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The wrong Super Mario Bros game is going cheap this Prime Day

Back when Super Mario 64 was in development, nobody was thinking about Nintendo’s classic side-scrollers. In 1996, 3D was the future, and it was all we could see. But things balanced out again in the decades afterwards – the indie boom highlighting the inherent worth and untapped potential of 2D platforming, and Nintendo establishing two separate streams of Mario releases. With Sunshine, Galaxy et al, Mario continued to push at the boundaries of three dimensions – while New Super Mario Bros. introduced successive generations to the simple pleasures of sending a flat Italian man on an arcing trajectory across a television screen, as if painting a red and blue rainbow.

Right now, though, it feels a little like 1996 again. Every new 3D Mario game remains a real event, a source of wonder, surprise and endless playfulness, yet the 2D entries have grown staid and stagnant. In fact, it sometimes seems as if the river has stopped moving altogether – as if, by making Super Mario Maker 2, Nintendo was giving up on 2D design and passing the tools to fans to have at it instead. It’s a shame, therefore, that this year’s Prime Day sales have highlighted precisely the wrong end of the spectrum. 

There’s a deep UK discount available for New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, a rare creative retread for Nintendo EAD. Yet the revelatory Super Mario Odyssey, which has you play as not just the Mushroom Kingdom’s finest but also a frog, a t-rex, a set of binoculars and a manhole cover, is a measly 7% off in the UK. A boxed copy of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, meanwhile, will set British buyers back a full £69.99. Not many kids getting to play Mario 64 for the first time this summer, then.

A monument to the Mushroom Kingdom's true leader, Luigi.

(Image credit: Nintendo)

If there’s a consolation, it’s that you can get a good UK deal on Super Mario 3D World and its acclaimed Switch expansion, Bowser's Fury. There’s a strong argument to be made that this is where the innovation of old-school 2D Mario has disappeared to – a game that blends the moveset of Mario 64 with the tightly structured level grammar of the early side-scrollers. A saving of 26% is not to be sniffed at, especially when flagship Nintendo games almost never go cheap. Especially not Mario, who is often seen raking in full RRP half a decade after a given entry’s release. I guess those designer dungarees don’t buy themselves.

UK deals

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Nintendo Switch): £49.99 £36.99 at Amazon
Save £13.00
– Get 26% off a masterclass in taut, condensed 3D platforming. While Odyssey offers a wonderfully messy flight of fancy, Super Mario 3D World is the epitome of taste and timing, always switching up the action at exactly the right moment, and tossing out an idea just before it gets old.

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New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Nintendo Switch): £49.99 £36.95 at Amazon
Save £13.04
– The Wii U take on 2D Mario might not be a series high point, but that’s all relative. This remains a well-regarded platformer, accessible to kids but rewarding for adults. You could do worse than the Switch port, New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, which we appreciated for its crisp textures and bundled-in DLC pack, New Super Luigi U.

View Deal

US deals

If you’re in North America, and have a Switch with sufficient storage space, you’re in luck.

Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch): $59.99 $41.99 at Amazon
Save $18
– While there are no such deals in the UK, and the physical edition remains pricey on the other side of the pond, you can currently get a digital code for the marvellous Super Mario Odyssey at 30% off in the US. This is likely to be the cutting edge Mario game for years to come, and probably won’t get significantly cheaper during that time.View Deal

More Prime Day deals in the US

More Prime Day deals in the UK

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