The Failed Mario Games

Super Mario Games

Most people who love to play games online are familiar with Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Princess Peach, and all the other characters in the Super Mario Franchise. Mario is one of the most beloved characters in the video and computer gaming world, and the developers have seen great success in extending the franchise into more than just the virtual world. Mario merchandise, toys, and art can be purchased and found in many stores as well as on fun gaming websites like, and almost everyone immediately recognizes the little mustachioed character in the red cap.

But despite vast commercial success, not everything that Nintendo tried to do with Mario ended up well. In fact, there have been quite a few failures along the way for the series, and this list details some of the most unsuccessful Mario games to date.

Mario Teaches Typing

Take all the fun elements out of a Mario game (turtle stomping, princess in need of rescue, any kind of movement or adventure), and try to turn it into a typing lesson, and you’ve got Mario Teaches Typing. This game wasn’t a commercial failure—there was actually a sequel released—but neither was it much of a fun game. Gamers who weren’t looking to teach themselves typing at a child’s level and pace stayed away from the game, and it’s become one of the least famous Mario games to be released.

Super Mario Games

Hotel Mario was an oddity in the Mario franchise, an attempt to approach the game from a new angle. While some games, like Mario Kart and Mario Super Sluggers, managed to keep the new angle on the game interesting, Hotel Mario was perhaps too strange for the players. Mario has to make it through several of Bowser’s hotels in order to rescue Peach. The game could have been fun enough, a moderate success, except for the fact that it was designed for the CD-i—which was a huge commercial failure and never got off the ground.

Mario’s Tennis and Mario Clash For Virtual Boy

These two games, like Hotel Mario, failed mainly because of the platform for which they were released. The Virtual Boy was one of Nintendo’s biggest failures, due to the fact that its attempts to provide 3-D gameplay were insufficient. The 3-D effects were annoying to look at, difficult to focus on, and ultimately caused many physical problems and pains for players. The games didn’t go very far, and are a prime example of how it takes more than just a good idea to make a game successful—you also need a good platform.

The many failures along the way for Nintendo and the Mario games it produced obviously did little to dampen the overall success of the franchise. In the end, there are dozens of quality Mario games out there, and Mario has made his way into every gamer’s heart and game cabinet.

About Ruben Gatt

Ruben has been into gaming since he was 9 years old. He first started off as an avid pc gamer and later expanded his horizons to xbox gaming. Follow his blog and his youtube channel.

  • Jones

    Well despite of these failures you still have to admit that Mario, Luigi and the Princess are some of the epicest video game characters of all time … And no offense, but the first game I ever played, when I was about 4 was Super Mario Bros, so that is just simply something you can’t beat! Still it’s good to know that they made mistakes too along the way, all the more respect for carrying on!