Mario is a talented individual participating in a wide range of activities. He’s also a premiere athlete as he can play tennis, basketball, baseball and various Olympic events. Golf has always been a specialty of his and with the release of Mario Golf: Super Rush, his skills are on full display once again. This got us thinking of some of the sports Mario has yet to conquer and which ones we would like to see.
Quite possibly the biggest sport Mario needs to try is American football. It’s the most popular in the United States with lots of fans around the world, so a game like this could do well. Gameplay and style has two different options; either go for Mario vs. real NFL players similar to NBA Street V3 or take the toony, more familiar Mario approach. Seeing Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and others take on actual athletes would be funny but perhaps a more business-like deal as Nintendo and the NFL would work something out. Likely, the best approach would be for classic Mario characters tackling, punting and stiff-arming each other. Have three or four selected characters as primary players such as the quarterback and wide receiver for you to control. Or pre-determined teams are already created with a mix of characters for balanced play and fun names– The Bowser Castle Bruisers. The defense could be made of Chargin’ Chucks for all teams just to keep things consistent. Each character would have their strengths and weaknesses but maybe a little bit of power-ups could be placed along the field. There would be quirks of course like Yoshi could be fast and use its tongue to catch the ball. We don’t want to make it totally into a funky football game, just something charming yet hard-hitting. There have probably been thoughts at Nintendo on creating a Mario football title and it makes sense given its popularity. Maybe one day we’ll get to see Mario throwing a Hail Mary to win the Super Bowl.
Truly one of the most entertaining sports for Mario to attempt would be the world of professional wrestling. Dropping some elbows and suplexing other characters would be so much fun. Imagine seeing the plumber in his regular attire or getting geared up to take down Bowser in a completely different manner. Pro wrestling isn’t entirely family-friendly so it may be a stretch to have Mario give it a try but surely they could find a way using cartoon violence. Characters appearing from different Mario titles makes sense since Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door already featured some wrestlers such as Rawk Hawk. Performing standard moves, finishers and even tag team maneuvers in multiplayer modes are the main things involve with a wrestling match. But having a compelling story mode adds some drama to the action. There may be room for power-ups in the ring that boosts attack, defense and speed. There probably wouldn’t many elements from pro wrestling such as ladders, tables and chairs, but others like a cage match still works. If it’s still not appealing enough to Nintendo audiences then maybe teaming up with WWE can help. Seeing Undertaker go up against Waluigi is a dream match waiting to happen. Whatever form a Mario wrestling game takes, as long as Lakitu is the referee, we’ll be satisfied.
Sometimes you just want to chill at the lake or beach and catch a few fish. Or head out to the open seas and try wrangling a bigger bite. Either way, a Mario fishing game could satisfy both outside of Mario Party mini games. There has to be two modes with one being a casual, relaxing play of catching fish. This means choosing various locations either from the Mario world or possibly real-life where characters can just cast their line and hope for the best. Collecting real fish would be the goal, but landing a Cheep Cheep or Blooper provides added fun. The other side would have to be filled with various competitions, stories and even RPG elements. Different rods would have unique abilities, maybe a lake is running dry and you have to rescue all the fish in time and then try beating other players to see who can catch the biggest/heaviest/coolest fish. Also, a Mario fishing game means putting the Nintendo Labo kit to good use. There are tons of fun ideas when combining reality and fiction into a Mario title and fishing for sport would probably be a game nobody expects to work as well as it could. Hopefully Nintendo takes the bait on this idea.
We may never see bowling at an Olympic level because it’s viewed more as a hobby than a sport. Regardless, it’s popular enough of an activity that we want Mario to give it a try. Not only as a plump plumber is Mario built for the game, but it would be a lot of fun. Taking queues from Mario Golf: Super Rush, a bowling game could use boss battles, like maybe knocking down a giant pin enemy. The Mushroom Kingdom could be changed altogether by some bowling curse and make lots of interesting changes. A Goomba’s Shoe power-up would be a bowling shoe, a Pokey enemy is made of actual balls and you’ll get to throw a Bomb-omb of course. There’s room to get creative with such a fun sport and comical world. Of course, there would be good old fashion bowling modes with unique alleys (ice level, lava level, etc.) and skill challenges. It will make use of the Switch’s motion controls and give you a little workout at the same time much like Wii Bowling. Throw in some references like Luigi and the Big Lu-bowski and Nintendo will have a hit.
What should have occurred back in the ’90s can still find success today. Extreme sports such as BMX, skateboarding, rollerblading and others can fit in well with the world of Mario. We’ve already seen characters take on snowboarding so there already is something similar to base a new game. Mario, Bowser Jr., Koopas and other characters can all buckle their helmets and shred for a fun time. Unique level designs, customizing gear and sick tricks are already appealing in other video games so throwing in Mario and crew adds to the entertainment. Unlockable characters like Sonic, Splatoon‘s Inklings and maybe even someone from Jet Set Radio are thrilling additions because they already fit the style. There will be lots of mini games and collectibles to keep replay value up. Extreme Mario is doable and would be so rad to try.
Mario has played a lot of different sports over the years and perhaps we’ll see him do it all. Though a short list, we feel it’s solid. Share some of the events and athletics you’d like to see him try out and become a pro in the comments below.