Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
Buy Now
Buy on
  1. Pocket Games
    The bottom line is that this is Mario hop-n-bop action at its finest, with a goodly amount of minigames thrown into the mix for good measure... As great as it ever was. [Fall 2003, p.38]
  2. Cheat Code Central
    There's nothing that can take away the classic status of Super Mario Bros. 3. The game was released almost 15 years ago and is a platform game so unique and perfectly crafted that games today will still find themselves compared to it.
  3. 100
    Pretty much perfect... The whole thing is designed to make you want to play more. [Grade = A+; Nov 2003, p.68]
  4. 100
    While the game might be old - it's still one of the best games ever made. [Grade = A+]
  5. Play Magazine
    The challenge is also perfect, the quick-save option makes the game more playable without being cheap, and the e-Card features are icing on the cake. [Dec 2003, p.95]
  6. netjak
    They just don’t make games like this any more, and this particular game really shows us how far we’ve come and that you don’t need flashy graphics and surrond sound to have a mind-blowing game.
  7. Overall, it’s just "Super Mario 3," but that’s like saying it’s just a Lamborghini Diablo. This is the cream of the crop of almost all games, and to have your own copy to go with you wherever you go is worth the money for the game.
  8. This game still is one of the best, if not the best, 2D platformers ever made.
  9. 95
    Its timeless design holds up well into its 15th anniversary. But the fact that players can continue the experience with brand new level designs is phenomenal and just opens up a whole new dimension for replayability.
  10. Whether you've taken the journey before or have yet to play this unforgettable classic, you can't stop yourself from being consumed.
  11. Game Informer
    We finally have a high quality port of the game that is probably my favorite ever: "Super Mario Bros. 3." [Nov 2003, p.176]
  12. 95
    The potential and flexibility offered by the game's eReader support alone makes the previous Mario Advance titles look like rip-offs in comparison. Unless you're allergic to replay value and quality game design, you need this game.
  13. 95
    While lacking any truly new updates in graphics and sound, makes full use of the e-Reader, only adding to the overall potential that the game has to offer. It’s perhaps the first game to actually use the peripheral in any truly rewarding sense.
  14. Perfect controls. Perfectly constructed stages. Perfect graphics (for an old, trippy 2D game, that is). [Nov 2003, p.200]
  15. What makes Super Mario Brothers 3 a true classic are two things. First is the great level design. [JPN Import]
  16. Don't buy this game expecting a make over or new game, Advance 4 is the original but why change perfection?
  17. Nintendo Power
    It's the best-selling game of all-time for a reason, and it stands the test of time remarkably well. [Dec 2003, p.142]
  18. Newcomers to the game who are accustomed to the current game generation may be turned off by its astonishingly short playtime and lack of "100% clear" bonuses, while veterans will find very little reason to pick up this version unless they're willing to pony up for the e-Reader cards.
  19. 90
    It still succeeds in providing the player great fun through dozens of brilliantly designed worlds, but some innate limitations of the GBA hardware prevent it from being at the very top of its form.
  20. While the port’s plumbing has a few leaks, most of SMB3’s gameplay remains in pristine condition for the ultimate platforming experience.
  21. 90
    The e-Reader functions (new levels, cheats, gameplay elements like capes and hurlable veggies from other Mario titles) are very promising and help make up for the fact that this is a bit of a baby step back from "Super Mario World" and "Yoshi’s Island."
  22. 90
    Vastly improved over the original, and even the All-Stars version. [Import]
  23. SMB3 purists may be annoyed with some of the minor tweaks that have been made to the original game, but that shouldn't stop them from experiencing this incredible platformer all over again.
  24. But amidst all this dispensable extra substance is the core mechanic of Mario; the one thing that holds true to the series, and one thing that ensures Mario is leaps and bounds ahead of its platforming peers - inertia. The faster you run, the higher you jump. It's a brilliantly simple concept that works perfectly.

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
#3 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 245 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 245
  1. Aug 15, 2015
    The Game is a must buy for anyone who has a gameboy advance. Amazing levels, fine story, superb gameplay, Tons of good power ups. It's aThe Game is a must buy for anyone who has a gameboy advance. Amazing levels, fine story, superb gameplay, Tons of good power ups. It's a masterpiece. This was a huge step forward for the Mario series. So buy the game Full Review »
  2. Jan 31, 2012
    If you liked the classic Mario platforming games and if you played the original, then theres no more words I can say to get youIf you liked the classic Mario platforming games and if you played the original, then theres no more words I can say to get you convinced.....unless you hate Mario , but thats very dumb idiotic . Full Review »
  3. Mar 11, 2018
    Apart from nostalgia, can anyone give a good reason as to why this is a good game in 2017/2018? I didn't think so.