Luigi is an awesome character. Granted, he’s usually an alternative equivalent to Mario in most situations, but there’s just something intriguing about the other brother. Luigi’s always been the underdog, and that gives him enough added charm to make you want to root for him. It makes you want to prove he can be just as good as Mario, if not better. Ironically, there are a number of situations in which he’s actually better than Mario. Since Nintendo’s declared 2013 the Year of Luigi, I say we celebrate that by heralding the games where you’d rather play as the Bro in Green.
Whether you’re playing the original Luigi’s Mansion or Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, you’ve got to give the man in green kudos. Not many people have the guts to go into haunted mansions, after all. If you want to go for gameplay value, I say Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is the better of the two. For one-upmanship, though, you can’t do much better than the original, in which Luigi saves the day while Mario is trapped by ghosts.
Mario is Missing
It may be edutainment, and players may not have much of a choice, but Luigi is a very competent investigator in Mario is Missing. I mean, Mario isn’t missing anymore, so obviously Luigi was able to find him, right?
Super Mario Bros. 2
Okay, technically, Princess Peach is the best character in Super Mario Bros. 2, due to that awesome hover-jump she pulls off, but Luigi is still pretty damn awesome. Better than Mario, at least. He’s got an awesome jump, plus it’s hilarious to watch his little feet flounder when he’s in mid-air.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Luigi’s superiority in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is debatable. He isn’t very impressive, considered a solid F-tier character, but that still makes him better than Mario, who’s a G-tier character. He’s fast, which is good, and his Green Missile and Super Jump Punch are quite effective. There are much better characters, but at least he’s better than his brother.
Super Paper Mario
Luigi is awesome in Super Paper Mario for one reason: He’s a reformed bad boy. He does a brief heel turn as Mr. L, then comes back as Luigi. Everybody loves a prodigal son, and the fact that he was bad for a while makes him about 10% cooler.
Super Mario Galaxy
There’s just something special about hidden characters. Once you know one exists, you have this compulsive urge to find and unlock him or her. Luigi is the hidden character in Super Mario Galaxy, which makes him all the more desirable. While the Cosmic Races are more troublesome, he has a better jump and is a better swimmer. At least you have to assume he is, since his air meter takes longer to go down when he’s underwater. Besides, you can’t unlock the Finale Galaxy and completely master the game unless you play as Luigi!
New Super Mario Bros. U
New Super Mario Bros. U gets a tentative spot on this list due to the forthcoming New Super Luigi U DLC. The new levels will supposedly be different, which is always a good thing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play as the other brother when it turns out the Luigi side is actually different from the Mario side?
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
In each installment of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, certain characters have different specialties. Luigi is considered an All-Around character with balanced stats, meaning he’s not fantastic at one particular event, but he’s adequate at most of them. Compared to the other All-Around characters—Mario, Amy, and Blaze—I’d say he’s a good pick. His Speed and Skill are pretty good, his Stamina’s comparable to the rest of them, and the only stat in which he really starts to lack is Power. I’d be tempted to say he’s the best in his bracket, at least.
Mario Kart Wii
Luigi’s great in Mario Kart Wii if you want a fast character with good handling. Granted, he doesn’t drift as well as other characters, but I know I’m willing to sacrifice that for a character that’s fast and tight. Especially since he’s not a lightweight like Peach or Toad, who tend to continuously get rammed off the course.
Super Mario 64 DS
For years, people whispered rumors of Luigi’s appearance in Super Mario 64. Conspiracy theories suggested if people did the right things at the right time, Luigi would appear. But in reality, he wasn’t there. However, he finally made an appearance in Super Mario 64 DS, and you can bet the first thing people did when this came out was complete a playthrough as Luigi. Then Yoshi. Then Wario. And maybe eventually as Mario, if they had time.