It’s a good day for fans of both Nintendo and calendar-based puns, as Thursday marks another “Mario Day.” March 10 (or Mar10, get it?) is Nintendo’s annual event designed to celebrate its most popular plumber, princess saver, kart driver, soccer player, boxing ref, typing instructor, drug supplier, Chris Pratt acting inspiration, and overall mascot.
What does this celebration actually look like? Well, many people have taken the time to reminisce on their favorite Mario moments (as we previously have) and share fan art, while Universal Studios Hollywood used the occasion to announce its Super Nintendo World theme park expansion will open in 2023. In practical terms, though, Mar10 mostly means Nintendo has put a bunch of Mario games on sale. Mario is a brand, after all.
If you’ve been looking for something new to pick up for your Switch, the event provides a decent chance to save some cash on a good game or two. Various Mario Day sales have been advertised since the start of this week at Nintendo’s own digital eShop and retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, GameStop, and Humble. Our latest Dealmaster roundup has sorted through them all to pick out the ones most worthy of your consideration.
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Best Mario Day 2022 deals
Perhaps the best deal of the bunch is for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, which is down to $10 on Nintendo’s eShop. This is a turn-based tactical game that plays like a more colorful and straightforward take on something like XCOM. Kingdom Battle has never quite that tense, but there’s a terrific sense of movement between turns, and there’s enough variance between battles to keep the game from ever feeling rote. We gave Kingdom Battle a positive review when it launched in 2017, and while it has typically been available for about $20 as of late, this deal matches the lowest price we’ve tracked. A sequel is scheduled to arrive later this year.
Another highlight is Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury for $40, which is another new low. This is a Switch port of one of the more underrated core Mario games, which originally launched for the Wii U in 2013. If you never got around to it then, the game should provide a surprisingly fresh take on the Mario formula now, with its semi-fixed camera bringing a perspective change that straddles the line between 2D games like Super Mario Bros. 3 and more open entries like Super Mario Odyssey (which is not discounted any more than usual for Mario Day). The stages here are vibrant and loaded with new ideas, and there’s an extensive co-op mode that lets up to four players compete with each other as much as work together.
Bowser’s Fury, meanwhile, is the closest thing we’ve seen to an “open-world” Mario game. It borrows the controls of 3D World but takes place in what’s effectively a giant, interconnected level. You can eventually hop between its different sections at will, and each one supplies its own method of movement and platforming challenge. Bowser’s Fury takes only around 3-4 hours to beat, but if nothing else, it’s an enjoyable glimpse at where future Mario games may go. For reference, 3D World + Bowser’s Fury hit the Switch in early 2021 and has typically retailed for $50 in recent months.
Beyond that, other Ars-approved games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the side-scroller-meets-level-creator Super Mario Maker 2, and the gorgeous ghost-hunting game Luigi’s Mansion 3 (which is only marginally a Mario game, but still) are down to $40. We’ve seen all of these games available for less in the past, particularly around the holiday season, but each is still a bit lower than their usual street prices. Mario Kart, in particular, has only hit $40 a few times over the past year, so this is a decent deal if you want to get onboard ahead of the slew of DLC tracks Nintendo still plans to release for the popular kart racer.
Elsewhere, Super Mario Party has been supplanted by the superior Mario Party Superstars but is down to a new low of $30 if you still want a few more digital boards to play. Meanwhile, the fun-if-flawed “real-world” racer Mario Kart Live is about $15 off its usual street price. A few more Mario games are on sale for $40, but those are either not priced significantly below their typical going rate (New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Mario Tennis Aces) or not especially worth most people’s time in the first place (Yoshi’s Crafted World, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020). So we haven’t included them here.
Here is the full list of Mario Day deals we like. Nintendo says its sale will last through March 13.
- Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Switch) for $10 (
$20) at Nintendo eShop (physical for $15)
- Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (Switch) for $40 (
$50) at Amazon, Target, Nintendo eShop
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) for $40 (
$50) at Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Nintendo eShop
- Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Switch) for $40 (
$50) at Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Nintendo eShop
- Super Mario Maker 2 (Switch) for $40 (
$48) at Amazon, Target, Best Buy
- Super Mario Party (Switch) for $30 (
$50) at Best Buy
- Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Switch) for $60 (
$75) at Amazon, Target, Best Buy