This is a Thought I've been wanting to write for awhile now, but I've been a bit worried about putting it together and sharing. I don't want to ruffle any features, but hopefully it'll lead to good discussion!
I think we can all agree that Mario has had the most impressive run in video games as far as quality is concerned. Mainline Mario games are always top notch. There have been so many entries, and there really isn't a bad one in the bunch. There might be absolutely fantastic entries and really great ones, but it would be tough to find people who believe certain installments to be bad, or flat out terrible.
Keeping up that quality over all these years hasn't been easy, that's for sure. Nintendo is always breaking down not only what makes Mario fun, but what new mechanics they can introduce without having a game not feel like a Mario title anymore. It's an insanely delicate balancing act, but somehow the Big N keeps managing to pull it off. The team behind these games knows what makes Mario tick, and they have a passion for the series like none other.
Now even though there are tons of stellar entries in the Mario franchise, people certainly have their favorites. There will be Mario games people can put above a pedestal above all others, and some games that people will easily place a bit lower down on their list. Again, that doesn't mean the games are bad by any means. They just have a few elements that push them up or down an overall list.
For a lot of players, there are two entries in the Mario franchise that really showcase what Nintendo can do when they're at the top of their Mario game. Those would be Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Odyssey. Both games managed to maintain the classic Mario feel while putting their own spin on tried-and-true mechanics, and also breaking new ground for the series. Each entry has been a phenomenal success in terms of critical praise and consumer support, so there's no denying Odyssey and Galaxy are definitely among the best of the best.
That brings us to a very important question. If you were only going to get a sequel to one of these games, or you could have your pick of which game would get a sequel first, which would you choose?
I'll share my answer, but I need to clarify something first. I really do adore Super Mario Odyssey. I find it to be one of the best Mario games out there. Everything from visuals to level building is really impressive, and the sense of scale for the adventure is pretty fantastic. It also includes an insane level of charm across every area, character, and interaction. Super Mario Odyssey made Mario feel more alive than ever before, at least in my opinion.
With that said, the question isn't all that hard for me. While I love Super Mario Odyssey, I was/am completely blown away by Super Mario Galaxy. If I were asked what my favorite Mario games were, my top two would be Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, and their places could be interchangeable. For me, those games marked an unbelievably high point for the Mario series, and brought in a revolution like none other.
There's just something so magical about the Galaxy games. Exploring hugely detailed, open-ended environments in Odyssey was wonderful, but I just don't think it compares to flipping and flying around planets in Galaxy. The feeling of soaring through the air, collecting Star Bits, and playing with gravity were all extremely new elements for a Mario game. Plus, the way they were used in combination was supremely addictive. Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 were just pure, unadulterated fun for me.
I also happen to think that the music in both Galaxy 1 and 2 is quite a good deal beyond the score for Super Mario Odyssey. There are a handful of great tunes in Odyssey, but overall, I was a bit let down by some of the tracks. The good ones are REALLY good, but the ones that didn't do anything for me came across as a bit ho-hum and uninspired. Not bad, but not memorable or engaging.
The soundtracks for Galaxy legitimately brought me to tears in some parts. They felt so new for a Mario series, and so extremely epic. They heightened the experience of flying through space and walking upside-down on platforms, planets, and perches. I still regularly listen to the soundtracks for both of those games, but I only listen to a handful of tunes from Super Mario Odyssey, and not nearly as often as Galaxy.
While I do think Odyssey is a great game, my pick goes with Galaxy without question. I would love a Galaxy 3, which I know isn't quite fair, as there's only been one Odyssey so far. I certainly wouldn't be upset if another Odyssey were announced, but I'd be over the moon hearing Galaxy 3 was on the way.
Which series gets your nod for a sequel? Which one do you want to see makes its way back on Switch, and why?