12 Best Super Mario Bros. 2 ROM Hacks

We first went to the dream world of Subcon more than 30 years ago to free its inhabitants from the terrible King Wart.

Since then, countless Mario games have been released. However, none have been able to hold my attention for as long as Super Mario Bros. 2 did the first time I played it.

It’s undeniably among my favorite Mario games, and I’m not alone in this opinion.

If you enjoy SMB2 but have played it a lot over the years, Super Mario Bros. 2 ROM hacks are a great way to give this venerable game new life.

Check out some of the best ones right here.

12. Super Mario Bros. 2 – Super Heroes Edition.

Super Mario Bros. 2 ROM

Taking inspiration from the changes made to the SMAS + SMW Improvement patch and that in addition to being the 35th anniversary of Super Mario, well, what better way to celebrate it than by playing one of their excellent titles?

Don’t be confused by the name; as mentioned before, it’s to celebrate Mario’s anniversary.

So in essence, it’s still the same game, so “why is the extravagant name here?”

Well, it turns out that the original sprites from the SNES version have been used as base models for this hack, that’s where the name comes from, “SUPER Heroes Edition”.

11. Super Mario Bros 2 Painful World Spikes Kaizo

Super Mario Bros 2 Painful World Spikes Kaizo is a very complex hack of the plot of the beta testing game Super Mario Bros 2 developed by Mario2005.

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There is a good level of design here.

Spikes and lots of enemies & bosses.

10. Super Mario Bros. 2 – Faster Digging

This is a simple patch for Super Mario Bros 2 (USA) that makes digging sand faster for all four characters, making it much quicker to get through those tedious sections in Worlds 2 and 6.

This is done by halving the length of the digging animation and by applying max fall speed once a sand tile has been cleared, that way even Luigi can dig fast despite his normally slower falling speed.

9. Super Mario Bros. 2 – Wacky Quest

This hack alters all of the original game’s levels and features some gameplay alterations for the four playable characters.

The enemies and bosses have also been altered to be tougher.

The difficulty is a bit harder than the original SMB2 but nothing crazy.

It’s a little janky and weird, but not too bad hopefully.

8. Super Mario Bros. 2 – Christmas Edition

Over 22 years ago, the original Super Mario Bros. 2 – Christmas Edition was created and released by BMF54123, designed to be a complete graphical overhaul of the classic game you know and love!

This patch aims to serve as a minor update to spread even more Christmas cheer to areas of the game that remained untouched, and make things a bit more…slippery…as you traverse the wintry world of Subcon!

7. Pony Poki Panic

Nobody anticipated that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic would go viral on the internet or even that it would serve as the inspiration for an SMB2 ROM hack.

A graphical and text upgrade called Pony Poki Magic by HeroOfTime1000 makes some of the most adored ponies from the program playable characters.

The Nightmare Moon cannot be stopped, and only Twilight Sparkle, Lyra Heartstrings, Trixie Lulamoon, and Princess Luna can prevent terrifying night terrors for all ponies.

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If you’re a fan of the show or a furry, you’ll love this. You might also desire some MLP/Mario crossover in your life if you’re not a fan.

6. Super Mario Bros. 2: 2nd Run

One of the series’ most unique games is Super Mario Bros. 2.

Compared to earlier games in the franchise, it boasts an original art style and unconventional gameplay. Others of us simply can’t get enough.

If other Super Mario games fall short of satisfying your SMB2 itch, take a look at this ROM hack by Recovery1, which preserves the original game’s look and feel while including several new levels.

SMB2: 2nd Run includes seven brand-new difficult environments.

Prepare to “get good” since the last two truly boost the ante in terms of difficulty!

5. SMB2 Turbo Edition

The next hack makes the game easier rather than making it incredibly difficult.

Googie’s SMB2 Turbo Edition changes the game’s gameplay and visuals to give it a highly unique feel.

The bosses are the only thing in the game that isn’t simpler.

You have no chance of escaping before a bomb detonates thanks to Mouser’s bombs and Birdo’s projectiles, which both move at the speed of a Barret.50 bullet.

The graphic alterations are what I adore most about this hack.

The foes are strangely endearing, and everything appears vivid and colorful. Feels more kid-friendly than the original did.

4. SMB2 Graphic Overhaul

Over the years, Mario’s look has undergone significant modification.

Even while I adore the original SMB2’s appearance and feel, I’ve often pondered what a modern remake may look like.

This Graphic Overhaul by creator MaxT gives us a contemporary interpretation of this 1988 classic by changing practically everything’s color scheme to resemble contemporary Mario games.

Additionally, it corrects a few animations to improve the game’s visuals.

If you just want to add a bit extra spice to this vintage NES game, this hack is ideal to try out.

3. Bowsette 2

After showing up in New Super Mario Bros.

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U Deluxe, where it transforms Toadette into Peachette—a human-sized version of Toadette with blonde hair like Princess Peach—the Super Crown gained notoriety as an Internet meme.

This prompted speculation from fans about what it might do to other characters, particularly Bowser.

Since then, Bowsette has gained immense popularity online. So much so that I wouldn’t be shocked if Nintendo at some point in the future decided to make her an official character.

Until then, we can play through Zynk Oxhyde’s Bowsette 2, which swaps out Bowsette, Goombette, Chompette, and Boosette for the playable heroes in SMB2.

The Super Crown is awarded to game bosses as well.

2. Super Mario Bros. 2: Master Quest

In this brand-new, tough-as-nails adventure from creator Alex No, failure is the key to success.

This hack adds some visual changes that make the environments of SMB2 seem more dangerous.

Additionally, it produces an ominous atmosphere that serves as a reminder that this is not the SMB2 you are used to.

Give up on completing any of the new levels in a single attempt. You’ll succeed if you control your expectations and avoid getting frustrated.

1. SMB2: Return to Subcon

GlitchCat07, a well-known ROM hacker, created the most incredible SMB2 difficulty hack.

It also aims to reintroduce new visitors to Subcon after a lengthy absence of three decades.

Thanks to some new ROM editing software, this hack pushes the limits of what is possible in Super Mario Bros. 2.

It’s the first “real” Kaizo hack for SMB2, making it ideal for players who want to gauge their abilities against a really difficult game.

A thorough knowledge of the game’s physics is essentially necessary to clear it.

You’ll have to perform some crazy maneuvers, such as spinning over spikes and jumping on top of shells. and that’s just the start.