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Top 10 3D Super Mario Levels

VO: Dan Paradis
Not just anyone can do Mario’s job – especially when it involves diving through oceans, hopping across lava, and flying through the depths of space. Join as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 3D Super Mario Levels.

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Top 10 3D Mario Bros. Levels

Not just anyone can do Mario’s job – especially when it involves diving through oceans, hopping across lava, and flying through the depths of space. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 most Unique and Craziest 3D Mario Brothers Levels.

For this list, we’re looking at levels that present unique innovations to the standard platforming formula. In other words, one-of-a-kind enemies, obstacles, or conditions. We will also be restricting our choices to the 3D Mario Brothers games, as 2D levels will be another list for another day.

#10: Gusty Gardens Galaxy
“Super Mario Galaxy” (2007)

Mario’s no stranger to the skies, but grabbing onto oversized alien flowers and spinning from planet to planet? That might be new territory for the plumber. Mario never stays grounded for long – and who can blame him, when he’s got angry moles, piranha plants, and giant wigglers popping up to hinder his progress? This level is all about riding the wind in this majestic world.

#9: Red Hot Run
“Super Mario 3D World” (2013)

Mario’s been leaping over lava for as long as we’ve known him, but this level really spices things up. With a 100-second timer, unavoidable Speed-Up Panels, and a narrow, winding path, you’ll find yourself sweating before long. The quick, action-packed course will require the most precise maneuvering. Be sure to cool off before taking this one on again.

#8: Wing Mario Over the Rainbow
“Super Mario 64” (1996)

Who’d have thought a cap with tiny wings could make an pudgy plumber fly? Taking to the skies in this secret star stage – our hero faces his toughest challenge yet: … Collecting red coins? Okay, so it’s a standard goal like other levels in the game, but trust us - Between blasting out of cannons, making tricky landings on cloud platforms, and all the while hoping your flying power-up doesn’t expire, this level is a true test of your skills as a human cannonball.

#7: The Great Goal Pole
“Super Mario 3D World” (2013)

Nothing beats that feeling of satisfaction when the iconic goal pole is finally in sight! So what could be better than starting a level and seeing it right in front of you? Oh that was easy, let’s call it a day and – HEY! the goal post just got up and flew away? Nothing to do but chase that thing down in this very short timer level and show that flagpole who’s boss.

#6: Through the Meteor Storm
“Super Mario Galaxy” (2007)

How do we make lava even more lethal? The obvious answer: put lava in space. That’s about the gist of the whole Melty Molten Galaxy, and this is one of the most dangerous courses in the game even though it’s only the first level of that galaxy. Constant falling meteors don’t unnerve you? Well how bout a giant, gravity-defying tube of lava… that you have to roll through while balancing on a ball by tilting the Wii remote. No one said being a plumber was easy.

#5: Pinna Park
“Super Mario Sunshine” (2002)

Mario gets to spend some time on the beautiful Delfino Isle, and can kick back at its local amusement park. The level is basically the Nintendo equivalent of Disneyland, with numerous rides to interact with that make for some fun platforming. Take down a Bowser mech while riding a rollercoaster, grab coins while jumping between swinging ships, or just take it easy on the Yoshi-go-round, which, by the way, transports you to another dimension.

#4: Wet-Dry World
“Super Mario 64” (1996)

The series’ foray into 3D turned even the most basic of environments into immersive experiences – and this quintessential ‘water’ level is no exception. In this case, Mario can control the level of the water by hitting various switches around the level, and there’s plenty to explore. Hands down, one of the best moments of the game comes when you stumble upon the level’s secret underwater city.

#3: Loopdeswoop Galaxy
“Super Mario Galaxy” (2007)

“This course is a monster”, warns the penguin at the start, and he’s right. Mario has three minutes to challenge the waves with his trusty manta ray, on a body of water suspended in space with no railings to keep you from falling to your demise. It’s pretty much the waterslide of death. Don’t forget to grab those 1-up on the course, cause believe me you’ll need them.

#2: Tick Tock Clock
“Super Mario 64” (1996)

In one of the most unconventional courses in the game, Mario takes a leap into the clock in Peach’s Castle. Depending on where the clock hands are when he jumps, he can control the speed of the obstacles he faces. The level itself involves some intense platforming as Mario climbs upwards, facing swinging pendulums, clock gears, and conveyer belts. Watch your step, or you’ll be redoing this level time and time again.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions:

Corona Mountain
"Super Mario Sunshine" (2002)

Sirena Beach
"Super Mario Sunshine" (2002)

Hands-on Hall
"Super Mario 3D World" (2013)

Blast to the Lonely Mushroom
"Super Mario 64" (1996)

World 5-2
"Super Mario 3D Land" (2011)

#1: Grandmaster Galaxy

“Super Mario Galaxy 2” (2010)

It’s hard to sum up a level that throws everything the game has at you – but it’s that very chaos that makes this level our top pick. Let’s see what we’ve got here: Yoshi, sky acrobatics, cloud riding, 2D and 3D perspectives, Pull Stars, tons of lasers, flip panels, fire-spitting octopi, goombas, and an army of hammer bros. Oh and lets not forget that you have to do the level a 2nd time with only one bar of health, and no checkpoint. Better stock up on lives, because this level will drive you insane.

There’s literally hundreds of Mario levels out there that its impossible to include the all on the list, so let us know what your favorite stages were, and for more crazy Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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