his way around the world and instructing players on how to use the control scheme, Toadstool has made numerous appearances as a playable character.

One very notable appearance is Mario Kart, where this small little guy was one of the fastest characters in the game and because of his small stature, he could weave in and out of trouble very easily. Nintendo finally decided to give Toadstool some spotlight time as well, as he made his protagonist debut in Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario 3D World, and the more recent and fun Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for the Wii U.


5. Luigi

Luigi always plays the role of the clumsy brother to that of Mario, but somehow is the more nimble of the two. Whenever Luigi makes an appearance in a Mario game, he shares similar abilities to that of his brother but with more hop in his step. Luigi can jump higher, perform cool acrobatics, and Smash Bros. can combo you for days. Despite his often times odd behavior, Luigi is very fun loving and incredibly popular among fans of the franchise. Much like Princess Peach and Donkey Kong, Luigi has made numerous appearances in Mario games along with getting his own role in various Luigi games.

Classics like Luigi’s Mansion stand out as well as his 1983 debut in Mario Bros. However much like the cast on this list he’s made appearances in Super Luigi U, Super Mario Galaxy 2, along with Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo DS remake. Despite Luigi being the younger brother to Mario, he’s accomplished quite a lot. We truly look forward to seeing more of this guy in the near future, hopefully on Nintendo’s Switch.


4. Yoshi

You can’t bring up Mario without this little cute dinosaur. Yoshi made its major debut back in 1990 in Super Mario World for the SNES, and since then the dino has been eating enemies and helping Mario reach his goal safely. Yoshi is perhaps one of the more prolific characters in all of the Mario games because Yoshi is a true sidekick, and you get to actually use the green dino a lot of the time since there are quite a number of Yoshi spin-offs.

One great example is in the timeless classic Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, where you get to take Baby Mario on this crazy journey as you hop and fly around on the back of Yoshi, defeating enemies every step of the way. Other appearances include Yoshi’s story, Yoshi’s Wolly World, Mario Kart, Mario Tennis, and of course Mario Party. Yoshi is just that type of character that resonates with everyone and truly stands out because, it’s not threatening in any way despite being a dinosaur, and it's a very youthful persona when it comes to adventure is something that feels nostalgic in a way. Let us not forget that Yoshi is perhaps one of the top tier characters in most Mario games!


3. Bowser

Bowser truly deserves his number three spot because he’s arguably the most well known villain in all video game history. This humongous beast has always tried to terrorize the Mushroom Kingdom since the mid to late 80’s, and it seems that Bowser has improved a lot on his kidnapping game since then. With the help of his Koopalings and Bowser Jr., Bowser always has some sinister trick up his sleeve to make sure that Mario suffers in some way or another.

While Bowser hasn’t really had his own true spin off title to call his own, Bowser always makes sure his presence is noticed no matter what game it is. Whether you’re trying to collect every star in Mario Party, only to have Bowser rob it from you, or using his brute power to serve up an ace on the court in Mario Tennis, Bowser is a force to be reckoned with but he’s also very lovable in a way too because he tries so hard and often times loses. He’s like the underdog in a way, where someday you hope that he could finally get his way and take a break for once.


2. Princess Peach

The Mario series just wouldn’t be where it is today without the beautiful Princess Peach always there waiting to be rescued. Princess Peach is the love interest in the Mario series, and is often kidnapped by the evil Bowser for some random reason. Mario must then battle his way through countless dungeons until he finally comes face to face with the towering dino, and rescues the damsel in distress once again. Princess Peach is the character that has always managed to stay by Mario’s side ever since the beginning of the entire Mario series itself. This dates back to 1981 when Donkey Kong was the main villain, and you had to avoid a barrage of barrels to rescue Peach for the Kong.

It played out much like the King Kong films, but only this time Mario was the one having to scale his way up to save the day. Since then, Princess Peach has matured wonderfully and has managed to even get her own series, Super Princess Peach, where she plays the main role. She’s made appearances in Mario 64, Mario Kart, Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, and as we stated pretty much every Mario game that we know exists. What makes Princess Peach so popular? Perhaps it’s her cute voice, or her pink attire. Whatever it is, Princess Peach is an unforgettable character and she won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.


1. Mario

It should come as no surprise that Mario himself would triumphantly hold the trophy up high above his head because without Mario, we wouldn’t have all of these other remarkable characters to celebrate about. If anything, the game industry as a whole just wouldn’t be where it currently is without the assistance of Mario and Nintendo, since Nintendo has basically helped to evolve the way all of us play video games. Mario is the main mascot of Nintendo and has been that way ever since he made his debut back in 1981 in Donkey Kong. We should probably mention the big monkey as well since he’s also a prominent figure, and always has been since his debut also.

Mario has been avoiding barrels and throwing shells at enemies for decades now, and he doesn’t seem to mind doing so for as long he lives. We must say it’s quite a nice career to be able to travel to different worlds, jumping on top of blocks, collecting stars, and winning over the heart of a beautiful princess. To give more credit to Donkey Kong as well, we’ll go over some of the games both characters have been in to make things equal. Of course there’s the original Donkey Kong back in 1981, and since then you have Mario Kart, Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Mario Party, and with DK you have the Donkey Kong Country series, Donkey Konga, and Barrel Blast.


Closing Statement

There’s just so many Mario characters in the entire universe that we simply couldn’t name them all. We had to make sure DK got mentioned because he definitely is a superstar in his own right. Other notable mentions include Dry Bones, Princess Daisy, Birdo, the Koopa Troopas, Diddy Kong, Boom Boom, Kamek and more. Let us know who your favorite Mario character(s) are in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on social media. Share your favorite articles with the rest of the world and help the community grow!

As always, if you want to know about all the latest buzz straight from the bee’s nest in Japan, be sure to keep it locked here at Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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