Super Mario World review - Super Nintendo

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Super Mario World box artMario and Luigi must once again save their favourite princess as Bowser and his minions try to take their revenge on the plumber brothers in Dinosaur Land. The Super Mario series took the Super Nintendo by storm with this instant classic.

This episode introduced new power ups and enemies, as well as the lovable little Yoshi and his tribe. The adventure has Mario and Luigi travel on a giant map and some levels include secret exits that will lead to hidden stages. In fact, the adventure is so rich that Super Mario World was the first Super Mario game for which Nintendo allowed players to save their progress.

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" What a game to give away FREE with the Super NES! Nintendo have created a giant roller coaster of a cartridge here, packed with masses of challenge, scores of secret rooms and what can only be described as almost perfect playability! Mario IV is quite similar to its 8-bit predecessor in terms of gameplay, and the completely brillian control method that made Mario III so intuitively superb also returns. The little dinosaur that Mario runs around on is also a delight, adding a new dimension of gameplay to the concept. What is perhaps the most breathtaking aspect of this game must be its sheer depth – completing the game shouldn't take very long at all, but it's in findind all 96 levels that this game really gets you coming back for more. There's just so much to see and enjoy in this game, I guarantee that you'll be hooked for months! Here at MEAN MACHINES, we've seen every Super NES game there is, and yet Mario IV remains the most superb game on the system, and gives Mario III a good run for its money in the “Best Video Game Ever” stakes! "

" Back in October I said that Super Mario III was the finest videogame I'd ever played. Ask me now and I'd tell you a different story! Yes, there's a new “greatest game” in town, and it's called Super Mario IV. There might be games around with better graphics and sound, but in the all-important playability stakes this is King. The perfect-felling control system, beautifully balanced difficulty level, outstanding puzzles, immense long-lasting appeal and loads of undiscovered secrets make this the most addictive, rewarding and enjoyable game yet seen. To put it simply, Mario IV is the ultimate videogame experience the only bad news is that if you want to taste its excellence you've got to go out and buy a Super NES! "


Overall Score98%

Retrospective comments


It was hailed as the greatest videogame of all time when it was released, and even after all these years it still has a pretty solid claim to that title. Super Mario World is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite Mario game (forget Mario 64 it just isn't anywhere near as good and you all know it!) and when the SNES was released I played very little else until I'd discovered the lion's share of the 96 levels (I never did find them all). It's pretty amazing to consider that this was the first game every released for the SNES.

In terms of gameplay, Super Mario World doesn't actually deviate that greatly from the successful blueprint laid down by its predecessors. The ability to move around the map screen at will and revisit already conquered levels to find additional secrets is one of the best additions to the game, and really adds to the replay value. The extra special abilities that Mario is granted add an extra layer of playability. However, Yoshi's introduction is probably the most well remembered innovation. The green-skinned dinosaur radically altered the way the game was played and several secret exits were only accessible when Mario was riding Yoshi.

Musically and graphically the game is nothing special - merely functional. Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog would later appear and blow Mario away in terms of visuals and speed - but it still remains the least playable of the two.

Stayrsaigh - 09 Mar 2008, 12:04 GMT

YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhh that glorious day I got my hands on my very first Super Nintendo. I think I got mine the day it was released (I'm pretty sure it was a Tuesday but I could be wrong!) and having to agonisingly sit through a day of School thinking of what waited for me when I got home and this game was the first taste of the 16 bit feast that was to come.

Hours apon hours of fun, that's all that can be said really, it's a Mario game and personally I think this is the point where they stopped getting good (Well mind blowingly good that is!) I still think the graphics and sound are great just because it gave small hints of what the SNES was capable of and it seemed liek some of the flashiest graphical and sound tricks ever to me (I was a bit thick!)

Classic doesn't really do the game justice! legendary would be more precise!

kirk Johnston - 30 Apr 2008, 13:32 GMT

I still think the graphics and sound are vastly underrated on Super Mario World. It's not about the technology behind the graphics, because that is inevitably dated, but it's the timeless appeal of the sprites and background art and how clean and vibrant everything is even to this day. Think of it like a great painting in the sense that even 100 years after it's creation people will still be able to look at it and see it's beauty. The same could not be said of Super Mario 64 for example because that already looks pretty crappy and it really has dated quite badly.

Few games hold up as well in all areas as Super Mario World and I think that is maybe how the graphics should be viewed also.

jimmy - 05 May 2008, 02:51 GMT

playing it at the moment actually. I'm 94 levels complete and where the hell the other two are i do not know. I've got all the coloured blocks and everything..? If anyone can help or point me along the way to help i'd be most grateful. Email at Thanks all. As far as graphics and sound go it doesn't bother me at all i mean yeah we got the cracking new gta but you can't beat old classics can ya?

Jimbo - 15 Oct 2008, 06:15 GMT

Greatest game ever..i doubt it - even at the time. Greatest platformer ever? Sure. I have no problem there. But i think Jaz went a bit over the top (reminiscent of his days at Zzap!64). The grafx were OK, the sound was pretty good - but in terms of taking advantage of the SNES' capabilities it was only so-so. However, in saying all that - 50 million Mario fans cant be wrong.

Tris Wicks - 05 Nov 2008, 06:30 GMT

Yes i'm mario fan no.888777827 and i can't be wrong either. Except about megadrive Fantasia. I thought that would be good.

Anyway everyone loves this game, but can anybody think of something bad about it?

I thought Yoshi was smug. Like he thought he was better than you.

Dan - 29 Jan 2009, 17:05 GMT

GREATEST GAME EVER!!! - FACT!!! Took me 4 days to finish, but 6 months to find all 96 worlds and I had sooooooooooo much fun doing it. No instructions and all in Japanese so it was 2 days before i even figured out I could fly!! What a moment that was. Sheer awesomeness, best games ever, ever, ever, ever. Magic.

Richy Girth - 21 May 2009, 00:49 GMT

So much fun, that your bottom might fall off.

mitzibishi - 22 Jul 2009, 03:52 GMT


ed - 06 Sep 2009, 00:23 GMT

I remember seeing fuzzy scans of Mario 4 in CVG and MM before the Japanese release back in 1990 and it just seemed this unattainable piece of software - we'd only just got SMB2 on the NES and they had 4?!?! WOW. The day I got my SNES I couldn't believe I was actually going to play this mythical game and naturally it didn't disappoint! I think I've now got 4 different copies of this game (UK SNES, JAP SFC, GBA and Wii VC - says a lot!!) I agree with Kirk - the graphics were unjustly criticised by people for not being up to 'much' especially when put side by side with Sonic, but they are wonderfully designed, drawn and suit the game perfectly. Also the Japanese box art and manual are SUPERB - wonderful production values. Magical days when the video games industry wasn't driven by the Playstation culture and games had a more unique edgier place in the world and it just seemd a whole lot more FUN. Looking back I now love the fact that Jaz was prediciting the release of Mario 5 for SFC in a preview column for the year ahead but of course it didn't appear... not in the format he predicted anyway LOL!

BigAl-76 - 29 Jul 2011, 16:40 GMT

Quite possibly the finest game ever made, and considering I was a massive Sega fanboy in the nineties that's saying something. Everything about it is just perfect, from the simple but elegant graphics, to the excellent music and sound and best of all the sublime game-play and finely-tuned difficulty curve. Getting to the end of the game didn't take too long, but finding all the secret levels is where the lastability was (and let's face it, seeing 'you are a super player' written in coins was pretty rewarding). The modern 2D Mario games on the Wii and DS have tried to recapture the magic, and they're certainly fun, but I can't help but feel that they're just missing a certain something that elevates this game to such lofty heights...

the retro king - 17 Sep 2011, 14:39 GMT

I lent a copy of super mario brothers wii off some1 and it was a let down for me (a mario game has never been a let down ever)it was just one big SUPER MARIO WORLD rip off without all the greatness addictiveness charm and above all gameplay which SUPER MARIO WORLD had and still has to this day and for ever more.

FelipeScotland - 09 Dec 2011, 14:26 GMT

I totally love reading Damo's reviews and 99.99999999% of the time I'm in full agreement with his sound judgement.

BUT, for him to say that Super Mario World's graphics and music were/are "nothing special" is (in my opinion) total lunacy! Furthermore, to suggest that Sonic's graphics blew Mario's away is a complete fuken abortion of a comment if ever i heard one!

Moegreen - 31 May 2012, 00:30 GMT

There's an ageless and undefinable feeling to playing this game. To me it seems as modern as anything out there today and still somehow ahead of its time. As said above, the graphics have a 'less-is-more' aspect to them which I think is quite beautiful. If you play it with the right filters on zsnes it looks incredibly sharp. The style is magnificent. I completely disagree that it's graphically utilitarian. The music and sound effects, game-play, atmosphere; everything's in perfect balance. I enjoy the graphics as much as I'll enjoy GTAV's or Half-Life 3's. Even thinking about the special level where you're seemingly miles high above the ground on top of skinny pipes trying to float around those NFL bastards gives a happy sense of vertigo that I haven't experienced in any game since.

mario games - 07 Mar 2013, 08:01 GMT

Today I can't even imagine Mario games without Yoshi, he is a great companion and the two of them are perfect togheter. The designers did a great job when brought Yoshi to life and the way they integrated him into the series is perfect.
Long live Mario !

draw mario - 11 Mar 2013, 17:27 GMT

One of the best releases in the mario games series, I must say. I'm not a kid anymore but I still like to play this one just as I did back in chidhood

mogsy - 09 Dec 2014, 22:42 GMT

After 22 years I've finally found all 96 levels. Thanks YouTube and Internet

Mean Machines Issue 17 - Febuary 1992
Platform Game Super Nintendo
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