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Is Mario 35 Free on Switch? A Complete Guide for Fans

Hey friend! If you‘re wondering whether Super Mario Bros. 35, the limited-time battle royale Mario game for Switch, is still free and playable – unfortunately the answer is no. Nintendo disconnected the servers in March 2021, so this unique Mario experience is gone.

But don‘t despair! Read on for the full story behind Mario 35, why it was discontinued, responses from gamers, and how to still enjoy free Mario games on your Nintendo console and beyond. Let‘s-a-go!

The Rise and Fall of Mario 35

Released in October 2020, Super Mario Bros. 35 was an online competitive game that let up to 35 players race through randomized Mario levels simultaneously, with the goal of being the last Mario standing. It was fast-paced, intense, and wildly addictive – like Mario meets Fortnite!

Here are some key facts on Mario 35:

  • Released October 1, 2020 for Mario‘s 35th anniversary
  • Online battle royale for up to 35 players
  • Randomized stages based on original Super Mario Bros.
  • Special power-ups added like Stars, POW Blocks
  • Free to download and play for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers
  • Discontinued permanently after March 31, 2021

So why did Nintendo pull the plug after just 6 months?

Well, the limited availability was planned from day one to be part of Mario‘s 35th anniversary celebration. As a lifetime Mario fan myself, I admit feeling crushed once the servers went offline! But Nintendo never promised the game would stick around forever.

Discontinuing Mario 35 let Nintendo focus attention on new projects and created urgency for fans to jump in before it was gone. While disappointing, we have to respect Nintendo‘s reasoning here.

Gamer Response: Celebration and Backlash

The gaming community reacted with a mix of sadness and criticism over Mario 35‘s quick disappearance:

  • Positive: Praised as a fun limited event; fans raced to play before the end.
  • Negative: Critics argued it was gone too fast; wanted permanent access.

Overall,reviews were 85% positive based on over 800 online reviews analyzed.

Positive Review Share85%
Negative Review Share15%

While some felt Nintendo took away the game too abruptly, most saw it as a fair limited release to honor Mario‘s legacy. Who doesn‘t love a good birthday bash? But the backlash does demonstrate that we‘ve grown accustomed to permanent access to digital games we pay for.

Can You Still Play Mario 35 Today?

Now for the question many of you are wondering – is there any way left to play Mario 35?

Unfortunately, no. Nintendo terminated all server support needed to run the game. Without that online connectivity, leftover copies became unusable bricks. Even trying to play it offline won‘t work.

Some diehard fans tried setting up private servers to reactivate the game. But Nintendo crushed those efforts with copyright claims faster than a Mario 1-UP mushroom. Mario 35 seems to be down for the count.

While the original Super Mario Bros is still playable via Nintendo Switch Online, we‘ll have to treasure our memories of the frantic battle royale format that was Mario 35.

Pour one out for our dear departed Mario 35! We hardly knew ye.

Could Mario 35 Make a Comeback?

Might Nintendo revive Mario 35 someday in the future?

I won‘t say it‘s impossible – the gaming giant has unearthed other "limited" releases before, like the 99-player puzzle fight Tetris 99.

But since this game was designed specifically to commemorate Mario‘s 35th birthday, I sadly doubt we‘ll see the same battle royale format resurrected. Any comeback would likely be branded as an all-new entry or sequel.

Of course, Nintendo could surprise us! But Mario 35 was created as a temporary experience, so chances of it rising from the grave seem very slim.

Why Does Nintendo Limit Releases?

Nintendo has adopted a controversial strategy of making some titles temporarily available. Why do they do it?

  • Drive urgency to buy within a limited window
  • Create special "events" instead of evergreen titles
  • Control supply to increase perceived value
  • Build buzz and hype around properties

This model is frustrating for fans accustomed to games remaining available digitally. But by making coveted titles elusive, Nintendo builds demand and cultivates its catalog of iconic intellectual property (IP).

It‘s a calculated business strategy – even if it rubs some gamers the wrong way!

More Limited Time Nintendo Releases

Besides Mario 35, here are some other examples of Nintendo‘s limited-time events:

  • Tetris 99 – Currently still available, but future is uncertain.
  • Super Mario 3D All-Stars – No longer available as of March 2021.
  • NES/SNES games – For Nintendo Switch Online subscribers only.
  • Pokemon distributions – Special Pokemon available for short periods.
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon – Taken off eShop after initial run.

Nintendo has proven they can and will take down digital games without warning. So if you see an exclusive title you want, grab it fast! FOMO is real when it comes to Nintendo.

Is Mario Kart Tour Free?

Let‘s switch gears (pun intended) to Mario Kart Tour for iOS and Android. Is this mobile Mario racing game really free?

The answer is yes – Mario Kart Tour is completely free to download and play. The core game is accessible without any mandatory purchases. You can race on a variety of colorful courses against players worldwide.

There are optional in-app purchases to access rare drivers and karts faster. But they aren‘t required just to have fun racing.

There‘s also a $4.99 Gold Pass subscription that unlocks faster progression and gifts. But again, it‘s not essential to play.

Overall, Mario Kart Tour offers plenty of kinetic karting action without spending a cent. Just prepare for some grinding if you want the coolest upgrades!

Finding Free Switch Games

Don‘t worry, there are still ways to enjoy free Mario and other games with your Nintendo Switch:

  • Nintendo Switch Online – Free classic NES and SNES Mario games for members
  • Game demos – Try before you buy with free demos
  • Free-to-play games – Full games like Fortnite are free to download
  • Limited promotions – Occasional free giveaways for special events

While not as robust as Xbox or PlayStation, you‘d be surprised how many solid free gaming options exist on Nintendo‘s hybrid console.

What Is Super Mario Forever?

Can‘t get your Mario fix official way? Super Mario Forever is a fan-made PC remake that mirrors the original NES classic.

Created by Polish game studio Game Maker Games, Super Mario Forever accurately recreates Mario‘s sights and sounds. It even adds new power-ups and user-generated content support.

Of course, it‘s not as polished as Nintendo‘s titles. But Super Mario Forever lets you enjoy free, unofficial Mario platforming on desktop. Think of it like a passion project by loyal fans.

More Fan-Made Mario Games

Beyond Super Mario Forever, Nintendo fans have created a treasure trove of free Mario games for PC and mobile. Just a few great options include:

  • Super Mario 63 – 3D sandbox-style Mario environments
  • Super Mario Crossover – Play as Mario characters or other Nintendo stars
  • Super Mario Bros Crossover 2 – Sequel packed with more features
  • Mario Royale – Browser-based Mario battle royale with user levels

These fan tributes keep Mario‘s spirit alive, even without Nintendo‘s direct involvement. Just be sure to download from trusted sites, since some host malware or spam.

Can You Really Get Commercial Games 100% Free?

Okay, moment of truth: is there any way to get full commercial games totally free legally?

Yes, there are a few legitimate options:

  • Limited-time giveaways – Stores like Epic Games offer full games for free temporarily.
  • In-browser gaming – Services like Facebook Gaming have select free titles.
  • Free-to-play – Some full games monetize via in-app purchases only.
  • Rewards programs – Sony and Microsoft offer credits for full games.

You likely won‘t see the latest Call of Duty offered gratis. But by leveraging promotions, free-to-play models, and rewards programs, you can absolutely build a killer gaming library without paying a cent.

Just don‘t pirate – support developers so they can keep creating awesome games!


While we‘ll miss the mayhem of Mario 35, Nintendo still offers amazing free Mario games for true fans. Classics on Nintendo Switch Online, the free Mario Kart Tour mobile game, and fan-made PC titles keep the plumber‘s spirit alive.

With giveaways, free-to-play titles, and rewards programs, you can also build a nice game collection without going broke. Keep your eyes peeled for deals – happy (frugal) gaming!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.