Nintendo's Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U boasts an impressive and downright catchy soundtrack that will burrow into your brain and make a comfortable home. So much of the music that Mario and friends bop around to during their adventure is spectacularly fun, and since many people are missing out on the Wii U experience, I consider it a public service to bring my five favorite selections from the score to your attention for some listening pleasure. Take a seat, turn up the volume, and grab your favorite catsuit (that last part is optional and you can keep it to yourself if you choose to indulge). This soundtrack was performed by the Mario 3D World Big Band and composed by Mahito Yokota, Toru Minegishi, Yasuaki Iwata, and Koji Kondo. The Club Nintendo loyalty program has made a two-disc CD set of this music available in Japan and Australia and I highly recommend picking it up should you have access to it. The music is just that good.
One of the first songs heard when diving into the game is this main theme that makes up much of the soundtrack; different arrangements of it turn up from time to time performed with different instruments, at different tempos, and with different thematic relevance. This is the primary arrangement with its smooth saxophone and general swinging feel. It's perfect for climbing a wall or stomping a Goomba.
Two of Bowser's lieutentants, Hisstocrat the gentleman snake and the big bouncing Motley Bossblob, appear on the map screen to block Mario's progress. When they appear, so does this funky theme. The central melody makes up the themes used for Bowser's appearances, but this arrangement is my favorite and it doesn't recur nearly often enough for my liking.
If you dig deep enough into the game and advance far enough to be considered a pro player, you'll reach the levels that use this remixed Gusty Garden theme from Super Mario Galaxy (which I've long maintained is the best individual element to come out of the two Galaxy games). You have to work hard and accomplish a lot to get to the point where this song plays, but it's definitely worth it for the space flashback. This version is much more energetic than its predecessors and better suits the faster pace of 3D World.
Here's a flashback for you! The character selection theme from Super Mario Bros. 2 has a knack for sticking with players for much longer than it should, but it hasn't actually reappeared in a main Mario game since (aside from remakes of the original title). It's a pleasant surprise to hear it given a modern makeover to become the background theme for the slot machine bonus round in 3D World (slot machines being another tie to the classic Subcon adventure).
You can always count on a Super Mario game to deliver a rousing end credits theme and 3D World is no exception. This jazzy, uptempo number closes out the storyline once Bowser has been defeated and our heroes return to the Mushroom Kingdom. The song is another arrangement of the core theme above along with snippets of the game's other memorable recurring athletic songs. It's the perfect way to bring down the curtain on another fantastic experience in Mario's world.