The Definitive 50 GameCube Games: #28 Super Mario Strikers

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

You know, Mario is an exceptional athlete. Despite his rotund figure, the plumber has embarked on numerous athletic endeavors, and perhaps never so often as on the GameCube.

Mario starred in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario Superstar Baseball, and Mario Power Tennis. He even made appearances in games other than his own: NBA Street V3 and SSX on Tour.

All great games worth checking out. But in my opinion, the best Mario sports game on the GameCube was Super Mario Strikers!

Strikers is pure, raucous insanity played out on a soccer field.

Players select one of eight (or is that nine?) captains, each a legend in the pantheon of Mario gods, then one of four groups of sidekicks: Toads, Koopas, Birdos, or Hammer Bros.

After that, it’s off to the violent and unpredictable field where players can mercilessly slam into one another, shoot volatile Super Strikes at unsuspecting goalies, and generally have a dangerous time.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mario spin-off without the items. This one allows competitors to hurl everything from green shells and Bob-ombs to Chain Chomps at one another.

Mario Strikers does include the standard Cup battles, but the real fun is getting a few friends together for some Grudge Match action. Up to four can play, with any combination able to play on one side or another. Prepare to hate each other.

Mario Strikers led to an even better received sequel on Wii, Mario Strikers Charged, which features some of that system’s best online action.