I'm thinking of inscribing "Damnit Mario!" on my tombstone. Not included are Bowsers' world(s) or the random, hidden ones.
  1. 15.
    Dire Dire Docks
    Water worlds were the worst. Mario swims about as fast as a sea snail and I'm pretty sure this world is the result of the game creator's tears of boredom.
  2. 14.
    Jolly Roger Bay
    See above. But at least this place had a scary eel that seemed to appear every time you'd turn around, so I'm awarding it shock-factor points.
  3. 13.
    Snowman's Land
    This world would score the lowest, but since there's no large bodies of water, I'm feeling generous. The layout is unoriginal and monotonous, and the frozen water is worse than regular water. The only way it could be worse is if once Mario achieved all the stars the snowmen conspired to stab him repeatedly while proclaiming "For the Watch!"
  4. 12.
    Tiny Huge Island
    Premise: Two worlds, one made Mario a giant, the other made him tiny. Small Mario wasn't half bad, but you have to avoid being eaten by the Ray Charles fish. On the other hand, giant Mario was too easy and the world quickly lost its appeal since he could circle the place in 10 steps.
  5. 11.
    Big Boo's Haunt
    This place scared me as a kid (I was a wimp then and I'm a wimp now) and as someone who took piano lessons, the possessed piano seemed particularly evil. Similarly, I didn't think I'd ever be afraid of a cartoon piano with teeth, but here I am. I only completed the world out of a sense of duty, but avoided return visits. Cool music though.
  6. 10.
    Lethal Lava Land
    More music gold. I liked the added challenge of the devil bomb-ombs and my slightly sadistic younger self enjoyed pushing them into the lava and watching them burn. Although accidentally falling into the lava led to a string of mumbled curse words.
  7. 9.
    Shifting Sand Land
    Once you learn to avoid the tornadoes and quicksand, it's perfectly fine. Although this world required flying (let's just say Mario wouldn't have passed any flight lessons with me at the controls), the pyramid was fun and had some creative features.
  8. 8.
    Wet Dry World
    Definitely one of the most imaginative worlds in which you could adjust the water levels with a series of switches. It was a glorious moment when I realized I could control the very thing I had loathed for so long. The elevator challenge was tough, yet rewarding, and the world had so many layers and secret spaces that it never got old.
  9. 7.
    Rainbow Ride
    I always enjoyed this world because you had to be alert at all times or else you'd fall off the magic carpet. However, I was known to recast Mario as Evil Knievel by making him long-jump from platform to platform in an effort to avoid the carpet ride - sometimes it worked, sometimes he fell to his death. Overall, it had lots of areas to explore, but waiting for the carpet to circle around once you missed it was akin to watching your bus drive away just as you get to the bus stop.
  10. 6.
    Hazy Maze Cave
    Major points for the steel cap which made Mario indestructible until the (kickass) music ended. Most of the world was pretty forgettable, except for the fact that the LOCH NESS MONSTER was just swimming around in a lagoon. Sometimes I'd just ride around on Ol' Nessie's back and think of all the homework I was ignoring...but then I'd remember my mission to rescue Princess Peach and so I'd soldier on.
  11. 5.
    Bomb-Omb Battlefield
    The OG. In the inevitable Super Mario: Origins movie this is where it would all begin. The chained bomb dog was frightening, yet awesome, and the rolling cannonballs were a nice touch. Perfect for beginners because there's plenty to see and do, but nothing too difficult. The race against Koopa the Quick is stressful if you're a novice, but once you return battle-hardened you'll realize Koopa is, what's the technical term?, a slow-ass.
  12. 4.
    Whomp's Fortress
    An easy boss and interesting star challenges makes this world simple, but enjoyable. The hidden gem was the owl you could get to fly you anywhere you wanted. I always liked going there because it wasn’t stressful or scary and seemed like the kind of place I would want to hang if I was an Italian plumber hoping to save a princess from a spiky, fire breathing, punk rock, turtle-dragon-dog-mutant.
  13. 3.
    Tall Tall Mountain
    Always a good time here, except for when that annoying monkey would steal Mario’s hat. Imagine Mario breaking character and in Charlton Heston’s voice exclaiming “Get your stinkin’ paws off me you damn dirty ape!” Anyhow, the secret slide was awesome and the maneuvering required to scale the mountain means I can now add virtual mountaineering to my resume.
  14. 2.
    Tick Tock Clock
    With the world's many levels and intricacies it was tough to master completely. Also, the fact that you could control time by entering the world at a certain moment was really inventive. I never tired of coming here even though it didn’t have a boss battle, but I did get irritated whenever I’d fall to my untimely (pun intended) death.
  15. 1.
    Cool Cool Mountain
    The best world. If you want to fight me on this, I will pick you up baby penguin style and throw you off the side of the mountain. This place had everything: snow, penguins, evil snowmen, and a bitchin slide against a mother penguin who should probably be subpoenaed for child neglect. The challenges were fun and I always enjoyed playing the role of Child Protective Services by reuniting the baby penguin with its mother. All in all, a well-designed world and the most entertaining.