Top 10 Super Mario Power-Ups

An essential part of the Super Mario franchise is all the fantastic power-ups. In honor of Mario’s 35th anniversary, we’re counting down the top 10 best power-ups. These items will be ranked based on their creativity and how they’re used in the game.

top 10 super mario power-ups

Power-ups are one of the longest-running elements in video games as they provide additional benefits and abilities towards your character. The Super Mario franchise has some of the most special items of all time as they’re practically in our pop culture lexicon. We’ll be looking at the top 10 best power-ups in the Super Mario franchise. Characters like F.L.U.D.D and Cappy won’t count as they’re more systems than abilities.

10. Mega Mushroom

Get this mushroom, and Mario turns into Godzilla’s size as he rampages throughout the stage. Easily crush your enemies and block as you run towards the end. Some games allow the player to gain 1-Ups if they cause enough damage.

Time to get big.

Time to get big.

It’s a lot of fun just to basically wreck the stage and stomp on all enemies in your path. The big reason that the Mega Mushroom isn’t higher is the power-up appears only rarely. Still, getting a Mega Mushroom is always a mega blast.

9. Double Cherry

When taking the Double Cherry, things start to get really crazy. For each cherry, a clone of your character will appear. You can have up to five clones running around. This power-up gets even crazier as you can combine it with other items. For example, getting the Fire Flower along with the Double Cherry can make all your clones shoot fire. The real excitement is when things get chaotic and you have to navigate all your clones in sync with you.

Double the fun.

Double the fun.

Super Mario 3D World does a great job of showing the double ability with some fantastic puzzles mix in them. Even if the situation is keeping everyone in line. If one gets stuck behind a wall, you’ll need to figure out how to resync everyone together. But when you get everyone working together, and defeating swarms of enemies, it’s an absolute blast. The Double Cherry makes everything topsy-turvy but in the best possible way.

8. Bee Mario

If anyone can make bees more likable, it’s the Italian Plumber himself. With the Bee Mushroom, you can transform into Bee Mario. He can fly only for a limited time until his gauge is up. You can also climb on honeycombs and flower petals. To take something that most people despise into a segment of a game that people love is an impressive feat.

Buzz buzz.

Buzz buzz.

There’s something adorable seeing a classic character gently buzzing himself up and gently landing. It’s a shame that it’s only in the Mario Galaxy series as the Bee Mushroom has much potential. But even in its limited appearances, the Bee Mushroom does a lot to stand out.

7. Penguin Suit

The Penguin Suit has all the abilities of the Ice Flower and then some. You can also slide fast, walk smoothly on ice, and swim better. Usually, swimming stages are such a drag because you swim so slow and have no defense against weapons.

Club Mario penguin.

Club Mario penguin.

With the Penguin Suit, the water levels actually become enjoyable. Unfortunately, you can only get the suit in a few stages of the game and inside Toad Houses. With enough time, the Penguin suit has the potential to be a mainstay. 

6. Super Mushroom

The Super Mushroom is perhaps not only the most iconic power-up in the Super Mario series but also in gaming. The benefits are simple; it allows small Mario to become bigger. He can now break blocks and take an extra hit from enemies. Lately, there isn’t a need for the Super Mushroom. Either the developers ditch starting you off as small or each checkpoint makes you big.

The OG.

The OG.

But without this item, games would be far different. It’s one of the most enduring elements of all time and classic for all fans. When people think of leveling up, gamers often think about getting the mushroom after hitting a block. The Super Mushroom deserves all the respect from gamers.

5. Fire Flower

If the Super Mushroom is the most iconic, the Fire flower has to be right behind. With the Fire Flower, you can shoot fireballs out of your hands. No more having to time your jump when fighting enemies, just one fireball, and they’re gone. Even in the original Super Mario Bros., you could defeat Bowser with the Fire Flower.

Things are about to get hot.

Things are about to get hot.

The way that you get a projectile weapon from a flower and it involves shooting fire from his palms is so bonkers but fits the spirit of the character. For a simple ability, it’s no wonder why it’s been a staple throughout the years.

4. Tanooki Suit

If it wasn’t for Super Mario Bros. 3, would American audiences even hear of a Tanooki? Possibly.

Tanooki takes flight.

Tanooki takes flight.

When he takes the Tanooki Suit, it becomes a significant upgrade to the Super Leaf. He can still hit enemies with his tail and fly for just a little bit but can actually become invulnerable for a little bit. It’s not like having a Super Star, but turning to a statue for a brief second is still fun and creative. There has been a lot of weird things in the franchise, but this takes the cake. To have such a suit that has so many abilities in a very unique way is the essence of the franchise. It’s funny that this suit doesn’t make a ton of appearances but is still iconic for fans today.

3. Super Bell

It seemed odd that the advertising for Super Mario 3D World seemed to focus on the Super Bowl. But, after playing this game, the Super Bell power-up is one of the most exciting items in the history of Mario. You can attack your enemies by scratching them, and it has a decent reach. Also, you can briefly climb up walls, including flagpoles, which helps for completionists.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury - Overview Trailer - Nintendo Switch

It’s also adorable seeing all of the characters running on all four and acting like cats. It might seem odd at first, but getting the Super Bell means you’re in for a purr-fect time.

2. Cape Feather

In some ways, Mario could be considered a superhero. When he takes the Cape Feather, he rocks the essential superhero attire; the cape. Aesthetically, he rocks the cape, but there’s a lot of might in this feather. It’s the best flying power-up in the series, as if you master it, you could potentially be flying forever. It might take a few couples of tries, but the challenge is a good one to crack.

Fly Mario fly.

Fly Mario fly.

With just one simple feather, the plumber just radiates so much power. This item makes players think of nostalgia playing with Super Mario World.

1. Super Star

The Super Star is the ultimate power-up of all time, topping our list of the top 10 abilities in the Super Mario franchise. When our hero gets a Super Star, it’s like the game turns into god mode for a short minute. Rush across the land as any enemy that touches you is immediately defeated. He also gets this neon rainbow aura around him, and the music gets faster. For a brief moment, you feel invincible as if nothing can stop.

You can already hear the music.

You can already hear the music.

The adrenaline of the Super Star makes for an instant classic. It perfectly achieves the goal of making the player feel invincible, even if it’s temporary.

Are there any more Super Mario power-ups that we missed in our top 10 list? Let us know in the comments down below.

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