The Goombas in the original Super Mario Bros. establish basic qualities of Goombas for subsequent Mario games. For example, the original Goombas are very common walking enemies and disappear once Mario stomps on them. This ever-present and vulnerable nature of Goombas appears in later games such as Super Mario Bros. 3. Furthermore, the original Goombas use the strategy of attacking in groups of two or three, which repeats extensively among Goombas in later games. This forces Mario to cautiously stomp on a single Goomba to avoid being attacked by a nearby Goomba, especially in an enclosed space, although with the proper velocity and timing, it is usually possible to bounce off of one onto the next, killing them all without touching the ground, gaining more points in the process. In addition, the original Goombas introduce the fundamental collision detection for a generic Goomba. When a Goomba collides with an obstacle or another Mario enemy, the Goomba will always walk away in the opposite direction. While certain Mario enemy sprites such as the Cheep-Cheep would pass through other Mario enemy sprites, the Goomba will react to other Mario enemies. This collision reaction is evident in later Mario games as well.
In Super Mario Bros., Goombas appear as blue in underground levels and grey in castles. However, this is actually due to the limited color palette of the game, which is why grey Goombas' appearances have been rare to nonexistent. Their color appearance is likely due to an evolutionary trait. They blend into the surroundings to make them less visible to both predators and prey. The colored Goombas however, make a reappearance in Paper Mario as Gloombas in Toad Town Sewers, and like regular Goombas, come in Gloomba form, Spiked Gloomba form and Paragloomba form, and each have seven HP. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door continues the use of the enemy, and places them in the Pit of 100 Trials. The Paper Mario series' use of blue Goombas is probably intended to be a nostalgic reference to the original.
In the North American release of Super Mario Bros. 2, there are no Goombas in the entire game. This comes from the fact that the game was a Nintendo adaptation of a pre-existing Japanese game entitled Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, whose storyline has no relation to the Mario game series. Although Nintendo of America replaced a few characters in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic when creating Super Mario Bros. 2, none of the enemies were replaced with Goombas. In contrast, the game released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan (and known as The Lost Levels in America) has Goombas, since it uses the same game engine as the original Super Mario Bros.
Kuribo's Shoe from Super Mario Bros. 3 can be used by both Mario and Goombas.In Super Mario Bros. 3, the Micro-Goomba and Para-Goomba (see above) were introduced. There are also giant Goombas (called Grand Goombas) in World 4 (Giant Land), but they're no stronger than normal Goombas; just bigger and meaner looking. In addition, in level 5-3, Goombas have the ability to use a power-up that mimics a jump attack similar to Mario's jump attack. These Goombas ride in giant individual green boots with a winding key. When a Goomba equips the boot, the Goomba can jump towards their enemy. Normally, the Goombas die if they are jumped upon from above; however, if they are attacked creatively by destroying the blocks underneath them, they will leave behind their boot, which Mario can then jump into, making him almost invincible. This power-up is known as "Kuribo's Shoe" in the original Super Mario Bros. 3 (Kuribō being the Japanese name for the Goombas) but was renamed "Goomba's Shoe" in subsequent Western Super Mario Bros. 3 remakes. This is the only original level from the Mario games containing this powerup, although some of the Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 add-on stages feature it. Once the level is cleared, the powerup is gone.
In Super Mario Land, they are referred to as "Chibibo" in the manual. They are essentially the same creature in this game, and they behave exactly as Goombas do in Super Mario Bros.
In Super Mario World, jumping on a Goomba does not defeat it, but renders it immobile, allowing Mario to pick it up.In Super Mario World for SNES, they are slightly less common, and when Mario stomps on them, they are knocked upside down and rendered immobile for a short period of time. When this happens, Mario can pick the Goombas up and carry them, until they resuscitate themselves. Like Koopa Troopas, Goombas hurt Mario upon contact once they revive. Also, some Goombas can come to Mario in different ways, such as dropping in with a parachute (in Super Mario World, the parachuting Goombas assume the Paragoomba name, and the Goombas with wings are called simply Winged Goombas) or floating inside a bubble. In comparison to earlier versions, the Goombas of Super Mario World differ in appearance by having a roughly spherical head rather than a mushroom cap and lacking a stem, instead having the feet attach directly to the bottom of the head.