Mario has tried his hand at everything from go-kart racing to basketball playing, but Nintendo only acknowledges seven of his jobs. Let’s rank them.
While Mario may only have one iconic cap, he has donned many proverbial hats. Across his mainline and spin-off games, Mario has tried his hand at many different professions. The plumber is as versatile as he is iconic, and Nintendo has proven that time and time again. From Mario Kart to Mario Golf to New Super Mario Bros, the diversity in roles Mario has played is staggering. However, he fits some of his jobs better than others, so here’s a ranking of his official occupations.
After all, not every craft Mario has tried his hand at is considered one of his official jobs by Nintendo. His time on the court in Camelot Software’s Mario Tennis games doesn’t count, for example. Mario’s work as a builder in Super Mario Maker isn’t considered to be one of his official jobs either. It appears as though Mario is both a man of many jobs and many hobbies. In Nintendo’s eyes, Mario’s careers are limited to the following: plumber, doctor, racer, martial artist, baseball player, soccer player and basketball player. But, only one of them can be Mario’s best.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.
Mario’s many strengths don’t necessarily include basketball. This is mostly a matter of his relative inexperience with the game. Outside of Mario Sports Mix and the bizarre Square Enix crossover Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Mario isn’t truly honing his skills on this front. It feels more like Mario is dabbling in basketball, but it is a game that requires consistency and dedication. Besides, neither of Mario’s concerted hooping exploits truly resonated either. The two games have Metacritic averages in the 60s. Luckily, Mario has other jobs to fall back on.
Mario’s time as a medical professional is arguably one of his most iconic outside of his platforming adventures. To this day, Dr. Mario remains an engaging puzzle experience that’s still fun and accessible through Nintendo Switch Online. However, as the field of medicine has advanced, Mario’s practice hasn’t advanced with it. He’s still killing viruses in the same manner he did in the 90s. It raises questions about stagnation from a gameplay perspective. It also raises questions from a medical perspective, as Mario’s approaches always seemed to border on malpractice. If his methods were misinformed in the 90s, he’s definitely not the doctor of choice in 2021.
Similar to his time on the basketball court, Mario’s time on the pitch is rather limited. His career seems to be over, too, considering that the Strikers games have been dormant since the Wii era. In his heyday, though, fans were engaged, and critics were more receptive to Strikers than his basketball efforts. Mario Super Strikers on GameCube and Strikers Charged on Wii received Metacritic averages of 76 and 79, respectively. While many people want Mario back on the field, the game always brought out his violent tendencies. With plenty of unnecessary roughness and a dark visual style, the Strikers games always seemed to misunderstand Mario’s tone. He’s better suited to other sports.
It turns out that Mario’s best athletic work might happen on the baseball diamond. Like basketball and soccer, baseball is a sport that Mario has taken some time away from. However, his return to the sport is hotly anticipated and hopefully coming on Nintendo Switch. Unlike soccer’s compromising of Mario’s identity, his personality fits with baseball incredibly well, and its blend of party and arcade sports gameplay is charming. While fans are more positive about Mario’s baseball career than critics are, the potential here is very strong. Plus, baseball gets more of Mario’s cast involved than any other sport does, particularly in Mario Super Sluggers on Wii.
Since the original Super Smash Bros. title on Nintendo 64, Mario has put his fighting skills on full display. The man is skilled in martial arts, probably due to how agile he has become through his platforming adventures. While Mario is still using essentially the same fighting style in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that he has used for years, he’s still a force to be reckoned with. At the same time, it’s impossible to ignore the popularity and success of the Super Smash Bros. series. This is one of Nintendo’s best franchises, excellently combining fighting game elements and party game ideas. It’s hard to find either a critic or fan that doesn’t enjoy the crowd-pleasing fun of Super Smash Bros. and Mario has brought plenty of his Mushroom Kingdom flair to this experience.
It’s hard to look at Mario’s credentials and not zero in on his driving ability. While most of Mario’s side hustles involve him stepping out of his comfort zone, racing is directly in Mario’s wheelhouse. Since Super Mario Kart, Mario has been the indisputable king of the arcade racing genre. Even when competitors like Crash Bandicoot attempt to challenge the throne, Mario does circles around the opposition. It’s a combination of raw mechanical excellence and practice over time. It’s a long-held tradition that each Nintendo system will have a Mario Kart title of its own, and each evolves the formula in fresh ways. Mario always brings charm and accessible fun to the racetrack, and that’s why his karting is almost at the top of his resume.
Mario has always been, and will always be, a plumber first and foremost. He doesn’t do much that plumbers traditionally do on the job, of course. Still, that doesn’t undercut how iconic his work in the field is or how much it has shaped the gaming industry. Those worried that his plumbing skills are largely non-existent should watch Mario at work during the intro to Super Mario 3D World — he has (some) legitimate skill. His success in this profession enabled him to go off and try all these other careers in the first place. Plumbing is certainly Mario’s bread and butter.
The question remains, of course, what Mario will try next. Now that the Switch has propelled Nintendo to new levels of modern success, Mario will undoubtedly use a bit of this newfound revenue to take on a new venture. Carpentry was his last big hit with Super Mario Maker, which was a wonderfully fresh idea. Only time will tell what Mario will try his hand at next.
KEEP READING: Super Nintendo World Commercial Takes you to the Mushroom Kingdom
Nintendo’s 2020 Was AMAZING for New Fans… and Underwhelming for Everyone Else
About The Author