Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 70 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 70
  2. Negative: 0 out of 70
  1. Nov 15, 2012
    91
    Nintendo's approach here strikes a great balance in all areas, ranging from its difficulty to design to enemies and bosses.
  2. Nov 17, 2012
    85
    It's consistently charming, often challenging, and an excellent illustration of that which makes Mario games so special. Nintendo seemingly recaptured traditional, distilled platforming, but also incorporated a newfound attention to modern gaming trends and expectations.
  3. Nov 21, 2012
    94
    It doesn't push boundaries, but it reminds us all that Mario will always be the king of the 2D platformer genre, even long after that genre has been buried beneath decades of gaming history.
  4. Nov 18, 2012
    93
    After playing through New Super Mario Bros. 2 on 3DS a few months ago, I was concerned that the "New" series had run its course. The levels didn't feel as fresh and the coin collection gimmick didn't make much of an impact. I feared this dip in quality signaled stormy skies for New Super Mario Bros. U on Nintendo's next home console, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
  5. Nov 15, 2012
    90
    Is the plumber's Wii U debut as good as his recent 3D outings? Not quite, but for the New Super Mario Bros. series, it's a real step forward in detailing, imagination and character.
  6. Nov 26, 2012
    91
    All in all, I found New Super Mario Bros. U to be a very rewarding, fun breath of fresh air for the series that does a pretty good job of showcasing new elements found in the Wii U system. It's certainly a step up in terms of visuals, and looks great both on the big screen and on the Wii U Game Pad.
  7. Nov 20, 2012
    80
    As far as launch titles go, you can't beat a Mario game, and the same is true here.
  8. Nov 17, 2012
    82
    We were surprised, excited and twinkly-eyed during an excellent finale. [Christmas 2012, p.28]
  9. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    Outside of marveling at the graphics in some select stages and bouncing around with four friends on your HDTV, how much longevity does NSMB U have? A good deal, thanks mostly to the dozens of minigames designed to appeal to the more skilled Mario players out there.
  10. Dec 2, 2012
    85
    The New Super Mario Bros series finds its dimension in the home consoles, where it becomes an amazing multiplayer game. But it has nothing to share with the innovation, brilliance or quality of its ancestors, and its single player is poor compared not only to Super Mario World, but also to the recent Donkey Kong Country Returns.
  11. Nov 15, 2012
    70
    New Super Mario Bros. U is a solid game, but one whose core experience is as conservative as can be and the level design, graphics, and sound are nearly identical to previous entries. The co-op features, however, are excellent, as are the new challenge modes.
  12. Nov 27, 2012
    81
    It needs to evolve, but still it's a great game. It's easily become one of the best games on Wii U, however, we can and we will ask for a step forward in the series.
  13. Nov 16, 2012
    80
    Beyond the obvious aesthetic appeal of the jump to HD, New Super Mario Bros U doesn't make a particularly convincing case for Nintendo's new console, and there's very little here that couldn't have been done on Wii. But if it isn't a great showpiece for the console, it may have to settle for being a very good Mario game, perhaps the finest of the plumber's side-scrolling adventures since his 16bit heyday.
  14. Nov 16, 2012
    80
    Mario's Wii U debut will no doubt attract the usual detractors and jaded observers, but there's more to this than rigid routine. It just all depends on what you want from it.
  15. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    A fantastic game hindered by a disappointing opening act. It feels like a game of present and past, where the first half reminds us why today's games greatly miss the second half's nostalgic excellence.
  16. Nov 28, 2012
    85
    Beyond the jump to HD, New Super Mario Bros U isn't a great showpiece for the console, but it's one the kings of the 2D platformer genre.
  17. Feb 21, 2013
    90
    Everyone gets a chance to play and interact and have fun. Really, that’s what Nintendo excels at, getting everyone involved and allowing childish enthusiasm to file down the sharp corners of the vexation of adulthood and life experience. New Super Mario Bros. U does that very thing.
  18. Dec 14, 2012
    81
    New Super Mario Bros. U may not be the most innovative Mario platformer, but it's incredibly polished and a lot of fun. [Dec 2012, p.68]
  19. Jan 22, 2013
    86
    A solid entry in the Mario franchise. It doesn't do anything to shake up the formula, but I think this is one of those franchises that have proven time and time again that you don't mess with a good thing.
  20. Nov 28, 2012
    90
    New Super Mario Bros. U is maybe the best platform of the "New" series due to an inspired level design and lots of game modes. The Challenges are just what hardcore Mario fans were looking for, and are capable of pointing out the best elements of one of the most refined gameplays ever created. The last Mario adventure is, without doubt, a killer app. for the Wii U, even without an intensive use of the Wii U Gamepad.
  21. Dec 27, 2012
    80
    The New Super Mario Bros series was never one to defy expectations, but rather build upon years of refined nostalgia. New Super Mario Bros. U is formulaic Mario and is a delightfully fun time for it.
  22. Nov 15, 2012
    85
    Players know exactly what they're getting with this one -- an entertaining and incomplex bit of gaming that provides challenge and smirks in equal measure. While certainly a "safe" game to launch with, it is by no means unremarkable and the only people who would fail to have fun are those with a fundamental aversion to Mario or platformers in general.
  23. Nov 27, 2012
    88
    New Super Mario Bros. U combines good old features with fresh and entertaining elements. The result is a stunning and thrilling jump'n'run experience for up to five gamers.
  24. Jan 23, 2013
    90
    Although Mario's newest adventure isn't the most innovative platformer, the game sticks to the basics and does them right. The chaotic multiplayer mode, sweet graphics and excellent controls ensure, that the plumber stays on the throne. [Jan 2013]
  25. Dec 7, 2012
    90
    New Super Mario Bros U is truly a "new" game in the series. A Must Buy for every Mario fan on the Planet.
  26. Nov 30, 2012
    80
    Everyone with a Wii U should buy this good platform title. It's a 2D Mario adventure in high definition. But the game doesn't use the GamePad in a good and innovative way.
  27. Nov 29, 2012
    80
    The latest entry in the endless Mario series is hardly "new" in concept, but doesn't fail to entertain and to represent yet another excellent platformer.
  28. Nov 26, 2012
    80
    His moustache remains the same, but other than that Mario finally went for a new and modern look. New Super Mario Bros. U does honor the history of the old plumber and brings back all the known characters and worlds, which are now more alive than ever. The graphical leap also allows for more experimentation with gameplay, which shows in a more challenging and fresh platformer than you might expect.
  29. 95
    New Super Mario Bros. U is close to the ideal 2D Mario game hinted at by the debut of New Super Mario Bros. seven years ago. It's a more sincere follow-up to Super Mario World than any previous game, and even if its innovations are muted and on the periphery, this is the evolution the series needed. It's a simple question, really: Do you like 2D Mario? If so, play this game. It is that damn good.
  30. Nov 29, 2012
    90
    New Super Mario Bros. U may not offer the cataclysmic genre shift that many badly crave, but it's the gem of the Wii U launch lineup and a must-have purchase.
  31. Nov 21, 2012
    80
    Not quite a killer app but certainly the best New Super Mario Bros. game so far, and an occasionally inspired 2D platformer in its own right.
  32. Nov 18, 2012
    84
    Nintendo really has this kind of game down to a science, to the point where players can almost take for granted that the newest Mario game will hit a certain standard of quality. It's not the most inspired piece of work, but New Super Mario Bros Wii U satisfies the requirements for a great platformer and does a good job of putting the system's touchscreen to interesting use. The game is actually at its best when another human being is involved, and if you're on board with the Wii U, it's a great chance to get in touch with your new system.
  33. Nov 27, 2012
    80
    New Super Mario Bros. U definitely plays things safe and mostly sticks to the framework established by the "New" offshoot series established back on the DS, but the tougher design and beautiful look make it a great Mario game no matter how you look at it.
  34. Nov 24, 2012
    90
    Mario doesn't want to change what works. The GamePad gets an episode that continues all, also the fun. High Definition to support the color and the design, with many challenges ahead for up to 5 players.
  35. Dec 9, 2012
    88
    New Super Mario Bros. U feels lovingly crafted and is a welcome change from earlier, rushed, or unpolished games in the franchise. The platforming aspect is perfectly balanced, offering a decent challenge but never straying into the realms of frustrating or awkward.
  36. Struggles to capture the creative spark of its NES/SNES ancestors, but this is rock solid platforming elevated through a renewed focus on skilled play.
  37. Jan 14, 2013
    80
    New Super Mario Bros. U shows that the old 2D Mario still has the magic when the property is treated with care and affection.
  38. 90
    Mario in his new clothes looks absolutely perfect and also perfect is the playability. A must have for all veterans... and for newcomers too. [Christmas 2012]
  39. Nov 26, 2012
    91
    New Super Mario Bros. U is Wii U's first must-have title, especially if you're a fan of Mario or platforming games. It's the culmination of the New Super Mario Bros. sub-series, and perhaps the best 2D Mario title since the SNES era. This is all thanks to how well it strikes a balance between the offering of recognizable mechanics and original ones.
  40. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    While it seems that all the games, even the most forgivable ones, feel the need to have a twist in them to break or turn upside down an established code, how can one with "retro" and a certain "opposition to change" both carved into its DNA surprise? In New Super Mario Bros. U, the princess doesn't get kidnapped, it's the hero that gets booted outside the castle to the far end of the realm. But it doesn't change anything: the game is a clear declaration that one does not need to change what already works perfectly.
  41. 90
    New Super Mario Bros. U plays it safe in the right areas while providing enough new things and challenge to make it worth not only playing, but coming back to for series veterans. Featuring tons of platforming fun, it plays wonderfully on both the GamePad and Wii Remote and has the best level design of any New SMB-series game to date. A notable improvement from NSMB 2, it does just the right amount of new things to seem different from past games, while still giving fans what they expect in a Super Mario Bros. title.
  42. Dec 17, 2012
    90
    It's the best 2D Super Mario since Super Mario World.
  43. Nov 26, 2012
    88
    In spite of a somewhat lazy presentation, New Super Mario Bros. U manages to captivate with just the right balance of fun, challenge, and variety. Perhaps it doesn't leverage much of what makes the Wii U different, but via masterful implementation of the basics, it's the closest thing to SNES Mario that we've seen in over 15 years.
  44. Nov 30, 2012
    85
    Nintendo rediscovers fun for the core gamer: New Super Mario Bros. U is hardly surprising, but delivers quite a challenge with its classic jump & run roots.
  45. Feb 13, 2013
    75
    New Super Mario Bros. U is hardly a groundbreaking release. But it is a beautifully-presented demonstration of the franchise's fundamentals, with just enough extra content to hold back accusations of creative bankruptcy.
  46. Nov 18, 2012
    60
    Everything about New Super Mario Bros. U is pretty exciting, except the game itself. Is it possible that this is the best game in the "New" series to date--not to mention one of the best exclusive Wii U games on the market, by default--and at the same time kind of flatly uninteresting? Apparently so. The game is perfectly well made for what it is, and I had plenty of fun playing it in short bursts here and there, but at this point the series' by-the-numbers design philosophy is starting to lend the name "New Super Mario Bros." a degree of unintentional irony.
  47. Dec 4, 2012
    75
    New Super Mario Bros. U introduces too few new ideas to push the platform genre forward in a way a Mario-game normally does, but nonetheless it's a great game. The level design is outstanding, the multiplayer is fantastically chaotic and the varied Challenge Mode increases the life expectancy of the game. It doesn't matter if you're a solo gamer or like to dabble in multiplayer fun; New Super Mario Bros. U is a safe option to combine with the purchase of a Wii U.
  48. Dec 6, 2012
    90
    Wii U gets the best possible Mario, the one we've been enjoying for many years.
  49. Dec 13, 2012
    90
    The first Mario game for Nintendo's new home console is as great, challenging and beautiful as was expected. It's obvious that Nintendo played a safe bet here, but a bet that is rewarding for any Mario fan.
  50. Feb 14, 2013
    90
    In the end New Super Mario Bros U is an extremely fun game on the Wii U which proves classics can still make it in a world of games such as Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty. The visuals look amazing, the gameplay, although quite retro is pure Mario which makes this a must have title for the console.
  51. Dec 10, 2012
    90
    New Super Mario Bros. U succeeds in delivering classic 2D Mario gameplay in a more visually appealing and complete package than ever before and is simply a blast to play both alone or with friends.
  52. Nov 15, 2012
    90
    There's a sense of wonder again, of exploration and discovery. I'm not quite prepared to say New Super Mario Bros. U fully recaptures the spark of Mario's 2D heyday, but it's an impressive step in the right direction.
  53. Dec 1, 2012
    70
    New Super Mario Bros U is a Mario game – through and through. In some ways, this is the best game in the "New"-series thus far, with well designed levels, a lengthy campaign, and a plethora of hidden secrets around every twist and turn. The game offers plenty. It's also pretty much the same game we played in 2009, with some small changes, and can at times seem superfluous.
  54. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    Outside of multiplayer, New Super Mario Bros. U offers little in the way of innovation, focusing instead on delivering tightly-designed levels, which look superb and can be played when the television is in use.
  55. Dec 7, 2012
    90
    New Super Mario Bros. U may not revolutionize the genre and doesn't show us what flashy stuff the new console has to offer. But the playful level design, well balanced difficulty level and flawless control are more than enough to make this into one of the best games in the genre. This is 2D-plattforming at its finest, and a must buy for anyone who owns a Wii U.
  56. Dec 10, 2012
    90
    New Super Mario Bros U is going to teach you to not worry about turtles nor squirrels, but to love mushrooms. You don't believe it? Then try yourself this Wii U launch title, and have fun - solo or with someone.
  57. Nov 27, 2012
    90
    Nintendo crafts levels like no one else. They take their well-known motifs and themes and don't necessarily surprise you every time, but they always excel at reshaping them in a highly lovable and entertaining fashion. If that´s what you want out of New Super Mario Bros U, this is the best humanly possible result. That this might not be enough for some fans of the franchise speaks volumes about the three decades that princess spent in "another castle".
  58. Nov 22, 2012
    95
    There are curmudgeons out there who will skip this game because of the liberal Mario throwbacks, but they're missing the forest for the trees. Inventive level design, loads of content, and the shockingly profound boost mode make this one of the best 2D platformers out there.
  59. Nov 30, 2012
    80
    It's a game that shows there are a few tricks even Mario hasn't learned quite yet. The plumber is back at something approaching his very best, and that's something audiences – and Nintendo, with a new console to sell – will be particularly delighted about.
  60. Jan 24, 2013
    80
    By drawing on past glories, Nintendo delivers the best traditional side scrolling Mario game in years. [Feb 2013, p.62]
  61. Nov 15, 2012
    90
    A love-letter to the days of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, New Super Mario Bros. U's multiplayer modes, insane platforming, and beautiful HD graphics offer more than enough to provide hours of fun for gamers of all stripes.
  62. 88
    In the end it's a great game with some new challenges and it is a bright light for what we have in store as Nintendo's newest console begins its life cycle.
  63. Nov 15, 2012
    85
    What separates New Super Mario Bros. U from its "New" predecessors: It adds something to the Mario formula. It's exciting and full of inventive ideas.
  64. Dec 14, 2012
    85
    As a multiplayer scrolling platformer, NSMBU successfully ad libs from a well worn Mario script to produce an evolution of the 2D platformer and importantly, a step forward for quality multiplayer games on the Wii U.
  65. Feb 14, 2013
    77
    No matter how much content is recycled here, New Super Mario Bros. U is a gem in Wii U’s launch line-up. Problem is, there is nothing that sets it apart from a long line of its predecessors.
  66. Nov 15, 2012
    83
    Carries the standard proudly, offering all the smart level design, split-second escapes, and tight gameplay that creates (and deserves) such devotion. But it's not a system seller, and it lacks inspiration. Mario U is comfort food … warm, filling, and delicious but not particularly remarkable. And Mario should be.
  67. Nov 30, 2012
    60
    It's frenetic and anarchic, but hardly the stuff that will convince you to buy a Wii U. Come on, Mr Miyamoto: let's have a proper Mario game for the Wii U. And a Zelda, and a Metroid, and a Pikmin, and a Donkey Kong and so on.
  68. Feb 19, 2013
    90
    Yes, the new 2D adventure is not a demonstration of Wii U's potential, but it's extremely competent as a plataformer, adding some elements that probably will accompany the series in the future and making, though perhaps unconsciously with its final boss, the eyes of players sparkle and give us a taste of what to expect of Mario in its next tridimensional adventure.
  69. Nov 16, 2012
    85
    The New Super Mario Bros. gameplay is as well balanced as ever, with new items and better graphics. The tunes sound very familiar. Nevertheless: Mario's Jump & Run is the perfect game for you if you've enjoyed the series since 1985.
  70. New Super Mario Bros. U boasts a few new innovations, but ultimately this is the same Mario we've seen many times before. It's still a lot of fun, but it may not nudge a wavering gamer to rush out and buy the new console.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 434 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 110
  2. Negative: 7 out of 110
  1. Dec 3, 2012
    10
    This is the first new super mario brothers that I don't feel is lacking. It looks beautiful and the gamelplay is as good as ever. But want I like most is the ammount of content. I feel like there is so much to do and the challenge and rush mode is something that keeps bringing me back. I'd be suprised if you had a wii u and didn't have this game. If you don't have it, get it, you won't be disappointed Full Review »
  2. Nov 18, 2012
    7
    There is really nothing to say here. If you like 2-D Mario you are gonna like this. It looks great in HD even though some of the backgrounds are a tad boring, the control is fine but it in a 2-D Mario game. The multiplyer which I have only played with one other person is decent but not a big game changer. Actually it feels like a cheat when someone puts up a pad for you. I like the mode where the screen goes faster to make the game harder although it picks up the pace after a few hours of play. The story sucks. The music is lame. It is just normal Mario. It feels like I have played this before and I have. On the DS and the Wii. It is a good game but I could live without it and since it is the only exclusive for the system I currently own that is a disappointment. It is a solid Mario game but it isn't as good as Donkey Kong Country Returns and is not even close to the brilliant and more beautiful Rayman Origins. But it is a 2-D Mario game and for most fans it will be enough. Good game. But nothing special or new. I really like the new blue cases. But I was told the Wii U would have a trophy system. Where is it? Full Review »
  3. Nov 27, 2012
    5
    In my opinion this game is a throwback from a bygone era. I will never understand the heaps of love bestowed upon the Mario Franchise. Each game, is a rehash of the game before. In addition the game does nothing to showcase the graphical power of the Wii-U. It's time to do something different with Mario, I would have preferred to see something creative like the Super Mario RPG with an action RPG twist as opposed to this game. Full Review »