I ranked the galaxies in the first game, so it’s only fair I give “Super Mario Galaxy 2” a spin as well.
I’ve always had a hard time deciding on my favourite 3D Mario game – it’s definitely going to be one of the Galaxy games, but I could never figure out which one would take the gold medal. I would probably give it to Galaxy 1 for nostalgia alone, but if I’m being unbiased then Galaxy 2 is probably the better game overall.
This is a much more refined and polished game than the original, and whilst there aren’t many galaxies that truly blew my socks off, most of them are extremely well put together – and a heck of a lot of fun. How would I rank all of the galaxies?
You can check out my Galaxy 1 ranking below, as well as some of my other videogame lists:
49 – Boss Blitz Galaxy
It was fun to revisit all of the Galaxy 1 bosses, but if I look past the nostalgia then this is clearly the laziest, most tagged-on galaxy of them all.
The time limit is super strict for the comet level, and with Bouldergeist being an almost luck-based boss to beat (at least in terms of doing it quickly), this galaxy is far more frustrating than it is fun.
48 – Bowser Jr.’s Fiery Flotilla
What’s the massive worm’s name? Was it Flotilla? Or some rubbish like Munchy maybe?
Whatever it is, screw that giant snakey piece of trash – it’s easily my least favourite Mario boss ever. At least the level leading up to is is fine, but man do I want to rip my eyes out whenever I have to take on this monster.
47 – Battle Belt Galaxy
Another lazy effort, similar to “Boss Blitz”, but at least the developers actually added new planets to make it interesting.
Also – Wormy A**hole makes his triumphant return, this time in an ever more cancerous fiery version that made me want to slam my head into a wall at least seven times.
46 – Twisty Trials Galaxy
I can’t say I’ve ever played “Sunshine”, so this level means nothing to me.
Even without any sort of nostalgia involved, what’s the point of this level? It’s extremely basic, and when Yoshi gets introduced it removes most of the challenge.
45 – Stone Cyclone Galaxy
Maybe it’s just me, but I found World S to be an absolute slog when I played through it. Almost all of my least favourite galaxies are in this bonus world, and the fact that I had to collect almost every star in the game to play these underwhelming levels really grinds my gears.
“Stone Cyclone Galaxy” is a blatant rip-off of a brief part of a level in Galaxy 1, except stupidly hard and not fun in any way.
44 – Beat Block Galaxy
A nice level that expands on some previous ideas, and it’s a lot harder than I was expecting. It’s not the most interesting of levels, but I can tell some creativity went into designing it.
43 / 42 – Rolling Coaster / Rolling Masterpiece Galaxy
The rolling levels make a triumphant return from Galaxy 1 (yay?), and to be fair they aren’t too bad here.
I think I prefer “Masterpiece” a little bit more, as it’s a bit more challenging in a good way, and the chomp fight at the end is always fun (except when there’s a time limit, it gets very stressful by that point).
41 – Wild Glide Galaxy
The surfing levels from Galaxy 1 were replaced by these “Glide” levels instead, and while I would say the idea is better than the surfing ones, this particular level is a bit boring. At least they did it better the second time around.
40 – Slimy Spring Galaxy
Swimming levels were never really my cup of tea, and this is almost exclusively an underwater stage. The “Chimp” star was also a strange creative decision, and overall this is just a bit of a bland, dreary galaxy.
39 – Mario Squared Galaxy
Much like the other levels in the S World, this galaxy feels wholly unnecessary. The purple coin level in particular is just pure evil, and it’s more of a chore than a fun platforming level.
38 – Honeybloom Galaxy
I quite like how the majority of this level is in 2D (or maybe 2.5D if we’re being specific), which makes for a nice change of pace.
On the whole, there aren’t any new ideas or mechanics to keep me engaged in this galaxy, and I was never particularly a huge fan of the Bee Mario powerup to begin with.
37 – Clockwork Ruins Galaxy
This galaxy is a great idea on paper, but I had such a torrid time with it. This was probably the level I died the most on for some reason, I just couldn’t get the jumps right (and I got squished a lot too).
I’m knocking it down to “Good” for pure frustration alone, but if I was being nicer I’m sure it would creep up into the “Great” tier.
36 – Fleet Glide Galaxy
Usually I would just lump the motion control levels together, but I feel that “Fleet Glide” is wildly superior to its predecessor.
The spaceship theme is awesome, and the final stretch as the level is collapsing and the door is slowly creeping shut is definitely the most exciting any of the motion control levels ever got to.
Why has it not ranked higher after all that praise? Well, it is still a motion control level after all.
35 – Honeyhop Galaxy
Another random Bee Mario level to add to the collection, and the majority of this galaxy is just a re-tread of things that we’ve seen before.
The silver star level is fine, but the galaxy itself is a bit small to have silver stars in, and the Chimp star is just plain boring.
34 / 33 – Upside Dizzy Galaxy / Rightside Down Galaxy
I’ve put these two levels together based on how similar they are, both in concept and execution.
I don’t mind either of these galaxies, but once you get over the initial amazement of the concept the levels don’t really do much else. Also, I feel like these galaxies are some of the least re-playable of the bunch.
32 – Flip-Out Galaxy
As pure platforming goes, I don’t think I’ve ever played a level as gruelling as this. Being the last level before the epic finale, its no wonder the developers made sure to create the most dastardly jumps and spins in the whole game.
Other than some of the other levels in this World, I felt that “Flip-Out Galaxy” was a welcome challenge, and it did well to prepare me for the colossal gauntlet to come.
31 – Flash Black Galaxy
This was a really cool concept, and it shows that the game developers will never run out of ideas for Mario levels, but I felt that it was too short and it didn’t quite do the idea justice.
30 – Bowser Jr.’s Boom Bunker
One thing that I think Galaxy 2 fails at compared to its predecessor is the Bowser / Bowser Jr. boss fights – most of them are still fun, but they don’t quite have the same magic that the previous ones did.
The actual boss here is great, and it was loads of fun to use the cloud powerup to ascend the Boom Bunker, but the level beforehand it what lets this galaxy down.
29 – Hightail Falls Galaxy
I do love me a bit of Yoshi, and the super-speedy sections of this galaxy are lots of fun. Granted, I do think they maybe could have done a little more with the concept (and it’s quite hard to control sometimes), but this was a good galaxy nonetheless.
28 – Sweet Mystery Galaxy
I really like what they do with this level, and at times this can genuinely be quite challenging.
This was always going to be a filler galaxy, however (that’s how it is designed anyway), so I couldn’t rank it above most of the others.
27 – Flip-Swap Galaxy
The flip mechanic in this level (and a couple of others) is a brilliant idea, and it’s used perfectly in this galaxy. This isn’t the longest level in the world, but what it does is fun and memorable.
26 – Spin-Dig Galaxy
Other than the fact I’m not a particularly big fan of the spin-drill powerup, the level design in this galaxy is pretty great – and the boss battle against Digga-Leg is a decent one.
25 – Grandmaster Galaxy
The galaxy to end all galaxies – at least in terms of its insanely challenging platforming.
Even with the checkpoints this is gruelling enough, but the ridiculously bonkers “Perfect Run” has gone down in videogame legend as one of the all-time trickiest gaming levels. I personally wasn’t a huge fan of how hard the final level was, but I had to rank this highly based on pure esteem and prestige alone.
24 – Yoshi Star Galaxy
One thing that Galaxy 1 was sorely missing was Yoshi, and our first adventure with him is an awesome one.
This is one of those great showcase galaxies, where we get a perfect introduction to the powerup’s (in this case Yoshi’s) abilities, while at the same time we get to play a really fun and memorable level.
23 – Fluffy Bluff Galaxy
I really like the cloud powerup, and it might even be my favourite powerup in either of the Galaxy games. It’s used to great effect here, and there’s an even better cloud-themed level later on in the game.
One thing that knocks this galaxy down a little is the Chimp star – there are a few galaxies with a Chimp high score challenge, and I don’t particularly like any of them.
22 – Haunty Halls Galaxy
This is a great Boo level with lots of twists and turns, and the level in particular where you get chased down a section by a huge Boo is definitely a stand-out moment.
There were times playing this galaxy where I felt it was a little empty / underdeveloped, so that’s why I’ve ranked it slightly lower than some of the others.
21 – Flipsville Galaxy
The first couple of times I played this level, the boss at the end gave me a huge amount of grief. Once you get used to it, however, it turns into quite a fun boss battle.
The rest of the level is pretty great too, and the flipping gravity mechanic is an entertaining one to play around with.
20 – Puzzle Plank Galaxy
It’s common knowledge nowadays that Nintendo never runs out of ideas, so it should come at no surprise that the developers decided to included a super wacky carpentry level into the mix.
The sections where the planks starts to fall away are easily my favourite, and if it wasn’t for the anti-climactic boss battle and the end this would have definitely ranked a bit higher.
19 – Slipsand Galaxy
Another classic sand level, “Slipsand Galaxy” might even be better than its predecessor in Galaxy 1.
I think a lot of people will remember the sand slide from this galaxy, and while that it a lot of fun, I think the moving sand bird thingy was the stand-out moment (the sand-out moment?).
Points deducted for the Squizzard boss battle – that fire flower fight is more annoying than it is fun to play.
18 – Space Storm Galaxy
I get a lot of Battlerock Galaxy vibes from this one, which is definitely a good thing.
I think the part of this galaxy that I had the most fun with has to be the slow-motion star, and I had a great time using the various mechanics to my advantage (backflipping on the buttons as the slow-mo timer ran out launches you into the air, and that is an unbelievably satisfying manoeuvre to pull off).
17 – Boo Moon Galaxy
For some reason, these Boo themed levels always rank highly. I can’t say I’m a Boo fanboy, but there’s always something about the spooky atmosphere and soundtrack that keeps me engaged.
The pop-up silver star section and the moving platform parts are heaps of fun, and since they make up the majority of the level, “Boo Moon Galaxy” was always going to creep its way up my list.
16 – Sky Station Galaxy
The opening level of the game, and a really great one at that.
This is possibly an even better introduction than the Gateway Galaxy in Galaxy 1 (although “Good Egg Galaxy” is still an unrivalled banger), and I love how it introduces new mechanics and the new Comet Medals.
Points deducted, however, for having effectively the same first boss as the first game.
15 – Starshine Beach Galaxy
As I mentioned before, I’ve never played Mario Sunshine – I’ve seen bits of it, but I can’t say I have any nostalgia for it; that’s why it’s so surprising that this level resonated with me so much.
Both the silver star adventure and the cloud powerup level are great, and it’s kinda neat to have them both utilise the same space. I think it would have been better to have two different areas for each level, though, so I’ve knocked it down my rankings a little.
14 – Boulder Bowl Galaxy
Look! It’s everyone’s … fourth favourite Galaxy powerup – the Rock Mario powerup!
All jokes aside, the rolling mechanic is pretty decent, albeit a little hard to control and repetitive at times. This galaxy uses it well, though, and if it wasn’t for the rage-inducing parts where you can easily fall off the sides, this would have comfortably ranked top 10.
13 – Freezy Flake Galaxy
I feel like the ice-skating mechanic is one of the unsung heroes of the Galaxy games – everyone I’ve spoken to always says the ice levels are so much better with it, and I’d have to agree.
There are some great moments in this galaxy, especially at the end of the stars – the Bowser made of snow in the middle of a lava lake was an awesome spectacle, and the star where you have to fight a literal planet was fantastic.
12 – Melty Monster Galaxy
Lava galaxies are always a win, and “Melty Monster Galaxy” ranks as one of the greatest in the Mario franchise with its unique level design and fun use of mechanics.
Bonus points for including the “starbit grind” level of this game, and the Rock Mario powerup section is actually decently fun to repeat – up until a point, of course.
11 – Supermassive Galaxy
There are some galaxies that you can tell are one of the premier galaxies in the game, and “Supermassive Galaxy” is clearly a showpiece sort of level.
The concept is so zany and unique that only Nintendo could pull it off, and the added challenges of the enlarged enemies make for one of the most memorable galaxies in either Galaxy game.
10 – Bowser Jr.’s Fearsome Fleet
The Bowser Jr. boss battles were a little underwhelming in Galaxy 2, with one exception – the fight against Megahammer is easily my favourite Bowser Jr. fight, and it may even be my favourite boss battle in the entire game.
The rest of the level is no slouch either, and the sections with Yoshi on the moving platforms trying to break through the sky fleet were some of the most euphoric to finally beat first time around.
9 – Chompworks Galaxy
I really like what they were going for in this galaxy, and every star on offer here is fantastically fun.
The first level especially is one of my favourite stars in the whole game, and the second level is similarly entertaining (even the Spring Mario parts weren’t as bad after replaying them).
“Chompworks Galaxy” would have easily been in “Amazing” if it wasn’t for the sadistic comet level, which is just a repeat of the hardest section except with Cosmic Marios chasing you, thus making it 500% harder than it needed to be.
8 – Tall Trunk Galaxy
The first star in this galaxy is pretty good, and it’s mainly just a showcase for Yoshi’s new floating powerup. It’s got a nice vibe to it, and by itself it probably would have been a mid-tier galaxy.
It’s the second star that everyone always raves about – the legendary slide level. The frantic music goes perfectly with the furious movements needed to traverse the slide, and it has just the right amount of challenge to make it an entertaining level.
7 – Bowser’s Lava Lair
The Bowser levels never fail to amaze me, whether it’s the gauntlet of challenges before the main event or the final showdown with the behemoth himself.
Being the first Bowser level in the game, the developers didn’t need to go too crazy with the preceeding level. It’s still a fun ride, though, and a great way to end World 2.
I do have to mention, however – the Bowser battles in Galaxy 2 just don’t feel as good as the showdowns in Galaxy 1. Perhaps it’s just the fact that he’s huge now and you don’t have to dodge him up close, but I was never as engaged during these fights as I was during the first game’s battles.
6 – Throwback Galaxy
Super Mario 64 is such an iconic game, and Whomp’s Fortress is one of its most iconic levels, so redesigning it for a modern Mario game was such a fantastic decision.
The first level where you fight the Whomp King himself is a blast, but it’s the silver star level that’ll give you more bang for your buck – you get to explore the entirety of the galaxy, and the cloud powerup is always an added bonus.
5 – Bowser’s Gravity Gauntlet
The second Bowser fight in the game, and it builds on all of the mechanics of the first one.
I really like the addition of the 2D (ish) portions of the level, and it’s always nice to have a Bowser with a slightly expanded move-set to make it interesting.
4 – Cosmic Cove Galaxy
Spoilers for if I ever make a “Mario Galaxy Songs Ranked” post, but “Cosmic Cove Galaxy” easily has my favourite song in the game. It’s so mellow and relaxing, and I don’t think this level would be half as good without it.
That first star is much more of a breather / chill vibes sort of galaxy than anything else, and it was really refreshing to have a level where I could just relax and ice-skate around for a bit.
3 – Bowser’s Galaxy Generator
The final gauntlet of the game (until World S rolls around), and it’s actually one of the best levels of the bunch, regardless of the awesome boss fight at the end.
I love how the developers put on a show, and almost every powerup / enemy / environment makes a memorable appearance. On top of all that, the Bowser fight is as good as it’s ever been, and I had a thoroughly good time finally kicking Bowser’s ass again.
2 – Shiverburn Galaxy
As I said in my ranking of the first game, I’m a sucker for the cold and hot collide sort of levels. “Shiverburn” acts as the spiritual successor of “Freezeflame” in that sense, and they do an excellent job of using that premise to its fullest potential.
This galaxy even gets bonus points for the awesome boss battle at the end where you have to hit the boss’s projectiles back at him, and overall this was a really fun experience to re-live again.
1 – Cloudy Court Galaxy
I’ve already mentioned how the cloud powerup was my favourite in the game, and I’ve talked at length before about my love of “Gusty Garden Galaxy”, so there was always going to be a clear winner.
With a banging soundtrack, intricate level design, and even a really cool bonus Hungry Luma level, I couldn’t think of anything else other than “Cloudy Court Galaxy” to take the top spot. Is it a rip-off of Gusty Garden? Probably, but I still had the time of my life playing through it.
Aaand that’s my list. Wowzah, this one took a while! I do really love these games though, and I had a blast talking about some of my favourite levels … as well as some of the stinkers. You should check out some of my other blog posts below:
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