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#41: Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
Last Year: 39

Super Mario Sunshine is the red-headed stepchild of the 3D Mario titles. Taking place in the island paradise of Isle Delfino, Mario's GameCube adventure had him cleaning pollution with a talking water pack named F.L.U.D.D. This is truly a departure into the wacky and weird, even for a Mario title. Sunshine takes 64's more open ended world and runs with it, creating the most open Mario game to date (which is enhanced by all of your waterpacks different platforming-enhancing abilities). This is both a blessing (it is quite fun to explore the different areas) and a curse (the actual platforming isn't as sublime as any of the other Mario games), and this is especially apparent when the best parts of the game are when your waterpack is taken away and you're put into pure platforming stages. Maybe they'll take this more streamlined, platform utopian idea and apply it to a future Mario game... just maybe...