Nintendo is celebrating the anniversary of its most recognizable mascot with Super Mario 3D All-Stars. The compilation includes a trio of Mario’s most famous 3D adventures: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. While each of them are widely lauded classics, how does the package as a whole stack up?
Reviews for Super Mario 3D All-Stars are starting to hit ahead of its planned release on September 18. While critics generally agree that these are great games that largely stand the test of time, opinions are more varied on whether the 3D All-Stars bundling does enough to make them shine. This is a no-frills presentation without many enhancements or bonus features, which has raised mixed feelings among reviewers.
“You won’t find anything in the way of supplemental material here: just Mario’s first three 3D adventures, modestly touched up for high-definition displays, and their accompanying soundtracks,” Kevin Knezevic said in GameSpot’s Super Mario 3D All-Stars review. “The presentation is minimal but handsomely designed, and the soundtracks are a nice bonus, but the package on the whole hardly feels like a celebration of the series in the way that, say, Kirby’s Dream Collection or even the original Super Mario All-Stars did.”
For a broad view from around the industry, we’ve selected and rounded up some reviews below. For an even greater overview, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Super Mario 3D All-Stars
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: September 18
- Price: $60 / £50 / $80 AUD
GameSpot — 8/10
“Taken all together, Mario 3D All-Stars is a worthwhile collection, featuring the best versions of Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy to appear on a Nintendo system. Although the individual games have been sparingly touched up and there’s little in the way of ancillary material to pore over, the titles themselves hold up well and are a delight to revisit. Despite their age, the games are still rife with inventive ideas and surprises, which more than makes up for the collection’s presentational shortcomings.” – Kevin Knezevic [Full Review]
The Digital Fix — 10/10
“There’s a huge amount of content here, and it’s well worth the asking price for any Nintendo fan looking for something to sink their teeth into. This isn’t nostalgia talking – all of the games in this collection are essential gaming experiences that still play immaculately today.” – Dani Cross [Full Review]
Digitally Downloaded — 4.5/5
“And that’s the problem with reviewing 3D All-Stars. All three of the games have historical worth, remain highly playable today, and are ported competently enough that they work. You’re not going to suddenly find Bowser unbeatable because bugs have trashed what was once a great game. However, this is Nintendo’s most valuable property and mascot, and it’s amazing that the company didn’t do more with this package than they have here.” – Matt S. [Full Review]
Nintendo Life — 9/10
“We’ve had an absolute blast playing through these three gems all over again, especially now they look sharper than ever. It’s a shame that the presentation is practically barebones with no bonus content beyond the soundtracks, but there can still be no denying the quality of the games on offer here. This is the Beatles’ Greatest Hits of the video game world, and is an absolute treat whether you’re reliving it in HD or discovering it for the first time.” – Chris Scullion [Full Review]
Destructoid — 8.5/10
“Super Mario 3D All-Stars, as barebones as it might be as a compilation, is a great way to experience (or re-experience) these games all over again. It was a joy running through all three of them even if they weren’t strictly upgraded. That goes double for Mario Galaxy, as this is going to be my preferred way to play it from now on.” – Chris Carter [Full Review]
US Gamer — 4/5
“The Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection could stand a few more extras. Customizable controls would be great, as would sound options, design documents, or artwork. When you think about everything the original All-Stars offered—three graphically upgraded Mario games, plus a ‘lost’ game—3D All-Stars is a bit lacking. That said, the games in Super Mario 3D All-Stars still hold up today. I’m surprised how fun Super Mario 64 still is, and Super Mario Galaxy remains one of the heroic plumber’s best outings. As for Super Mario Sunshine, well, that’s still up to personal taste.” – Nadia Oxford [Full Review]
VG247 — 4/5
“However they’re wrapped up, the main thing you’re going to be doing is playing the games, and so three classics bundled together running well and looking as you remember is a fine offering from Nintendo. I still think Mario deserved a more lavish birthday celebration, but the classic titles in this collection really can’t be diminished.” – Alex Donaldson [Full Review]
VentureBeat — 4/5
“On their own, each of these three games could earn 5 stars (maybe four for Sunshine). But this isn’t just about them. This is a review of a collection. And as a package, 3D All-Stars feels a little sparse. It’s not the end-all celebration of 3D Mario games that it could be. At the very least, it should include Super Mario Galaxy 2.” – Mike Minotti [Full Review]
Screen Rant — 3.5/5
“This final package is something worthwhile for those that want to play through these titles again or those that want to enjoy them for the first time. Super Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy all run smoothly and expectedly in their fine-tuned forms, so it’s hard not to recommend that Nintendo Switch owners pick this up. Truth be told, there are a number of opinions online about what Super Mario 3D All-Stars could have been, but there’s no denying that what it is is still something special for those that want it.” – Riley Little [Full Review]
Game Informer — Unscored
“Regardless of its shortcomings, this still serves as a great way to play these three games on modern, portable technology. Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a must-have for all die-hard fans of Nintendo’s flagship franchise, but it’s unfortunate to have it outshone not only by the collection’s contemporaries, but also by the collection it was essentially modeled after nearly three decades ago.” – Brian Shea [Full Review]
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