Mario Maker mashups: 8 of the best levels so far

These custom-made Mario Maker levels take inspiration from decades upon decades of gaming history.

Mario Maker
Mario Maker

It doesn’t matter when Mario first entered your life. Whether it was as recent as Super Mario Bros. U on Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U, or you used to break out the huge, grey brick Game Boy to play the original Super Mario Land on long car journeys and school trips, chances are you’ve always dreamed of creating your own fiendish Mario worlds. Well, Mario Maker arrives on Wii U next week, so guess what? It’s time to revisit your childhood and build those worlds for real.

There’s plenty more to Mario Maker than just building your own Super Mario worlds, though – the level builder gives you incredible freedom over power-ups, enemies and even background music. Some lucky YouTubers have already been fiddling about in the game, and have created worlds that take inspiration from far beyond the portly plumber’s antics – and dip into the long storied history of gaming. Check out our favourites!

Flappy Mario

Ladies and gentlemen, we have come full circle. First, Flappy Bird aped the classic Super Mario pipe, and asked you to gently waft between them. Now Flappy Bird has pretty much gone, seemingly forever, but we can recreate it, courtesy of Mario Maker. German YouTuber MythosOfPlaying has a few entries on this list, and he’s done a fantastic job here, building a Super Mario water world, and using auto-scrolling to push you between the pipes. Don’t understand German? No problem, just jump to 1:25 in the video for a comprehensive description, and to see it in action of course.

Metroid U

Fans didn’t get the game they hoped for when Nintendo announced a new Metroid game at E3 2015, but they still might get a taste of side-scrolling sci-fi goodness courtesy of Mario Maker. Nintendo’s 2D platforming legacy isn’t Mario alone, after all – the original Metroid game is some of the best platforming you’ll ever do, and YouTuber Pixelkabinett has superbly recreated it using Mario Maker’s Super Mario Bros. 3 template. Unlike the others, this game is exploration based, and you will find parts of the world you cannot enter without picking up a power-up – a classic Metroid game mechanic. It even looks accurate too, replacing the Metroids themselves with Super Mario jellyfish. Top stuff.

Geomario Dash

MythosOfPlaying weighs in with another creation: This time, Super Mario meets Geometry Dash – everyone’s favourite high-octane, shaped-based EDM platformer – and although it doesn’t look so impressive on the surface, it’s an excellent effort for our money. The diagonal jumps and spikes are on point, as is Mario’s box (though he looks more like Snake than anything else). Plus, it’s worth inclusion for the bangin’ background lasers and vintage German techno soundtrack alone.

Super Rickroll

Where there’s an editing suite, there’s the potential for a rickroll – being misdirected to 80s dance-pop banger, Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, of course – so we should hardly be surprised that someone has already fiendishly rickrolled the Miiverse a week before Mario Maker even becomes available to the masses. Still, as rickrolls go, this one isn’t half bad, combining Hammer Bros. and note blocks to compose the synth melody of Astley’s infuriating classic, as well as the backing track. We applaud the effort.

Super Meatio Boy

As 2D platforming goes, Super Meat Boy ranks at the very top in terms of fiendish difficulty and split-second timing. Mario is more than capable of turning up the heat when it comes to difficulty too, and this Super Meat Boy recreation shows exactly that. Sure, it could be way more difficult, but as a showcase of what Mario Maker can do, this shows there’s definitely room for some very tricky shenanigans. As long as there are walls and grinders, Super Meat Boy is alive and well, or not, as the case may be.

Donkio Kong Country

Donkey Kong is another part of Nintendo’s 2D platforming legacy, and another obvious candidate for a remake in Mario Maker. YouTube channel ‘TheBitBlock’ took on the channel, and gave us a nice steamy jungle world, complete with Donkey Kong himself, who is available by scanning in your DK amiibo. Our favourite bits of the Donkey Kong games were the minecart sections, so we’re glad to see those have also been recreated… albeit minus the minecart itself.

Super Shmup Bros.

Remember when Nintendo was king of the shooter? Anyone who played the original Super Mario Land on Gameboy or NES will remember the immense joy that came from getting to worlds 2-3 or 4-3 – the side-scrolling, underwater or space-faring shooter levels. Although games like Gradius had already done something similar, Super Mario Land was the first time we saw shoot ‘em up levels in a Mario game, and that nostalgia has been recreated in Mario Maker, complete with a boss fight. This version looks decidedly tricky though, maybe less Super Mario Land and more Ikaruga. Definitely worth a go.

Walk Don’t Run

There’s a few of these fantastic ‘just hold forward’ creations popping up, and although they aren’t levels for you to play in the traditional sense, they’re great examples of how level design can completely change your objectives, even for a platformer as old as Super Mario. In this level, all you have to do is walk forwards. It sounds simple enough, but any increase or decrease in speed will result in you failing, and when you’re surrounded by on-screen chaos, it becomes that much harder to resist the urge to jump. Props to the level maker here.