Mario, he’s had his fair share of adventures over the past thirty-five years over hundreds of various games. Today, we will be celebrating Mario’s legacy by talking about some of my favourite pieces of music from the Mushroom Kingdom, some of which feature in the recently released Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Some of the following you could probably see coming, but there are also several tracks which may pose a bit of a curve-ball.
Once you’ve reached the end of the feature, there will also be a chance to win a physical copy of Super Mario 3D All-Stars or £25 Nintendo eShop credit, so be sure to enter that right away. Without further ado, join us in our celebration, after the break!
Athletic Theme ~ Super Mario Land 2: The Six Golden Coins ~ Game Boy (1993)
Oh boy, does this remind me of my childhood. Though my existence didn’t come to be until one August in 1995 (there was only the one), I fondly remember playing this title in the early 2000s along with Donkey Kong (which was also on the GameBoy). This track was the theme song to my childhood, all those long car journeys, and times I couldn’t fall asleep at a friends house was powered by this game and it’s wonderful music.
Most levels essentially remix this exact song in their own zany way, but the original version will always remain the best. It’s such a happy track, kinda makes you forget about the current worldly affairs… oh…
Bob-Omb Battlefield ~ Super Mario 64 ~ N64 (1997)
Yet another happy go-lucky song from my childhood makes this list. Admittedly, the first time I got to play Super Mario 64 and knew what the hell I was doing was in 2005, nearly ten years after the title launched in the UK. Funny story, my dad said he would order the game for me if I practiced some cycling up and down the garden for the mandatory proficiency test at school. I may have cheated slightly and walked alongside my bike when he wasn’t watching… don’t worry though, I know how to cycle now!
Anyway, this particular track is perfect for the starting course, a course which introduced players to 3D platforming in a Mario game. It’s full of chirpiness with a slight hint of curiosity and even a little cheekiness, sort of like my story above!
Dire Dire Docks ~ Super Mario 64 ~ N64 (1997)
If you asked any one who knew my gaming habits, they would probably say that I do love a good water level… do bear in mind your question would have to be fairly specific for that response. Dire Dire Docks and Jolly Roger Bay are both fab water levels with a really good theme. The music is full or serenity, putting your mind and heart at ease, yet also satisfying that sense of adventure and curiosity. Who wants a dip then?
Koopa’s Road ~ Super Mario 64 ~ N64 (1997)
When the road ahead of you is full of traps and enemies with chaos at every corner, nothing can represent that louder than this song here. Koopa’s Road is possibly one of my favourite Mario tracks of all time, I would definitely put it in my top five. Though the song represents danger, there is also something very inviting about the composition, like I’m meant to venture forth even if each one of my facial hairs become singed.
Rainbow Road ~ Mario Kart 64 ~ N64 (1997)
The final finish line is finally in sight, all that’s left is to just zoom over a rainbow in outer space while avoiding rogue Chain Chomps and admiring the Mushroom Kingdom themed light show in an approximately six minute long race. That’s the sort of zaniness and wonderment you’d expect from a Mario Kart game, and Rainbow Road wouldn’t have it any less. This particular song may not be as energetic as others, but it does a brilliant job highlighting the wonderment that outer space rainbows can provide. I actually prefer the N64 version of the music to the Mario Kart 8 version, it just has a better feeling behind it in my ears… not to mention Mario Kart 8’s version has shortened the track meaning the music is cut short.
Let’s Go Lightly ~ Mario Party ~ N64 ~ 1997
When I think about Mario Party, I am always reminded of the New Year, burnt palms, and, of course, blueberries… best check out our Top Mario Locations feature for some context and skip to number ten. The music selection in the original Mario Party had some pretty jamming tunes, one of my favourites had to be from the Bobsled Run minigame.
This song presents a chilly rush of festive wonderment, egging you on to go faster and faster in your diddy bobsled. Feel the frosty breeze brush your ears, knock your opponent into the wall… oh darn, you fell off the track!
Yoshi’s Tropical Island ~ Mario Party ~ N64 ~ 1997
Staying on the topic of Mario Party comes one of my most played boards of the game: Yoshi’s Tropical Island. The music brings me absolute joy as childhood memories come flooding in… Chance Time can go shove off though! This exotic ensemble just makes me want to play some beach volleyball, take a dip in the sea, and then top it off by eating some Melon, Yoshi’s favourite fruit. Listening to the track truly is like you’re on an exotic getaway; if only the management could sort out those whirlpools and Big Bubba!
Darkened Halls ~ Luigi’s Mansion ~ GameCube (2002)
Creeping its way onto the GameCube’s launch lineup comes a Mario game that doesn’t actually star the plumber in red, rather, this time, he’s the damsel in distress. While snooping around the dank corridors of this mysterious, you’ll be hearing this a lot, so much so, maybe you’ll even start humming along just like Luigi is… I know I do.
This wonderfully haunting track does the perfect job to establish just how spooky your adventure is. It won’t be scary to the effect that you may Wii yourself a little, but it’s still pretty creepy. Every once in a while, you may hear mysterious haunting or grunting from one of those cheeky spectral beings, but never fear, with a Poltergust in hand, no-one, living or dead, can float in your way!
Princess Peach’s Castle ~ Super Smash Bros. Melee ~ GameCube (2002)
If you find yourself reading an article listing the best pieces of Mario music, like you are doing right now, chances are that they’ll likely include the original theme from Super Mario Bros. Though the original theme is a staple, there are also many variations that effectively reinvent the original. One of my personal favourites is this one here from Super Smash Bros. Melee, it really makes you want to jump right into the action of beating up your fellow comrades upon the roof of royalty. In addition to this, it’s also used in my favourite Mario fan game by Runow, Super Mario 63!
Bianco Hills ~ Super Mario Sunshine ~ GameCube (2002)
I don’t quite remember when exactly I got Super Mario Sunshine. I remember watching one of my second cousins playing through Rico Harbour while I was visiting family in the US one Christmas, I remember getting the GameCube for my birthday the following year, but I can’t remember how we got Super Mario Sunshine, only just the fact that we had the damn game and I loved every moment of it!
Getting back onto the subject of this wondrous game (and no, I’m not putting that up for debate), Bianco Hills is the first main course you’ll take on while visiting Isle Delfino and it’s a pretty cool introductory level at that. The music is really chill and provides a sense of homeliness in this quaint windmill village. With music like this, it’s almost impossible to notice that abomination, Petey Piranha, polluting up the peaceful atmosphere.
Sky and Sea ~ Super Mario Sunshine ~ GameCube (2002)
Another track from the Pianta homeland, and it’s yet another composition of serenity. You’ll definitely want that little spot of calm as this music will usually come accompanied with a level of pure torment that really tests your platforming skills. Thought the Sand Bird level was difficult? Just wait until you try it out with JoyCon Drift!
Sherbet Land ~ Mario Kart: Double Dash ~ GameCube (2003)
Before Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launched a couple years ago, Mario Kart: Double Dash had the privilege of being my favourite Mario Kart game. Going back to Double Dash though, Sherbet Land was just an absolute delight, mainly due to its festive music. I actually found the style very reminiscent to that of Diddy Kong Racing from the N64 (c’mon Nintendo and Rare, give us a sequel already).
Hearing back the music just makes me thinking I’m exploring a bustling Christmas market on a cold Winter’s afternoon. Look over there, even the Shy Guys are skating… ooh, what’s that smell? Yorkshire Pudding wraps? Smell delicious!
Cortez Battle ~ Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door ~ GameCube (2004)
After trawling through a grotto of many dangers and water, you’ll encounter this creepy fellow with some powerful moves that are anything but paper thin. This track has more of a psychedelic buccaneering taste to it, but I suppose that just adds onto the creepiness of the boss. There are moments where things just sound a tad off, but in a good way. Just watch out for those arms!
Ashley’s Song ~ WarioWare: Touched! ~ DS (2005)
WAHHH!! Why does Mario get all the fun, it’s always Mario this, Mario that. When’s it my turn, the Mighty Wario™️? This catchy tune was featured in my favourite witch’s debut in WarioWare: Touched! Ashley may be new to her broomsticks and spells, but maybe she can turn Mario into a newt in the next Wario Kart game.
I suppose you want to hear about the song now, huh? I mean it’s pretty cool. It’s creepy, kooky, and has some pretty hilarious lyrics about Ashley’s witchy shenanigans!
Overworld ~ New Super Mario Bros. ~ DS (2006)
After Super Mario Land 2, the series didn’t see another mainline side-scrolling game for thirteen years, that meant that this was the first side-scrolling Mario game that launched while I’ve been alive. I remember how excited I was when the game finally arrived at the house.
This particular track is a bit of a hit or miss with fans, to some, they’d rather hear nails on the chalkboard. In this case, I’m happy to say I fall into the category of finding the song super catchy and fun, perfectly representing the gameplay presented throughout. Fun story, I didn’t actually end up completing it properly until about four years later… oops!
Whoa Zone ~ Super Paper Mario ~ Wii (2007)
Ah, Super Paper Mario. I often found this Woolworths purchase fairly under-appreciated by Paper Mario fans, as well as gamers in general. The entire game has a pretty unique soundtrack, one of my favourites being from the Whoa Zone. The entire level is a massive labyrinth of sci-fi proportions, and this tune does well to reinstate that. The entire theme just shouts “hmm, that’s odd” as three giant pigs come zooming in your general direction… WHOA! At least you’ll be left with an earwig of a song if you do end up becoming hopelessly lost… my body may soon be gone, but this tune definitely won’t be.
Good Egg Galaxy ~ Super Mario Galaxy ~ Wii (2007)
Yet another Mario launch I remember well. Nearing my first Christmas at High School, I remember being very excited to head into town to pick up Super Mario Galaxy, talking to my friends about it in drama class. The fact that we had a substitute made me particularly more excitable. As I walked into the Gamestation with uneven floors (why did GAME have to eat you up), I remember picking up my copy of Super Mario Galaxy, along with a copy of Raving Rabbids 2 which released the same day out here. I think it’s obvious which of the two are the better choice.
Back on track of the music, Good Egg Galaxy is the first main galaxy you visit in the game, and the music couldn’t do a better job to set the tone for the rest of the game. You’ve been blasted into space, you’re about to see the most breathtaking sights, and you are starting a grand adventure that’s gonna be out of this world!
Space Junk Galaxy ~ Super Mario Galaxy ~ Wii (2007)
The soundtrack to the Super Mario Galaxy games are just out of this world and, yes, that pun is absolutely necessary! The theme to Space Junk Galaxy is something of a treat, or at least it is to my ears. I absolutely love compositions like these which are very calm and promote the curiosity within. Who knew a star-field full of useless junk could become a thing of beauty with the right music. I mean, you’ll almost forget there an icky, giant spider that plans to devour all your Toad friends… wait, you’re saying that can only be a good thing? You monster!
Buoy Base ~ Super Mario Galaxy ~ Wii (2007)
The Super Mario Galaxy songs just get more and more epic, and Buoy Base Galaxy is no exception. This particular piece screams sub-nautical adventure with a dash of infiltration. Not much else can be said about this track, just sit back and let the music take you on a journey into the depths.
Purple Coins ~ Super Mario Galaxy 2 ~ Wii (2010)
If I had to pick any song to compliment the ultimate collectible collecting challenge, it would definitely be this one. The track does a wonderful job motivating one to collect each and every one of those shiny, purple coins. You’ll need it as most Purple Coin challenges are timed, meaning you’ll lose a life if you dawdle too much. I also love the little nod back to Gusty Garden Galaxy partway through the song.
Though this particular track originally appeared in the first Super Mario Galaxy, I thought I would give Super Mario Galaxy 2 the credit deserves after being neglected by a certain collection… no hard feelings though, honest!
Forest Overworld ~ New Super Mario Bros. U ~ Wii U (2012)
2012, the year where the world never ended, or at least you can assume as much if you are reading this now. New Super Mario Bros U marked the very first time Mario jumped into the HD climate. I absolutely love the Jungle and Forest levels in Mario games, and this theme is one of the songs I would love to listen to if I went into the woods today. A sense of curiosity is a common theme within a lot of Mario music, and this track is full of it… just don’t get too curious about that purple river though, somehow I don’t think it’s worth having a dip in. I know this song actually debuted in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but I felt the addition of the Baby Yoshis singing gave it that extra edge.
Super Bell Hill ~ Super Mario 3D World ~ Wii U (2013)
Super Bell Hill marks the beginning of your adventure in this Super Mario 3D Land sequel, introducing you to the almighty Super Bell. The music behind the course is just a bundle of joy, perhaps this is what cats here once they get a hold of that sweet nip. As always, the starting course has to set the tone of the beginning of your adventure I believe this tune does so well. In a way, there almost a theatre or musical vibe to this lovely track, don’t you think?
Shifty Boo Mansion ~ Super Mario 3D World ~ Wii U (2013)
I do enjoy a good spook, something that was unfortunately lacking in Super Mario Odyssey. Luckily Super Mario 3D World has a nice bunch of ghost house levels, and best of all, I’ll get to replay them on Nintendo Switch in just a few months! The music from these levels almost conveys that the creepy abode may have a story to tell that has been veiled in mystery. It lures you deeper and deeper into the shadowy halls, become too entranced and you may join the 999 haunts that lie within.
Sprawling Savanna ~ Super Mario 3D World ~ Wii U (2013)
One of my favourite levels in Super Mario 3D World also happens to have one of my favourite songs from the game too, funny that. The track is a perfect representation of… well, the sprawling savanna. Exploring this vast area is only enhanced by the adventurous tone of the music, with enough cheekiness to bring a smile to your face.
Thwomp Ruins ~ Mario Kart 8 ~ Wii U (2014)
Most ancient ruins can be very delicate, forcing you to take care while exploring the area… Thwomp Ruins, on the other hand, is completely fit to hold high-velocity races, and the music wants this to be known. There’s a mystical balance of ancient adventures and speedy joy rides. As much as I would love to explore the secrets hidden within these ruins, the music makes me realise I have other matter at hand… such as trying to escape that blasted Blue Shell!
Island in Violet ~ Paper Mario: Colour Splash ~ Wii U (2016)
The Wii U, in its short existence, was full of great adventures, including that of Paper Mario: Colour Splash. Nothing says adventure quite like the theme to Vortex Island. I just absolutely love the vibe this whole area and song gives off, just listening to the track makes me want to go on a buccaneering endeavour myself, I especially love the vocal expressions during the piece. All I need now is my own ship and maybe a crew. Sure, I may be the worst pirate you’ve ever heard of, but at least you would’ve heard of me!
Rumble with Wendy ~ Paper Mario: Colour Splash ~ Wii U (2016)
This next track has a very nice connection to the previous one… it’s the theme to the boss of the area, Wendy! Just listening to this tune makes me pumped for an ultimate duel. I love the return of the vocal expressions here too, their frequency has even been increased for extra oomph.
Fossil Falls ~ Super Mario Odyssey ~ Switch (2017)
A lot of Mario games have a tendency to have some incredible music to accompany an introduction into a brave new world, Fossil Falls is a prime example of this. The theme offers a great motivation to explore every nook and cranny and discover all the little secrets. This is also the sort of music I would expect to hear if I all of a sudden found myself in a land from the past (obviously this would come second to the theme of Jurassic Park).
Shiveria Town ~ Super Mario Odyssey ~ Switch (2017)
Beneath a harsh land of ice and snow, hidden away from the frosty elements lie the cozy little town of Shiveria, hosting the warmest community in the coldest land. Bustling in the underground warmth are the Shiverian people, round, fluffy, and extra bouncy, they also have an appetite for the fine competition of Bound Ball. Listening to this track makes me feel like I am truly there, it’s full of festive glee and bursting with celebrator tones. Sure, it may be cold outside, but the vibes from this song alone are sure to warm the soul!
Jump Up, Superstar ~ Super Mario Odyssey ~ Switch (2017)
Marking the first for a mainline Mario game is a piece of music that actually has full lyrics. I absolutely fell in love with this song when Nintendo first revealed Super Mario Odyssey’s E3 trailer back in 2017, rewatching it just gives me full-on chills. I just love how jazzy the song is, it truly is a celebration of Odyssey!
Tomb Suites ~ Luigi’s Mansion 3 ~ Switch (2019)
If you told me I had to go somewhere creepy but gave me a choice on where to go, I would likely choose the sand-drenched Tomb Suites of the Last Resort Hotel. Not only has it nailed the Ancient Egyptian pyramid aesthetic with plenty of devious traps, but it also has a score which creates brilliant immersion. Listening to this tune, I’m instantly transported back to the mysterious abode of Pharaoh Serpci. The theme is actually rather enchanting, inciting me to explore the tombs further… even though I’m trying to escape. I’m also kinda reminded of the queue from The Mummy ride in Universal too!
ScareScraper – Spectral Catch ~ Luigi’s Mansion 3 ~ Switch (2019)
I’ve spent many hours climbing the ScareScraper in Luigi’s Mansion 3… that is what I’ve streamed the most on Twitch so far. I would say, after the Tomb Suites version of ScareScraper, the Spectral Catch version would be my next favourite level. The nautical vibes in this piece are just sublime, making me want to run around catching ghosts around the pirate themed corridors.
Vellumental Battle ~ Paper Mario: The Origami King ~ Switch (2020)
I absolutely love all the bosses in Origami King along with all the themes accompanying them. It was incredibly difficult to choose just one, but I think I can settle with the music that plays while fighting a Vellumental. The theme truly pumps up the adrenaline, making you aware the battle before you will be epic. Nothing has made me want to fight a big boss like this before.
The song also has hints of hope scattered throughout the arrangement, I can almost hear the composer shouting “You can do it, Leon. Don’t give up!”
Autumn Mountain ~ Paper Mario: The Origami King ~ Switch (2020)
Autumn Mountain is one of the most stunning looking areas in the entirety of Origami King, it’s also an absolute treat for the ears. I felt that the music here vastly emphasises the beauty spread throughout this crimson landscape, it also made me feel quite emotional while exploring the area. Finally, it reminds me of Bobby…
Thrills at Night ~ Paper Mario: The Origami King ~ Switch (2020)
Here we are, the final song on this list, and what’s better than a track with funk and style. This is hugely different in tone compared to most other tracks from Mario games, but this doesn’t make me like it any less. If you presented me with a disco floor and played this banger at full volume, you can bet your bottom mushroom I would dance the night away, or at least until my heart gives out.
Thus concludes the longest NintyBeats I have ever done, and no, I will not be doing a fifty song version for Mario’s 50th. Though the music has stopped (for now), that isn’t quite the end of the fun as it’s time for me to announce our next giveaway that goes live now!
We would love to hear some of your favourite songs from the Mario series, so why not tell us in the comments below. To be in the chance to win a physical copy of Super Mario 3D All-Stars or £25 Nintendo eShop Credit, comment below your favourite song(s) from the world of Mario and why. It is very important that, when you make your entry, you also verify it using the following widget, otherwise it will not be counted. Once you’ve done so, you’ll also be offered additional ways to enter to increase your chances of winning.Super Mario 3D All-Stars Giveaway by NintyBuzz
Terms and Conditions
- Competition is open only to residents of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland) and Europe aged 13 or over (a parent or guardian will have to enter in place for anyone younger)
- A NintyBuzz account is also required to enter. If you do not have one, register for free here
- Entries begin on Saturday 19th September from 2pm BST and close on Monday 21st September at 11pm BST
- To participate, just comment on our Mario 35th Anniversary NintyBeats article on which piece of Mario music is your favourite and why (you MUST use the same email on NintyBuzz as you do for verifying your entry)
- Optional entries may only be made if you complete the main entry
- All instructions for entry verification MUST be followed
- Any duplicate entries will disqualify the user from this and future competitions
- Winners will be announced within a week of the competition close
- One winner will be picked at random, this person will receive one physical copy of Super Mario 3D All-Stars (UK EU PAL), the prize will be shipped 2nd class or similar within 48 hours of verification and will be wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes during packing
- One runner-up will be picked at random, this person will win a £25 Nintendo eShop code, the prize will be sent in an email within 48 hours of winner verification
- Winners will be contacted and are required to verify their details within 48 hours or risk their prize to be re-drawn
- There are no alternatives for the prizes on offer
- A selection of entries, including winner and runner-up, will be featured in a future NintyBeats article along with their comments
Best of luck!
I am a huge Nintendo fan, hence why NintyBuzz exists. I especially love all things Zelda and Metroid. NintyBuzz was started by me back in the Summer of 2014, it started out mainly as a hobby, though the site has gradually grown, and I hope it grows for many years to come!