Universal acclaim - based on 82 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 82
  2. Negative: 0 out of 82
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  1. Dec 19, 2011
    There's no question – if you own a 3DS, this is the best game on the platform, and instantly worthy of a purchase. It's one of the best portable platformers I've ever played (and I've had my fair share), and an almost shockingly good Mario title on any platform.
  2. Nov 22, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is a perfect blend between the new and the old. It's a near perfect piece of Nintendo entertainment and the best game in the series since the masterpiece Super Mario 64.
  3. Nov 21, 2011
    The meticulous craft that has gone into its ingenious design is enough to warrant admiration from even those players who have no time for the portly plumber. As for the rest of you – and we're assuming you're Mario fans – you're in for a real treat.
  4. Nov 19, 2011
    Mario's best handheld game in years, and even when put up against his acclaimed console offerings, it's yet another sublime adventure crammed with surprises and smiles every few minutes. It's also perhaps the first 3DS title that makes the screen an integral part of the game rather than an eye-catching afterthought.
  5. Nov 16, 2011
    A platformer of great quality, visually stunning, and offering an interesting architecture filled with funny and interesting details making a brilliant use of the stereoscopic 3D. It sure is a little too easy for the most part, probably because of it wants to remain as accessible as possible, making its first few levels a walk in the park for the fan, but its charms work nonetheless. It's hard to look elsewhere once you started diving into its worlds, before actually finishing them entirely... as expected, it's a must-have of the platform.
  6. Nov 15, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is one of the best Mario games in recent memory. It's better than New Super Mario Bros. and just about on par with Galaxy. A few months back I stated that Ocarina of Time 3D was the premier reason to own a 3DS. That is no longer the case. Mario is still Nintendo's man to move hardware, even if he is a bit late to the party.
  7. Nov 11, 2011
    The charm, inventiveness and knowing nods to Mario heritage bring constant smiles, and it's not only a superb Mario game but a fantastic advert for the hardware it appears on. A perfect starting point for newcomers to the series, or a nostalgic throwback for Mario die-hards that still manages to be incredibly contemporary. Whichever category you fall into, one thing's for sure; handheld platforming simply does not get better than this.
  8. Nov 10, 2011
    Is it more imaginative than Super Mario Galaxy? No. Will it revolutionize gaming like Super Mario 64. Hardly. Do either of these questions matter? Absolutely not, and don't let anyone prove otherwise. Super Mario 3D Land is the epitome of fun. Most importantly, it's a shining example of everything that's good and wholesome about video games.
  9. Nov 9, 2011
    I'm literally floored by how much I enjoyed it, and I find it quickly rising in the ranks as one of my favorite Super Mario titles.
  10. Nov 9, 2011
    The tired, princess-saving formula never seems to change, but somehow Nintendo makes every visit to the Mushroom Kingdom feel like the first time.
  11. Dec 5, 2011
    It's the best game on the 3DS and it justifies the purchase of the system all by itself.
  12. Dec 12, 2011
    A fantastic platforming title that uses 3D in gaming ways that no other title has yet to do. Classic costumes like the Tanooki and Hammer Bros. suits make appearances, and easy to earn extra lives make this accessible by all age groups.
  13. Dec 8, 2011
    3D Land delivers an experience that will satisfy long-time fans of the franchise while also making it accessible enough for newcomers to enjoy.
  14. Nov 25, 2011
    Everyone wanted to know where Mario would go after conquering the universe (twice) on the Wii, and with this new adventure, Nintendo gave the answer. To alternate dimensions? No. To home.
  15. Nov 22, 2011
    It's not just the killer application the 3DS was waiting for, it's also one of the most enjoyables platformers in years, filled with creative ideas and offering a perfect balance between tradition and innovation.
  16. 95
    EAD Tokyo's 3DS debut is marvelous, and filled with almost endless creativity.
  17. Nov 9, 2011
    With an expertly balanced difficulty progression, dazzling level design and masterful Power-Ups, this is the ideal 3DS experience...As a whole, 3D Land is brilliant and addictive, and should do for 3D-enhanced platforming what the original Super Mario Bros. did for 2D platforming. If you own a 3DS system, you have no choice - you simply must own this game.
  18. Nov 9, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land isn't perfect, but the few complaints I have (like the lack of variety in boss fights and some re-hashed levels) can't bring down this entertaining mix of nostalgia and innovation. It lives up to the level of quality set by previous entries and is easily the best reason to own a 3DS.
  19. Super Mario 3D Land is superb. The care and attention put into every aspect of it is beyond words and the only real problem point - the difficulty - is blown away by its remarkable post-credits reveal. This is the first truly essential, completely new title for the 3DS.
  20. Nov 10, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land proves that there is still an innovative direction that platforming can take even after the constant innovation seen throughout the history of Mario. This game may not be as creative as Galaxy (really what is?) but the different camera perspectives and depth based gameplay, along with all sorts of platforming styles meshed into one game make for a worthy Mario title for the 3DS.
  21. Nov 13, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land proves that gaming's most enduring mascot is also its most adaptable.
  22. Pelit (Finland)
    Dec 9, 2011
    Less intergalactic and more linear – but still works wonders. 3D Land is the first 3DS game that doesn't put in question the benefit of turning on the 3D slider. The only major critisism can be placed on the lack of difficulty before moving on to the special stages. [Dec 2011]
  23. Dec 5, 2011
    While it may not be quite the evolutionary leap forward that Super Mario Galaxy was, Super Mario 3D Land is still a vital installment in the long-running franchise.
  24. Nov 29, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is the first 3DS title that really takes advantage of the 3D capabilities of the system.
  25. Nov 18, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is a great mix of all mario games. Nintendo managed to combine some well-known elements with new features and the result is great. It is the best 3DS game on the market so far.
  26. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jan 19, 2012
    Lifesaver for all Nintendo 3DS owners. Super Mario 3D Land delivers flawless design and perfect use of 3D effects during the whole game. [Christmas 2011]
  27. Jan 11, 2012
    The Nintendo 3DS has had a slow start, but I feel this marks one of the first important games to come out on this system. I can't say it's a must buy, but is really close for those who have already picked up a 3DS. The amount of content in this game along with the varying degree of gameplay makes this one of the best Mario games I've played in a while.
  28. Jan 10, 2012
    Mario has some restrictions in Super Mario 3D Land, which is why the game comes closer to the original platformers that are all about challenge and focused platform levels. It all works out, thanks to the surprise at the end of the game and the wealth of challenges available here.
  29. Dec 22, 2011
    By combining the slick 3D polish of modern-era console Mario with the pure and simple challenge of the classic platform era, Nintendo have created a true gem. The frustration one encounters falling off a slick edge for the 14th time is outweighed by the addictiveness of achievement. It's linear, to the point and perfectly tuned for a portable experience.
  30. Dec 20, 2011
    It seems strange to say it, but I wish Super Mario 3D Land was more difficult. That's it's biggest fault at the end of the day. More than half the game is a cakewalk, an entertaining cakewalk, but a cakewalk nonetheless.
  31. Dec 13, 2011
    If you love the series and princess Peach is still on your desktop, even after you have met your lovely girlfriend, you know what to do. But if you do not know the series at all, now it is time to fix that mistake and hop in the game. Super Mario 3D Land will make it possible for you as well as make it a really nice experience.
  32. Dec 9, 2011
    A must have for Nintendo's handheld. 3D Land is a search for the roots of what made Mario the king of the platform genre.
  33. Dec 8, 2011
    If you own a 3DS, this is one game you simply cannot miss. Everything about it is so well designed and fun to play that you won't remove the cartridge for months.
  34. Nintendo Gamer
    Dec 7, 2011
    As conflicted a Mario game as we've ever played, but an undeniable 3DS achievement. [Dec 2011, p.58]
  35. Dec 5, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is a glorious example of how a 'less is more' approach can lead to significant rewards. Though Mario plaformers have never been overly narrative heavy, stripping the game back to its basic elements showcases just how solid these elements remain even to this day.
  36. Nov 30, 2011
    A pure refinement of Nintendos most brilliant and addictive gameplay designs that will appeal to everyone. Even though the new ideas are getting less with each new release in the franchise.
  37. Nov 30, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is a game that can be played by anyone, young or old. With elements of classic 2D Mario games, Mario 64 and more recently Super Mario Galaxy, 3D Land successfully combines all these elements on the 3DS.
  38. Nov 30, 2011
    Nintendo have given us something for everyone, an easy game for the youngsters and newcomers, which is hiding a serious old school hard platformer behind it for all us old grizzled gamers.
  39. Nov 30, 2011
    A game for everyone, young or old, casual or hardcore. It's an easy game to get into and an easy game to latch onto. The levels are inventive, colorful and varied, constantly providing a new experience at each turn. It's a fun, polished game, but then it's a Mario, and I'd have expected nothing less.
  40. Nov 29, 2011
    Words cannot stress how great Mario 3D Land really is. Although I would have liked to have seen a handful of concepts expanded, 3D Land does pretty much everything right: if you're looking for a new Mario game, this is it.
  41. Nov 28, 2011
    An excellent title that is tailor made specifically to use the capabilities that the 3DS provides. Impeccable use of 3D, brilliant level design and diverse environments and stages are all reasons why the game is such an enjoyable experience.
  42. Nov 27, 2011
    Inventive, beautiful and dangerously addictive, Super Mario 3D Land is the 3DS defining game, capitalising on the system's strengths and value of portability, while recalling the best qualities of both 2D and 3D iterations of the franchise. Not to be missed.
  43. Games Master UK
    Nov 20, 2011
    Brings the magic world of the 2D Marios to life like no other, but blink and you'll miss it. [Christmas 2011, p.68]
  44. Nov 20, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is surely peculiar among the series' episodes, mixing elements of classic and modern gameplay. It's not another Galaxy, and it just doesn't want to be: it has a strong identity, made of a great level design and rewarding gameplay. And it's incredibly fun to play.
  45. Nov 18, 2011
    There's a lot to like about Super Mario 3D Land. It's easily the best 3D title that's graced the 3DS to date, and shows that there is so much potential in the handheld.
  46. Nov 18, 2011
    1/4 of Super Mario Bros. + 2/4 of Super Mario 64 + 1/4 of Mario Galaxy... add a little bit of 3D, mix together and serve cold. Tasty!
  47. Nov 18, 2011
    This game is very much inspired by Super Mario Galaxy, and that's fantastic! Over 100 levels, many challenges, variety and costumes, especially the Tanooki dress. Put the 3D effect to the fullest and enjoy. This game is designed for that. It's the best 3DS exclusive to date.
  48. 90
    A pleasure to play, pure Mario of the highest caliber. Doesn't quite reach the heights of the amazing Super Mario Galaxy 2, but still an excellent platformer, and a must have for 3DS owners.
  49. Nov 17, 2011
    A brilliant entry into the much loved series, it's just a shame it has to end so soon.
  50. Nov 15, 2011
    Nostalgia and new features come together in a lovely platform game that will put a smile on your face.
  51. Nov 15, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is easy to recommend as a must-have game for any 3DS owner's library.
  52. Nov 14, 2011
    Time to dust off that 3DS and let Mario do what he does best - Super Mario 3D Land is pure entertainment from start to finish.
  53. Nov 12, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is a great platformer with lots of gameplay and fantastic visuals, slightly overshadowed by some awkward camera issues.
  54. 90
    Conflicted throughout, but still an undeniable 3DS achievement. Wait for it to get its act together and the game soars. Well, flutters.
  55. Nov 10, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is indeed a wonderful debut on Nintendo 3DS. The 3D effect is fine and helpful because of some camera issues. Mario fans will love this new experience because of the very cool retro elements.
  56. Nov 10, 2011
    You could wish for 3D Land to be a little more challenging in places, then, but you couldn't wish for it to be any denser, any more imaginative, or any more daring. Most importantly, you couldn't wish for it to be any more playful.
  57. Nov 9, 2011
    A step back and a leap forward. As a gateway drug for those reluctant to embrace Mario in three dimensions, Super Mario 3D Land should be a huge success.
  58. Nov 9, 2011
    Though it falls slightly short compared to other Mario titles (aka some of the greatest games ever made), it's certainly a release worthy of the character's legacy. It expertly builds on franchise history, has tons of clever ideas, and even with the rare control hang-ups, it stands tall in the realm of 3D platformers, especially compared to the paltry library of games the 3DS currently has.
  59. Nov 9, 2011
    3D Land is a grabby borrower of a game - enemies from Mario 3, music from 2006's New Super Mario Bros., gameplay from Galaxy. Eventually it starts borrowing from itself. It's an excellent game because all of these things work so well together; the only thing keeping it from perfection is that it cries out for more innovations to call its own.
  60. Nov 9, 2011
    And while it takes a while to build up, and lacks the rich variety of secrets you know from games like Mario 3 and Super Mario World, Super Mario 3D Land eventually becomes a demandingly hardcore, addictive platformer. It's also easily the most beautiful game on the 3DS, and one of the best-looking Mario games.
  61. Nov 9, 2011
    It's impossible not to be impressed by the vast number of classic Super Mario elements that have been squeezed into the package, especially given how fresh they all look and feel in their new 3D presentation. If you've been looking for a reason to pick up a 3DS, you've just found it.
  62. Nintendo Power
    Nov 8, 2011
    Really though, Super Mario 3D Land is a triple-A title, and as good a reason as you'll ever have for picking up a Nintendo 3DS if you haven't already. [Nov 2011, p.70]
  63. Nov 18, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land is a solid chapter for our favourite plumber. A small number of power-ups and scarce innovation are the biggest flaws of the game itself.
  64. Nov 18, 2011
    It is not the best Mario game in the last years, but it is great as a portable Super Mario, one of the best portable games ever starred by Mario. Despite this, we think this game could have been even better, as Nintendo has always achieved extreme levels of quality will its major series. Anyway, a must-have for 3DS owners.
  65. Nov 18, 2011
    Mario does a stereoscopic jump on Nintendo 3DS that smartly combines classic platforming with more modern mechanics. The result isn't so innovative, but it's still the best new launch available for the handheld console.
  66. Jan 9, 2012
    Those looking for a solid platforming experience probably won't find a better one on the 3DS.
  67. Nov 28, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land isn't quite on par with many of the forefathers it tries to emulate. It lacks Galaxy's endless wow-factor, 64's commitment to being grand and impressive, and the general near-perfection of Super Mario Bros 3's gameplay philosophy. But it's still a damn fine bit of jumping action, and one of the 3DS' very best games.
  68. Nov 9, 2011
    3D Land is a game in which Nintendo shows other developers how they've been doing it wrong since the 3DS launched, and provides a template from which future games ought to be built.
  69. Nov 2, 2011
    The excellent platforming and the 3D images ensure a creative mixture between the old and new Mario. Maybe a less agile Mario than we're used to, but that has it's charm in some ways. Thanks to the extremely varied environments and the succesful usage of 3D, Super Mario 3D Land is by far the best Mario game for the 3DS.
  70. 84
    The levels are incredibly fun to play, but there are omissions likely to leave Mario fans shaking their heads.
  71. Nov 9, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land's playful reverence for (and references to) the 8-bit days reminds us that Super Mario Bros. 3 truly was an amazing game, but it does so at the expense of its own identity. I have a hard time imagining that, 20 years from now, Nintendo's designers will be looking back at 3D Land as a template for a new game the way 3D Land builds on Mario 3's iconography. Ultimately, that's the difference between a good Mario game and a great one.
  72. Feb 6, 2012
    Mario is back! In a classic Mario-fashion you jump your way througheight worlds, where you battle goombas, koopas and the main meaniehimself, Bowser. This game is never particularly difficult, butgradually advanced to a challenge that feels just perfect. Fun, varied and guaranteed to make you smile.
  73. CD-Action
    Dec 27, 2011
    Fans spoiled by sparkling creativity of Super Mario Galaxy may find the latest Mario platformer uninventive, but the pure pleasure it offers makes up for the idea recycling. Plus it features the best 3D I've seen on 3DS so far. [January 2012, p.74]
  74. Dec 1, 2011
    Great control, smart level design and some cool boss fights. The lack of challenge is a real shame.
  75. Nov 14, 2011
    The slow start burns up a lot of levels with areas that aren't particularly challenging or effective as tutorial sequences to prepare you for the rest of the game. But if you've already made the investment in a 3DS and you're looking for something--anything--that resembles a must-own game, Super Mario 3D Land is precisely that.
  76. Nov 12, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land excels in so many areas, picking up the traditional 2D side-scrolling feel of the classic NES and SNES platform outings, whilst sprinkling in a pleasing dose of the 3D charm that made Super Mario Galaxy 2 so special.
  77. Nov 10, 2011
    What Super Mario 3D Land does get right is what every Mario game gets right: a high benchmark for quality that virtually no other platform game series seems capable of matching. There's a level of humour, invention and a sheer sense of joy that you only find in a Mario game.
  78. Nov 10, 2011
    It homes in, with a clockmaker's precision and a playful gleam in its eye, on what Mario does best.
  79. Nov 10, 2011
    Exactly what the 3DS needed to reenergise its fortunes and restate its purpose, and even if it's not as good as Galaxy it's still the best portable Mario since the Game Boy.
  80. Nov 9, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land eases you in with creative level design and tight controls while leaving plenty of challenging content to be discovered.
  81. Nov 20, 2011
    There's fun here, and a great deal of content, with a whole second quest of new levels and remixed challenges waiting after you beat Bowser, but 3D Land is nonetheless weightless.
  82. Nov 10, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1364 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 13, 2011
    Super Mario 3D Land delivers a awesome 3D experience with great game play we expect from Mario. Everything is top notch for a portableSuper Mario 3D Land delivers a awesome 3D experience with great game play we expect from Mario. Everything is top notch for a portable experience and I can't put it down. I can't give it a 9.7 on here, so it's rounded up to 10. Buy it! Full Review »
  2. Dec 29, 2011
    Very enjoyable and one of the best reasons to a 3DS, everyone needs to own this game. The 3D in the game is by far the best 3D done on theVery enjoyable and one of the best reasons to a 3DS, everyone needs to own this game. The 3D in the game is by far the best 3D done on the system so far and it really shows what the system can do with a good 3D game. The levels are enjoyable as well as plentiful and it'll keep your attention for days. If you own the 3DS, then you most likely already own this game since it's probably the best original game to date. For others, this is the game that'll show off the true 3D capability the system can offer, unlike 90% of the rest of the games out there. Buy this game if you haven't already and you'll love it to death. Full Review »
  3. Nov 13, 2011
    This is one of my new favorite 3DS games it uses all the 3D technology and it is worth 40 bucks on release.Tho it is slow in the beginning andThis is one of my new favorite 3DS games it uses all the 3D technology and it is worth 40 bucks on release.Tho it is slow in the beginning and then picks up. I still would not rate this game low it is a must have if you own a 3DS. Especially for the holidays it is a great gift. Full Review »