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Shacknews Best Nintendo Switch Game of 2019 - Super Mario Maker 2

Whether you're looking to flex your creative muscles or plumb the depths of fellow Mario fans' imaginations, Super Mario Maker 2 has everything you want, and more.


Super Mario Maker was made for the Wii U, and the Wii U was made for Super Mario Maker. No other Wii U game tapped the advantages of the GamePad quite like Nintendo's do-it-yourself level-creation toolset. The premise was alluring: An endless supply of Mario levels! The reality was more grounded. Super Mario Maker made creating levels easy, but after several months, levels tended to fall into super-easy "autoscrollers," or maddeningly difficult "kaizo" stages clearly made for streamers to play for an audience.

Super Mario Maker 2 lacks the intuitive touchscreen-based controls of its predecessor due to the nature of the Switch's design. There's no two-screen experience, which means one person can't design on the GamePad while a friend or Twitch audience watches on the TV screen. Other than that one (admittedly important) feature, Super Mario Maker 2 is arguably superior to the original game in every other way.

Course World, the game's online component where you can browse other players' creations, offers several ways to cull the types of levels you're looking for. What you'll find is diversity. Look no further than the Popular tab's top 10 to 20 levels, which range from 20-second speedruns, to brainteasers, to platforming gauntlets, to meat-and-potatoes Mario levels that would be right at home in any of Nintendo's official entries. If friends and strangers aren't delivering the types of levels you want, the game's Story Mode--another addition that filled a huge void in the first title--features over 100 courses. Each is built around a simple premise that's not only fun in its own right, but serves as a source of ideas creators can use in their own maps.

Nintendo listened to the praise Super Mario Maker received, but the depth of Super Mario Maker 2's offerings illustrate that the company also listened to complaints, and addressed them. The controls in Course Maker take some time to get used to, but no more than any other video game with a control scheme more complex than "press B to run and A to jump." Whether you're looking to flex your creative muscles or plumb the depths of fellow Mario fans' imaginations, Super Mario Maker 2 will keep you satisfied for years.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 31, 2019 9:00 AM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Shacknews Best Nintendo Switch Game of 2019 - Super Mario Maker 2

    • reply
      December 31, 2019 9:06 AM

      Luigi's Mansion 3 was robbed.

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        December 31, 2019 9:06 AM

        Greg made a case for the game during deliberations.

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        December 31, 2019 9:10 AM

        I don’t think so.

        It’s absolutely beautiful, but the gameplay is exceptionally repetitive. Difficulty is also a problem. Regular ghosts pose no threat while bosses are impossible until you figure out their gimmick through trial and error.

        I got bored after about half the floors, which sucks as I love the other two games. Luigi’s Mansion 3 was my most anticipated game of the year, and it let me down.

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          December 31, 2019 9:16 AM

          I thought they did a great job of mixing up the gameplay or adding a new mechanic between the various floors, at least compared to the previous games. My main complaints was that it was too easy like you said, and some of the backtracking was tedious. However, I loved literally everything else about it and find the online scarescraper to be super fun. It was my most anticipated as well and totally loved up to my hype.

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          December 31, 2019 11:32 AM

          The top half is, IMO, much better than the bottom half, especially if you've played the previous entries.

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          December 31, 2019 11:41 AM

          There's one boss that is somewhat difficult. Everything else is grade school level.

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        December 31, 2019 9:12 AM


      • Zek legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
        December 31, 2019 10:09 AM

        It's fine but I don't get why people love it so much. The controls are kind of frustrating and the puzzles are pretty basic. It seems like the best thing about it is the simple satisfaction of vacuuming up a bunch of stuff.

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        December 31, 2019 11:39 AM

        I understand why SMM2 won, but if I'm going to avoid remakes (which would be Links Awakening for me personally... but I digress) I'd probably go with Baba Is You personally.

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      December 31, 2019 11:50 AM

      Astral Chain got robbed.

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