Lava is a hazard in many parts of Mushroom World, especially inside castles. When Mario touches lava, it can scorch him. causing him to run around, almost uncontrollably, in pain. In some instances, it may result in him losing some health (as seen in Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel, and Paper Mario), or instant death (as seen from Super Mario 3D Land, Super Mario Sunshine in Corona Mountain and most 2D platformer Mario games, such as Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario World). Even a Star cannot protect Mario. The effect lava has on Bowser varies as well, ranging from not affecting him at all to actually killing him at least once. This could mean that there are different temperatures (or even separate types) of lava that differ from game to game.
 Super Mario series
 Super Mario Bros.
Lava first debuts in Super Mario Bros., where it appears in the fourth level of each world. If Mario or Luigi falls into the lava, they will instantly lose a life. At the end of the level, Mario or Luigi must destroy the bridge that Bowser is standing on, causing him to fall into the lava.
Due to the graphical limitations of the NES at the time, the "lava" is really red-colored water, and is only a background object (proven by characters falling through the lava and not dying the moment they touch it).
 Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Lava reappeared in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and had the same appearance and purpose as in Super Mario Bros.
 Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Bros. 3, lava occasionally appears in the Fortress levels in some worlds. Falling into the lava will cause Mario or Luigi to instantly lose a life. In some levels, lava pools can also be placed upside down, on ceilings.
 Super Mario World
In Super Mario World, lava appears in the fortresses and castles level. Once again, Mario or Luigi will instantly lose a life should they fall into the lava. In certain caves, there is a lighter color of lava which can have skull rafts on them. If Yoshi falls into the lava, he will slowly sink and the same goes for item that floats in water when pick it up. There is also grey lava found which acts exactly the same as regular lava but is colored different and is found in very few caves.
 Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, lava appears in Pipe Vault, Barrel Volcano, and Bowser's Keep. It causes Mario to jump in the air with smoke coming out of him (predating similar reactions in Super Mario 64 and other 3D games), and typically warps him back to the entrance of a room. In the two platforming challenges in Bowser's Keep, which Mario gets ten chances to complete, falling into lava will take away one of his chances along with several coins, and warp him back to where he left off.
 Super Mario 64
In Super Mario 64, lava appeared in Lethal Lava Land and Bowser in the Fire Sea, and covered much of the stage. This lava would bubble and release Podoboos and Fire Snake-like clumps of fire. When Mario touched lava, he would jump into the air with smoke coming out of him, and he would quickly lose three wedges of health. In his Capless Form, Mario would lose four wedges instead, meaning that in his capless form, Mario will lose a life in just two hits from the lava. Both lava stages featured enemies called Bullies that would try to knock Mario into lava.
 Super Mario Sunshine
In Super Mario Sunshine, there are two different kinds of lava. It is found only in Corona Mountain. It covers the entire bottom of the stage, and serves as a major stage hazard in that level. If Mario touches the lava in Corona Mountain, he instantly loses a life. There is something that looks similar to lava, which is the Fire Goop painted by Bowser Jr. (a.k.a. Shadow Mario) with his Magic Paintbrush. This lava-like Goop doesn't result in immediate death, but it does cause Mario to leap into the air uncontrollably, covering little horizontal distance. Therefore, if there is a lot of the Fire Goop when Mario touches it, death may still be inevitable.
 New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., lava appears in the most Castle levels and few levels in World 8. The lava also rises on some levels. As like with the other 2D platformer Mario games, when Mario or Luigi falls on the lava, he would instantly die. Mega Mario would also instantly die.
 Super Mario Galaxy
In Super Mario Galaxy, lava is found mainly in each Bowser and Bowser Jr. level, where it comprises most of the landscape (with a few exceptions of course). In fact, Bowser Jr.'s third level in Super Mario Galaxy is actually called Bowser Jr.'s Lava Reactor, and features considerably more lava than the other Bowser or Bowser Jr. levels. Other galaxies, while not entirely comprised of only lava, do rely heavily on the presence of lava as a major obstacle in some areas. Like Super Mario 64, when Mario touched the lava, he would catch fire and jump into the air uncontrollably, losing 1 wedge of health. Collecting an Ice Flower, however, allows Ice Mario to skate across lava.
 New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii lava does return in most castle levels, in most World 8 levels and in Bowser's Castle. Mario, Luigi, Yellow Toad and Blue Toad will instantly lose a life if they touch the lava.
 Super Mario Galaxy 2
In Super Mario Galaxy 2, the same applies for Bowser's first fortress in the game, Bowser's Lava Lair. Some galaxies between the two games consist entirely of lava-based obstacles, including the Melty Molten Galaxy and the Melty Monster Galaxy.
 Super Mario 3D Land
In Super Mario 3D Land, lava appears in Castle levels, some levels of World 8 and few levels in Special Worlds. Unlike some other 3D Mario games, if the player touches lava in this game, Mario or Luigi will instantly lose a life just like in other 2D Mario games.
 New Super Mario Bros. 2
Lava appears once again in castle levels, especially in Bowser's Castle. In the final battle when Bowser grows giant he summons rising lava. Once again Mario (or Luigi will instantly lose a life (including Mega Mario) if he touches lava.
 New Super Mario Bros. U
Lava also appears in New Super Mario Bros. U, especially in castles like Iggy's Volcanic Castle. Although Peach's Castle, thanks to several renovations via Bowser, does include lava, lava is not involved at all in the final battle with Bowser.
 Mario Kart series
In the Mario Kart series, lava appears in many race courses, most frequently Bowser's Castle. Falling into lava delays the racers, as they must wait for a Lakitu to pull them out to continue the race.
 Paper Mario series
Despite lava appearing in almost every Mario game (or almost every video game for that matter), Lava is rarely seen in the Paper Mario series. In Paper Mario there are only two areas to feature lava; the first is inside the volcano Mt. Lavalava, and the second is inside Bowser's Castle. In this game, if Mario falls into the lava, he loses five hit points, and on most occasions, he needs to have Parakarry carry him over it or have Lakilester float over it. Lava appears again in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. In this game, it is only found during the two Bowser events; the first around Bowser's Castle, and the second in a stage reminiscent of Super Mario Bros.. Mario himself never encounters any lava at all in this game. In Super Paper Mario, there is no lava at all, save the lava around Bowser's Castle in the introduction screen. The tattle for the Lava Bubble, however, says that the player must avoid them while the player is jumping over lava.
In Paper Mario Sticker Star, lava appears in W5-5, Rugged Road, and in W5-6, Rumble Volcano. In the first area of W5-5, Mario can't go over the lava rising, so the player must use a freezing type Sticker to cross the frozen lava. In the other areas, Mario uses rock pieces floating on the lava to cross. In W5-6,lava can also be seen, but Mario just has to avoid it, not cross it. If Mario falls in the lava in Paper Mario Sticker Star, he loses 3 Heart Points.
 Mario Party series
Most Bowser-related game boards in the series involve lava in some way.
 Mario Party 2
The minigame Hexagon Heat from Mario Party 2 involves moving over to the colored spot Toad indicates using the flags he holds. The platforms will slowly fall into lava as a different one is called. Another minigame in both the original and the sequel, Handcar Havoc, involves steering a handcar, and leaning so it does not tip over the edge of the tracks and into lava, however it's impossible to fall off the edge in the Mario Party 2 version, which is in the sky and doesn't have any lava. Lava Tile Isle involves pushing players off the sinking tiles and into lava.
 Mario Party 4
The minigame Chain Chomp Fever in Mario Party 4 involves staying out of the way of the Chain Chomp, while also avoiding falling into the lava. The mini-game The Final Battle! involved getting to and fighting Bowser by solving puzzles and, once again, avoiding falling into lava.
 Mario Party 6
 Mario Party 7
Despite not having lava as a hazard, the minigames Treasure Dome and Tunnel of Lava! from Mario Party 7 is filled with it. The minigame Magmagical Journey! contains much lava that acts as an obstacle.
 Mario Party 8
 Mario Party 9
In Mario Party 9, lava appears in Magma Mine, as one of the most dangerous obstacles in the board, taking half of the captain's Mini Stars when he or she touches it. In Magma Mayhem, the players must knock their adversaries out of a tilting platform, making them sink into the magma. It also appears in the minigames Tumble Temple, Bowser Pop and Double Pounder, as an aesthetic element. In the Boss Battle Spike Strike, the players and Spike are inside a volcano, on a rock surrounded by lava. In the second half, the lava rises, giving less time to the players think. In Chain Chomp Romp, the volcanoes in the background are in eruption,
and lava is seen running down them.
 Mario Party Advance
In Mario Party Advance, the mini-game Stompbot XL involves trying to avoid the lava heading towards the player, while avoiding obstacles like walls, rocks, and small patches of lava. Also, the mini-game Go-Go Pogo has the player using a pogo to get to the end while avoiding the lava below and other obstacles.
 Donkey Kong series
Lava is, like on Earth, a naturally occurring and dangerous substance in the Donkey Kong universe.
Lava's first appearance in a Donkey Kong game was in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, where it was an obstacle found primarily in the area Crocodile Cauldron, a large volcanically active area.
In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! lava makes a small appearance in the hidden world, Krematoa. Here, a small pond of lava can be seen and oddly enough, swam through after Krematoa's ancient volcano is re-activated.
This same pond of lava can be seen in Donkey Kong Land III, the pseudo Game Boy sequel of Donkey Kong Country 3.
Lava also appears in Donkey Kong 64, once again as an uncommon, yet dangerous obstacle.