Super Mario Maker has been available for only about a month. But already the community response has been incredible. The game gives players most of the tools from the biggest Mario games of the last 30 years. It lets them run wild with crazy concepts and inventive ideas.
New sub-genres of the traditional Mario platformer have already been established. There’s everything from “Don’t Move” automatic levels to faithful remakes of other classic Nintendo titles. We’ve scoured the top charts to find some of the best levels.
Most Insanely Difficult
Pit of Panga: P-Break
The devious genius PangeaPanga has quickly become a legend amongst Mario Maker designers. His Pit of Panga series tests the limits of even the most skilled platformers. The series requires perfectly timed jumps. Rote memorization is needed for each task. And you must practice enough to make you tear your hair out. Over 13,000 people have tried this level. There have been more than 600,000 total attempts. As of this writing only nine have beaten it. Good luck.
Bowser Jr.’s Stolen Cargo Train!
In Super Mario Makeryou can make your levels auto-scroll to the right, like the airship battles in Super Mario Bros 3. Creator AndyK uses it for a really well-designed train-level. Lots of neat concepts, like using the sawblades as wheels and entering various train cars using doors and pipes, are well realized. It even has a little boss battle at the end.
Level With the Biggest Existential Crisis
Waluigi’s Unbearable Existence
Some Mario Maker levels attempt to tell a story. A few go to some really dark places. Kris creates an evocative and quite dark little tale. He uses a Waluigi costume with some unavoidable traps and somber messages spilled out in coins. Poor Waluigi.
Most Humorous Design
Infiltrate Bowser’s Throne Room
AndréGX has dominated the ranked charts of Mario Maker levels since release. This creative level of assaulting Bowser’s castle via the bathroom was one of his first brilliant designs. See if you can spot all the silly gags and, ahem, toilet humor.
Most Nostalgic for Metroid
Caverns of Zebes: A METROID Maze
The impressive library of amiibo figures and built-in costumes serve as the inspiration for some players. Some of them have recreated some of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises and levels, including Metroid. This gigantic version of the original Metroid is long, but it brings back all the memories of exploring the planet Zebes.
Best Mega Man Remake
Fire Man Stage
User Krisi has been building some impressive and faithful recreations of the boss stages from the original Mega Man. Thanks to the power of amiibo costumes and the depth of Mario Maker’s tools, the levels are incredibly accurate. Krisi uses some brilliant designs to adept the blue bomber into Mario’s world.
Best “Don’t Move” Level
Currently dominating the sTheare
The popular “Don’t Move” levels are dominating the star charts. These levels are a wonder of ingenuity and design. Mario is whisked through a level via conveyor belts, bouncing music notes, and moving girders. He is often hurled at incredibly high speeds. He faces narrow misses and an array of special effects. This particular level is currently the #1 ranked stage. It’s pure fun to just sit back and watch.
Best Music Level
Ocarina of Time Windmill Theme
Music levels are growing in popularity thanks to the music note blocks’ ability to generate different pitches. User Sporky effectively uses this to create an entire song. Mario is shuttled along a predetermined path. Several great and well-known Nintendo tracks are available. But the winner is the catchy Windmill theme from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for its excellent visual accompaniment.
Best Level by a Professional Game Developer
Derek Yu – The Four Hell Towers
Gaming site Polygon has a neat series where they sit game developers in front of Super Mario Maker and have them construct a level. Derek Yu, best known for designing 2012’s challenging platformer Spelunky, crafted an equally challenging but intriguing Mario level called The Four Hell Towers. It’s full of secrets and hidden paths and strikes a great balance, just like Spelunky!
Maze levels have begun cropping up in Mario Maker. These levels utilize the precise controls that Mario is famous for. They often set up traps, dead-ends, and aggravating fail-states. Maze Time is the best I’ve played. It’s a big (but not too big) maze that slowly unravels its secrets and becomes a bit easier with every failure.