Super Mario Odyssey - How Long to Beat the Game and How Difficult Is It?

Super Mario Odyssey - How Long to Beat the Game and How Difficult Is It?

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Super Mario Odyssey is an extensive open world game with all the classic hallmarks of Mario that we've come to love. Many of you are wondering how long the game takes to beat and just how difficult it is - so in this post I'm attempting to answer those questions from my own experience completing the game.

Before we start, this post does NOT contain spoilers so for those on the fence about buying Mario Odyssey you can safely read on…

The Odyssey world is split into Kingdoms - playable areas of a particular theme. In total there are 17 kingdoms to explore, many of which are large, varied and contain BOSS fights. Coins and Power Moon's are a core part of progression, with many items locked behind these collectibles. Whilst the former is used to purchase items from the many merchants, the later (Moon's) are required to unlock new "gated" areas, new items to buy and even secret kingdoms.

Power Moon example in Sand Kingdom

See the secret kingdoms guide for more details on unlocking new worlds.

Almost every kingdom has a BOSS fight and some of these are really epic (I won't spoil which ones). Adventure, exploration, puzzles and mini-games all make up the Odyssey experience and it's impossible not to get drawn in as you progress through the game.

Let's take a look at the two most popular questions: how many hours does it take to complete the game and also how difficult is it?

How Many Hours to Complete the Game

1st Ending

From my experience it takes roughly 9-10 hours to reach and beat the final BOSS and unlock the 1st ending. This is based on an average players skill.

Players only need to collect approximately 120 Power Moons to complete the story.

I would expect that experienced Mario players could knock that time down to 7-8 hours and speedrunners could take that down even further.

100% Completion

The estimates above only count the time taken to reach the 1st ending and do not consider the end-game content or 100% completion. Unlocking the secret kingdoms by collecting the milestone 250 and 500 Power Moons will take you considerably longer

In my experience again, it can take at least 30 hours to hunt down and collect all 800+ Power Moons to reach the 100% achievement. This includes beating the BOSS rematches and conquering the "Champions Road" challenge.

Choosing to go after the remaining moons opens up a tonne of new content that allows you to enjoy the full experience of Mario Odyssey. I strongly recommend that everyone venture down this path after beating the story.

Mario Odyssey vs Breadth of the Wild

Breadth of the Wild landscape scene

Of all the current Switch games, Breath of the Wild is the one that people will want to compare Odyssey to. As most of will know, Breadth of the Wild is another open world game that has over 50+ hours of content to enjoy and with expansions that number becomes even larger.

As a base game, Odyssey does not have as much content as Breath of the Wild - that's a fact. But to say that Odyssey is short of content would be doing it a huge disservice. When matched up to the price tag, Odyssey provides ample content to justify it's purchase and players should rank it alongside Breath of the Wild but maybe not above it.

Game Difficulty

Sand Kingdom - 2D section

So how difficult is Mario Odyssey? How does it compare to other 3D Mario games such as Galaxy and Sunshine?

Well, Odyssey does change the playing field a little. For starters, there's no game over screen in Odyssey and players simply take a slap on the wrist in the form of losing some coins when they die. This makes the game more forgiving.

Secondly, Mario has some good survivability manoeuvres in Odyssey. For example, he has a dive move now which provides extra height to let him essentially air dash. Throwing his hat in the air is also similar to a double jump move, and his hat can become a platform to jump off in midair. Those three alone provide extra safety/recovery maneuvers.

I would say that overall the game's difficulty is typical of a 3D Mario game. It's slightly harder than Mario Galaxy and Sunshine but not by much. Kids may find the 2D platform elements more of a challenge and certainly the BOSS rematches and the Champion's Road level will likely be beyond their skill level. That said, Mario is, as it always has been, a great game for all ages and Odyssey keeps that tradition going.

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