No, this is not the list of Mario games by release date. I won't tell you where it is. You'll have to look for it.
This is a list of Mario games by the time they take place. It makes no sense that in one game, Mario is a full-grown adult, and in the next, he's a baby. It also makes no sense that in one game, he's a carpenter, the next he's a plumber, the next he is in the army, the next he is in a wrecking crew, and then the next he's a plumber and then a doctor then a plumber again. So we have to put the events in order from beginning to end, or at least present.
This does not count YTP events either. For that, see the regular timeline.
- Date: December 1939
- Yoshi's Story is the first game on the timeline. Mario and Luigi haven't been born yet, and if the Yoshi in Yoshi's Island is the same one as in Yoshi's Story, than the same Yoshi must have been younger around this time. Also, Bowser seems to be younger in this game than in others. In it, Bowser steals the Super Happy Tree and the Baby Yoshies have to recover it.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
- Date: July 1944
- In this game, Mario is born and the baby Yoshies are now adults. Bowser is now able to command a giant robotic machine. The reason I place it here this early, I will reveal later. In the game, Kamek kidnaps Baby Luigi. Baby Mario and the Yoshies must then save Baby Luigi. Afterwards, Mario and Luigi are taken to their parents. During this time, someone may have gotten hold of Baby Mario's DNA...
Yoshi's New Island
- Date: Summer 1944
- It turns out that Mario and Luigi were taken to the wrong place at the end of the last game, and Kamek kidnaps Baby Luigi again. Mario lands on another island with Yoshies, and the events of the previous game happen again almost exactly. Also, Mario and Yoshi get some help from a disguised, time-traveling adult Mario. Baby Mario and Baby Luigi are finally returned to their real parents, but the future Mario will soon abduct the infant brothers and take them to his own time so they can appear in his spin-off games.
Donkey Kong Circus
- Date: May–July 1962
- Shortly after his parents die, Mario drops out of high school and decides to become a carpenter. He also has a girlfriend, Pauline, at this time. He quickly becomes frustrated with the low pay he receives for his often poor construction work. Then, one day, he encounters an ape named Donkey Kong. Hoping to get rich quick, Mario kidnaps Donkey Kong and forcibly trains him to perform circus acts.
Donkey Kong Hockey
- Date: July–August 1962
- Unable to convince any circuses to purchase Donkey Kong, Mario conceives an even stupider idea: he decides to train Donkey Kong as an ice hockey player. This goes poorly, as Mario knows just as little about the sport as Donkey Kong does.
- Date: August 1962
- Mario isn't careful enough to keep Donkey Kong captive for long, and the ape escapes one day while Mario is working on a building. Donkey Kong also kidnaps Pauline and holds her hostage on top of the building, throwing barrels and other stuff down to ward Mario away. However, Mario manages to dodge DK's attacks, recapture him, and rescue Pauline.
Donkey Kong, Jr.
- Date: September 1962
- Mario now holds Donkey Kong captive again, but DK's son arrives in Brooklyn to rescue him. Mario is defeated this time, and he has to be demoted.
Donkey Kong II
- Date: September 1962
- Mario captures Donkey Kong again, and DK's son rescues him again, this time for good. Yep.
Mario's Cement Factory
- Date: April 1963–August 1965
- Mario has to rely on his carpentry "skills" again after his schemes with Donkey Kong fail, but he now has a reputation for poor work and can't get hired. Out of money, Mario is forced to look for a new job and ends up working at–you guessed it–a cement factory.
Mario's Bombs Away
- Date: 1965–1969
- Mario, now a fully-grown man, is drafted into the United States Army. He actually doesn't mind this much at first, as he hated his job at the cement factory, but then he gets shipped off to fight in the Vietnam War. While there, he ends up making and throwing bombs.
- Date: 1969–1970
- In Dr. Mario, Mario is a doctor. After about four years in the military, he was finally discharged. With no job, he had to get some money or end up homeless. He decided to go to medical school, but he may have overshot, since he was awful at it. He was made a pharmacist, but even that went poorly. He was later fired.
- Date: June 1970–February 1972
- After his career in medicine failed, Mario has to work in a Wrecking Crew. He enlists his younger brother Luigi to go along with him. It doesn't work out so well, since the foreman is a jerk and tries to hinder the brothers' work. They eventually decide to quit.
- Date: July 1972–September 1977
- Out of a job again, the Mario Bros. decide to train at Plumber's Academy. At first, it doesn't work out so well; their teacher is more of a sergeant, and they feel like it's Wrecking Crew all over again. But they eventually succeed, and they begin to battle monsters in the sewers of Brooklyn. They become successful plumbers, and soon destiny will begin to catch up with them...
Super Mario Bros.
- Date: September–December 1977
- After over a year, the plumbers are a success. They can fix any drain, clean any pipe, and plug any leak. But then, one day, a client calls them over. The brothers try to fix a clog, but then all of a sudden they are sucked down the drain into a portal. Meanwhile, the Koopa leader Bowser is arguing with Princess Toadstool of the Mushroom Kingdom. The argument escalates into all-out war, and Bowser turns Toads into bricks and kidnaps the princess so she won't be able to undo the damage. Mario then arrives, hears the news, and begins to fight back. They eventually defeat Bowser and Mario becomes a national hero.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
- Date: December 1977–March 1978
- Bowser, being Bowser, does not give up so easily. He fights back using more advanced weaponry and technology, although using the same basic technique. Mario defeats Bowser once again, and is now really weary. Having collected a huge amount of gold coins during his adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario decides to return to Earth and enjoy his new wealth.
All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.
- Date: December 1978
- Princess Toadstool kidnaps a bunch of Japanese celebrities with the intention of forcing them to entertain her. Bowser attacks again shorty afterward, kidnapping the Princess again and holding the Japanese until he can provide them with transport back to their home country. However, Toad convinces Mario and Luigi to rescue the Princess again, and Mario defeats Bowser again first. Mario also ends up taking the other captives back to Japan, where he happens to meet a young video game designer named Shigeru Miyamoto...
Super Mario Bros. 2
- Date: March 1980
- While taking a huge power nap, Mario has a dream in which the kingdom of Shyguyland has been conquered by a frog, who he defeats with help from Luigi, Princess Toadstool, and Toad.
BS Super Mario USA
- Date: March–April 1980
- After talking about the weird dream he had in the last game, Mario finds out that Wart is a real being who can travel through dreams, and that Shyguyland is an actual country that is allied with the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario returns to Plit, and he, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, and Toad proceed to defeat Wart and his minions, including Birdo, for real. As the war between the Mushroom Kingdom and the Koopa Kingdom has died down since his last visit to Plit, Mario decides to stay there for a while.
- Date: September 1980
- Mario receives a invitation from Luigi to visit a mansion Luigi has just won. Mario arrives before Luigi, finds that the place is haunted, and is almost immediately captured by the ghost King Boo and held captive in a painting. Luigi soon frees Mario, but Mario is furious at Luigi for getting him involved in the whole mess and will refuse to include him in his adventures over the next several years.
- Date: February–April 1981
- By this point, Mario is used to the new world, and wants to explore. When he reaches Sarasaland, he meets Princess Daisy. Then, an alien named Tatanga attacks the new kingdom and Mario has to save it. After traveling through Sarasaland's four kingdoms and defeating Tatanga's minions, Mario defeats Tatanga himself and rescues Daisy. After this, Mario will return to Earth and sign a contract with Nintendo, allowing them to adapt his adventures into video games.
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
- Date: October–November 1981
- While Mario was busy in Sarasaland and on Earth, his long-lost relative Wario decided to take over some land Mario owned on Plit. Mario hears about this and begins to fight back again, although Princess Toadstool refuses to provide him with any help. Mario defeats Wario and takes back his property, but will soon move out of his castle and into a much smaller house due to the many traps and monsters left behind in the former by Wario.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- May–June 1985
- After a long-standing ceasefire in the Mushroom War ends when the Mushroom Kingdom launches an unprovoked attack on the Koopa Kingdom, Bowser retaliates by kidnapping Princess Toadstool again. Just then, Smithy and a bunch of his mechanical minions attack both the Mushroom and Koopa kingdoms, forcing Mario and Bowser to work together to defeat them. Also, Mario visits Yoshi Island, where he meets a new Yoshi, who is descended from the ones who rescued him from the Koopas as a baby, and defeats Boshi in a race.
Super Mario 3D Land
- Date: November 1985–April 1986
- Following Smithy's defeat, the Mushroom Kingdom launches an invasion of the somewhat-weakened Koopa Kingdom. They fail miserably, of course, and Bowser kidnaps the Princess again. Mario then befriends some Toads and helps to defeat Bowser's new, bigger army, while also fighting Boom Boom and using the Tanuki Suit for the first time. Mario then hears that Luigi has been kidnapped as well, so he goes to rescue him. After saving Luigi, Mario discovers that Bowser has kidnapped the Princess again, forcing him to fight and defeat Bowser again.
- Date: February 1986
- While Mario is busy in the above game, Wario takes over some forest in the Mushroom Kingdom. Toad goes to fight Wario, defeats him with help from Birdo, and bombs his castle.
Super Mario Bros. 3
- Date: October 1986–February 1987
- Bowser attacks again, seizing seven kingdoms "allied" with the Mushroom Kingdom and placing his children, the Koopalings, in charge. Mario and Luigi use some of their newfound powers to attack back. Mario saves the seven mushroom kings, then invades the Koopa Kingdom and fights Bowser and Boom Boom again. Also, much to Mario's annoyance, Princess Toadstool gets kidnapped by Bowser again. Mario saves the Princess and beats Bowser once again, but begins to fear Bowser more.
Super Mario World
- Date: April–July 1987
- Mario is tired of having to fight Bowser and save the Princess, so he decides to revisit Dinosaur World, where he suspects Bowser won't attack, for a vacation. That may have been a really dumb move. Bowser and the Koopalings attack again, this time taking advantage of the dinosaurs. Mario meets Yoshi again, and eventually defeats Bowser again.
Mario & Wario
- Date: August 1987
- Luigi leads Mario, Princess Toadstool, and Yoshi into some forest in Dinosaur World to investigate rumors of a fairy named Wanda. Luigi, being Luigi, gets lost, forcing the others to split up in search of him. Wario notices this and drops a bucket on Mario's head, leaving him unable to see anything, but Wanda guides Mario to Luigi and helps him fight Wario again. Out of frustration that Luigi got him into another embarrassing situation, Mario will forbid him from participating in his next few adventures.
- Date: November 1987
- Mario and Yoshi open a cookie bakery. Not much to say about this one.
- Date: July–September 1988
- Mario and Yoshi team up to expel Bowser and the Koopalings from Jewelry Land and return its royal family to the throne. In an unprecedented move, Mario uses a gun to fight the Koopas.
- Date: ???
Bowser tries to fight again, using a literal tourist trap. The trap works, and Mario has to fight once again. Mario is angrier than normal in this game.