With the release of Super Mario Bros Wonder, Mario has finally left the realm of the New Super Mario Bros series. Sporting a completely new style, gameplay gimmicks, and designs, many have been anxiously awaiting this new-and-improved Mario game. Despite this, besides being a fresh new entry to 2D Mario, the question still remains. Is Super Mario Bros Wonder better than the last mainline entry of the previous series, New Super Mario Bros U. Both of these games are great overall, though for anyone who has had the chance to play both, this answer should be fairly obvious.
As many players already know, before the release of Super Mario Bros Wonder, 2D Mario games came out in the form of the New Super Mario series. This started with New Super Mario Bros for the DS and carried all the way to the Switch era. The most recent mainline installment of this series is New Super Mario Bros U which was released on the Wii U back in 2012. Though it seems odd to compare a nine-year-old game to a more modern release, a definitive, deluxe version of New Super Mario Bros U released on the Switch more recently. Since both Mario platformers are available on the same system, this has led many to chime in on the Super Mario Bros Wonder versus New Super Mario Bros U debate.
Super Mario Bros Wonder Vs New Super Mario Bros U: Graphics and Audio
Starting off with the most apparent factors, comparing the graphics and audio of both games, Super Mario Bros Wonder is leagues above New Super Mario Bros U. First, every animation in Wonder is extremely detailed and fluid, with even simple actions like entering a pipe given massive amounts of polish. On the other hand, while the New Super Mario games look clean, they never evolved much in terms of personality. Most animations in the series are sterile and a bit on the boring side, though details like enemies dancing to the music will always be charming. In terms of audio, the games are a bit closer, though Wonder edges out New Super Mario Bros U with impressive musical-level spectacles that are sure to bring a smile to any player’s face.
Super Mario Bros Wonder Vs New Super Mario Bros U: Gameplay
Now, arguably the most important factor of each 2D Mario entry is the gameplay. While both of these games are fun, Super Mario Wonder provides a lot more gameplay variety that will keep players coming back a lot longer. In Super Mario Wonder, besides having standard levels, Wonder also possesses challenge levels, race levels, and much more. While New Super Mario Bros U has some fun classic Mario challenges, even before the end of the first playthrough, levels start to become a bit similar and boring. Comparing it to previous New Super Mario games as well, New Super Mario Bros U did very little to mix up the formula. If we count New Super Luigi U, which featured all new mechanics, then this entry gets a bit better but still pales in comparison to the addictive gameplay of Wonder.
Super Mario Bros Wonder Vs New Super Mario Bros U: Controls
Finally, in terms of controls and playability, both games are fairly equal. Nintendo has obviously put a lot of work into polishing their platformer games, making them easy and fun to get a hold of. Super Mario Bros Wonder handles extremely well, and the Badge system helps give players a lot of never-before-seen movement options in terms of Mario and helps give new options for things like water levels. New Super Mario Bros U also plays very nicely, with responsive controls and fun movement options. If the award for best controls and playability had to go to one of these games, it would probably go to Wonder. The amount of options in the Badges helps make movement more adaptable for the current situation.
Which Is Better? Answered
In the end, while both Super Mario Bros Wonder and New Super Mario Bros U are great games, only one of them transcends to the category of amazing. The newest entry is exactly what 2D Mario needed after being stuck in the lull of the previous series. With charming visuals, addictive gameplay, and beautiful controls, Wonder is a near-perfect experience. To put it simply, Super Mario Bros Wonder is far better than its predecessor, New Super Mario Bros U.