Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday) Part 4 Finale The Top Five Levels of Super Mario 64!
Today, we finally wrap up our series of ranking every Super Mario 64 level.
Check out the previous parts here:
Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday) Part 1
Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday[Saturday]) Part 2
Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday) Part 3
Separately the top 5 was pretty difficult. Some of my favorite levels such as Snowman Land and Whomp’s Fortress have already appeared on the list. Meanwhile, a few levels that are not exactly my favorite, still remain at large.
#5 Big Boo’s Haunt- This personally might be my favorite level. I’m not sure where the general consensus is for this stage but I tried to be relatively unbiased here. I like that the mansion has three floors but I wish there some more variety in the rooms. It would have been cool to see a kitchen or master bedroom area. Still this level is fun to explore, has the boos and the coins and stars are pretty easy to run around and claim.
#4 Tall, Tall Mountain- This is a level I didn’t really care for before making this list. The mountain can be a hassle to climb, the falls can be demoralizing and the Monkey is a pain in the butt. However, this level is truly epic. While it lacks some of the complexity of other levels. The ascent up the mountain, while not perfect, is one of the highlights of the game. Theres some variety in the missions and of course, this level has a slide! So bonus points.
#3 Shifting Sand Land- Again, another level I had absolute disdain for growing up. The sand has insta kill sections, climbing the pyramid can be more of a chore than the mountain of Tall Tall Mountain, and the bird can steal your hat. While those can be big detractors, this level was certainly out of their comfort zone. It is one of the first levels to truly challenge you. On top of that, exploration is another huge plus here. The pyramid feels like it’s own level. It is filled with plenty of puzzle-esque sections, challenging platforming parts and some secrets thrown in to keep you on your toes. This certainly wouldn’t be in my top 5 favorites, but I appreciate all the things it did.
#2 Bomb-Omb Battlefield- Another level that is absolutely up in my top favorites. It is just a massive sandbox for platforming. And platforming and exploration are the two biggest strengths of the game. Sure, the level lacks complexity found in later levels which hinders some of the exploration. However, this level is absolutely iconic. It has a surprisingly amount of diversity for the first level. The Wing Cap combined with the cannon is a crazy combo. The floating island in the sky immediately encourages wonder and curiosity. Who will ever forget being greeted by the bombs, having to slip past the Chain Chomp and finally scaling King Bomb-Omb’s mountain? There’s a handful of secrets, enemies, and interesting areas to keep this level feeling fresh and exciting.
#1 Tick Tock Clock- I absolutely hated this level as a kid. The 100 coins in this course was one of the last stars I ever got, putting it off until my adulthood… However, climbing Tick Tock Clock feels like a real achievement. There’s several branching paths, difficult enemies, secret coins and stars and plenty more. It harbors some of the most annoying stars that you can feel proud of yourself for conquering. It’s a level you can complete several times over and have a different experience each time you run through it. That’s because depending on which quarter of the clock you jump in at (12, 3, 6 and 9) will determine the speed of the moving parts. You can double the speed, slow it down, randomize it or even bring it to a dead stop. This provides plenty of different strategies and playthroughs. In this example, you try to get the 8 red coins with the platforms stopped (Generally considered the easiest way to beat it.) Or you could have the platforms speed randomized. I will say Rainbow Ride is equally, if not harder, than Tick Tock Clock. However, Tick Tock Clock seems like a more professional and cohesively designed level whereas Rainbow Ride feels more thrown together. This level combines many of the aspects that make Mario 64 so great, There’s a massive tower to explore, plenty of sections allow and encourage precise platforming, and the difficulty is balanced so that the trek is not easy but not overly ridiculous either. For the fact that this level fuses what makes all other levels great in their own way into one level makes it stand out to me.
So, what did you think of this list? Feel free to leave your own opinions in the comments down below. There will be plenty more list and reviews in the future so make sure you are following the blog!