Yeah I don't know how you get challenging out of SMW Micky, it's definely one of the easier Super Marios.
Super Mario 64 was pretty nice as well I thought.
People keep telling me that, but I don't see it. The game has a tendancy to bombard you with new things rather than ease you into it, and again, Mario always feels "off" to me. However, I never grew up with Mario games, outside of Paper Mario, and honestly, I feel like that's the most important thing I'm missing that's preventing me from joining the cult of Mario.
Well on the contrary I think Paper Mario is kind of the lame Mario series to be honest...
I think Mario is just Mario if you don't like it it doesn't matter what you game you play, you won't really get into it, whereas if you are a Mario fan almost any of the Mario games will work well enough.
I can see that last part being true, since that's how I am with Sonic, but...I like certain Mario games, I just dislike a lot of the 2D entries. I actually notice quite a few differences from game to game. I'm not a big enough fan to overlook the problems of certain entries just because its Mario, but the ones I've enjoyed I love the heck out of, whether its a main game or a Spin-off. I guess you could say my relationship is love-or-hate with this particular series. Same with Kirby, although there's a lot more misses there for me. Outside of Epic Yarn and Mass Attack, I prefer the more traditional Kirby games. I rarely get into his more...creative entries, which I feel is a crying shame.