Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 65
  2. Negative: 0 out of 65
Buy On
  1. As pure a game as you could ever wish to play. Adrenaline, frustration, addiction and the largest hunk of retro gaming pleasure that you could purchase. If you own a DS, and you don’t even give this a chance, you might as well get your consoles listed on eBay. Give up. Buy it. Now.
  2. 100
    The backgrounds and gameplay are purely 2D, and the 2D and 3D elements blend together perfectly.
  3. New Super Mario Bros. is simply the cherry on top of an already scrumptious library of games.
  4. With its bright colours, chirpy soundtrack and tricky but not wall-bashingly frustrating challenges, this is a game you will pick up once and never put down.
  5. AceGamez
    What you get here defines what Nintendo is all about - simple but brilliant gameplay that keeps you hooked from start to finish.
  6. NSMB manages to blend elements from the past seamlessly with gameplay technologies of today. Familiar enemies, powerups and levels all mesh with new elements to form what is the best Mario game to date.
  7. The sounds are fantastic. It's like having an arcade in the palm of your hands. "Is that an arcade in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
  8. Classic. There really isn't any other word to describe New Super Mario Bros., Nintendo's latest, and dare I say greatest game for the Nintendo DS.
  9. 95
    Before New Super Mario Bros. entered my life, "Yoshi's Island" was, to me, the greatest platformer ever created. That title may now have to go to New Super Mario Bros.
  10. Play Magazine
    In the very opening, when Bowser surreptitously swipes the Princess, any Mario fan will smile in newfound satisfaction, ready to re-live, perhaps for the first time since that first time, what it's like to play a gem of a Nintendo game. [Jun 2006, p.52]
  11. Nintendo Power
    But it, love it, and pray to the gods that we don't have to wait another 10 years for Mario's next side-scrolling masterpiece. [July 2006, p.93]
  12. The game manages to recreate the awesomeness of past titles while making sure it feels like a new game.
  13. While some may argue that it’s too short or lacks difficulty, I definitely have to disagree. I had my fair share of deaths and the replay value is heightened significantly if you collect the myriad of coins disseminated throughout the game.
  14. This is the hot game to get for the DS. It's loads of fun, has huge exploration potential and reinvents the 2D side-scrolling platform game. Nintendo has another notch on it's belt to go with all the other notches that the DS seems to have.
  15. Game Informer
    It might not be the huge revolution some hoped it would be, but this is a highly enjoyable and well-crafted trip down memory lane. [July 2006, p.112]
  16. An excellent game and one that you should seriously consider purchasing if only for the sheer amount of fun.
  17. Never slowing down, never faltering: New Super Mario Bros. redoes the past with new action and some new surprises, once more in retro-materialized gold. Whether you're from the old school or a student of the new school, you're going to love New Super Mario Bros. no matter what.
  18. New sets out to simply give gamers more of what they want--more enemies, more levels, more bosses, more high-quality Mario. One can almost hear the trumpets as the classic platformer makes its triumphant return.
  19. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    You've gotta give it up to Nintendo for bundling a phenomenal suite of over 25 Wi-Fi multiplayer minigames with the single-player game. [July 2006, p.96]
  20. While it lasts, it’s some of the best platforming to date and features what I consider to be the best Nintendo DS graphics to date. While it’s a shame the new power-ups are frills and the length of the main game is ridiculously short, it’s hard not to recommend it.
  21. It's still an unparalleled platformer that should make your eyes light up, then glaze over in obsessive concentration.
  22. What the game does right is take advantage of the updated graphical capabilities of the DS in order to help move the 2D Mario franchise further, and it does it well propelling this game to the status of one of the most fun of its types on the system.
  23. The kind of game that makes hardcore Nintendo fans get on their knees and weep in sheer joy over the eighty new levels of new 2D Mario action...The visuals come in scorching hot, with gorgeous 3D bringing the old school into a new school setting. Sprinkle in some minigames and multiplayer modes, and you have a system seller.
  24. 90
    The new additions -- in particular the power-ups -- struggle to justify their inclusion, but they also keep the game from feeling like too much of a retread. It's unlikely that anyone will put this at the top of his or her list of favorite Mario games.
  25. New Super Mario Bros. (NSMB) features the best wall jump yet—there is precious little more satisfying than saving oneself from a perilous pit with a knee-jerk wall-jump. Mario may not control as he did in any of the classic Mario games, but he still feels perfect.
  26. 90
    While I still hold "Super Mario World" as the best 2D Mario game, with "Super Mario Bros. 3" as the runner up, New Super Mario hits a close third. But it does have much more replay value than the other two, as you could easily play this one a few times though without the risk of it getting stale.
  27. While experienced players might blow through the game quickly, New Super Mario Bros. is still completely awesome and absolutely necessary.
  28. You're getting a completely solid solo game, a simple-but-exciting two-player, and then a collection of super-quick stylus games - that's real value.
  29. 90
    The graphics are simply stunning, as is the soundtrack (though not in a good way).
  30. And I've done this sort of thing before hundreds of times across thousands of days in what feels like a dozen Mario games. I still love it.
  31. 90
    It proves that a simple style that we once loved and cherished can still be pulled off in today’s world of flashy visuals and 80-hour game time. The level design is fantastic, the music is nostalgic and the sheer joy I get while playing this game is indescribable.
  32. It has everything you want from a platforming Mario Bros. game and then some.
  33. 90
    Simply the best platformer to be released on any handheld.
  34. The bottom line is you must own this. It’s your duty as a DS owner.
  35. It's a finely-crafted slice of the Mario as you know and love it, with so many extra superb bells and whistles, it'd still scare the pants of the hard-of-hearing. If that's not recommendation enough, then we don't know what is.
  36. New Super Mario Bros. treads the retro platformer line beautifully, adding just enough originality and imagination to the mix.
  37. Old-fashioned Mario fun. As pleasurable, challenging and addictive as two decades ago.
  38. 90
    The ingenuity of design, the sheer level of fun, the warmth of nostalgia and the relief that 2D gaming is still alive and kicking, all combine to make NSMB an unmissable experience and show Nintendo are still masters of the platform game.
  39. Games Master UK
    A modern classic, but one that is perhaps overly familiar at times. [Aug 2006, p.58]
  40. One of the best platform outings in all of gaming, an instant classic when it first appeared, which even with some newness thrown in remains almost perfect today.
  41. Pelit (Finland)
    Old school 2D works just as well as it did 15 years ago. The difficulty level is set too low, but even if you rush through the game, there is still loads to explore afterwards. [Aug 2006, p.50]
  42. Nintendo has really captured the essence and features of what makes the series so popular and why it is one of the most revered and well recognized game series ever made.
  43. Seriously, stop reading this dripping review and just go out and play this game.
  44. The new moves, power-ups and graphics are just enough to make this game feel original while keeping its roots in the past. Even though New Super Mario Bros. isn't a revolution, it's still a great fun platforming game.
  45. It’s worth getting a DS, that’s for sure. But if you’re one of those junkies that doesn’t pay full price for a game because it hardly makes use of the system’s “capabilities”, then fine; be that junky.
  46. The first true 2D Mario game since Super Mario World maintains the high standard set by its legendary predecessors.
  47. Nintendo Gamer
    A welcome return to top form for the world's most exhausted videogame hero. [Aug 2006, p.52]
  48. With a concept as timeless (and downright fun) as the one that the Mario Bros. games adhere to, it would be tough to screw this game up. And Nintendo didn't ... not by a longshot.
  49. New Super Mario Bros. is a solid platformer and a nice homage to the Mario series, but it's not Mario's big return to 2D gameplay like everyone thought it would be.
  50. The versus mode breathes some fresh air into his little lungs, but this latest foray has us wondering: can Mario ever truly be new again?
  51. With summer here there is going to be more gaming on the go as handhelds get taken on road trips. And just in time, Nintendo has given us a blast from the past to take along and relive the fun of our wasted youths. The game mechanics show a bit of their age, but it is still a lot of great, simple fun.
  52. 80
    Nintendo's crafted a thoroughly enjoyable game here, a solid portable experience packed with everything that makes Mario so great -- challenge, fanservice, secrets. Everything except brash imagination.
  53. 80
    Far too many of the NSMB levels are simply too short. Even in the final world, it feels as though you're hitting the midway restart point in seconds, and then crossing the finish line when the level was just hitting its stride.
  54. Is it as good as "Yoshi’s Island," "Super Mario World," or "Super Mario Bros. 3"? No. And that is a disappointing fact. It is, however, a solid game, worth it for the nostalgic trip alone.
  55. This game should prove fairly easy to those of us who have grown up with previous Mario titles; the levels are incredibly short, the difficulty is fair at best, and the whole thing seems to need a bit more fleshing out.
  56. Edge Magazine
    In a family whose every member shouts from the rooftops, it risks palling into the background. Set it on its own, though – or besides absolutely any other 2D platformer – and it shines with dazzling kaleidoscopic brightness. [July 2006, p.78]
  57. 80
    New Super Mario Bros. definitely doesn’t live up to the standards set by the games it apes, but there’s still no better sidescroller to be found on the DS.
  58. games(TM)
    It is a fantastic package, no doubt. Despite the single-player’s unfortunate lack of length, and the ease with which many will speed through it, New Super Mario Bros. is everything one could want from a return to 2D Mario. [July 2006, p.118]
  59. The wall jump from Mario 64 is perhaps the single best introduction to NEW Super Mario Bros.
  60. Welcome back, Mario. Each day without you was like another dagger through my (S)NES, and your return is triumphant if short-lived.
  61. netjak
    New Super Mario Bros might not be QUITE as good as some review sites might lead you to believe, but there is no denying that this is a damn fine game: the game play is there, that familiar Nintendo charm is dominant throughout the entire game, the sounds are good, and it's definitely got personality. The good far outweighs the bad.
  62. The level of nostalgia is really unsurpassed. However, the quest ends a little too quickly and the lack of flight is a tremendous downer.
  63. I can talk about why the game is fun, but I can't lie and say the game is brilliant. Mario isn't what he used to be. There are glimmers and flickers of greatness in this game - moments where I felt the magic might almost be back. But it's not. Not yet.
  64. 60
    It is almost as if half way into production one of the higher ups saw the progress, wasn’t happy and forced them to stick to the old formula that’s more than a decade old. The game is also really short.
  65. Computer Games Magazine
    Nintendo sweetened the pot with what feel like dozens of mini-games, and you're liable to find two or three that can hold your attention. [Sept. 2006, p.81]

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed DS Game of 2006
#1 Most Shared DS Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 493 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 493
  1. Jan 4, 2011
    I love this game - especially the wireless multiplayer! My brother and I laugh so hard because it is so good - the BEST multiplayer I haveI love this game - especially the wireless multiplayer! My brother and I laugh so hard because it is so good - the BEST multiplayer I have ever played!

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    Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2011
    "New Super Mario Bros" is the very first Mario game i've encountered and the very best i've played. Yes it's 2-D, but does it **** matter?"New Super Mario Bros" is the very first Mario game i've encountered and the very best i've played. Yes it's 2-D, but does it **** matter? Each unique level is differently designed with smooth running gameplay as Mario. The co-op is also a fun mode to play against or with your comrades. A good amount of extra stuff will also keep your DS busy for the while. A absolute blast and a must-play for DS players. Full Review »
  3. Mar 13, 2015
    I did beat the game 100% and I didn't like this game THAT much. The graphics are okay. The levels are fine. The bosses were fine but THEI did beat the game 100% and I didn't like this game THAT much. The graphics are okay. The levels are fine. The bosses were fine but THE KOOPALINGS GOT THROWN OUT SINCE SUPER MARIO WOURLD I BELIEVE! But still okay. The controls are great I got SO used to it. I think this is a game worth getting. One of my least favourite Mario so far... Full Review »