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Top 5: Mario vs. Bowser
Mario and Bowser are a part of one of the most heated rivalries in gaming. Sure, there are times when the King of the Koopas actually aids the famous plumber in his adventure such as in Super Paper Mario, and the two have been known to put their differences aside to get together for some racing action in the Mario Kart series, but overall, there’s a ton of bad blood between Mario and Bowser. Here are the top five battles between the two throughout the years.
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Super Mario Bros. 3 - NES
Mario’s adventure in Super Mario Bros. 3 was difficult, engaging, and everything leading up to the boss fight—from taking on Bowser’s kids to going through some awesome platforming—just prepped you for the big finale. When you finally encountered Bowser and saw him trying to perform a ground pound on Mario, it just made you hate him more and got you even more into the fight. This was a great boss fight not only for Super Mario Bros. 3, but for the entire NES.
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Super Mario World - SNES
It’s insane how a Super Nintendo cartridge can contain such an epic boss battle in it. Getting to Bowser in Super Mario World was a huge effort, but encountering him in his Koopa Clown Car made it all much more satisfying. This was definitely a different battle than gamers had come to expect between Mario and Bowser, but in the end, it proved to be one of the most memorable encounters between the two.
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Paper Mario - N64
The Mario franchise isn’t known for having a gripping narrative, but Paper Mario took the story-driven approach of the RPG genre and made Bowser look like a genuine bad guy. The battle was long, super difficult, and intense, but the story that led into this final encounter made you want to take down Bowser and rescue Princess Peach more than anything.
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Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Wii
One of the biggest boss fights in Mario’s history is also his most recent. Super Mario Galaxy 2 featured a long, fearsome battle between the famous Italian plumber and the King of the Koopas. Bowser was literally hundreds of times bigger than Mario, but that didn’t keep our hero from giving it his all in this unique fight. Multiple parts, great music, and a giant Bowser all contribute to what can easily be called one of Mario’s best battles against the Koopa King.
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Super Mario 64 - N64
It’s hard to imagine a more epic battle pitting Mario against Bowser than that of Super Mario 64. This was Mario’s 3D debut, and Nintendo really had to play their cards right and dish out an impressive, never-before-seen boss encounter. Luckily for gamers, the Big N did just that and forced Mario to combat against the evil Bowser in an arena-like setting.
As Mario, it was your job to evade Bowser’s attacks and get behind his big ugly shell. Once you were in position, you had to grab him by the tail and rotate the Nintendo 64 controller’s analog stick to swing the Koopa King in circles, only to release him and send him flying into one of the bombs he had set up around his battle grounds. This was a decisive battle for a long-running feud, and Nintendo 64 owners still continue to talk about how much fun this fight against Bowser was.
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Mario and Bowser's Top 5 Battles
Throughout gaming history, we’ve seen countless memorable boss fights. Link and Ganondorf; Donkey Kong and King K. Rool; Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr. Eggman. These are all iconic fights that have become well-known to gamers everywhere, but Mario and Bowser have almost become the icons of video game rivalry. This list highlights five of their biggest battles, and while not everyone will agree with every pick in the list, it’s hard not to see how each of these fights deserves a spot on some top 5 list.