Super Mario Maker 2 has been out for a while now, and if how things have gone with the game so far is any indication, creators have only begun to scratch the surface of what crazy shenanigans are possible in the level editor.
From murder mysteries to table tennis to mini-golf, people are getting more creative with the engine day by day. The problem is that short of combing through each of the Course World tabs for hours to get your fix of the best new Mario Maker 2 courses, there isn’t really a great way to search out the most stunning, fun, challenging, and creative levels.
That’s where we come in! We’ve done the combing for you, so you don’t have to. Here are (some of) the 10 best Super Mario Maker 2 levels so far!
Super Mario Bros. Abridged
Course ID: MKT-YB4-FTG
Created by Griffin McElroy of My Brother, My Brother, And Me fame, Super Mario Bros. Abridged is incredibly impressive. Griffin has condensed and crammed the entirety of Super Mario Bros. for the NES into one short level, by compressing each of its stages into bite-sized pieces.
Each short stage is lovingly recreated, and there are even warp zones to allow you to skip all the way to the end,though we’d recommend playing through the whole thing!
Getting Over It with Super Mario
Course ID: D44-FJG-VJG
If you thought that last level was tough… maybe skip this one. If you’re familiar with Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, you already know a little bit of what to expect out of this stage. If you don’t, prepare for frustration.
Creator hellbarf’s simple act of turning stage 1-1 on its side, forcing you to climb all the way up the stage, creates a trial-and-error heavy level that is incredibly difficult despite the fact that you’re unlikely to die. You’ll just fall back to the start and lose all of your progress, again and again and again.
Course ID: PW5-54X-VQF
Though there are a bunch of stages that feature quick-fire minigame challenges, this one is our favorite. This WarioWare, Inc.-inspired stage is an exercise in stress, just like the game it’s based on. The level’s 10 minigames are fun, creative, and feature just the right level of difficulty to keep players coming back despite the lack of checkpoints.
The Great Plateau
Course ID: R0C-3X4-DQF
No surprises here: Garrett64’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild stage is a global favorite in Mario Maker 2, and it is so for good reason. Plenty of exploration stages exist, and many are notable (we’re going to get to another one later on in the list!) but the brilliant way in which Garrett64 creates a Zelda-like atmosphere in the level makes this one something special.
The best way to play this stage is to take your time exploring the shrines, getting chased by the guardian, and taking in the scenery. Don’t be afraid to let the timer run out a few times just because you’re exploring, there’s a ton of stuff to find out there.
Tetris Musical Madness!
Course ID: M3D-G6Y-X3G
One of our favorite subgenres of Super Mario Maker 2 stages are the rhythm challenge stages. Usually, these are short-but-sweet stages where you must time your jumps to the beat in order to win.
Much like the 20-second speedrun stages, if your timing is on point, you’ll be fine, but a combination of tense and pulsing music, with an abundance of obstacles, makes Tetris Musical Madness a blast to play.
Spin-Jump Up The Skytree!
Course ID: 0N1-G0N-2VG
Another Griffin McElroy joint, Spin-Jump Up The Skytree is a decent introduction into the kind of precision platforming you’ll need if you want to challenge levels by famed “kaizo” level makers like GlitchCat, Panga, and GrandPOOBear.
Griffin is stingy with checkpoints here, but if you persevere, you’ll find a creatively designed and satisfyingly difficult stage.
Random Level Generator 1.0
Course ID: Y08-JMQ-C3G
In an incredibly ambitious move, creator SKELUX has, in effect, created a stage that is different every time you play it.
Using a combination of Bob-ombs and Magikoopas, you get to see platforms and pits get carved out of the blocks before you actually play the stage. Then, after you clear it, SKELUX allows you to go back through a door, causing the stage to be carved away further, challenging players to see how many cycles of the randomizer they can clear. It’s a unique concept, and one that we hadn’t seen before.
Kamek’s Transformation Curse
Course ID: R1D-788-WYF
Massive creativity points to Lea96, who has, with some sly camera manipulation, created a stage where it seems like you’re controlling a Monty Mole through a series of platforming puzzles.
Though the stage isn’t necessarily difficult, the theming and storytelling on display is clear, to say nothing of the fact that trying to control Monty Mole is a hilarious exercise in and of itself.
The Dragon’s Lair
Course ID: 63M-B3H-3HG
Another exploration stage in the vein of The Great Plateau, The Dragon’s Lair offers a bit more space to play around, a few more puzzles, and a higher difficulty level than its Zelda-inspired cousin. The theming, however, is still wonderful, so expect the timer to run out on you as you explore the half-sunken undersea temple to find the dragon within.
Cliffy Me Softly With His Song
Course ID: SSW-FGK-PYF
Now that we’ve warmed you up, here’s a real jerk of a level to close out. In a stunning feat of both musicianship and level design, com_poser has designed an incredibly difficult rhythm challenge level to the tune of “Killing Me Softly (With His Song).”
As you play, you’ll notice that even though the stage is not as linear as most rhythm challenges, jumping and performing actions along to the beat makes things a whole lot easier. Be warned, this is by far the toughest level on the list; we haven’t even beaten it (yet).
Protip: If you get to the end, be patient and don’t jump up to the final door right away. You need the dry bones shell to survive an end-level troll!
Now that we’ve given your our favorite Super Mario Maker 2 levels, what are yours? Let us know in the comments. And if you want to check out my foosball-inspired level, the code is 2YR-M48-SNG!