There’s nothing better than reaching the final stretch of your favorite games. The final boss is in sight with nowhere left to run, and it’s time for you to save the day. In Mario’s case, the princess isn’t in any other castle, she’s in the one just ahead. The final world is always an exciting one, but also incredibly difficult.
They have come in many different forms across the Mario series, but some of the final challenges do tend to feature plenty of lava and a generous helping of Bowser and his minions. Not all final worlds are created equal, but Mario has some of the absolute best.
10 Super Mario Galaxy
While the final battle with Bowser is plenty of fun, the real final world is technically the Grande Finale Galaxy. It may shock a lot of people to see a Super Mario Galaxy kicking off this list, but you really don’t do much in this final world.
The only goal is to bask in your victory and collect the 100 purple coins scattered throughout the level, something that is much easier than in the other levels. From there, you can collect your 121st star, earning a little commemorative picture that you can show off to your family and friends.
9 Super Mario 3D World
There is a bit of a conundrum that comes up when you think about the final world of Super Mario 3D World. Its final base world is Bowser World, but there are more than a few bonus worlds after the fact as well.
Since there are so many bonus worlds, it’s only fair to say that the World Crown is in fact the final one. It’s a small world with just three courses, but it offers some of the toughest challenges in the entire game. It’s difficult for sure, but it’s well worth it for that sweet congratulations message.
8 Super Mario World
The Valley Of Bowser from Super Mario World absolutely drips atmosphere on the map screen, but it runs into some issues when you actually get into the levels. None of them feel all that unique when compared to the rest of the game.
Sure, some of the levels can feel a bit tougher than the earlier levels, but even with secret levels, the challenge isn’t too steep. A unique palette and design for the final world would have gone a long way in getting you ready for your final showdown with Bowser.
7 Super Mario Bros.
Considering Super Mario Bros actually set the standard for Mario games, it only makes sense that they didn’t take too many risks with the overall design of the worlds. World Eight isn’t anything too exciting when compared to the rest of the game.
The levels are a challenge, especially considering you don’t get any checkpoints, but they are all more than fair. The waves of Hammer Bros and one of the best Bowser’s Castles from the series do mean that this final world remains a fan favorite for retro gamers.
6 Super Mario 64
What actually constitutes the final world of Super Mario 64 might depend on who you ask. Some might say the final Bowser stage counts, but most would likely agree that the Rainbow Ride stage is in fact the final world. Even better, you can go try the level right now through Nintendo Switch Online.
It’s one of the toughest stages in the game, but it also utilizes a magic carpet mechanic that may not be everyone's cup of tea. It’s one of the easiest stages to lose all of your lives on, making it a solid final challenge, but not one that everyone will love.
5 Super Mario Sunshine
Unlike many final Mario worlds, Super Mario Sunshine gives you a single final level to take on. After you’ve finished up on the beach, and done all you can for Delfino Plaza, you’ll find yourself ready to take on the now-unfortunately-named Corona Mountain.
It’s a tough lava level that has become notorious amongst Mario fans. The trick to succeeding is to simply think fast, but also take your time. It’s easy to make mistakes, but someone who has truly mastered the various FLUDD mechanics should have little trouble.
4 New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Lava, lava, and more lava, that’s what you get when you enter World 8 of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Surprisingly, the developers even managed to fit a water level into the middle of all that lava, just in case you wanted the added challenge of water physics.
The entire world is exciting, and as difficult as you’d expect from the final world of a Mario game. The sheer variety in the different levels practically ensures that you will both love and hate at least one of them. Plus, you get to take down Bowser at the end of it, like always.
3 Super Mario Bros. 3
The Dark Land is the final world from Super Mario Bros 3, and it’s probably one that those who grew up with the game have never forgotten. It happens to be one of the creepiest Mario worlds ever crafted, and it offers the steepest challenge in the game by far.
Rather than throwing a lot of unique levels at you, the world houses a few auto-scrollers that far outshine any of the earlier ships you’ve taken down. It’s best to be ready to take on another angry sun, as you get closer and closer to defeating Bowser once and for all.
2 Super Mario Galaxy 2
When people think of the Super Mario Galaxy games, there is often a hot debate over which of the two is truly the better game. Both offer different things and have their own unique strengths, but it’s fair to say that Super Mario Galaxy 2 takes the cake for final worlds.
World S is a special world, one that you’ve got to put in a lot of work to unlock. Those that manage to reach it will find some of the most exciting and difficult levels in the entire series. Keep your eyes peeled for all the little easter eggs tucked into every single level.
1 Super Mario Odyssey
Deciding what is truly the final world of Super Mario Odyssey is tricky because there are quite a few secret kingdoms. The thing is, whether you count the Moon Kingdoms or The Mushroom Kingdom as the final world, each offers some of the best gameplay Mario has to offer.
The Moon offers a unique challenge, with less gravity for the many puzzles you’ll have to tackle, while two of the secret kingdoms are also technically a part of the Moon. The Mushroom Kingdom is a throwback to classic Mario, and even lets you battle many of the game's fantastic bosses all over again.
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