My Favorite Mario World Hacks


One of the best think about RetroAchievements is variety. You may think “RetroAchievements is a site that makes old games cooler” but you would be far from truth, there is a bunch of homebrews, which are basically indie games for old consoles, and then there are hacks, which are an edit of an actual retro games.

I want to focus on hacks for a game Super Mario World, for which hacks started being made since 1999, and to this day it’s the biggest hacking community of the internet. So there is no surprise we have at the moment of writing this sets for 87 hacks, since I’ve mastered all of them, I’ve decided to type my favorites I would recommend for you to play

Number 10

Game Author Difficulty / Length
\~Hack~ Mario is Missing! Done Right ~Hack~ Mario is Missing! Done Right stfN1337 [Normal / 90 Exits]

Out of dozens of mediocre hacks by Gamma V this one is simply the best and actually good one. The levels are simple, yet they have custom looks attached to them, you’re going to travel from swamps with sinking mud to treetops wtih with moving wooden platforms and saws. The difficulty has kinda nice curve, becoming kinda hard at the end. The best part of this hack, is that it has nothing to do with Mario is missing, so it’s better

Number 9

Game Author Difficulty / Length
\~Hack~ Super Kitiku Mario / Brutal Mario ~Hack~ Super Kitiku Mario / Brutal Mario BenGhazi [Hard / 90 Exits]

This one is hard to rate for me, the main game has nice difficulty curve, and every level is cool with interesting gimmicks and bosses, heck, this game has a reference of dozens of franchises. If I had to listen every interesting part of it, there would be no space on the news page.

The only issues making it not in top 3 is that it only works on inaccurate emulator (or ones with old hack compatibility options) and the second issue is the last worlds roms, one with super mega koopas, and the second one with half an hour level with half an hour bossfight with no checkpoint. That’s a must play for everyone interesting in most important SMW hacks if you’re able do deal with those shortcomings,

Number 8

Game Author Difficulty / Length
\~Hack~ New Super Mario World 1: The Twelve Magic Orbs ~Hack~ New Super Mario World 1: The Twelve Magic Orbs siouxerskate and stfN1337 [Hard / 112 Exits]

This one is a mustplay for someone looking for something more from SWM, you prefer leaf power up or tanuki suit over cape? Well you can have all of them. From trowing boomerangs and hammers to freezing enemies with ice flower and throwing the ice cubes. The areas here are super varied going from towns full of enemies and buildings to chill crystal caves. This one has nice difficulty curve, starting from vanilla game one, and ending harder than it, The hack is made of 12 world and is over 100 exits, it will keep you entertained for dozens of hours

Number 7

Game Author Difficulty / Length
\~Hack~ Invictus ~Hack~ Invictus viniciuskombat [Kaizo: Light / 22 Exits]

Invictus stand for “unconquered” in latin, for a good reason

Since kaizo hacks are a giant subgenre of hacks for SMW, I had to pick atleast one on the list. I’ve picked this one for a few reasons. The hack is medium difficulty, meaning it represents the average difficulty of kaizo hacks. The levels are short and generous with checkpoints. And the last one is that the levels in it are fair and have interesting gimmicks. The last part, this hack is a good teacher, sure you will die, but you will learn, and you will overcome

Number 6

Game Author Difficulty / Length
\~Hack~ Hack ~Hack~ Hack Bl4h8L4hBl4h [Normal / 9 Exits]

This place is for every hack called hack on RA. Because they have similar concept - What if we took game core mechanics and changed one for each level? This hack answers this question, from jumps for coins to respawning after death, this hack never bored me, and I was always excited to see set for next one. It’s only six because it doesn’t feel “like a complete game”, but it succeeds where it aims at, which is random, entertaining levels.

Number 5

Game Author Difficulty / Length
\~Hack~ The Second Reality Project Reloaded ~Hack~ The Second Reality Project Reloaded msdmario [Very Hard / 117 Exits]

This hack is one of the most famous and important hacks, it was made in 2002, and remade years later, the creator of it was an idol figure for SMW hacking community. The hack has music made by the game creator, and bunch of custom sprites to make the game overwordly, entire secret world is cool, the difficulty kinda spikes towards the end, the story is interesting, and the levels even though simple, require your attention

Number 4

Game Author Difficulty / Length
\~Hack~ SMW2+3: The Essence Star ~Hack~ SMW2+3: The Essence Star Haruda [Normal / 45 Exits]

This hack is more an adventure story game than a platformer. Searching for permanent upgrades, character cards, buch of quirky characters, and reading and taking part in a story. You also do little quests for a rewards. This game has a money system too, you can buy from permanent upgrades, to keys for additional exits and power-ups with 1-ups. And the story that the game tells is really interesting, my favorite NPC is probably Francine

Number 3

Game Author Difficulty / Length
\~Hack~ Quest on Full Moon Island ~Hack~ Quest on Full Moon Island MagusPC [Normal / 32 Exits]

I would compare this hack to The second reality project reloaded in terms of artstyle and level design, but actually more welcoming and begginer friendly. This hack has really good atmosphere, fitting for october. The levels itself are fun, from either autoscroller full of noteblocks, or you fall into a hole into a rainy world, or a level that’s styled after SMB1, because why not. I know it’s unrelated to the hack, but I really like the badges for that one

Number 2

Game Author Difficulty / Length
\~Hack~ Super Mario World: Return to Dinosaur Land ~Hack~ Super Mario World: Return to Dinosaur Land siouxerskate [Normal / 59 Exits]

Want to play a hack that’s basically SMW, but with new levels and concepts reused in a creative way? Well this is for you, you will go around familiar looking, yet different levels. This hack is basically an unofficial Sequel to Super Mario World, and I reccoment playing this one after you play the original game, it’s a really good place to start your adventure with Mario World hacks

Number 1

Game Author Difficulty / Length
\~Hack~ JUMP / Janked Up Mario Party ~Hack~ JUMP / Janked Up Mario Party jared6502 [Very Hard / 125 Exits]

Oh boy. This one brings me tears of joy into my eyes, remember beating this hack three time, the last one was the most fun one for me. Waiting months to replay it again was worth it. This hack was made by dozens of competent level designers, and turned out to be bigger than anticipated.

Every level is unique in it’s gimmick and it difficulty, being from vanilla to few levels being kaizo, most of those kaizo levels you can skip. Dragon coins are actually useful, letting you unlock permanent power-ups on your journey. Even though every level is made by a different developer, they all still fit into it’s place. In my opinion, this hack represents what SMW hacks are the most. But beating it isn’t an easy task. Stockpile on some 1-ups and just JUMP into it and hope for the best.