Mario sure has done it all, huh? Plumber, doctor, chef, sex worker (wait, was that a dream?). And yet somehow, after all of that, it’s STILL not enough for this megalomaniac. He’s appeared in dozens of games that aren’t even his own, and has even forced characters from other games to dress up as him. Disgusting. Here are the top 50 Mario cameo appearances from throughout the wide world of video games. We’re only including officially sanctioned crossovers, none of that lazy ambiguous callback bullshit.
#50 — Super Smash Bros.
Come on man, there’s a bunch of crossovers in this one. Sure, Mario appears in this game that isn’t his own, but he has to share the stage with like, 85 other characters at this point. It’s not the same, but we’ll give it to him. Here ya go, ya greedy bastard.
#49 — LEGO City Undercover
Here’s a theme you’re going to see a lot on this list: Nintendo desperately trying to make WiiU exclusives seem appealing by adding in Mario cosmetics. Among other Mario items and enemies that appear, you can dress your character up like Mario by having him wear his hat! Here, please take my 60 dollars! I don’t even need it!
#48 — Qix
Mario celebrates a victory whenever you win at Qix, whatever that is. It’s so low on this list because Mario’s idea of “celebrating” is dressing up as stereotypes of different ethnicities. This is almost as bad as Billy Crystal’s “tribute” to Sammy Davis Jr. at the Oscars.
#47 — Just Dance Wii
One of many collaborations between Nintendo and Ubisoft, Mario was included in Just Dance Wii. This may seem all fine and good, but look at him. It looks like a guy in a Mario mascot suit. No I’m not dancing with you dude, and I don’t want a picture right now.
#46 — One Piece: Super Grand Battle! X
This shouldn’t be as strange as it is, and yet… I don’t like seeing Luffy dressed up as Mario. It just seems wrong, for reasons I can’t quite explain. These costumes were unlocked via amiibo scanning, and while I’m not normally big on content being locked behind amiibos, in this case I think it’s a good thing.
#45 — Super Play Action Football
I had no idea that Japan made an (American) football game, let alone one that is published by Nintendo. As per some company mandate, Mario’s face appears on the coin toss before the game. They didn’t have to, and yet they did.
#44 — Rocket League
Oh my god, what have they done– they turned my boy into an extreme racing vehicle! Oh wait, this is just a Mario car, exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version of Rocket League. Close enough.
#43 — 1080° Snowboarding
Apparently there is a realistic Mario in the crowd here, but… I’m not seeing him. People are saying he’s there, and I believe them, but this is kind of a weak cameo if I have to squint to spot the guy.
#42 — Wii Party U
You can dress your character up like Mario. Be honest: did anyone play this?
#41 — Nintendogs
You can dress your damn DOG up like Mario. If someone did that today in real life and posted it on TikTok, they would be flooded with comments about how that’s animal abuse, so we’re putting it lower on the list just to be safe.
#40 — Pokémon Stadium 2
Mario appears on TV in your customizable bedroom. What they don’t tell you, however, is that every copy of Super Mario 64 is haunted. Maybe it helps you unlock a hidden ghost Pokémon.
#39 — Stunt Race FX
Mario’s face is plastered on billboards as you race around. “Hey, I know you’re playing a Nintendo game right now, but we were wondering: have you heard of Mario yet?”
#38 — Fortune Street
Man, what the hell was going on here?
#37 — Miitopia
Aaaand you guessed it: you can once again dress up as Mario. Whoop-dee-doo. In case you forgot how his clothes look, this could serve as a helpful reminder.
#36 — Metroid Prime: Federation Force
This game was a real slap in the face to a lot of Metroid fans, who were practically begging for a new game in the series for years at that point. They would be ‘eating well’ later on, as it were, but at least there were official Mario paint jobs you could put on for your mech suit. “Maybe that’ll soften the blow a little bit,” I’m sure they thought.
#35 — Jump Rope Challenge
This was one of those games that came out during COVID lockdown to help keep people from getting out of shape. I guess they felt there wasn’t enough incentive, so they added Mario to the game. I would like to meet the person who saw this and went, “okay, now I’m ready to lose some weight.”
#34 — The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
This counts as Mario, full stop. He’s pudgy, he’s got a mustache, he collects mushrooms, and he’s made by Nintendo where, if you couldn’t tell, they can’t help themselves from putting Mario into as many games as possible. It’s not the most egregious example of this in a Zelda game, even on this list, but it’s worthy of this spot nonetheless.
#33 — Wrecking Crew
It’s debatable as to whether or not this is an actual Mario game in the Mario series, but his name’s not in the title so we’re including it here, okay? And that’s just gonna have to be good enough for you. Don’t like it? Leave us a comment and give us some engagement.
#32 — Drill Dozer
Jill, the aptly named protagonist of Drill Dozer, can unlock a Mario costume. It doesn’t appear to have any benefits besides cosmetics and being blatantly referential, but hey, that’s what this whole list is about.
#31 — 1080° Avalanche
A large ice sculpture of Mario appears in this game for players to marvel at. You can’t help but appreciate the craftsmanship on display here, and the shamelessness of Nintendo to lean on their mustachioed mascot at every chance they get.
#30 — Golf
It’s kind of ambiguous as to whether or not that’s Mario in the original version of this game. He’s been referred to as “Ossan”, but so has Mario many times. Regardless, enough people agree that it is him, so it lands near the middle of this list.
#29 — SimCity (SNES)
If you do a good job simulating your city, the mayor will reward you with a giant Mario statue in the vein of the Statue of Liberty. It’s as if Nintendo said, “bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning for Mario.”
#28 — Project Zero 2: Wii Edition
If for whatever reason, and no judgment here, you want to dress two Japanese teenage girls up like Mario and Luigi, well, you can. If you want to take all the emotional impact out of any cutscene that they might appear in, this would be the way. Again, if that’s what you’re looking for here.
#27 — Tennis
Well hey, look at that! Mario is the referee here. This wouldn’t be the first, or the last time, that Mario would take on the role of the judge, the jury, and the executioner when it comes to recreational sports. It’s a fun little nod and not much else, but hey, it’s neat that it’s here.
#26 — Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Kettei-Ban
One of the songs from New Super Mario Bros. Wii is in this game, and when you play it, Mario will appear down below, just as he does in that game. Surely this helps you get into the groove properly, seeing his smiling face and potbelly running around to the beat of the music.