Super Mario Galaxy is a brilliant game, and the best Nintendo game since the almighty Ocarina of Time. It’s a Wii game that feels like that’s what it’s always been. And all without a minigame in sight.
It’s probably best to explain here why it’s not number one. I’ve said in the past that I think Super Mario 64 is almost flawless, and a game that is maybe possibly kind of a bit better (or is it, etc?) should surely then go straight in at the top of the list and all subsequent ones. Well…no. And it’s not you, it’s me.
I just don’t feel it like I used to, and I don’t know how to explain it without sounding really shallow. Mario Galaxy’s story is a bit more prominent than Mario 64’s and the talking stars get on my nerves. The platforming is still as good as ever, basically playing like those suspended play areas that made up the Bowser levels extended to fill an entire game, but the camera hasn’t moved on with the imaginations of the developers and therefore technical issues which were occasional niggles in 1996/97 are now more problematic.
Don’t let my justification of the placement make it sound like I’m entirely down on the game. It just seems that most are putting this at number one almost out of duty because it’s Mario and because Nintendo are the kings of their castle again, and as a result I have to justify my blasphemy. And it’s not because the Wii having almost nothing all year and then stealing in to take its second top spot running would annoy me.
That Mario Galaxy is one of the best games of the year is beyond doubt and, really, the ultimate number is irrelevant. Just knowing that it’s Nintendo’s best in years speak more than any single digit.