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Rating the Mario characters

Updated: 4 days ago

Art by Jessica Calaguas

Last year, I rated and extensively went into depth about my opinions on various characters in Lord of the Rings. Reading it back now, I can say that my obsession with the franchise was far past annoying, but I stand by every single thing I said in that article. As I was playing the new Mario game, Mario Wonder (it’s very un-noteworthy, by the way), I thought I should do something similar and express my very prominent opinions on the characters of this world. 

I rated each character mostly based on personal opinion, but also their character design, their role in the games they appear in, and the lore behind the character. I then gave each a general rating out of 5. Keep in mind that I am NOT ranking the characters, and the order that they are in means nothing. 

Photo from Hero's Wiki

“We’re gonna spike-bomb you into submission, punks!” 

Character design: 4/10

Role in games: 5/10

Lore: 5/10


Someone, please tell me what kind of animal Lakitu is. Also, how do you say his name, and is the cloud conscious? 

In any case, I have a love-hate relationship with this guy- he’s simultaneously my most and least favorite Koopa. How do you properly understand someone who attacks and protects you?

He’s like a double agent who has no alliance. For those unfamiliar with the Mario games, Lakitu is the character that saves you, for instance, when you drive off the map in Mario Kart or that takes pictures when you do something heroic. He’s also taken to umpiring tennis and baseball games as a true jack of all trades. Unfortunately, though, he’s not all nice. Lakitu’s weapons of choice are giant red spiky balls that he throws at you from his perch in the sky- much out of reach to kill with a jump or shell. All you can do is dodge them as you move on, wondering why this guy who just saved you two games ago is now your enemy. In his defense, I don’t think he gets to pick his assignments, he probably just does what he’s told. Although he could take a stand for himself and defend me instead, or at least let me drive in the wrong direction. In addition, his character design and lore are lacking, making for a very 2-dimensional character. I’d like to know more about this…turtle. For this, he gets ⅗ stars. Maybe it’ll go up if he takes a good picture for once. 

King Boo
Photo from Fandom

I am not afraid of you, fool! I fear only that infernal Poltergust 3000 you carry on your back! Stupid machine! But I am a KING among Boos! I swear it... I shall fear no mere house-cleaning device!!!” 

Character design: 8/10

Role in games: 8/10

Lore: 8/10


I think King Boo is misunderstood. Really, he just wants his mansion back. 

For no reason whatsoever, the Mario brothers have tirelessly attacked him and his boo army since discovering his mansion. After Luigi trapped him in a painting for years, he vowed to seek revenge and reclaim his title as “Master of Illusions.” Over the last however much time, King Boo has become obsessed with defeating Luigi and giving him the payback he deserves. He has even gone to the point of using his own boos as expendable resources, sacrificing them for the cause of showing these humans who the true king is. 

So, yes, King Boo has done some terrible things, but he’s also been through some serious traumatic events. Imagine being stuck in a PAINTING for years and years. That would be so claustrophobic and intensely boring- I would be mad at someone who did that to me too. So, it's understandable why he would be upset. Does it excuse the fact that he's tried to kill me multiple times in almost impossible boss battles? Maybe. It's not very fair to the other boos that this guy can teleport, use telekinesis, and shoot blue fire out of his mouth. I’m not sure what he did to earn his place as king, but he’s not doing a very good job of it. In any case, that doesn’t affect me, and I quite like the stylization of this character. It’s changed throughout the games he's appeared in, but the spooky, shadow-shrouded design is something I’m all for. In general, I like him better than many of the villains in the Mario world. 4¼. 

Rosalina and Luma 
Photo from Deviant Art

"My name is Rosalina. I watch over and protect the cosmos. To save your special one, you'll need the power to travel through space."

Character Design: 10/10 

Role in Games: 8/10

Lore: 9/10 

🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗 4½ 

I love Rosalina and Luma. Almost as much as I love my favorite character. With her stunning debut in Super Mario Galaxy and a very helpful sidekick, she’s one of the most beloved characters across the platform. As leader/mother of the Lumas and caretaker of the Comet Observatory, she also has some huge responsibilities. One of the largest reasons I like this character is the complexity of her backstory. When she first meets Luma, Rosalina tries to help her find her mother. They go on a quest which I won’t go into detail on, but Rosalina ends up figuring out that her own mother is dead. Coming to terms with this, she builds a home for her and the rest of the Lumas and takes them under her wing. She serves as protector of the cosmos and is never seen without her trusty star. 

In most games that aren’t her own, Rosalina is an overpowered character. She has all the best stats and is usually a character you unlock. One of the reasons I like her so much is the connection to Luma. If you're in a game where Luma is helping you, navigating and fighting is that much easier. I’m also a huge fan of her character design. The sorcerer magic princess thing going on is extremely aesthetically pleasing and unique. All in all, she's definitely in my top 3 Mario characters. 4½ stars for her.

Photo from Fandom

“Hello there! Everyone calls me Birdo, but you can call me anytime” ⋆˙⟡♡⟡⋆˙

Character Design: 1/10

Role in Games:  3/10

Lore:  1/10

🌗🌑🌑🌑🌑 ½/5

Absolutely no words can describe how much I hate Birdo.

This may seem unfounded (and maybe it is) so if you for some reason like this atrocity of a character…I’m sorry. First of all, what in the world is the character design? It’s giving a coquette girl gone wrong mixed with a T-rex. And the mouth. Who sat in the Nintendo drawing room like, “Yeah, I think it would be so cool if she had a gaping hole in her face that she shoots eggs out of.” It’s not cute.

It’s not just her weirdly built face though, it’s the fact that she’s absolutely insufferable for no reason. Birdo’s whole act is that she’s supposed to be all flirty, cute, and playful- but it actually comes off as the exact opposite. I’m not sure if the character was designed to be annoying, but that's probably her only personality trait. She flirts with virtually anyone and everyone in the vicinity. In addition, she's said to be Yoshi’s girlfriend? First of all, how did that happen? Yoshi does not deserve such treatment. Second of all, she’s totally cheating. She literally flirts with you as she’s standing next to him with zero ounces of shame.

Besides this, her one barely redeeming quality is that she’s a pretty versatile character. Birdo was originally portrayed as the enemy but has taken on a more neutral form over time. I did enjoy her role in Superstar Saga, I thought she was fun to battle and I wish they made her like that more often. Does she deserve this hate? Maybe, maybe not. ½ stars.

Photo from Fandom

"Aww, robots no eat Luigi! Yoshi eat robots!"

Character Design: 10/10

Role in Games: 10/10

Lore: 10/10

🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕 5/5

No one can argue with me when I say Yoshi is the best Mario character. There's just something about him that puts him above everyone else. It’s just the Yoshi effect. He's this charismatic, feel-good character in all of his variations, and stars in, what in my opinion are, some of the best Mario games of the franchise. Yoshi’s Woolly World and Yoshi’s Crafted World were my whole childhood, with arguably some of the best concepts and graphics across games. The character design and function are simple but loveable, in cute pastel colors and sound effects. 

Surprisingly, Yoshi isn’t actually a dinosaur, but a species of his own. I also love the concept of the Yoshi species, and that they're supposed to be this whimsical little colony of animals that live together and frolic around in the woods all day. The Yoshi language or the little sounds they make are also adorable, and you can’t tell me the classic, “Yoshiiii” isn’t iconic. 

Yoshi also plays different roles across games, most commonly as Mario’s trusty ride. In addition, he is one of the best characters to play in games like Mario Kart, as he’s balanced and grounded. I’m obviously very biased as I’ve been repping Yoshi for years, but all in all, I believe that this character tops the charts. He just needs to get away from Birdo. 5 stars.

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