Mario is a popular video-game franchise developed and published by Nintendo. The game’s universe features quite an extensive cast. While there are many lovable and wonderful characters in the Mario series, we will focus on just the best ones.
This list will include your favorites such as Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad, but it will also include some information on some lesser-known characters throughout the Mario games.
In this article, we will discuss our picks for the top 10 Mario characters of all time. We will go over a bit of the back-story of each character, and we will try to catch any inconsistencies we see along with way.
Top 10 Mario Characters:
Of course, Mario is at the top of the list. Mario is a plumber that lives in the Mushroom Kingdom. He lives there with his taller, but younger brother Luigi. In most adaptations of the game, Mario and Luigi are from Brooklyn, New York.
Mario’s Childhood is Unknown
There is not very much told of Mario’s childhood. There was, however, an infant version of Mario in the game, ‘Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island’ which came out in 1995. Baby Mario has made several appearances throughout games in the franchise since then. You can find baby Mario in Nintendo sports games, and the character played a major role with Baby Luigi in ‘Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time.’ He also shows up in Yoshi’s Island for the Nintendo DS. His voice is done by Charles Martinet, who is the same person that does the voice for adult Mario.
Mario Wears Iconic Clothes
Mario wears a long-sleeved red shirt and red hat that has a red ‘M’ embroidered on a white circle. As for pants, you will always find Mario in a pair of blue overalls that has yellow buttons. He has brown shoes, wears white gloves. There are some exceptions, though.
For instance, in ‘Donkey Kong,’ he wore a pair of red overalls paired with a blue shirt. In the original Super Mario Bros., he wore a brown shirt with red overalls. Keep in mind, the developers that were designing the original Nintendo games had a really restricted color pallet to work with.
Mario has blue eyes and has brown hair along with a dark brown mustache. In an interview in 2005 with Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, it was put on record that Mario’s physical age is somewhere around 25 years old.
Luigi is Mario’s younger brother. He is the taller of the two. He usually has on a green shirt paired with dark blue overalls. While Luigi is a plumber like Mario, he has many other facets of his personality that expose themselves differently from game to game.
Luigi’s Got Your Back
Luigi is usually portrayed as somewhat nervous and timid. but good-natured character. He is not nearly as quick to get angry as Mario. There is also a baby version of Luigi named, of course, ‘Baby Luigi.’ This character made his debut in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. In the game, he was held prisoner by Kamek.
There have been several hints throughout the franchise indicating that Daisy may be Luigi’s romantic interest. In fact, they were a romantic couple in the Super Mario Bros. movie. Also, in Mario Kart Wii, the two can be seen in a statue dancing together.
Daisy And Luigi Sitting In A Tree
Daisy was Luigi’s caddy in Open Tournament Golf NES. Also, you can see on Daisy’s trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, that it says that she is Luigi’s answer to Mario’s Peach.
As far as the last name goes, Nintendo did not initially give Luigi one. We saw in 1993 a live-action film adaptation of the game the first use of ‘Luigi Mario’ as a full name for the character. Then, in September 2015, at the Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary festival, Miyamoto said that Mario’s full name was Mario Mario. So, this certainly confirms that Luigi’s full name is Luigi Mario seeing as they are brothers.
Although you can see Toad wearing a mushroom hat on his head in the Mario cartoons, Super Mario Odyssey producer Yoshiaki Koizumi confirmed that ever since the character’s original conception in 1985, the mushroom was actually part of his head, not just a hat.
Toad looks similar to the rest of his species having a large mushroom cap and clothes. He is diminutive in size and does not have any legs that can be seen. All you can see are his shoes. Unlike other Toads, this character has five red spots on his mushroom cap and dons a blue and yellow vest. Like Mario and other characters in the game, if he gets a fire flower, his cap’s colors will be reversed while his clothes turn red.
Toad Recently Received A Facelift
In the most recent Mario games, a yellow outline was added to Toad’s vest. This trend began with Super Mario Sunshine. Also, Toad can, at times, appear with a red vest, but the overwhelming majority of the time, you will find him in his blue attire.
Most of the time, Toad is shown to be a somewhat cowardly individual. Despite his fears, however, Toad is usually the one who tries the most to support Mario in his endeavors. This can manifest itself in anything from Toad providing items to Mario to joining him on his adventures
Toad is almost always shown as being a very cheerful character, but he can get extremely stressed out when a major event happens.
Toad Is Reliable And Makes Things Happen
Toad is presented throughout the franchise as being hard-working. He is also known to have a strong loyalty to Princess Peach and his friends. For example, in Super Mario 64, Toad helps Mario and his crew several times on their quest to find Peach.
In Luigi’s Mansion, Toad can be found crying in certain situations. This crying is always about how much he cares about Mario getting hurt, and not out of fear for himself. Toad was sent to the mansion to look for Mario by Princess Peach. This really shows Toad’s loyalty because he was very scared to go on the journey.
Third on the list is, of course, Yoshi. Who else could come after the Mario Brothers themselves? Yoshi is known to have a wide variety of abilities that always seem to stand out compared to other characters in the Mario franchise.
Yoshi has a tongue that can extend quite a long distance to eat enemies and grab distant power-ups and other objects. His tongue can also function as a grappling hook that can be used to access areas that would otherwise be out-of-reach.
Yoshi is Versatile
Optionally, Yoshi may either spit it out as an attack or swallow it after eating an enemy or object. Most of the time this will result in the object instantly turning it into a spotted egg. The eggs can then be thrown at targets to damage or destroy them entirely.
Another technique that Yoshi enables is the Flutter Jump. This is where Yoshi can quickly flap his arms and legs to slow his descent somewhat. You can think of it like a mini-parachute. But unlike a parachute, you can use this technique to gain height in midair.
Yoshi is Strong
Also, Yoshi has the ability to do what is called a ‘Ground Pound.’ This is when Yoshi drops bottom-first after a jump. This has the effect of destroying blocks and damaging or even completely destroying enemies.
Yoshi also has the power to form an egg around himself. This egg can be used as a shield to protect Yoshi and your character against attacks. The egg also provides a form of mobility by rolling or launching.
There Are Many Types of Yoshi
Yoshi appears in a variety of colors. This is not just a cosmetic difference used to differentiate individuals, no it is more than that. In fact, the color of a Yoshi will let you know what additional offensive or movement abilities it is capable of. Depending on the color, Yoshi’s can have fiery breath, balloon-like inflation, wings, or acid-spitting.
In the games where your character can ride Yoshi, he will act as a protection against enemy attacks by serving as an extra hit point. When you are riding Yoshi and you take on damage, that causes the player to be knocked off of Yoshi instead of actually incurring damage.
Yoshi Can Be Difficult to Control
When this happens, however, it makes Yoshi start to run around haphazardly, with no direction, until he is remounted or falls off-screen. Otherwise, Yoshi is indestructible. When you are riding him, you will be able to freely walk over spikes, and riding jumping on an enemy with Yoshi will always do more damage to enemies than jumping on them with only your character.
Having this unique combination of powers makes Yoshi very strong in levels designed for Mario’s abilities. Likewise, if you are riding Yoshi on a level design that was specifically designed for Yoshi, then it would be overly difficult or in some cases impossible to beat Mario alone. As a result, Yoshi’s presence tends to be limited to certain levels; for example, in Super Mario World he is not allowed in haunted or castle levels (explained in-universe by him being scared of such areas). While riding Yoshi, bongos or other thematically appropriate percussion instruments are added to the level’s background music.
Yoshis’ ability to speak is inconsistent at best. There are some games where he can speak the same language and talk just like the rest of the characters. In other games, however, Yoshi is shown with his speech in parentheses to imply that he is speaking a different language that is translated for the player. Sometimes, Yoshi characters are even shown as only being able to say the word ‘Yoshi’.
Whether or not other characters can understand Yoshi’s speech is also pretty inconsistent from game to game.
No Mario character list is complete without Wario. Wario is pretty much an evil version of a caricature of Mario. He has a large head and very pronounced chin along with some massively muscular arms. Mario has a wide, short body that can be considered somewhat obese. He has short, stubby legs and a large, pointy, zig-zagged mustache.
Like Mario, Wario wears a plumber outfit, but he has a purple and yellow color scheme. It is a short-sleeved outfit yellow shirt paired with purple overalls that has an indigo ‘W’ symbol.
As for the rest of Wario’s outfit, he wears green shoes and white gloves that have an indigo ‘W’ on them as well. Like other Mario characters that were designed for consoles that had highly restricted color pallets, there are some inconsistencies in Wario’s early appearances. Early on, Wario was seen wearing a yellow long-sleeved shirt and fuchsia overalls. The name ‘Wario’ is actually a portmanteau (combination of words) of ‘Mario’ with the Japanese adjective ‘war which basically means ‘bad’. So, you can think of Wario as ‘Bad Mario’
Charles Martinet, the same voice actor that has voiced Mario since 1995, also does the voice for Wario. When auditioning for the part, he was asked to speak in a ‘mean and gruff sounding tone. He often describes voicing Wario as a ‘looser’ task than voicing Mario. According to Martinez, Mario’s speaking manner and personality are more free-flowing, where Wario’s cornerstones are one of jealousy.
Beginning in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Wario is seen to experience rejuvenating effects eating garlic. This is similar to the way Mario reacts to eating mushrooms. Wario often makes use of explosives, which you can see an example of in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.
There are plenty of Mario games where Wario is not featured as a main or character, but simply makes a cameo appearance. When that happens, he is usually portrayed as a villain. The Wario Land: Shake It! development team, however, publicly stated that Wario is not necessarily a bad guy. They also said that making Wario a villain was not an objective during the development of the character. Instead, the team focused on making his behavior an alternation between good and evil.
Wario is considered to be the reckless character who uses brute force to overwhelm his foes. Wario can be described as very masculine and one of the creators says that Wario is ‘so uncool that he ends up being extremely cool”. So, this is why you see Wario acting super macho and rather silly compared to the rest of the characters in the franchise.
In the Mario universe, Bowser is the ultimate bad guy. He is the ‘King of the Koopas,’ which are turtles that live in the various world of the Mushroom Kingdom. Bowser is totally different from the rest of the Koopa clan. This character is large and has a spiked turtle shell and horns.
Bowser has razor-sharp fangs, talons on his fingers, and three toes on each foot that have sharp claws. This character always has red eyes and red hair.
Bowser is extremely strong (basically indestructible) and has the ability to breathe fire. Don’t let his large size fool you; Bowser can perform some extremely high jumps. As you would expect, however, speed and agility are not Bowser’s strong points.
This character can also make use of black magic, enabling the super-villain to teleport himself and objects. Bowser also used black magic to fly generate electricity, use telekinesis, and even to metamorphose.
Bowser’s physical size varies from game to game, but he is always bulky and larger than most other characters. In Super Mario RPG, however, Bowser is only a little taller than Mario. Also, this character can be seen changing his size at will in games like Yoshi’s Island, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Galaxy 2.
Bowser has a one-track mind centered around conquering the entire Mushroom Kingdom so that he can merge it with his own world. He has an obsession with Princess Peach and regularly kidnaps her to use as leverage in his plans for multi-world domination.
While Bowser is usually the main bad guy in the series, his character’s role varies throughout the franchise. For example, in the RPG series, Bowser will sometimes work with the good guys to defeat a greater evil. This is sort of how the Allies united with Soviet Russia to defeat Hitler.
Bowser is a dad. He has a son named Bowser Jr. who you can find help his father kidnapping the Princess from time to time. There is nothing known about Bowser Jr.’s mother. Interestingly, back in Super Mario Bros. 3, Bowser was said to be the father of the Koopalings, but this changed later. Since the return of the Koopalings in New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii, they have been referred to as Bowser’s minions.
7. King Boo
King Boo is a far larger ghost than the average Boo. The first time King Boo made his appearance in the franchise, he had red eyes and a purple ruby on his head. Other notable features were sharp fangs, black eyelashes, and a blue tongue. His update is similar to his old one, but now he has a golden crown that is similar to Princess Peach. Also, his eyes are somewhat more relaxed-looking and they are black instead of red. Also, King Boo’s tongue is now pinkish-red. The fangs have not changed at all.
King Boo made his debut in Luigi’s Mansion as the main boss. The gargantuan ghost traps Mario in a painting and tries to do the same with Luigi. In the game, Luigi is on a mission to defeat King Boo with his Poltergust 3000, which is a device that has a rifle form-factor that can suck up any Boo.
King Boo has made several more appearances throughout the Mario franchise. He can be seen in Super Mario 64 DS, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Princess Peach. In Mario Kart Wii, Mario Superstar Baseball, and Mario Kart: Double Dash he is even a playable character. In the fourth level in the mission mode of Mario Kart DS King Boo is a quite difficult boss.
In Luigi’s Mansion, King Boo is actually about the size of a regular Boo, if but he has a large mouth that includes King Boo’s iconic fangs. In this game, King Boo is wearing his familiar ruby crown. In Super Mario Sunshine, however, this character is far larger and wider than his Luigi’s Mansion counterpart. In this game, he has a somewhat tired-looking expression in his eyes, and he’s got a long, massive tongue that comes coming out of his mouth.
You will also find this character in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. In this game, King Boo is the main antagonist. Like in the previous game, the traps Mario in a painting again. In this title, King Boo’s look is more along the lines of his appearance in Luigi’s Mansion, other than the fact that in this game he still has a full row of teeth as his modern appearance features.
8. Princess Peach
Princess Peach is obviously a very important character in the Mario franchise. Her original appearance was drawn by Shigeru Miyamoto. but he later asked Yōichi Kotabe to redraw Peach using his instructions. Miyamoto asked Kotabe to draw her eyes to be ‘cat-like.’ So, with Kotabe’s influence, Princess Peach has quite the metamorphosis over the years.
Unfortunately, Peach is not a playable character in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. This is said to be because of a satisfactory mechanism to use her dress was not found by the developers. She is, however, the main character in Super Princess Peach and is usually a playable character in most Mario-franchise spin-offs like Mario Kart, Mario Party, and the popular Mario-themed sports games.
Princess Peach usually has long, blonde hair, but this was not the case in Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3. In those games, Princess Peach has brown hair. But she always has blue eyes, a tall frame, and an hourglass figure. Another consistent part of her look is her rosy complexion.
Princess Peach is usually seen wearing a pink dress that has a ruffled hemline, and short puffy sleeves. Being quite the lady, her accessories often include red high heels, long white gloves, and sapphire earrings. She can often be spotted wearing a golden crown adorned with sapphires and rubies, because well, she is a princess after all.
Sometimes, Peach’s hair is pulled back into a ponytail. The ponytail was first spotted in Super Mario Sunshine and then again later in the Mario Kart and Mario Sports games. When you see her in sports games, she wears pink athletic clothes that ranging from a T-shirt and shorts to motorcycle clothes.
Fawful is a major antagonist in the Mario series. Masanori Sato created the character. Sato was the illustrator for Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, which was the first game in the Mario & Luigi series. The Japanese name for Fawful is Gerakobits, which is based on the word ‘garage,’ which is the Japanese onomatopoeia for a scornful laugh. His English name is a portmanteau of the words ‘awful’ and ‘guffaw.’
Fawful was not based on any Mario universe characters, he was made all-new from the ground up. So, Nintendo had a lot more creative freedom in designing Fawfuls personality and other properties.
Instead of sticking close to the Japanese script, Nintendo America intended to make Fawful as crazy as they could for the American domestic release of the game. That’s why in English versions of the games, Fawful’s dialogue is made up of broken English and word salads.
Waluigi is basically the Luigi version of Wario. This character was created while developing Mario Tennis. The purpose of Waluigi is to serve as a rival to Luigi, and of course, as a partner for Wario. Waluigi was designed by Fumihide Aoki and is also voiced by Charles Martinet. Like Wario, his name is also a portmanteau. This time the Japanese adjective ‘warui’ (which means ‘bad’) is added to Luigi to make ‘Bad Luigi.’
Similar to Wario, Waluigi is known to be cunning and mischievous. Martinet said that one of the main driving forces behind Waluigi’s personality is one of self-pity. Waluigi is one of those people that think that everything goes right for everyone except for him.
This is shown in Mario Power Tennis along with Mario Hoops 3-on-3. In these games, Waluigi has the power to summon a body of water and swim towards each game’s ball.
He is the same age as Luigi, but will always be seen wearing black overalls instead of Luigi’s brighter attire. He also wears a purple long-sleeved shirt and a purple hat that has a yellow ‘Γ’ symbol on it. Waluigi dons orange shoes along with white gloves that also have a yellow “Γ” symbol on them.
Mario is everyone’s favorite video game franchise. The characters, plot development, and storyline that revolve around these characters have influenced the culture of an entire generation. The Mario world has too many great characters to put on one list, so we tried our best to come up with the top 10 Mario characters to highlight what we believe are the best and most influential ones.
This list will include your favorites such as Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad, but it will also include some information on some lesser-known characters throughout the Mario games.
We hope you like this article and how we went over the general storyline for each character. Thanks for reading!