by Goran Damnjanovic, Gaming Columnist
Published in Gaming on 22nd November, 2019
Check out every single game starring (and co-starring) Luigi, Mario's brother who's always pushed to the side when there's a certain princess in need of saving.
Poor Luigi. The second violin, the other brother, the player 2 (Mario was always reserved for the owner of the console, duh) in every Super Mario Bros. game.
He was nothing more than "that green dude who isn't Mario" for decades. And even when he had gotten his first game it was all about Mario. The title of the game was Mario is Missing!
We reckon many players were hugely disappointed when they discovered they had to play with Luigi the whole time. But, over the years, Luigi received a fair number of games where he was the star of where he was at least on par with his older brother (Mario & Luigi series of games).
The number of games grew and with the release of the recent Luigi's Mansion 3, there are 11 games in total with Luigi in their name or where Luigi is the main star (like in the Mario is Missing! title).
While that seems like a lot of games - after all, Luigi has more games than many other prominent video game characters - they are nothing compared to the number of games starring Mario, which counts for about 200 games in total!
So yes, Luigi's video game legacy is nothing compared to Mario's but at least the guy has some cult classic games with his name on them.
Luigi's Mansion games are one of the most original Nintendo Franchise ever; Mario is Missing was a bold experiment in video games, one of the first play and learn titles; Mario & Luigi titles are excellent RPGs with best stories in Mario franchise and unique control scheme where players control both brothers at the same time. All in all, while Luigi isn't as near as popular as Mario, he has some excellent games under his name.
Luigi's Mansion was one of the first games released for Nintendo Game Cube before any game starring Mario came out. The title was a bold experiment, a 3D action-adventure with survival horror elements (not in actual jump scares or gory visuals but in some gameplay elements) coated in family-friendly graphics Nintendo is known for.
It was the first game starring Luigi since 1992 and Mario is Missing! and the first game that had Luigi in the name.
The story follows Luigi who won a creepy mansion in a contest, even though he didn't even know about the contest.
He agrees to meet with Mario in front of the mansion but soon finds out that Mario is missing (yup, like in the SNES title) so he decides to enter the mansion and find his brother.
He soon finds out the mansion is crawling with ghosts from a professor E. Gadd and that King Boo trapped Mario inside a painting. He then embarks on a rescue mission that includes lots of ghosts, lots of exploring, and lots of puzzles to solve.
Inside the mansion, Luigi fights ghosts, which he has to capture with his faithful vacuum cleaner and each stage features puzzles in need of solving in order for the player to locate the key that unlocks the next stage.
The original gameplay and marvelous level design were the main selling points of the game along with amazing visuals (at the time) and superb voice acting. The game was very successful ending up as one of the best-selling titles for the Game Cube.
The massive success of the first game guaranteed a sequel but fans of the series had to wait whole 12 years for it to happen.
Finally, in 2013 Nintendo released Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (known as Luigi's Mansion 2 in Europe and North America) and the game soon become a smashing hit on the Nintendo 3DS.
Instead of exploring just one haunted mansion, Luigi has to explore five of them in total all of which are scattered across Evershade Valley. He ultimately fights King Boo again and rescues Mario (again).
The game uses unique 3DS hardware to create original adventure title filled with exploration and environmental puzzles. There are also lots of treasures to collect and each level is designed as a large floor filled with locked doors, ghosts hiding in shadows, and clever puzzles that were a joy to solve.
The unique vacuum cleaner gameplay (you can use the vacuum cleaner both to fight ghosts and to manipulate objects) is one of the best things about the game and the addition of cooperative multiplayer gave the game immense replay value, something that was severely lacking in the first Luigi's Mansion title.
Luckily, we've waited for Luigi's Mansion 3 for five years, not more than a decade. The game has been slowly building hype for about a year before it got released on Halloween 2019 and once again, Luigi has to explore haunted rooms, free Mario and stop King Boo from turning everyone into ghosts.
This time players explore a haunted hotel divided into 16 floors and each floor can be freely explored. Players can switch between floors with an elevator and return to floors they've already visited in order to solve secrets and open doors with new powers they gained in the meantime.
The gameplay once again revolves around solving puzzles and capturing ghosts but this time levels are much larger than in previous two games which makes for a bigger game filled with huge levels that hide stupendous amounts of secrets and treasures and everyone who likes exploration in video games will love playing Luigi's Mansion 3. The game is amazing and filled with clever puzzles and enjoyable gameplay that features lots of new elements.
Luigi's Mansion 3 features amazing visuals and superb voice acting that. combined with clever gameplay, lots of exploration, and superb level design, make the game one of the fan-favorite titles for the Nintendo Switch and the best game of the series. If you had to pick just one game from Luigi's Mansion series to play, you have to pick Luigi's Mansion 3.
Mario is Missing! was the first game to star Luigi and the first educational game made by Nintendo. The game came out for MS-DOS and Mac computers and was one of the last multiplatform Nintendo games. Something like this would be unimaginable today but back then Nintendo did occasionally release multiplatform titles.
Anyway, the game is a combination of a point-and-click adventure and platforming game where Bowser somehow reaches our world and plans to conquer it by melting the ice of Antarctica.
Mario and Luigi follow him but Mario got captured by Bowser and now it's all on Luigi to save his brother and our world. The game visits many famous places such as New York, Tokyo, Paris, the pyramids of Giza, etc.
In each location, Luigi has to first find where he is and then find out which artifacts are missing. Artifacts include historical items such as famous paintings, other works of art, or even buildings such as Big Ben.
The game is filled with conversations with locals and light puzzle-solving and at times Luigi and Yoshi (the second playable character) have to overcome obstacles in game's platforming levels. The game ended up as a success and is probably the last game from Nintendo released on platforms other than Nintendo's video game consoles.
This is a Super Mario Bros. game but without Mario. Yes, Luigi finally received his own 2D platforming title and we have to say that Nintendo did a great job with this one.
Each level is designed specifically for Luigi and his higher jumping ability and while the game is another take on the timeless Mario Bros. formula New Super Luigi U is one of the best Mario Bros. games we've played.
It's probably just the fact we couldn't play with Mario but we really liked the game because it requires more skill and precision and is, most of the time, noticeably harder than other Mario Bros. games.
If you want a different and original Mario Bros. game or if you simply got bored of playing 2D platformers starring Mario, New Super Luigi U is a fine choice.
Dr. Luigi is a Dr. Mario game but, you know, with Luigi instead of Mario. And overall, the game is fun to play in case you like Dr. Mario games. There are four game modes to pick from, two of which feature the classic progression system where you unlock new stages by beating current ones. These two, Retro Remedy and Operation L, can also be played in multiplayer where you have to beat a level before your opponent.
One mode, called Virus Buster, is a sort of a high score mode where you have to survive for as long as possible while viruses fill your screen in gradually larger numbers. The final game mode is an online multiplayer mode that features randomly generated levels. Dr. Luigi was a solid puzzle game but nothing more than that.
Mario & Luigi is an RPG game series where Luigi plays equally important role as Mario so we decided to count games from the series as Luigi video games.
These are excellent RPG titles that feature an original control scheme where players control both Mario and Luigi at the same time. The other noteworthy feature of the series is the story, that's much better than in other games starring Mario and Luigi sans Luigi's Mansion.
The first game of the series is called Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga and it first came out for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. The first thing we have to talk about is visuals, which were unreal for a humble portable console back in the day.
Everything is richly colored; sprites are incredibly detailed and levels are quite large compared to other RPGs on the GBA.
The story is wild, silly, and quite original and it involves brothers visiting a completely new kingdom filled with old enemies and bad guys who want to steal Princess Peach's voice and replace it with, wait for it, explosives! From then on, the story goes all over the place, with unexpected plot twists and an excellent ending.
Battles are turn-based but they require full focus because pressing buttons at just the right time gives attacks bonus power and make fights easier. Overall, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga is an excellent RPG game and a superb first game of the series.
The game received a remake in 2017 for the 3DS with updated visuals and a new story.
The second game of the Mario & Luigi RPG series sees brothers trying to save the Mushroom Kingdom both in the present and past, which makes for one of the most original gameplay systems of all time.
The game, which was released for the Nintendo DS, uses both DS's screens. The top one shows Mario and Luigi as kids and the bottom one shows them as adults. Players can control all four brothers at the same time and they can also pick which pair to control at any time.
This creates incredible moments where you really wonder just how Nintendo managed to turn something that looks so complex into a simple control scheme that works flawlessly.
Visuals are better than in the first game but this time they weren't ahead of time. Nevertheless, the game looked pretty on the DS with colorful levels and detailed graphics.
The story isn't as good as in the first game but it doesn't matter because of the original gameplay. Another excellent RPG game and an excellent game where Luigi plays an equally important role as his older brother.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story sees players controlling Mario, Luigi, but also Bowser. In an excellent plot, the Mushroom Kingdom is infected with a mysterious disease and Bowser takes the chance and invades Peach Castle. Mario and Luigi defeat him and he then ingests a mushroom that makes him sick.
From then on the story involves Bowser inhaling Mario, Luigi, and Peach, then he passes out. Bad guys taking control of both Bowser's and Peaches' castle and, and Bowser joining Mario and Luigi in taking those who brought the disease out of the Mushroom Kingdom. This is one of the best stories in the whole Super Mario universe.
The game became a massive success because of its amazing story and the unique gameplay where players finally could play as Bowser (who was also a good guy for a change) was praised by players and critics alike.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story ended as one of the best games for the Nintendo DS, a massive success since the console had tons of masterpiece titles in its library.
The remake of the game came out for the 3DS in 2018 and it featured massive gameplay changes that made the game even better than the original, even though poor sales numbers suggested otherwise.
The first Mario & Luigi title for the Nintendo 3DS, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, is another solid RPG but the game didn't reach the fame of its predecessors. Visuals took a massive upgrade over Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story with excellent 3D backgrounds accompanied by detailed 2D character models.
This created an interesting combination of 3D levels that take place in the real world and 2D, Super Mario Bros.-like levels, taking place in Luigi's dreams.
Players again control Mario and Luigi at the same time, which never gets old. But this time brothers can unlock special joined attacks that are more powerful than regular ones and that can be unlocked by collecting special Attacks Blocks.The story takes place in Pi'illo Island where Mario and Luigi must defeat Bowser (he's again the bad guy) and other adversaries who want to take the Dream Stone for themselves. A solid game that was too simple, too easy, and took too long to complete.
The final game where Luigi plays a prominent role is the final (at the moment) title in Mario & Luigi RPG saga titled Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. The game came out in 2015 but it was a failure.
Designers wanted to improve the gameplay and refresh the series with new elements but most of the experimentation proved as fruitless and the general reception was poor compared to other games from the series.
The story, which combined regular and Paper Mario worlds, was pretty good but poor gameplay combined with the oversaturation of Mario games at the time made the game flop. This was the last Mario & Luigi RPG title and second to last game where Luigi played a main or equally important role as Mario.