Top 10 Super Mario power-ups

As the Super Mario 35th anniversary celebration draws to a close, Nintendo has celebrated in style. The Super Mario franchise, with the addition of this year’s Paper Mario: The Origami King, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Super Mario Bros. 35, and the imminent release of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, now spans over 20 titles across 10 different consoles.
Mario, just a humble plumber when he debuted in 1985, has transformed into a household name.
Besides just helping Mario on his never-ending journey to defeat Bowser, to save Princess Toadstool, and restore peace to the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario’s ability to power-up and transform are part of what has continued to make the series’ gameplay innovative, engaging, and enjoyable to play throughout the series’ three-and-a-half decade run.
Here is the Inkspot’s list of the top 10 Super Mario power-ups over the years.

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  • 10. Ice Flower (New Super Mario Bros. Wii) Mario has always had his classic Fire Flower power-up, but the Ice Flower was introduced into the Super Mario Bros. series in the New Super Mario Bros installment. When the Ice Flower is picked up, the player can hurl snowballs at enemies and freeze them for a short time. During this frozen state, most enemies except for bosses can be picked up and thrown as a projectile, smashing everything in the way. Players can also stand on frozen enemies and use them as platforms, but they have to move quickly before they thaw out. The Ice Flower is an excellent defensive option. Its drawback, and why it is number 10 on our list, is that frozen enemies can often get in the way as Mario tries to advance through the level.

  • 9. Blue Shell/Shell Mario (New Super Mario Bros. DS) Shell Mario was introduced in New Super Mario Bros for the DS and offers a different gameplay style. Instead of moving through the level at a set pace, running with the Blue Shell power-up turns Mario and Luigi into a rolling shell, crushing every enemy and brick block that they come in contact with. This ability can be used to access level’s secret areas and smaller paths that aren’t otherwise reachable with Mario and Luigi. As cool and fun as it is to use, it’s a bit difficult to control, and one small slip up can send players hurling into a pit at full speed.

  • 8. Super Leaf (Super Mario Bros. 3) Introduced in Super Mario Bros 3, the Super Leaf is a staple that has stuck around for a few installments: appearing in four games. By picking up a Super Leaf, the player is turned into Tanooki Mario, who can fly, glide, and use his tail to break blocks all in one. Mario soars into the air for a short period of time before slowly gliding back down to the ground by running and gaining enough speed by filling the P Meter and holding jump. Without enough P Speed, the player can still jump and slowly glide by repeatedly pressing the jump button.

  • 7. Super Bell (Super Mario 3D World) In Super Mario 3D World, the Super Bell turns Mario into a furry feline granting him cat-like powers. Feline-Mario can climb walls for short distances, swipe at oncoming enemies, pounce, and dive forward. The power-up also provides Mario more agility and mobility in the air, making moving around tight corners much easier. Walking on all fours and skipping and diving everywhere, Mario can gain a lot of speed and breeze through levels.

  • 6. Golden Fire Flower (New Super Mario Bros. 2) The Golden Fire Flower is similar to the original Fire Flower from Super Mario Bros, but the power it grants is much more impactful and destructive. Mario still throws fireballs and functions similarly to Fire Mario, but everything he hits transforms into coins. This feature not only enables Mario to gain plenty of extra lives, but it also destroys everything in his path, and I mean everything. Brick Blocks? Turned into coins. Dry Bones? Coins. Bullet Bills? The same fate. Although it is only available in a handful of levels, when Mario has the Gold Fire Flower, he’ll be sure to open a bank account because he’ll be collecting lots of coins, letting nothing get in the way.

  • 5. Penguin Suit (New Super Mario Bros. Wii) From New Super Mario Bros Wii, the Penguin Suit acts like the Ice Flower on steroids. Penguin Mario can shoot snowballs just like the Ice Flower, but he is also granted the ability to slip and slide through levels. Once the player gains enough running speed on the ground, Mario will slide onto his belly and streamline forward until he hits a wall, dies, or jumps out of it. It’s similar to the Blue Shell’s sliding feature, but the player is granted more control in midair, so they won’t go sliding into pits as often. The added ability to slide on his belly lets Mario slip under cracks and crash through enemies without a care in the world.

  • 4. Super Acorn (New Super Mario Bros. U) The Super Acorn is similar to the Tanooki suit but gives Mario a few new abilities while slightly tweaking old ones. Appearing in New Super Mario Bros U, the Super Acorn allows him to glide through the air at a fast pace, cling onto walls, and give himself a small boost in midair. With the glide feature, the player can swoop over big pits without a worry of falling in, and if they dip too low, the boost feature gives them a second chance to get up to a ledge or platform.

  • 3. Propeller Mushroom (New Super Mario Bros. Wii) Also, from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Propeller Mushroom turns Mario into a helicopter-like entity, allowing him to fly high straight up into the air. This isn’t any small boost, though. Mario zips skyward and soar back downward at a slow speed by shaking the Wiimote. This lets him reach new areas, secret pipes, and entirely skip over some levels with enough precision and practice. Aside from gaining vertical movement, the player can glide a significant horizontal distance on the way back down by shaking the Wiimote to flutter down slower. This power-up makes conquering the vertical levels that make up most of the Koopaling Castles, some of the hardest in the game, an easier task.

  • 2. Power Star (Super Mario Bros) The Power Star is a classic, coming from the original Super Mario Bros. With the Power Star, Mario is invincible to almost everything. Aside from tight spaces, pits, and lava, Mario can run through levels without anything dealing any damage to him. Although players only have invincibility for a handful of seconds, they’re pretty much guaranteed to succeed while they have this power-up. Anything that Mario touches gets obliterated with no contest, and spikes are a mere joke to him. Along with a slight speed boost, he can zip through levels as fast as ever with nothing in his way.

  • 1. Cape Feather (Super Mario World) Appearing in Super Mario World, the Cape Feather is a multitool that can benefit Mario in more ways than one. Primarily, the cape’s main gimmick is that after gathering enough running speed, the player can fly in the air and over the top of every level. This takes some practice, but if mastered, the player just has to take off and fly over everything. Not only can the player fly over the level, but they also can spin the cape and take out most enemies by hitting them with it. Mario can also do a headfirst dive into the ground. If he hits any enemies or damaging effects, he gains invincibility for a few seconds — so he can run through any enemies or spiked surfaces.