Super Mario Odyssey’s Theme is Great, But These Mario Covers are Better

Inspired by musical excellence that has spanned several decades, many YouTubers have covered Mario themes, attempting to emulate the songs that made Nintendo a household name.

The new theme for Super Mario Odyssey is nothing short of stellar, embracing a musical styling that has never been explored by a Mario game before. The most evident change in style is the fact that this theme has vocals -- and incredible ones at that. The theme feels perfectly at home in any Broadway musical, reflecting the game's New York inspirations.

But as good as this new theme is, there are some other iterations that give it a serious run for its money. There are a number of Mario covers by fans that rival this masterpiece -- and in the next few slides, we're rounding up some of the best.

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Mario 64: Dire Dire Docks

VGM Acoustic

Dire Dire Docks is among the most relaxing levels in all of Mario 64 -- at least on an auditory level. Tom Winters capitalizes on the soothing tones of the game perfectly, playing all of the instruments that are used throughout the score using just an acoustic guitar. The result is positively beautiful.

It's practically a lullaby for those familiar with the Nintendo 64 title. 

Super Mario Sunshine: Delfino Plaza


Super Mario Sunshine has an audio-visual style unlike any of the other Mario games -- and the cover above shows exactly why the GameCube classic stands out. Many of the instruments used are never featured in other titles simply because they are so emblematic of the game's island theme.

User SquidPhysics plays each instrument in this cover, and captures the holistically joyous tone of the game with each strum of his ukulele. 

Super Mario Athlete's Rag Air Platform

Tom Brier

Tom Brier performs this classic tune from Super Mario World while seeing the sheet music for the first time -- and executes it perfectly. He even gives it a stronger sense of ragtime style, probably from never hearing the original song before. However, this combination allows for an equally interesting cover to come about.

At the end of the cover, Tom Brier goes on to perform the song even faster with equal ease. "Piece of cake."

Super Mario Bros Meets Metal


331Erock is easily one of the most famous guitarists on YouTube, and this Super Mario Bros cover serves as a reminder of why. He's known for completely adapting songs from TV, film, and games alike into intense masterpieces.

Over the course of this particular cover, 331Erock plays themes from all across the first level of the NES title and is able to make it completely his own. Killer guitar solos and heavy riffs somehow never feel out of place as the musician creates something that nearly rivals the original in terms of its distinctiveness. 

Super Mario Bros. 3: Overworld 1 Acapella

Smooth McGroove

Smooth McGroove has over 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube for his acapella covers, thanks to his magnificent vocals and equally magnificent facial hair. His cover of this Super Mario 3 tune provides the same sensation of hearing the iconic theme for the first time, while still feeling totally fresh. The high-pitched vocals and swingy beat create an immediate earworm, and may very well be some of Mr. McGroove's best work. 


All of these covers are successful because they don't stop at just mimicking the original soundtrack from classic Mario games. Instead, they move beyond the point of imitation and reflect something about the people that make them. From island beats to metal tracks, each cover also underscores just how influential the Mario series continues to be for a number of inspired musicians.

What are some of your fan-made Mario song covers? Let us know down in the comments! 

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