September 13, 2020 – Super Mario Bros, the game that put Mario into millions of households and sparked a multi-billion dollar franchise, was launched 35 years ago.
The first Super Mario Bros title was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console on September 13, 1985.
The game cartridge subsequently sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, cementing Mario as gaming’s first superstar.
In what today seems like a naively innocent time in gaming (long before space mercenaries, car thieves and murderous zombies became staple gaming tropes), Super Mario Bros followed the titular hero through eight worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom to save Princess Toadstool from the clutches of evil turtle, Bowser.
Despite enormous leaps in technology, and the evolution of more adult-orientated gaming over the last three decades, the formula has stayed pretty much the same, albeit with a switch to three dimensions in 1996 with the arrival of Mario on the Nintendo 64.
Mario was created by eminent Nintendo design guru, Shigeru Miyamoto and named after construction magnate Mario Segale, who owned a warehouse in Washington that Nintendo was renting to use as its north American headquarters.
Mario’s first appearance actually came in 1981 when he featured in the Donkey Kong arcade cabinet – although then he was simply known as Jumpman, and was a carpenter.
To mark the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros, Nintendo is releasing a slew of vintage Mario games for its current Switch console, including:
Super Mario All-Stars – Originally released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1993, and consisting of remakes of the NES games Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario Bros 3.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars – Updates of Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64), Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube) and Super Mario Galaxy (Wii).
Super Mario Bros 35 – A 35-player online battle set in the world of the original Super Mario Bros game.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury – Enhanced version of Super Mario 3D World (Wii U).
Additionally, fans can look forward to:
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit – A real world Mario Kart racing game, featuring remote control cars fitted with cameras, that players control using their Switch consoles.
Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros – Mini handheld game console (inspired by the retro 1980s system) that plays the original Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels.
A plethora of Mario merchandise, including toy tie-ins with Lego and Kinder Joy Surprise Eggs.
As T3 technology writer Luke Johnson aptly puts it, “You would be hard pressed to find any gamer who has never played at least one Mario title”. And it seems Nintendo would like to make sure that anyone who hasn’t played a Mario game yet, gets a chance to do so in 2020.