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Mario Baddies Discussion Panel Unable To Settle Official “Top 10” Ranking!

A list of Super Mario enemies which leaves out Koopa Troopas!? I’m afraid so… as revealed in the PAX Online 2020 panel “35 Years of Stomps: Ranking Mario’s Enemies”. Viewers watched as four panelists from Nintendo World Report discussed Super Mario opponents we’ve known since the first game in 1985 to develop a Top Ten.

Speakers for the panel “35 Years of Stomps: Ranking Mario’s Enemies”. Picture credit to YouTube (via PAX channel)

Unfortunately, the panelists’ time ran out as they considered many candidates; the best they could do was their own Top 10 lists with the final ten enemies they narrowed down.

Listed below are those very Super Mario enemies in no particular order; followed with some explanations as to what made them stand out. The panelists included: Neal Ronaghan, Zach Miller, Justin Berube, and John Rairdin.

Boss and long-time Mario enemy Bowser! Picture credit to


Debuting in “Super Mario Bros.”, Bowser is the large reptile overlord who kidnaps the princess and hurls his minions at our favorite plumbers.

“He is *the* villain!” said Berube. ‘Nuff said there; he is indeed the truly iconic choice in this topic.

Evolution of the Lakitu! Picture credit to YouTube (via Shiromi channel)


The Lakitu is a form of Koopa Troopa from various Mario games which flies around in a cloud dropping Spiny Eggs.

“I feel like Lakitu, like you [Ronaghan] said, has done so much throughout the Mario franchise.” said Berube. “Not only as a villain, but also as, like, the camera guy, and stuff.”

The great ape himself: Donkey Kong! Picture credit to

Donkey Kong:

A Mario enemy from before “Super Mario Bros.”, famous for kidnapping a former flame of Mario’s in “Donkey Kong” and joining in many a brawl in the “Super Smash Bros.” games.

“Donkey Kong is such a major player in the Mario franchise.” said Berube. “He was Mario’s first enemy, when you think about it; I mean, his first major enemy!”

Mario faces a single Dry Bones! Picture credit to YouTube (via NintendoCentral channel)

Dry Bones:

Dry Bones, first seen in “Super Mario Bros. 3”, is a literally bare bones Koopa Troopa which resurrects itself shortly after being stomped.

“I think Dry Bones might be my favorite enemy.” said Ronaghan, who later adds “You can’t really kill a Dry Bones! There are certain times where you can kill a Dry Bones, but did you really kill the Dry Bones? They always come back; they always come back.”

The Goomba! Easy to beat! Picture credit to


Talk about an iconic Mario enemy; the Goomba is the very first enemy Mario meets in the first Super Mario game! A small, walking mushroom… and little more besides.

“I don’t think Koopa Troopa’s as iconic as the Goomba.” said Miller.

Mario leaps high over hungry Piranha Plants! Picture credit to

Piranha Plant:

This sneaky vine pops out of pipes along the Mushroom Kingdom, catching each player of the Mario games off guard.

“I would say that Piranha Plant is one of the most quintessentially Mario, unique enemy designs.” said Zawodniak. “It’s not just that-… that random enemy that you plow through and forget about; it’s actually-… in the original game that it appeared in, you could only defeat it in one way! It is-… it is an ever-present obstacle.”

A gang of red Cataquacks chase Mario! Picture credit to YouTube (via SuperMarioFan123311 channel)


Blue and red duck-like creatures which first appeared in “Super Mario Sunshine”.

“I’m for Cataquack, here.” said Zawodniak, who jokes on the subject “I really want to, like, imagine the evolutionary line of how natural selection brought us to an animal whose primary method of defense is to launch you a straight line into the air and come back down to exactly where it’s sitting!”

The Shyguy takes up tennis! Picture credit to YouTube (via GameTrailers channel)


The Shyguys, appearing in “Super Mario Bros. 2”, often wearing blue or red robes and white masks to hide their shy faces.

“My number one, the best Mario enemy ever created, is the Shyguy!” said Zawodniak.

The Antiguy poses a tough problem for Mario. Picture credit to YouTube (via GaroLeader channel)


A form of the Shyguys, which appear in the “Paper Mario” game, appear in black robes and are significantly tougher to beat.

“Antiguy is proven to be the best Shyguy!” said Ronaghan.

The arrogant and angry Fawful! Picture credit to


Appearing first in the “Mario & Luigi” game series, Fawful is an enemy fueled by anger, narcissism, and a love of taunting his enemies.

“You knew if Fawful showed up in a Mario and Luigi game, it was gonna’ be a good Mario and Luigi game.” said Ronaghan. “And Fawful is pound-for-pound, I think, the-… the best villain to come out of any Mario RPG.”

I wish the panelists could’ve made a definitive Top 10; but hearing each panelist’s respective Top 10 choices and some reasons why they made the cut (or initial consideration) was satisfactory. Personally, I’d include Koopa Troopas…

Watch the panel any time on the PAX Online Day 3 – Stream 1 upload from the beginning to 58min, 07sec. Check out the official schedule of PAX Online 2020 for more panels! Also, subscribe to Geek News Now and give it a like on Facebook!

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