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Every Version Of Princess Peach Ranked

Princess Peach deserves a nap. In the past 30-odd years, she's had a minor name change, traveled the galaxy, developed a strange relationship with a plumber named Mario, and been kidnapped approximately 1,000 times. There's no rest for royalty in the Mushroom Kingdom, but somehow Peach doesn't seem to mind.


Peach embodies the kind of optimism most people wish they could have. When Bowser captures her yet again, she finds a way to break free or sneaks messages to the friends she knows are coming to save her. When she gets bored with the royal life, she tries her hand at Olympic sports or a new career in the medical field. Nothing slows her down.

That's not to say Peach is always ... peachy. She's done some terrible things in her time, but she always finds a new way to approach the future with a smile on her face. There have been great representations of Princess Peach (sometimes known as Princess Toadstool), and there have been some less great ones, too. For the love of Peach, we've ranked all of her appearances from worst to best.


26. Itadaki Street Peach

Princess Peach, like most of the other popular "Mario" characters, has made hundreds of appearances over the years in a huge variety of games, shows, and comics. Racking up that many public appearances means that Peach can't just limit herself to "Mario" properties. Peach has joined some of her friends in other game franchises like the "Mario + Rabbids" series, but in "Itadaki Street," she really got a chance to shine.


Peach joined the "Itadaki" franchise in its DS release. The game brought together everyone's favorite "Mario" characters with some fan favorites from the "Dragon Quest" series for an over-the-top board game experience. Peach is the only S-rank hero from her franchise, and her castle is the setting for one of the game's many stages. Aside from that, though, Peach basically operates as a skin for a typical "Itadaki" character. As to be expected with this type of game, she doesn't get a real character arc or much to do, but any chance to play as Peach will always be a welcome opportunity.

25. DiC Cartoon Peach

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" may have been many fans' first experience seeing Mario and his friends outside of a video game, but old school "Mario" players have been here before. While Peach was bizarrely absent in the original "Super Mario Bros." movie, she made regular appearances in "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show," a cartoon produced by DiC Entertainment in 1989.


"Super Show" opened every episode with a live-action segment following Mario and Luigi just being goofy plumbers before switching over to cartoon storylines featuring more characters from the games. Back then Princess Peach went by Princess Toadstool, and she regularly found her life turned upside down by King Koopa, later known as Bowser. This version of Peach, and everything else about the show, is sure to trigger some intense nostalgia for anyone who used to tune in on a weekly basis. For everyone else, the strange style and simplified storylines might feel more than a bit dated.

24. Anime Peach

Western cartoons weren't the only animated pieces of media that gave Princess Peach a chance to shine in the early days of the "Mario" franchise. The game series was obviously a huge hit in Japan, so naturally some anime projects decided to get in on the "Mario" craze.


One such project — and the original "Super Mario Bros." movie — was "Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyūshutsu Dai Sakusen!" or "The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach." This was an anime-style feature-length story with a plot that could easily fit into a game. Peach is once again caught in a bind thanks to King Koopa, and she needs Mario to come rescue her and save the kingdom.

Not long after that movie, a series came out called "Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros." This show took an entirely different approach to the characters, casting Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach in various classic fairy tales. Of course, Peach is always playing a princess in varying degrees of distress. Neither anime is revolutionary for the characters, but they both make for charming outings.


23. Manga Peach

Believe it or not, there's been an ongoing manga series focusing on the adventures of Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach for the past 30 years. "Super Mario-kun" first debuted in 1990, and there have been more than 50 volumes of the series released so far.


Many of the manga arcs follow the general outline of various "Mario" games, which means that Peach finds herself forced to the sidelines more often than not. She gets kidnapped over and over again, and Bowser's quest to capture her often leads to destruction and chaos raining down on Peach's kingdom. Luckily, Mario and Luigi are always able to step in and save the day.

"Super Mario-kun" typically favors a version of Peach that is more of a plot device than real character. The series doesn't push the envelope in any real way, but thanks to the pure amount of content it has to offer, there's hardly a better place to see the details of Peach's life in the Mushroom Kingdom.

22. Sports Peach

With so many different games featuring an appearance from Princess Peach, there's simply no way for every one of them to massively reinvent the character. Sometimes a new version of Peach needs to get pulled into multiple games, just for things to be a little easier on the developers.


Sports Peach is the version of the Mushroom Kingdom's princess who gets to relax and focus on the lighter parts of life. Her kingdom isn't always in ruins, and she's not the captive of some would-be despot or another. Though she's occasionally kept to the sidelines, Peach gets in on the action in most sports games featuring Mario and pals. Whether she's a team player in games like "Mario Superstar Baseball" and "Super Mario Strikers," or she's playing to win in games like "Mario Golf," this version of Peach is always thankful for the opportunity to try her hand at something new.

21. New Super Mario Bros. Peach

"New Super Mario Bros." reinvigorated the classic series with a 2.5D art style and a slew of new worlds to explore, power-ups to try out, and challenges to tackle. The series began in 2006 on the Nintendo DS, but it inspired iterations and sequels that spanned the 3DS, Wii, and Wii U. It didn't dramatically reimagine the "Super Mario Bros." franchise, but it updated many aspects of the game in fun ways.


What it didn't do was improve on Princess Peach's characterization. Though she'd become a playable character in "Super Mario Bros." games well before 2006, the new series once again relegated Peach to a damsel-in-distress role. Mario and Luigi got to step up and be the heroes, while Peach got dragged from one castle to another by Bowser. It's hard to fault the series for making that decision, considering this was a revamp of the older games and the need to rescue Peach has been a primary motivation for the entire franchise. Still, this outing felt like a backwards step for the princess.

20. Comic book Peach

Of course there was a "Mario" comic. "Nintendo Comics System" was originally published by Valiant Comics, and the line featured tons of stories dedicated to Mario and his friends. It wasn't as long-lived as the "Super Mario-kun" manga has been, but it had its moments — and its own take on Peach.


The princess didn't have a large role to play in the comics, but she did have one very specific job that gives this version of the character a higher ranking. In the series, she wrote an advice column called "Dear Princess Toadstool." Various characters from the Mushroom Kingdom would write in about their problems, and even occasionally try to ask Peach out on a date. The princess would turn them down, then work on sorting out their issues. She didn't always give the best advice, but she always made sure to include a pun or two, and for that we have to thank her.

19. Mario & Luigi Peach

Explosive voices and time travel are just a couple of the wilder subjects explored by the "Mario & Luigi" games. The series kicks off with "Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga," an RPG that ever so slightly remixes Princess Peach's classic role in the "Mario" franchise. In that game, a pair of villains called Cackletta and Fawful steal Peach's voice, and now the sound of her replacement voice causes massive explosions. Bowser is so concerned with Peach's new ability that he actually teams up with the Mario Bros. to help get her regular voice back.


The brothers are always the main heroes of the story, but the series never stops finding novel ways to present Princess Peach. In "Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time," some reality-bending shenanigans introduce Baby Peach to the mix. When it comes to sheer inventiveness, the version of Peach seen in this series deserves some major kudos.

18. Mario Party Peach

The "Mario Party" series is a great place for fans of Princess Peach to come and play. This is one of the few sub-series that primarily take place in the Mushroom Kingdom and features Peach as a playable character. Obviously the games don't play out like typical stories, but it's great to see Peach get some agency for once as she conquers one mini-game after another. With the right player behind her, she can even come out as the game's champion.


The Peach in "Mario Party 2" gets an extra-special shoutout. With a bit of help, Mario has created an amusement park he wants to call Mario Land, but not every character agrees with him. Peach wants to name it Peach Land, but Bowser strikes before their dispute is settled and the game begins. In this entry, not only is Peach a playable character, but she's actually helping to save the world for once — and not for the last time!

17. Mario Kart Peach

We can't talk for too long about games that give Princess Peach a chance to shine without touching on the "Mario Kart" series. Just like "Mario Party," this franchise puts Peach on equal footing with all the other "Mario" characters and allows her to compete for the top spot, rather than a situation in which everyone races to rescue her. Depending on the power-ups Peach gets during a race, she might actually end up ruining Mario's day more than Bowser ever did.


"Mario Kart" also gives Peach a chance to show off her sense of style. Every game gives her the opportunity to flaunt a new kart and display her latest racing outfit. Some of the games even dedicate entire courses to the princess. "Mario Kart 64" introduced the Royal Raceway, which was renamed the Peach Circuit in later games. After all Peach has been through, that's the least she deserves.

16. Biker Peach

Even the earliest "Mario Kart" entries were a welcome change of pace for Princess Peach. She got to compete with all the other characters and show that she could outrace and outsmart anyone in the Mushroom Kingdom. She raced with style, but she also usually had to get into her trusty kart while still wearing an outfit suitable for the royal court.


After years of cramming a giant flowing dress into her vehicle, Peach apparently decided that it was well past time to introduce something a little more practical into the mix. "Mario Kart Wii" brought in motorcycles for its characters, and Peach traded in her royal regalia for a streamlined jumpsuit. Biker Peach came ready to tear up the roads like never before, and her new outfit was a major hit with fans, even making a tactical appearance during the Rainbow Road sequence in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie." 

15. Origami Peach

"Paper Mario: The Origami King" debuted on the Nintendo Switch in 2020 and brought fans back to the beloved "Paper Mario" franchise in style. In the game's story, Peach falls under a spell cast by the evil King Olly. The spell not only transforms Peach into an origami version of herself, but also alters her mind and makes her a creepy puppet under King Olly's control.


Mario naturally steps in to save the day, and with the help of a few other characters manages to put an end to King Olly's evil plan and return Peach back to her normal, paper self. "The Origami King" gave us one of the most unique Princess Peach designs to date, but sadly it didn't do much to set her apart in terms of personality. An evil, mind-controlled Peach could have been a fantastic secondary antagonist, but Peach is once again just shuffled into the damsel in distress role.

14. Paper Mario Peach

The "Mario" games started out as 2D platformers, but the first "Paper Mario" game brought a whole new definition to the term "two-dimensional." The game introduced adorable paper cut-out versions of all the Mushroom Kingdom's inhabitants and put them into an RPG-style story that involved (what else?) Mario journeying to save Princess Peach from Bowser's clutches. 


Even though she once again found herself in captivity, the version of Peach who exists in the "Paper Mario" world typically has more agency than her traditional counterpart. With the help of a friendly Star Kid, Peach secretly sends Mario information about her whereabouts and Bowser's plan throughout the game. She also uses a magical chest to send Mario items that helped him bring Bowser down, freeing Peach in the process. Mario might have once again needed to save Peach, but he would never have achieved his goal without help from the princess herself. 

13. The Shadow Queen

"Paper Mario" has been delighting fans for decades, but there's one more version of Princess Peach introduced in the mini-franchise that we need to address. 2004's "Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door" transformed Peach – literally – into an antagonist battling against Mario.


In the game Peach is kidnapped yet again, this time by an evil mastermind named Sir Grodus. Because this is "Paper Mario" Peach, she's not content to just sit around and wait for Mario to rescue her. She tries to escape on her own and ends up playing right into Sir Grodus's plan to resurrect the Shadow Queen.

Sir Grodus orchestrates the game's events so that Peach's body can be used as a vessel for the Shadow Queen's return to the Mushroom Kingdom. In the final chapter of the game, the Shadow Queen rises in Peach's body, and Mario has to fight her head-on. By the end, Peach is returned to normal, but her brief time as a villain has opened new doors that some future "Mario" game could (and should) explore.


12. Nurse Toadstool

Healthcare is one of the most challenging career fields that a person can decide to pursue, but after leading the Mushroom Kingdom through countless calamities, Princess Peach is more than ready for anything the world can throw at her. With that in mind, Peach decided to try out a wildly different job for the first time in 1990's "Dr. Mario."


The puzzle game plays out a bit like "Tetris," with 2D viruses slowly filling up a pill bottle. Before the pills begin to overflow, Dr. Mario, with the apparent help of Nurse Toadstool (who originally only appeared in the game's manual), needs to line up the correct colors to clear the field. The first game was such a hit that the "Dr. Mario" series has continued, and eventually Peach found herself with an even more complicated job.

After years of medical school, Peach began working as a doctor in the 2019 mobile game "Dr. Mario World." For the first time in the series, she also became a playable character, complete with the power to clear random rows from the screen after charging up her special ability.


11. Super Mario World Peach

What does Princess Peach do in her downtime? Well, 1990's "Super Mario World" tried to show us, but it turns out that Peach can't even go on vacation without having to deal with Bowser. At the beginning of the game, Peach, Mario, and Luigi are hanging out in Dinosaur Land (which sounds like it might not have been the best choice for a relaxing vacation in the first place), when Bowser shows up and kidnaps her.


Luckily for Peach, the Mario Bros. are prepared to jump into action, and they manage to free the princess yet again with some assistance from Yoshi. She kisses her rescuer on the cheek, and all of them return to Yoshi's house to watch some dino eggs hatching. When the game was re-released on the GameBoy Advance, one additional cutscene showed us Peach's idea of a good time: riding Yoshi on the way to a picnic with the Marios.

All in all, "Super Mario World" gave fans a bit more of Peach's personality by showing her at play for once.

10. Super Mario 64 Peach

"Super Mario 64" holds a special place in video game history. Just bringing up the game warms the heart of 90s gamers, as it's undoubtedly one of the best Nintendo 64 games of all time. It also set a new gold standard for 3D platforming games and future "Mario" titles in particular. The game also deserves a special place in this list because it provided a big change for our beloved princess.


Before "Super Mario 64," fans were familiar with Princess Toadstool, the damsel in distress that Mario rescued over and over in his games. This was the title that put fans on a first-name basis with the princess, thanks to a scene in which she calls herself "Peach" in a letter written to Mario. It's always exciting to learn something new about a beloved character, and in this instance it was especially welcome. "Princess Peach" just has a much sweeter ring to it, wouldn't you agree?

9. Super Mario Sunshine Peach

There's one iteration of Princess Peach that not only had a great story, but also caused a minor controversy for "Mario" fans. At first glance, 2002's "Super Mario Sunshine" looks like a fairly formulaic 3D "Mario" game, but it actually broke the mold in a couple of ways.


The game sees Mario, Toadsworth, and Peach heading out for a vacation to Isle Delfino. As they're preparing for the trip, Peach notices some ominous things, like a shadowy figure in a promotional video for the Isle and a similar figure following them to the airport. Peach tries to warn the others about what's going on (showing that she's much more perceptive than them), but they're preoccupied up until Peach is kidnapped by the mysterious Shadow Mario.

Peach is later held captive by Bowser Jr., who claims that Peach is actually his mom. Peach is shocked by the revelation, which is later proven a lie, but she doesn't deny the possibility outright. Her reaction has fueled fan discussion and speculation for years.


8. Super Mario Galaxy Peach

In 2007, the Wii took Princess Peach, Mario, and the other inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom on a journey to the stars with "Super Mario Galaxy." In this game, Bowser has his sights set on universal domination, and he obviously needs Peach to achieve his goal. The princess ends up as a deep space captive as Mario travels across multiple planets in an attempt to save her.


Basically everything about this Mario outing is great. Reviews for the game were overwhelmingly positive upon release, and fans are still playing and discovering secrets they completely missed in "Super Mario Galaxy" all these years later. Peach's portrayal in the game is especially great: Fed up with being a prisoner, Peach spends the game finding ways to sneakily hand 1-Ups to Mario, allowing him to get the upper hand on Bowser, who's too distracted by his spacefaring dreams. Any version of Peach that aids in her own escape is one worth celebrating.

7. Super Mario Adventures Peach

As you've no doubt noticed, there are almost too many stories about Princess Peach being kidnapped to count. While some stories show Peach helping Mario save the day, those instances are actually few and far between. Most of the time, Peach is just a damsel in distress — but in at least one story, she's a damsel you really don't want to mess with.


"Super Mario Adventures" was an ongoing story told in the pages of Nintendo Power in 1992. It's unlike any "Mario" story that came before it, because Peach is as much a hero as Mario and Luigi. She gets kidnapped by Bowser, but she forcefully resists his plan to marry her and ends up plotting and succeeding in her own escape. Mario later gets captured himself, and Peach ends up leading an assault on Bowser's castle to free him. This version of Peach is exactly what we'd like to see more of in the franchise.

6. NES Princess Peach/Toadstool

"Super Mario Bros." was a revolutionary video game, but it didn't feature a particularly groundbreaking story. Bowser swoops into the Mushroom Kingdom and casts a terrible spell on its inhabitants before kidnapping Princess Peach (then known as Princess Toadstool) and running off to a castle — but not the first castle the player checks. Not the second one, either. After running through decoy after decoy, Mario finally manages to defeat Bowser, rescue the princess, and save the kingdom.


That game turned Mario into a household name and laid the groundwork for everything that the franchise has done in the decades since. The version of the princess here definitely isn't the best, because there's really next to no characterization for her in the game. That said, without this first Princess Toadstool, there wouldn't be any of the amazing portrayals that came after. Peach and her fans owe everything to this first iteration of the character.

5. Super Mario Odyssey Peach

Mario has arguably been in love with Princess Peach from the very beginning of the "Super Mario Bros." franchise, but Bowser has been in love — or at least obsessed — with her for the same length of time. "Super Mario Odyssey," a sort of spiritual successor to the "Super Mario Galaxy" franchise, saw Mario and Bowser competing for Peach's affections head-on.


To her credit, this is the game in which Peach decides that she's had enough with the both of these guys. After Mario saves Peach from Bowser's forced marriage plan, she turns them both down and decides to travel through the game's many kingdoms on a sightseeing adventure of her very own.

Thanks to the Nintendo Switch's graphics and some stellar art direction, Peach's design in this game is top-notch. The game shows off plenty of great costumes for the character while she explores the kingdoms, but while those are all nice, the best thing to see in this game is Peach getting to take a much-needed vacation without being chased down by anyone.

4. Super Mario Bros. 2 Peach (and beyond)

"Super Mario Bros. 2" had the unenviable job of following up one of the most groundbreaking video games of all time. Luckily, it managed to exceed just about every aspect of the original game and cemented the "Mario" franchise's place in the gaming world. For fans of Princess Peach, "Super Mario Bros. 2" is especially important because it marked the first time she was a playable character.


There are some downsides to playing as Peach in the game. She's a bit slower than the other characters, and her jump height simply can't compete with that of Luigi — or even Mario. On the other hand, Peach also has the powerful ability to levitate for a short while after jumping. 

Sadly, Peach wouldn't be a playable character in another mainline "Mario" game for decades. She finally returned to the forefront in "Super Mario 3D World," once again showing off her floating ability and holding her own against the game's other playable characters.

3. The Super Mario Bros. Movie Peach

After decades of winning over the hearts of video game fans, Princess Peach finally landed on the big screen in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie." The movie version of Peach shows off plenty of the traits that she's developed in the games over the years: She's the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, usually wears pink, and rocks Peach's biker outfit from "Mario Kart" when it suits her. The movie manages to include just about everything that fans have always loved about Peach, plus it avoids putting her into a position where she needs to be saved by Mario yet again.


The movie also introduced an interesting twist for Peach's character. She reveals that, like Mario, she first came to the Mushroom Kingdom through a Warp Pipe when she was still a baby. This could mean that she's from the same world as Mario, but her origins could also be tied up with a larger story in some other mysterious world. After this glorious introduction, Peach's full backstory is just one of many things we desperately want to see in the sequel film.

2. Super Smash Bros. Peach

After years of kidnappings, kingdom-ending disasters, and wedding-dodging, Princess Peach has built up a fair amount of frustration and anger. Where's a princess allowed to vent all of that tension? 2001's "Super Smash Bros. Melee" gave Peach her first opportunity to take all of her rage out on a sizable cast of Nintendo all-stars.


Ever since then, Peach has been a "Smash" regular, and fans love to see it. Peach is a fierce combatant, and more than a few of her special moves over the years have involved pulling in Toad to defend her while also dishing out some serious damage to her opponents. He doesn't always seem thrilled by that, but he can't exactly say no to defending his princess.

Obviously, the "Smash" games don't spend much time developing Peach's character or introducing new elements to her ongoing story, but they don't need to. They give fans a rare opportunity to play as Peach as she absolutely thrashes the competition.

1. Super Princess Peach

Determining which of Princess Peach's innumerable appearances is the best isn't as hard as it might sound. In the decades that Peach has been around, she's only had one opportunity to be the lead protagonist. In 2005, the Nintendo DS gave us "Super Princess Peach" and made Peach the heroic star of her own story.


The story of "Super Princess Peach" is really nothing new: Bowser has a new plan to take on the Mushroom Kingdom. This time, however, it involves capturing the people who've ruined all his other evil plans. With Mario and Luigi held captive, the responsibility for stopping King Koopa lands on Peach's shoulders.

Peach takes on typical "Super Mario" challenges in this game, but she approaches them in her own way. Thanks to the help of a transformable, sentient umbrella called Perry, Peach has access to a wide range of abilities, but she also has her own built-in strengths. She can build up her "Vibe Gauge" to access new superpowers by tapping into four different emotions. The gameplay pleased fans and critics, and the title as a whole gave Peach the leading role she's always deserved.