The Instigator
Pro (for)
14 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Super Mario World is better than Super Mario Bros. 3

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 4/28/2014 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,311 times Debate No: 53487
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (34)
Votes (2)




This debate resolution is simple: that Super Mario World is a better game than Super Mario Bros. 3. I will be arguing the Pro side, and my opponent will be arguing the Con side. For the purposes of this debate, only the original releases of the game will be debated - remastered versions of either game will not be factored in to this debate.

Better - Superior in quality

1. Burden of proof is shared.
2. First round is for acceptance only. Round 2 is for opening arguments only (no rebuttals allowed). Round 3 is a clash round (you can only rebut the arguments the opponent made in round 2, and you may not introduce new arguments). Round 4 is for closing arguments (you can rebut arguments made in round 3 and sum up your case)
3. Plagarism is prohibited.
4. Forfeiture is prohibited.
5. Violating any of these rules results in a win for the non-offending party.


I accept and I will argue in favor of Super Mario Brothers 3 (NES) being better than Super Mario World (SNES).
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this challenge. I look forward to an interesting and unique debate!

In my opinion, Super Mario World ranks not just among the best Mario games ever made, but among the best games ever made. In this debate, I will definitively prove that Super Mario World is better than Super Mario Bros. 3, considered by many to be the best Mario game ever made, by examining all the key aspects that makes a video game good - presentation and graphical design, soundtrack, gameplay, level design, post-completion appeal, and more.

To begin, I want to describe why the graphical style and design in Super Mario World is superior. I want to make note immediately, however, that this is not a direct comparison of graphics, because the two games were on different systems, with SMB3 being on the weaker 8-bit NES and SMW being on the much power powerful 16-bit SNES. Instead, this is purely a comparison of graphic design and feel.

Let's take a look at this picture from World 1 of SMB3.

As you can see, it looks decent - pretty good for an NES game. Mario and the Piranha Plant are recognizable, as are blocks, platforms and scenery. However, look at that background - it's literally just a single shade of blue! Even the original Super Mario Bros. offered at least some clouds. Additionally, it lacks the same sort of retro charm you could find in the original or it's sequel - sure, it looks OK, but what do people think of when they think of NES Mario? The original game.

To compare, here is a shot from World 1 of SMW.

Putting aside the obvious graphical improvement, the design here is just much better. The platforms look less mechanical, Mario looks more iconic, and the background isn't just a single color. The game just looks and feels brighter, and that is due to its superior artistic design.

As you can see, just from the first world alone SMW has a clear advantage in art direction and style. What about the music? Well, it's yet another masterpiece from Koji Kondo. In addition to distinct themes for each area on the map, there are also multiple level themes: the overworld theme, athletic theme, underground theme, underwater theme, ghost house theme, and castle theme. What makes these unique is that each of them is a variation of the same melody. That may sound odd at first, but when you actually play it you'll understand why this was made - unlike previous Mario games, which focused on distinct 'worlds' or 'kingdoms', SMW is one big world. By creating a basic melody and remixing it, the game feels more cohesive and whole - you don't feel like you are playing in vastly different areas, but simply different parts of one big world.

This brings me to my next point, the overworld map. Simply put, the overworld map is a vast improvement over the one introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3. In SMB3, once you've beaten a level you can't play it anymore without restarting, and once you've cleared a world you can't go back and play it again without starting a new game. This is an example of a SMB3 overworld map:

As you can see, it's fairly basic - 6 levels, a fortress, a castle, and some Toad Houses and 1-up stands. However, as explained earlier, you can only enjoy the levels once - if you beat it, it's gone. Additionally, while there is a branching path (levels 3 and 4), it doesn't even really matter because you can just bypass it entirely and go to the fortress. Now, let's look at the Super Mario World map:

As you can see, it is massive. As you can see, on the map there are two types of main levels: yellow levels and red levels. Yellow levels are traditional linear Mario levels, but red levels contain secret exits, which lead to a different pathway. To give an example, let's look at Donut Plains 1 - the first level in the second world. Depending on which exit you take, the path you take can differ dramatically. Because you can now go to levels as many times as you want, these secret exits add a new element to the game, encouraging you to explore levels for new secrets and hidden paths. Simply put, this is a vast improvement from SMB3.

Another thing you'll notice with the map is the top two worlds in the right corner. Those are Special World and Star World, two bonus worlds that aren't required to beat the game. Star World can be used for quick transport between the different map areas, and one you find the secret exit in the fifth star level you unlock the entrance to Special World. Special World contains 8 insanely hard levels and beating it is maybe more satisfying than beating Bowser. Speaking of beating Bowser, I'll mention another thing: the Koopalings now have their own unique boss battles. In SMB3, every Koopaling battle was the same: stomp them three times and avoid their magic. In SMW, there are four different Koopaling battle formats - Iggy and Larry are defeated by pushing them off of a platform and into the lava, Lemmy and Wendy are defeated by stomping them three times as the pop out of pipes, Morton Jr. and Roy are defeated by stomping them three times before the walls crush you, and Ludwig is defeated by stomping him three times while avoiding his fireballs and spinning shell. The fortresses contain Reznor battles, where you must knock four fire-breathing dinosaurs off platforms and avoid the collapsing floor, which are much harder than the pathetically easy Boom Boom battles in SMB3. The final battle with Bowser is also more satisfying - rather than tricking Bowser into falling down a pit, you defeat him by attacking him with his own machines!

Now, let's get to power-ups. To be fair, Super Mario Bros. 3 does indeed have more power-ups - in addition to series staples like the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Starman, it introduces the Super Leaf (allows you to briefly fly or float down with repeated button presses), Frog Suit (which increases jump height and allows for easier swimming), Tanooki Suit (which gives all the benefits of the Super Leaf as well as the ability to briefly become a statue), and Hammer Suit (which allows you to throw hammers like a Hammer Brother). However, the two best items - the Tanooki and Hammer Suit - are extremely rare and only available in a few select places in the game. This becomes infuriating when you realize that, if you do happen to find one of these rare items in a level, you can't come back and get it again because the level is locked forever. If you want to be able to kill Thwomps and Boos with hammers, you'll have to trek all the way through the game all over again to find it. In contrast, Super Mario World only introduces two new items - the Cape Feather (which allows you to fly and float down by holding down a button) and P-Balloon (which allows Mario to temporarily float) - but these can be found and re-found in a number of levels.

Even still, SMW has a better item than the Tanooki or Hammer Suits: Yoshis. Yoshis give Mario an extra hit, can be used to eat most enemies and, when dismounted on a jump, can give Mario some added height to cross gaps. Additionally, Yoshis get special powers by eating shells, and Yoshis of different colors can be found that grant their color's power in addition to the shell's power. Red shells/Red Yoshis can shoot fire, Blue shells/Blue Yoshis can fly, and Yellow shells/Yellow Yoshis can cause enemy-harming earthquakes when they hit the ground.

One underrated aspect of SMW is it's amazing level design. Jason Schreier of Kotaku writes that "As you start to run and jump through each level, you start learning the rules, sometimes from little instruction boxes that pop up and toss you clunky hints like 'This gate marks the middle of the area!' but usually from clever environmental clues. You see a red shell next to a row of enemies, so you throw it at them to see what happens, and bam, you see that killing nine enemies in a row will get you an extra life. Rule learned. That sort of elegant level design—the type of lesson that makes you feel smarter because you figured out the answer yourself—is missing in many of today’s over-tutorialized games, which may be one of the big reasons Super Mario World is so highly revered". Simply put, the genius level design of SMW eases players in to a difficult adventure, but lets them learn the lessons themselves. Players may die a couple of times, but the lessons they learn help them along the way.

In short, Super Mario World is superior to Super Mario Bros. 3 due to its superior artistic design, soundtrack, overworld, level design, boss battles, and power-ups, in addition to the introduction of bonus challenge worlds in the Star World and Special World. I look forward to my opponent's opening arguments!



So, let’s quickly sum up what I must do in order to win the debate.

Resolution: Super Mario World is better (Superior in quality) than Super Mario Bros. 3

I am con to this resolution. Therefore, I must argue that the quality of Super Mario Bros 3 is better than the quality of Super Mario World. In this argument, I will talk about different aspects of each game and show how Super Mario Bros 3 is better than Super Mario World.

In addition, I would like to note that I intended to post pictures in this argument. However, it wouldn't let me. So, wherever I meant to post a picture, I will post a little disclaimer.


Let’s take a look at the graphics from both games.

Super Mario Brothers 3

Photo was meant to go here. To find photo, type "Super Mario Borthers 3 graphics" in on Google images.

Super Mario World

Photo was meant to go here. To find photo, type "Super Mario World graphics" in on Google images.

It’s clear that the graphics of SMB3 are more basic than those of SMW. However, that doesn’t mean they’re worse. In fact, it’s the simplicity that makes it better. That allows you to pay more attention to the game. Often times, when there is too much on the screen at one time, it’s really easy to die (we’ve all had this gaming experience at one point or another). This is caused by the inability to take it all in at one time. So, since SMW has more things in the background, it’s easier to miss something that will ultimately kill you. This wouldn’t happen in SMB3. Therefore, it is the graphical improvements that actually make SMW lower in quality and more frustrating than SMB3.

In addition, the backgrounds of SMB3 look brighter and more warming. The backgrounds of SMW look more dark and depressing. Since both games are supposed to be happy games, SMB3 is superior to SMW in graphics, as the graphics in that game better set the tone for the game. This ultimately results in a happier gaming experience and makes the background look less dull and boring, whereas in SMW, the graphics can make the game more boring.


The music of Super Mario Brothers 3 is clearly superior to the music of Super Mario World. SMB3 has over thirty different songs in the game. However, SMW only has one song. This song is slightly varied in different levels, however, that still doesn’t reach the thirty that SMB3 has. In addition, the songs in SMB3 have more emotion to it. When there’s a happy setting, a happy song is there to set the mood. It’s the same thing with serious, dark songs. These songs don’t get boring and engage the player. However, the same, monotonous tone of the SMW music makes the game boring at times. Just check out the YouTube links I have posted to see what I mean. To conclude, SMB3 music is superior to SMW music in both quantity and quality.

Note: Soundtrack for Super Mario World is in a video above.

Map and Worlds:

Let’s take a look at the maps of each game.

Super Mario Brothers 3

Photo was meant to go here. To find photo, type in "Super Mario Brothers 3 map" on Google images.


Photo was meant to go here. To find photo, type in "Super Mario World map" on Google images.

Now, the first thing that pops out is that SMW has only one, giant map in just one world, while SMB3 has many different maps throughout differently themed worlds. Clearly, the SMB3 approach is better. People like variety and something different. So, it’s actually better that SMB3 has different worlds. It captures people’s attention and doesn’t allow them to get bored with the same map. SMW doesn’t have that. Yes, SMW does have some variety with the star worlds and other things. However, it doesn’t match the amount of variety that SMB3 has. Because of this, SMB3 is less boring than SMW for people who are playing the entire games from top to bottom all at one time.

Completion of the Game:

The ending of SMB3 is better than that of SMW. Take a look at the endings of each game, which I have linked in this argument (above).

One thing worthy of note is that the last level of SMB3 is harder than that of SMW. SMB3 has a challenging mini-level before getting to Bowser. SMW has a relatively easy last level where potential for death and enemies aren’t encountered. Therefore, you get more satisfaction out of beating SMB3 than you would form beating SMW. Another thing worthy of mention is the ending scenes. The ending of SMB3 is humorous, rewarding, and unique. The credits also do a good job of allowing the player to reminisce the entire game, furthering the self-satisfaction of beating the game. The ending of SMW is just cheesy and has been done before in slightly different ways. The credits also don’t match up to those of SMB3. Therefore, the ending of SMB3 is better than that of SMW.


For the sake of my plan, I will just talk about the gameplay features of SMB3 first. Then, I will talk about how they are superior to those of SMW in following rounds.

The game is complex and challenging, which makes the game fun.

The game has new power ups, moves, items, and enemies.

It features special non-level parts of each world, including Toad Houses, where items can be obtained, and Spade Panels, where lives can be obtained, as well as some secret parts, such as the White Toad House and the Treasure Ship.

The game introduces six new power-ups, the Super Leaf, the Tanooki Suit, the P-Wing, the Frog Suit, the Hammer Suit, and Goomba's Shoe.

Each world has unique enemies to that world (ex. Big Bertha in world 3 (Ocean Side), Angry Sun in Desert Hill).

Warp zones can be accessed by finding and using whistles. This adds an extra element of excitement in the games.

Mario can take on nine different forms. This adds variety to the gameplay.

The 2 player mode allows for different playing options. The game has both Mario and Luigi in two player mode. After one brother completes a level/loses a life, the other brother plays. Also, if one brother picks a level that the other brother completed, they enter versus mode in their small forms. This method of two-player gameplay allows for both teamwork and competition, something unique to this game.

In conclusion, this game has many things about it that are unique to this game (which means SMW doesn’t have them).


I have talked about many reasons why SMB3 is superior to SMW. In the following round, I will debunk my opponent’s argument and further my position.

Debate Round No. 2


In this round, I will be rebutting my opponent's opening statements - as the rules require.

To begin, my opponent argues that the graphics in SMB3 are better because they are simpler. In particular, he argues because there is less on the screen, it is harder to die. I find this argument fairly unconvincing - my opponent hasn't established levels where enemies fill the screen in SMW, or proven SMB3 doesn't have these levels. In my experience, there are many levels in SMB3 with complex moving backgrounds (like in the third word, Sea Side) or numerous enemies strategically placed to kill you (looking at you, Pipe Land), or both (the Airships).

My opponent also argues SMB3 is a brighter game than SMW. I strongly disagree here - SMW feels much brighter, especially in overworld levels. Even the forest level I showed looks brighter than an overworld level in SMB3.

Next, my opponent argues SMB3 has a better soundtrack because it has more songs, and they are better. First off, more doesn't make something better. Justin Bieber's album My World 2.0 has 10 songs,[1] while Michael Jackson's Thriller has only 9 songs.[2] However, Thriller is clearly a better album. In contrast to my opponent's claims, SMW does indeed have a diverse soundtrack. The Athletic theme, for instance, sounds upbeat and jovial, whereas the Castle theme is dark and ominous.

On the issue of maps, my opponent asserts SMB3 has better maps because there are different themes in each world as opposed to one big world. However, the fact of the matter is SMW, like SMB3, has diverse level themes - the opening area, Yoshi's Island, is much different in both look and design than the underground Vanilla Dome or ominous Valley of Bowser. The difference is SMW combines these different areas into one big overworld map.

In terms of completion, my opponent argues SMB3 has a much more difficult final level and is thus more satisfying. My opponent is partially correct here, but not entirely so. In the video he posts, the player clears the game by utilizing the Back Door to Bowser's Castle, which allows you to bypass most of the Castle's obstacles. The Back Door can only be obtained by finding the secret exit in Valley of Bowser 2, and then beating the Fortress.[3] As shown in the video, the Fortress is literally filled with falling death spikes that are extremely difficult to clear. I consider myself an experienced Mario player, and it took me at least two dozen tries to beat. This is far from easy to do.

In contrast, if the player doesn't take the secret exit, he has to go through the Front Door, where the player must choose from one of four mini-levels with deadly obstacles, and then after clearing that has to choose from another four mini-levels. After that, you go to the mini-level the Back Door starts at.[4] As you can see, either path is hard - rather than just having a measly one mini-level like in SMB3, you have to beat three mini-levels, or find a secret exit and beat an insanely difficult fortress. Either way, it's challenging and rewarding.

On to gameplay! My opponent notes several aspects that make SMB3 a great game, and I honestly can't disagree with most of them. SMB3 is a fantastic game and has a lot of things good about it. However, this is not a debate on "Is Super Mario Bros. 3 a good game" - this is a debate on if it is better than Super Mario World (which it isn't). With that in mind, I'll rebut each point one-by-one:
*SMW also features this.
*SMW also features this.
*SMW does not feature these non-level areas, but more than makes up for it with the Top Secret Area, a hidden level where Mario can quickly access the main in-game power-ups.[5] This is far more rewarding than hoping the totally rigged Toad House doesn't give you a freaking Mushroom (seriously Toad, WTH? I'm trying to save your kingdom here, you might as well give away the good stuff!)
*Super Mario World introduces new power-ups as well.
*SMW also features unique enemies, like the Sumo Bros and Ninji.
*SMW doesn't have warp zones, but has Star World, which is far better.
*Fair enough.
*SMW supports 2 player as well, except this time your friend can't be a jerk and refuse to play a level because you would get the Toad House. Because this element is removed, it is far more fun to play 2-player in SMW.

I look forward to my opponent's rebuttals!



I'm really sorry to say this, but unfortunately, I can't post an argument this round. My week has been too busy to work on one. I should definitely be able to post a fourth round argument this weekend.

With all due respect to the rules, I would like to request to be able to respond to my opponent's 2nd and 3rd round arguments in the final round, rather than just the 3rd round. If not, I understand.

In the meantime, please enjoy this cool series I found on YouTube. It's where this guy plays SMB3 and SMW at the same time. It's a unique tribute to two great games.

Debate Round No. 3


I extend all arguments to this round. My opponent can use his final round as rebuttal.


It is with great disappointment that I concede in this debate. I thought I would have time to post an argument/rebuttal, but I did not. I apologize to my opponent, TN05, for forfeiting the debate. I know that he was looking forward to a great debate and I couldn't deliver. I probably would've lost anyway, as he provided an excellent set of arguments. My hat off to him.
Debate Round No. 4
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TN05 2 years ago
No problem! I just got a Wii U a month ago so I've been rediscovering all of these old classics. I'm still stuck on Pipe World in SMB3, so I've been trying to get past it. It's definitely harder than any recent Mario game.
Posted by TheCommonMan 2 years ago
Thanks man. By the way, thanks for reminding me how awesome retro games are!
Posted by TN05 2 years ago
It's OK man, I can understand you not having time.
Posted by TheCommonMan 2 years ago
Cool :)
Posted by TN05 2 years ago
It's OK, stuff happens.
Posted by TheCommonMan 2 years ago
Thanks man, and sorry for somewhat tarnishing the debate.
Posted by TN05 2 years ago
I understand, I'd be fine with you posting rebuttals as your last round.
Posted by TN05 2 years ago
No problem. :)
Posted by TheCommonMan 2 years ago

Thanks, brother!
Posted by TN05 2 years ago
It's a bit convoluted. You have to upload the picture to your 'pictures' section, and then copy-paste it to the debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by kingcripple 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: both made good arguments but con conceded. would have been a great debate had he not forfeited
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.