World 1-1 is the first level in New Super Mario Bros. 2, and is set in the overworld. It has many colored blocks and Note Blocks. Like most other games in the New Super Mario Bros. series, Peach's Castle can be seen in the background at the start of the level.
The level starts off with a ? Block containing a coin, followed by a Goomba. Ahead, there is a stack of colored blocks with two sets of ? Blocks, the latter containing a Fire Flower. Moving on, there is a row of Note Blocks over an abyss. The following rectangular ? Block contains a Fire Flower. A three Goomba tall Goomba Tower then follows, with a pair of Brick Blocks with a hidden Beanstalk above, that will lead to a little area with coins and a block with a 1-Up Mushroom. A green Koopa Troopa and another stack of colored blocks can be found. Above this set sits a lone Brick Block which can turn into a Gold Block when hit several times. If the player manages to land in the pit accidentally, they will warp to a small underground area. In the main area, more Note Blocks follow, then the Checkpoint Flag. Another Goomba Tower and a stack of colored blocks follow, where the player can get a Fire Flower. Another row of Note Blocks then appear. Immediately after that, the player should be able to see a Brick Block on the ground, covering a hole. Ground Pounding it will release some coins and turn into a Gold Block. Upon obtaining the Gold Block, the player falls into the hole into a secret cave, sliding down the slope and defeating four Goombas. In the cave, the first Coin Roulette Block can be seen. Back in the overworld, there is a Goomba Tower. Right before the final set of note blocks, the player will see a brick block and a green pipe. Back on the ground, there is a stack of colored blocks, another Goomba Tower which is eight Goombas tall, and finally, the Goal Pole.
- Star Coin 1: After some Goombas, this Star Coin will be in plain sight. Use the Note Blocks under it to get it.
- Star Coin 2: After the Checkpoint, there will be a Star Coin surrounded by Brick Blocks. Jump on the Note Blocks under it to break the Brick Blocks to access the coin. As Small Mario, it is unable to access this coin.
- Star Coin 3: After some red Koopa Troopas, go down a green Warp Pipe. This Warp Pipe will shoot you into a bonus area set in the sky. Press the P-Switch, then run across the Brick Blocks. At the end will be the Star Coin.
- In Gold Classics Pack's Third Course, there is a red pipe in the World 1-4 area that leads up to this level, with most Brick Blocks changed into Gold Blocks.
- A lot of extra lives and coins can be earned through equipping a Gold Flower and going to the end of the level. Instead of ground pounding the large Goomba stack, the player has to jump normally onto the stack and kill all of the Goombas but the bottom one. The player then has to go left until the lone Goomba is off the screen. When he or she goes back, the whole tower will have respawned.