If there is a more iconic figure in video gaming than Mario, I don’t know who it is. Since his introduction where he fought off Donkey Kong to save the lady in distress, he has just gained more dedicated players with every passing year.
Arguably, it was the Super Nintendo that held his golden years. But there have been some amazing gamed before, during and after that time. He continues to be a character in amazing releases to this day. So here are the most popular games involving our favorite turtle-jumping plumber, Mario.
Super Mario Bros
Price: $25.14 via Walmart
While there were a lot of videos games out there, this was the first that many of us first remember getting addicted to. The entire concept was something completely different, a side scrolling platform game like we have never seen. Colorful, full of enemies and a lot of fun, the moment you think of this game you can still hear the soundtrack, can’t you? Especially the ones for the underground levels. It is no surprise that this remains one of the top nostalgia games on any list involving classic consoles.
Super Mario Bros 3
The second game in the series was pretty lackluster, mainly because it wasn’t originally intended to be a Mario game and so didn’t fit the format. But then number three was released, and gaming was once more changed. I still remember being a kid, watching The Wizard in the theater like every other video game geek, and seeing them announce this game during the tournament scene. The entire theater went nuts! It was one game that lived up to the hype, and is largely considered the greatest Mario game ever released. I doubt I am alone when I saw I keep an SNES around so I can play this one and a handful of other beloved titles from my childhood.
Mario Kart 64
Price: $~30.00 (via eBay)
There were other Mario Kart games before this one, but this release took it to an all new level. When you ask people why they love this game so much, the same features tend to come up. One is the multiplayer, as it split the screen so you can race your friends. Another is the collection of characters, which wasn’t limited to the usual faces and let you play as bad guys, or as characters from other games. Then there were the level designs, which included great graphics for the time, some beautiful scenery and a lot of Easter eggs and hidden goodies. Not to mention the shortcuts we all spent hours exploiting. Besides, who didn’t love being able to blow up your opponents with bomb rigged shells, or trip them up with banana peels?
Super Mario 64
Price: $29.99 (via Gamestop)
Another great one from the Nintendo 64, this game also took advantage of that consoles increased graphics capability. But it was in more than looks like so many other games for that console, and also gameplay. This raised the bar on the gaming worlds we were used to. Unlike other Mario games, it was not a straight platform. It had a ton of hidden gems and cheats, a large scale world to explore, multiple tasks that counted as separate levels within the same area and a lot more. Remember how cool it was when you get onto the roof and find Yoshi?
Super Mario Sunshine
Price: $24.99 (Gamestop)
This is a notable game because it took the format from its 64 game and ran with it into another direction. It had the same style of 3D graphics (the GameCube wasn’t much different in that regard to the N64), but added in a few new elements. For one, it gives Mario a consistent weapon/device in the FLUDD, a water canon that can be used for several uses from blasting enemies to hovering off the ground. It wasn’t the most innovative of the games, but it paved the way for new releases that broke the traditional Mario mold. Plus, a lot of people liked it, and it was the only Mario game to be launched on the GameCube.
Super Mario Galaxy
Price: ~$30 (via Amazon)
This one got much higher praise than Sunshine did, mainly due to its improved graphics. It also went back to that wider world concept, only this time made it even larger by giving him the ability to go from galaxy to galaxy in his quest. It was the best Mario game in a long time, and the only that could be comparable to the earlier releases in innovation and design. Rockstar is about to release their upcoming Game and you can get more information from www.grandtheftautogta6.com site.
Price: ~$30 (via Amazon)
The one that started it all, you can’t have a Mario game list without mentioning the time before he was Mario. Back when he was Jumpman, and he wasn’t saving a princess but a woman named Pauline, this game started a couple of lasting phenomenons. Including Donkey Kong, another highly popular Nintendo franchise that continues to this day.
What is your favorite Mario game? Let us know in the comments.