It’s time for our annual countdown to award the very best games this year had to offer. Over the next ten days, we’ll count down our top ten games of 2023.
As always, the votes of each Press Start team member, weighted from #10 through to #1, were collated to compile our collective very best for the year that was. Games worthy of one’s top spot would be awarded the maximum of 10 points and the values would descend down to their tenth selection, which would receive a single point.
A round of rapid polls were utilised to settle dead heats and finalise the top ten.
Never has a game embodied its title more than Super Mario Bros. Wonder, as it’s a genuinely wonderful time. Even as it had been a long time between drinks for side-scrolling Mario, over a decade in fact, it’s been longer still since the plumber that calls Brooklyn home has instilled such a feeling of amazement in us.
It always leaves us stupefied when a developer pours countless man hours into ideas that pop up for less than a minute, and that’s true of all the creativity that comes with the Wonder Flowers. Wild, unexpected flashes of brilliance right at home within Mario’s standard fare of exemplary platforming.
Not only that, but the game served as a lovely footnote to another strong year, and perhaps the last if hardware rumours are to be believed, for the Nintendo Switch. In fact, we haven’t had a year like this since the last time our overalls and tunic clad friends suited up.
“Super Mario Bros. Wonder is just that. A wonder. It leverages tight and concise platforming with a robust set of power-ups and skills to offer a degree of flexibility to players like never before. While it’s still slightly easier than I’d like, Super Mario Bros. Wonder is an incredibly engaging Mario game and one of the best platformers available on the Switch, if not ever.”
“Super Mario Bros. Wonder is further proof of Nintendo’s ability to push the creative envelope and reinvent their iconic franchises. A 10 year plus break since the last mainline entry has resulted in one of the most inventive 2D platformers since Rayman Legends.
The way that an idea like the Wonder Seeds can completely flip any given level on its head is always exciting, and the whole experience is wrapped in an eye-catching new art style with incredible attention to detail. An all-round sublime return to what makes 2D Mario so special.”
“In what was my first leap into a two-dimensional Mario game since Super Mario Bros. All-Stars in my youth, Wonder has been an absolute delight and a breath of fresh air. In an age where it’s bigger, open-world Mario games getting all of the plaudits, I’m so pleased that a game like this exists to prove that there’s still plenty of life left in those overalls.
The effort and love poured into each and every Wonder Flower moment, no matter how fleeting, is stupefying.”
At the time of publishing, Super Mario Bros. Wonder stands at a 92 on Metacritic.