Shacknews Game of the Year 2019 - Super Mario Maker 2

Super Mario Maker 2 wins Shacknews Game of the year 2019, against all odds! Yahoo!


This year was full of amazing game releases with something for just about every type of player, but there was one video game that captured the hearts and minds of Shacknews just a little more than the rest. Against all odds, Super Mario Maker 2 is our Shacknews Game of the Year 2019.

In what was the closest vote in my five years as CEO of Shacknews, Super Mario Maker 2 beat out Resident Evil 2 in a double tiebreaker as both games ended with the same amount of points. Both titles also received the same amount of first place votes, leading us to look to our second place votes for the ultimate tiebreaker. In a 5-3 margin, Super Mario Maker 2 became our unlikely game of the year 2019. I made the case for the game during our GOTY 2019 livestream deliberation marathon, and I was able to sway one other staff member to vote for the game as their GOTY 2019. "I think you made some cogent points for why SMM2 should be rated so highly. A full Nintendo-made Mario experience, multiplayer, and a robust course creator mode and search function," said the anonymous staffer. I like to think the moment that the game truly became Shacknews GOTY 2019 was when Senior Editor Ozzie Mejia beat my Super Expert Briefcase Level 05 - Remake course at 5 AM to close off our 16-hour stream. 

These moments of beating a friend's level, setting a world record, or seeing someone stream your course are all elements of what makes Super Mario Maker 2 a magical experience. I had the pleasure of reviewing the game earlier this year, and I found myself describing it as "Infinite Mario." I still feel this description applies to the game, as makers keep cranking out new levels, and Nintendo continues to support the game with the recent Master Sword DLC and the addition of Ninji Speedrun challenges built by the Big N themselves.

Some people will say that a lot of what makes Super Mario Maker 2 great has already been done on the Nintendo Wii U predecessor. I would argue that the sheer size of the Nintendo Switch user base combined with the improvements Nintendo has made to discoverability and searching for courses has made SMM2 a much better experience than the original. Having a robust Super Mario Maker game that is portable, as opposed to the 3DS version of the game, is also a huge factor. While there are some differences to the docked controls for the game without the Wii U second screen experience, I had no problem picking up where I left off within one play session. 

A lot of players are experiencing the joy of creating a Super Mario Maker level for the first time on Nintendo Switch. One of our youngest readers, Ryder, is quoted by his mom as saying that Super Mario Maker 2 is the "GREATEST GAME OF ALL TIME." He was too young to really enjoy the game on Wii U, and there is a whole generation of children out there making and playing levels for the first time. There is something magical about the Course Maker interface in the game, from the way blocks being placed trigger musical sounds to the open canvas with nods to Mario Paint all over the place. 

In a year where difficulty in games has been hotly debated, Super Mario Maker 2 showcases how Nintendo just understands video game design. There are insanely difficult levels in Super Mario Maker 2, probably harder than some boss battles in other games this year, but at the same time a toddler can pick up and play the game. It is important to highlight just how varied the gameplay experiences can be with a Nintendo-made Story Mode, Course Maker, and the ability to search for all sorts of level types and difficulties. The additions of Super Mario 3D World as a game style, and tons of other course parts have added a lot more to do in the game as well. It is truly muliple amazing games in one when compared to the original.

We are pleased to honor Super Mario Maker 2 with our Shacknews Game of the Year 2019 award.

Find out what other games made the cut for our Shacknews Top 10 Games of the Year 2019. Please understand.


Asif Khan is the CEO, EIC, and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

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