Generally favorable reviews - based on 70 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 70
  2. Negative: 0 out of 70
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  1. 91
    With its well-balanced gameplay and the high long-term play value, New Super Mario Bros. 2 offers a nearly perfect Jump & Run experience. The levels and boss fights could be much more difficult.
  2. Aug 20, 2012
    It's a side-scrolling platformer where goombas are flattened, blocks smashed, turtle shells hurled, and tricky platforms navigated by, what else, jumping. And the coins... so many coins.
  3. Aug 19, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 is yet another superb platformer from Nintendo, filled with all the elements fans crave.
  4. Aug 16, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 is not as innovative as Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy, but all in all it's a 2D Jump'n'Run you'll have plenty of fun with.
  5. Aug 8, 2012
    Though we've seen this formula before, New Super Mario Bros. 2 finds a way to keep itself just fresh enough while still hitting platfroming perfection.
  6. Aug 2, 2012
    It may not be as gleefully experimental as Super Mario Land 3D, but New Super Mario Bros. 2 intelligently recycles past glories and consequently offers the comfort of what is arguably one of the most enjoyable video game franchises ever.
  7. The very definition of bitter-sweet, giving with one hand and then taking away with the other. By default it's the best side-scrolling platformer on the 3DS and yes, it's even better than the original New Super Mario Bros. But that came out six years ago now, and in that time we'd really expected the series to have progressed a little further than just a 3D effect and Coin Rush mode.
  8. Jul 27, 2012
    One of the most enjoyable titles for the Nintendo 3DS, and one that perfectly captures the essence of the platform genre.
  9. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 14, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2's tricks may be old, but they are still some pretty darn good tricks. Length is one of the game's rare shortcomings. [Sept 2012]
  10. Sep 4, 2012
    It's still faithfully wedded to its classical framework, but by manipulating the way the audience thinks about what has always been one of the most arbitrary elements of the Super Mario Bros. series, it makes the game even more of a challenge than before. There are new dangers to confront and new reasons to repeat worlds, and this prompted seachange in the way we think about Mario yields results both fascinating and entertaining.
  11. Nintendo Power
    Aug 30, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 may not feel as fresh as last year's Super Mario 3D Land, but there's no denying that it's a terrific Mario title, and one of the best of it's genre on N3DS. [Sept 2012, p.86]
  12. Aug 27, 2012
    It definitely lacks the high level of polish we've come to expect of the series, however, and settles at merely "very good" in that regard. It also pales in comparison to the previously released (and far superior) 3D Land, making an otherwise very good game seem somewhat lacklustre when held up against its older brother.
  13. Aug 23, 2012
    While it doesn't offer anything new and innovative, the new adventure of Mario is by all means faithful to the high quality standards set by its predecessors.
  14. Aug 22, 2012
    Nintendo clearly took an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality to this sequel, and given how good this game is, I can't fault them for it.
  15. Aug 21, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 goes for gold with golden themed levels that bring simple, yet fun platforming action. It's not a punishment to play levels over and over again, finding all the secrets or trying to set a new record in Coin Rush. The addition of a compelling cooperative multiplayer experience makes New Super Mario Bros. 2 the best side-scrolling Mario-game to date.
  16. 85
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a fine, quality Mario title that deserves a mention in the same breath as Nintendo's finest 2D platformers. It doesn't hit their highest highs, but comes much closer than the other games in the New Super Mario Bros. series.
  17. Aug 3, 2012
    It is impossible not to be drawn in by the simple perfection of New Super Mario Bros 2's mechanics and level design – this is as pleasurable and effortless as 2D platforming gets. But it's also impossible not to be disappointed that it's over so quickly, and doesn't offer anything really new.
  18. Aug 31, 2012
    While it may not push the series forward quite like some of Mario's earlier titles, that hardly matters in the long run; what's here is a heck of a lot of fun to play, with enough content to keep fans busy for a long time.
  19. Aug 8, 2012
    A Mario expansion still beats out most other platformers out there in the control and polish department. I can't deny that I still enjoyed kicking koopa shells, climbing fences in castles, and hopping on the flag at the end of a stage. On the other hand, players have grown to expect innovation out of Mario, and this game makes a strong case that perhaps it's time for Nintendo to move on from the "new" formula.
  20. Jul 30, 2012
    Very fun, addictive and recommended, with the same great gameplay we are used to, but we also find it too conservative, as we hoped for some new features for the series.
  21. Sep 28, 2012
    Nintendo needs to do something with this series to start making sure that it stays fresh. The core idea of a Mario platformer, side scrolling, on modern systems is perfectly sound, but they just came too many, too quickly. Lack of innovation might help tire us of a great idea, but even without being a new experience, there's still a lot to this game that entertains and offers a fun experience to anyone who tries it. The game may lack some innovation, but where it counts, in gameplay, it still delivers the experience you expect from a Mario game.
  22. Hyper Magazine
    Sep 18, 2012
    As intricate and rewarding as any 2D Mario game, provided you're willing to put the effort and time into appreciating its depth. Flaccid otherwise. [Oct 2012, p.56]
  23. Sep 4, 2012
    Mario returns and this time he's going for the gold. There are few new additions to the Mario-concept and that which is new is primarily focused on collecting gold coins. It is a good game but the lack of change is taking its toll.
  24. Aug 27, 2012
    Mario and Luigi return to their 2D home and the end result is a work that will appeal both to veterans and newcomers.
  25. Aug 25, 2012
    If you're a 3DS gamer with a penchant for Mario in any way, shape, or form, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is well worth your time. Despite that, if you've had your fill of Nintendo's mascot and the perpetually kidnapped Peach, you might not find a lot of entertainment here. You might resent being the 99% to Mario's coin-hungry top 1%.
  26. Aug 24, 2012
    Another Mario entry in the everlasting Nintendo series. This time there's nothing really new but the same good-old-fashioned Nintendo gameplay… a little bit on the short-side, unfortunately.
  27. Games Master UK
    Aug 23, 2012
    More retro-flavoured platform levels, beautifully presented with a few new tricks. [Oct 2012, p.78]
  28. Aug 22, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 is by no means a bad game, but it is something perhaps more disappointing: an unexceptional one. There is nothing new or exciting about it, and it doesn't stand out from the crowd.
  29. Aug 20, 2012
    Ultimately, while it's a great game nonetheless, its failure to innovate keeps it from true excellence.
  30. Aug 17, 2012
    It's better than almost anything else on the platform. But it's also a game produced by a Nintendo with its back against the wall, which seemed to want to get a side-scrolling Mario on shelves to sell 3DS hardware before the time was quite right.
  31. Aug 13, 2012
    The game isn't as innovative as other recent Mario efforts and not as novel as previous New Super Mario releases. It's still one of the best 3DS games on the market, however, and we strongly suggest saving some of your own coins in order to buy it.
  32. Aug 13, 2012
    This is a high-quality game by anyone's standards, but that doesn't change the fact that I spent a good deal of my time playing it feeling blasphemously bored.
  33. Aug 8, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros 2. doesn't do anything to innovate on the classic sidescrolling platformer, but the core gameplay is still strong enough to make navigating the wonderful levels worth your time.
  34. Aug 6, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 is exactly that: a sequel to the original. New levels and new abilities will keep fans pleased, but there's little in the way of creative spark to be found here.
  35. Aug 2, 2012
    The addition of coin rush and StreetPass functionality extend the shelf life of what would otherwise be a rather limited experience, but while there's still reasonable value here, the new Super Mario Bros. formula is losing just a little bit of its luster. Innovation and creativity don't shine as brightly as they should, but the glitter of great control and tight level design still make New Super Mario Bros. 2 tempting to pick up.
  36. Aug 1, 2012
    Whatever the case, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is an ideal second course for 3DS owners that enjoyed Super Mario 3D Land so much.
  37. Jul 31, 2012
    NSMB2 is yet another great Mario platform game, with some cracking new features, but it's too similar to earlier games in the 'New' series to be a classic in its own right.
  38. Jul 30, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros 2 may not do anything we haven't seen in a game before, but it oozes such quality from every pixel that if you don't derive pleasure from playing it, no matter what your age or gender, it's difficult to think of any game that would satisfy you.
  39. Jul 30, 2012
    Not difficult, very short and enormously conservative. Coins don't achieve to help Mario in his new adventure, which fails to amaze fans. You can do it better, little plumber!
  40. Jul 27, 2012
    Super Mario means high quality. This time the character turns to the coins and opens some features. But instead, Nintendo EAD brings a title too continuist and uninspired. Perfect but no surprises.
  41. Aug 24, 2012
    New Super Mario Brothers 2 is not a bad game – in fact it's a very good 2D platformer that lives up to the Mario name. The game just seems stuck in the middle because the coin collecting isn't integrated in a way that changes the core game; it just sits on top of the standard Mario shell.
  42. Aug 24, 2012
    It's technically great, but Nintendo needs to do more than repeat old ideas with its flagship franchise, especially if it wants to release not one, but three main entries in the series in the span of a year (Super Mario 3D Land released last November, New Super Mario Bros. Wii U comes out at launch).
  43. Aug 19, 2012
    At the end of the day New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a good game, plain and simple. With solid visuals, familiar but tight gameplay, and that famed "Mario-esque" sound, you really can't go wrong.
  44. 75
    Of course, New Super Mario Bros. 2 contains many elements at its core that are worth gold, but due to conformism, sometimes latent, is satisfied with not taking advantage of opportunities to worth more.
  45. Aug 29, 2012
    The beauty of this game is completely inherited from the past: it adds nothing to the classic formula, and it hasn't genius. It's time for Nintendo to put his best teams working on 2D Mario again, or soon it will be too late.
  46. Aug 15, 2012
    If you go into this expecting a light hearted, breezy romp through the Mushroom Kingdom, you'll definitely have some fun with it. But the more hardcore player out there might find themselves a bit put-off by the overall ease and lack of challenge, so here's to hoping that New Super Mario Bros. Wii U can strike a better balance between fun and difficulty than NSMB 2 managed to do.
  47. Aug 20, 2012
    Don't get me wrong. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a good game. It just doesn't seem infused with quite the right mix of Mario magic to make it a great game.
  48. Aug 6, 2012
    NSMB2 begins as just another night of nostalgic anecdotes. It eventually overcomes that on the strength of its world-class gameplay and level design, but pieces of that awkwardness remain.
  49. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Oct 29, 2012
    Long-lasting and entertaining Mario-platformer has got a new spirit thanks to coin collecting but its design is nothing to be proud of. [Oct 2012]
  50. Sep 24, 2012
    Now, there is some challenge for the gamer that's inclined to find it. Every stage has three hidden star coins, and the acquisition of them all can be tricky, and necessary to access the harder levels. For everyone else, this is another Mario game that's far too easy and plays it far too safe. It's more Mario for people who want more Mario, and nothing more.
  51. Aug 27, 2012
    A very good game on a technical level, but falls short of satisfying because it feels far too similar to other games in the series.
  52. Aug 26, 2012
    Nothing on offer here is bad per se. It is very competent in all of the disciplines you'd expect a title with this pedigree to be competent in. But somewhere along the fast track into store shelves Mario's magic got lost. Coming out shortly after the much fresher and more inventive 3D Land didn't do it any favors. And as a successor, six years after the first NSMB, these little updates don't do enough to justify the '2' in the title. This might just be the first Mario game that has you playing it mostly because of twenty year old automatisms.
  53. Aug 22, 2012
    Mario has become so important for Nintendo that there's not a year without the famous plumber coming to a game console owned by Big N. If we were happy to see the hero coming back, we quickly realized New Super Mario Bros 2 only takes the successful mechanisms of the previous title without the originality. Especially when chasing gold coins is not really fascinating.
  54. Aug 22, 2012
    Ultimately that failure to feel as fresh as Super Mario 3D Land is going to define New Super Mario Bros. 2 for many people, but it hides deeper treasures for those willing to look past the familiarity.
  55. Aug 20, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 is one of the first Mario platformers that starts to drag. We've seen the New Super Mario Bros. gameplay by now, and the goal to collect as many coins as you can changes little to make it feel like something new. The game controls perfectly though and the difficulty has been raised a little, which gives this entry more of a challenge. It's fun, but we expect more from Mario!
  56. Aug 19, 2012
    Mario will always be Mario, but the constant coin-chasing has ironically enough led to some inflation. It's a great game, but we won't remember it as one of those immortal Mario classics.
  57. Aug 17, 2012
    More old than new, New Super Mario Bros 2 is an inverted Galaxy, more content to remix old stomping grounds and sprinkle on new gimmicks than take Mario to places he hasn't hopped through before.
  58. Aug 15, 2012
    For gamers looking for a truly enjoyable title and more importantly, a game that plays extremely well on the 3DS, than look no further because this game is it. Just don't expect to be blown away by the innovative gameplay as we've kind of seen it all before but hey... it's awesomely good fun.
  59. Aug 14, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a single-player construct through and through, and tossing in an extra player doesn't do it many favours, particularly in the limited confines of a handheld screen.
  60. Aug 9, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a fun, overly familiar adventure that lacks imagination in its level design.
  61. Aug 6, 2012
    There's plenty of unmemorable fun to be had here, but it's shocking how it only took three goes for Nintendo to make New Super Mario Bros. feel old.
  62. 70
    Arguably the most disappointing Super Mario game ever made, and one that certainly doesn't deserve the world 'New' at the beginning of its name.
  63. Aug 2, 2012
    Unfortunately, the additions to NSMB2 merely add more spokes to an already heavy wheel, so to speak. It's not a bad game by any means, but it's one that steeps itself in nostalgia to mask an experience that falls short of the revival that the New Super Mario franchise really needs these days.
  64. Aug 1, 2012
    There are plenty of things that were great the first time you saw them, and work together to provide a pleasant experience, but there is no element of surprise, no attempt to dazzle you with new elements.
  65. Jul 31, 2012
    There can be little disputing the quality on show here, although the underlying gimmick and universal approach mean that New Super Mario Bros. 2 can offer neither the mystery and experimentation of earlier games nor the challenge that new pretenders to the platforming crown lay so very, very thick.
  66. Jul 31, 2012
    Mario's gold-themed adventure is anything but bad, but we can't shake away the deja vu and the word "inflation" whilst playing.
  67. Jul 30, 2012
    At its core, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a Mushroom Kingdom coin -- shiny and addictive, but carrying no practical value whatsoever.
  68. Aug 19, 2012
    The first Mario game I've ever played that frequently bored me, and as much as it manages to nail the central mechanics and tick many of the right boxes, it also serves as worrying proof that, in the world of gaming, no series is truly sacred.
  69. Oct 27, 2012
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 isn't really all that new anymore. What you get is basically the same game as the first one for the Nintendo DS, but with less engaging levels, fewer surprises in terms of power-ups and gameplay, and a boring gimmick set on capturing your inner kleptomaniac.
  70. Aug 8, 2012
    This New Mario is more than ever a gold-hungry race. There's not much novelty there, but an almost shoot'em up like approach to patterns and skill in order to reach the goal of 1 million coins. But the game remains easy, and with the addition of a DLC policy, it seems like even Nintendo itself doesn't care that much anymore for pushing the boundaries of game design and appearing different.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 649 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 82 out of 649
  1. Aug 21, 2012
    This is really the definition of fun, through the entire game you are experiencing pure joy until the sad day when you beat the game and thinkThis is really the definition of fun, through the entire game you are experiencing pure joy until the sad day when you beat the game and think well this really was a one in a life time experience, though it won't because thanks to the dlc you could get more juice out of the awesome gem called NSMB2. Full Review »
  2. Aug 19, 2012
    Its my 250th game review on metacritic! Personally, I find NSMB2 to be an overall better package than the merely okay Super Mario 3D Land, andIts my 250th game review on metacritic! Personally, I find NSMB2 to be an overall better package than the merely okay Super Mario 3D Land, and thats saying a lot considering that I usually prefer the 3D games in the series more than the sidescrollers. Sure, you may complain and say that its the same game, but you can be assured that the product here is of high quality. A few new powerups, an addicting coin rush mode, and just the right difficulty is enough to make this one of the best handheld games of the year. My only criticism is that the overused "Mario saves Peach from Bowser" story is still being used to this day. They need to change the story formula a bit. Full Review »
  3. Aug 19, 2012
    I have never been a massive fan of the Mario games, with the exception of Kart which is just awesome. But when I heard about the new roleI have never been a massive fan of the Mario games, with the exception of Kart which is just awesome. But when I heard about the new role collecting coins has in the game, I was intrigued. And yeah, its basically the same as every other side scrolling Mario title ever, and if that's all it was, I couldn't give it over 5 or 6. But when you start raking in the coins, coming up with new ways to maximise coin to time spent ratio; it's extraordinarily hard to explain how addictive such a simple mechanic can be. Full Review »