There have been enough themed editions of Monopoly over the years to make it easy to lose track. When we stop to look back at them though, it’s hard not to consider 2017’s Super Mario Bros. Celebration Edition to be one of the best of the bunch.
One reason this game stands out is that it marked an interesting intersection between two wildly popular gaming properties that have busily innovated in recent years.
Where Super Mario Bros. is concerned, the franchise has actually engaged in fairly active expansion of late. Most notable have been new game releases for the Nintendo Switch (which some consider to be the best Mario games since the GameCube) and a move into the app space with fresh mobile titles. Then again, there’s also the Mario-themed Uno game we highlighted once before (which was released in 2016). The leaders and creators behind the property just always seem to be up for something new, so long as it has legitimate potential to entertain.
Monopoly, meanwhile, has only become a more innovative gaming property over the years as well. Anyone who’s a fan of the game knows that there are always fun new boards and editions coming out, but Monopoly has moved into newer spaces as well. On the app front, perhaps inevitably, Monopoly Mobile has become a popular title. The Gamer’s review notes that it’s an excellent single-player experience, though some users do take issue with multiplayer performance. Meanwhile, in another corner of the gaming industry altogether, Monopoly has also been adapted as an online Slingo game. This version has been a hit in internet casino circles, to the point that it actually made a 2020’s most popular games list by Foxy Games in the category.
Considering all of these new concepts and adaptations, it makes perfect sense that Mario and Monopoly would find each other from time to time. And the result in the case of the 2017 Celebration Edition board is an irresistibly charming gaming experience.
What typically stands out on themed Monopoly boards is the collection of relevant properties, and that’s the case with this edition as well. This game boasts a number of recognizable, nostalgic locations from Mario games past, including (but not limited to) Bowser’s Kingdom, Yoshi’s Island, and Lethal Lava Land. For anyone who’s made a habit of enjoying Mario games over the years, it’s pure fun to get to skip across these properties — and perhaps buy their deeds now and then!
Naturally, the game also has small pieces and cards drawn from the Super Mario universe, and every bit as satisfying as the locations. Objects like Koopa shells, toadstools, and special stars represent the playable pieces, and there are even “Toad Houses” and “Peach Castles” in place of the usual houses and hotels.
Where this edition really sets itself apart however is with regard to two features. One is the artwork, which not only depicts settings and characters from the world of Super Mario but does so in beautiful, familiar fashion. Looking over this board is like viewing a collage of retro gaming screenshots and Mario comic slides, and in a way it’s just satisfying to get lost in. But the true defining feature is a physical question block (like the ones Mario so often jumps to bash into and open up). Players can press the block like a button and be treated to sound bites from games, which in turn correspond to either won or lost golden coins.
It’s worth noting that this is also just one of a handful of Monopoly games that have made use of Mario and the broader Nintendo universe. There’s a very fun “Gamer” edition of Monopoly that was highlighted by Boards And Pawns as one of the best versions of the board game, and there is also a Mario Kart-inspired option. All in all though, Super Mario Bros Celebration Edition just might be the best of them, and in turn one of the best of all Monopoly games.
INSERT VIDEO: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFcmEFmN4T0]