Generally favorable reviews - based on 70 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 70
  2. Negative: 0 out of 70
  1. 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.
  2. Nov 27, 2012
    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.
  3. Nov 18, 2012
    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.
  4. Nov 24, 2012
    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.
  5. Dec 9, 2012
    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.
  6. Jan 14, 2013
    New Super Mario Bros. U shows that the old 2D Mario still has the magic when the property is treated with care and affection.
  7. Nov 15, 2012
    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.
  8. 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.
  9. Dec 5, 2012
    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.
  10. 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]
  11. Nov 26, 2012
    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.
  12. Nov 30, 2012
    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.
  13. Feb 14, 2013
    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.
  14. Dec 17, 2012
    It's the best 2D Super Mario since Super Mario World.
  15. Nov 26, 2012
    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.
  16. Feb 13, 2013
    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.
  17. Dec 4, 2012
    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.
  18. Nov 15, 2012
    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.
  19. Dec 13, 2012
    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.
  20. Nov 18, 2012
    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.
  21. Dec 10, 2012
    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.
  22. Dec 6, 2012
    Wii U gets the best possible Mario, the one we've been enjoying for many years.
  23. Dec 10, 2012
    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.
  24. Dec 1, 2012
    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.
  25. Nov 15, 2012
    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.
  26. 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.
  27. Nov 27, 2012
    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".
  28. Dec 7, 2012
    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.
  29. Nov 15, 2012
    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.
  30. Jan 24, 2013
    By drawing on past glories, Nintendo delivers the best traditional side scrolling Mario game in years. [Feb 2013, p.62]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 595 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 129
  1. Dec 3, 2012
    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 IThis 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
    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 backgroundsThere 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 26, 2012
    This game could be worse, but not much worse. This is a Mario Bros. game, which is such a popular franchise because of their addictive gameThis game could be worse, but not much worse. This is a Mario Bros. game, which is such a popular franchise because of their addictive game play stemming from tight controls, without tight control. Want to run, for example? Then you better have half the screen in front of you before you start. I don't know if this is because of the game itself or because of the game pad, but it makes the game nearly unplayable. The bottom line is that I would only recommend this game for kids. Kids young enough to not know the difference between good and bad games, because that's who this game was made for. If you really want to play a newer Mario game do yourself a favor and get Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS instead. Full Review »