The Nintendo Switch Needs Its Own Traditional 2D Super Mario Game

Super Mario has a pretty huge presence on the Nintendo Switch, to the surprise of nobody. Nintendo started Super Mario off strong on the Switch thanks to Super Mario Odyssey, which took Mario's jaunts into 3D platforming to new heights thanks to Cappy's assistance and Mario's greatly expanded platforming skills. Aside from Odyssey, Nintendo has fostered platforming creativity on Switch through Super Mario Maker 2, which vastly improves on its Wii U predecessor, and it's dipped into plenty of beloved Mario spinoff franchises through Super Mario Party and Mario Golf: Super Rush. Nintendo's mascot is everywhere at once on the Switch, as he deserves to be.

However, in spite of all these great Mario games, Nintendo somehow hasn't gotten around to making a traditional side-scrolling platformer for Super Mario that's exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. The closest thing the Switch has is New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, but that's just an expanded port of the Wii U Super Mario Bros. installation. Nintendo really ought to whip up a Super Mario Bros. Switch sometime soon that brings Mario and his friends back to their roots. The Switch is a great console for co-op 2D platforming, so it makes sense to give the Switch its own Super Mario Bros. game.

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Super Mario's Surprising Omission

The Switch definitely has great Super Mario games already. For instance, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury came to Switch in 2020, porting another Mario Wii U title while adding a great 2-player expansion starring Mario and Bowser Jr. However, there's a fundamental issue at the heart of 3D World: not everyone is keen on 3D platforming. The depth perception and spatial differences in a 3D platforming game can be pretty frustrating to some people, even if they're some of Super Mario's biggest fans. This group of fans would certainly appreciate a new mainline sidescrolling Mario game on the Switch, but for some reason that just hasn't happened yet.

That absence is especially strange when considering the fact that Nintendo clearly hasn't abandoned the 2D sidescrolling Super Mario format. Super Mario Maker 2 is entirely 2D, even when using its Super Mario 3D World aesthetic, and other titles like Super Mario Bros. 35 have hearkened back to the traditional Mario model. Even so, Nintendo seems content to settle for a port of a Wii U Super Mario Bros. game, rather than create a new game for Switch. The result is that Super Mario's core series of games is far more quiet than ever.

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Getting Back to Mario Basics

Making a new 2D Mario game for the Switch just makes sense. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is old enough that a hypothetical Super Mario Bros. Switch wouldn't butt heads with it, and it'd offer a great alternative to the 3D Super Mario games that dominate the console. The Switch's power to hand off a Joy-Con to a friend for instant multiplayer is perfect for Super Mario too, as previous games have proved; a 2D Super Mario game with simple controls makes perfect use of the Switch's design. U Deluxe sold many millions of copies in its time, too, providing all the necessary evidence that Switch users are interested in sidescrolling Mario games.

In March 2022, the Nintendo Switch will celebrate its fifth birthday. It's hard to believe that the Switch is that old already, but perhaps more importantly, it's shocking that the Switch has gone years without getting a brand new Super Mario Bros. game. The original Super Mario Bros. series was what launched the brand to stardom, and the New Super Mario Bros. games were huge hits on the Wii and Wii U. It only seems right that Nintendo keeps that part of the Super Mario franchise alive by giving it a new title on the Switch, which is one of Nintendo's best-selling consoles to date. Mario has gone on some incredible adventures on the Switch, but it's about time that he touches base with his origins.

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