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Super Mario Galaxy Vs. Super Mario Odyssey: Which Is The Better Game?

The little Italian plumber who serves as the mascot for Nintendo has been around for 35 years now, and he's had all kinds of incredible adventures in many interesting locations. Among them, Mario has been to space in Super Mario Galaxy and traversed a wide range of kingdoms in Super Mario Odyssey. It's all for a good cause, of course — saving Princess Peach from Bowser, which is what Mario's done best in his three-plus decades of being a hero.


If you're trying to choose between Super Mario Galaxy from 2007 (now available in Super Mario 3D All-Stars) and Super Mario Odyssey from 2017, you may have some considerations to factor in. While Super Mario Galaxy stands up well over time, it's still a 13-year-old title with Nintendo Wii-level graphics and gameplay. Super Mario Odyssey, meanwhile, is a current-generation title native to the Nintendo Switch, and offers a more modern spin on the Mario formula.

So which is ultimately better? When pitting Super Mario Galaxy vs. Super Mario Odyssey, which should you play? Let's find out.

Super Mario Galaxy

Super Mario Galaxy is a game people are used to hearing described with superlatives. Metacritic named it the 2007 Game of the Year, with a critic score of 97. One Metacritic user called it "the best game in the universe, while another proclaimed it "the single greatest 3D Mario game," bestowing it with a 9.0 user rating.


Eurogamer's review called the game "the best thing on Wii, and the best traditional game Nintendo has made in a decade," citing its beauty, inventiveness, and "unrepentant looniness" as reasons to play. NintendoLife also gave it kudos, claiming that it was "near perfection" as a result of its music, animation, graphics, and gravity-bending gameplay. Deconstructing Video Games added, "Super Mario Galaxy is a highlights reel for Nintendo's imagination."

Of course, naysayers always exist. CNET's reviewer bemoaned the game's lack of beauty, calling Super Mario Galaxy good but not great. Apparently, he found the story boring and some of the motion controls gimmicky. However, even he admitted that the game ushered in new gameplay ideas and had elements of simplicity and fun.


So, if you choose this game, you're picking one that was well-loved enough to spawn a sequel. It's debatable whether Super Mario Galaxy 2 is actually better than the original, but you can't join the debate unless you've played!

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is among the newest platformers in the Nintendo Super Mario lineup. It stays true to the core of the Super Mario franchise while adding surprises and innovation, just as it should. Metacritic gives it a 97 rating and an 8.9 user rating, which puts it pretty close to Super Mario Galaxy in terms of review scores. Metacritic user Carlinos called it "another perfect Mario game" and several others pronounced it a "masterpiece" in their comments.


Pro reviewers had great things to say about Super Mario Odyssey, too. The Verge called the game "an absolute delight" in which very disparate settings are bound by the sense of surprise and discovery they evoke in players. IGN said the game is "pure joy" with "best-in-class platforming action." It evokes and honors the games that came before, while the new possession mechanic adds constant variety. 

Forbes called the game "less a reinvention and more an explosion" — a nearly perfect game with ever-changing challenges. But Forbes echoed others in criticizing its motion controls. These negative comments are similar in tone to the few complaints levied at Super Mario Galaxy, as well. But it seems this one knock is not enough to hamper the overall experience.


It looks like Super Mario Odyssey is an excellent choice, too. So really, there's no wrong decision when choosing between either of these polished titles from the Super Mario universe. Do you want to planet-hop or use your hat to capture and play as a dinosaur? Collect moons or stars? Honestly, either way, you'll still be playing a great Super Mario game.