Super Mario is one of the most iconic and recognizable video game franchises of all time, loved by gamers of all ages around the world. The series, which began in 1985 with the release of the original Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), has since spawned countless sequels, spin-offs, and merchandise, cementing its place in gaming history. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the history of the Super Mario franchise and how it has evolved over the years.
The Original Super Mario Bros.
The original Super Mario Bros. game was released in 1985, and it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. The game's simple but addictive gameplay, combined with its colorful graphics and catchy music, made it an instant classic. Players took on the role of Mario, a plumber who must rescue Princess Toadstool from the evil Bowser, king of the Koopa Troopas.
Super Mario Bros. was a massive success, selling over 40 million copies worldwide and helping to establish the NES as a dominant force in the video game industry. The game's success led to numerous sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations, including the beloved Super Mario Bros. 3 and the spin-off puzzle game, Dr. Mario.
The 16-Bit Era
In 1990, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), a 16-bit console that would become one of the most successful gaming platforms of all time. With the release of the SNES, the Super Mario franchise entered a new era, one marked by even more impressive graphics and deeper gameplay.
The first Super Mario game released on the SNES was Super Mario World, which launched alongside the console in 1990. Super Mario World was a critical and commercial success, introducing new mechanics like Yoshi, a dinosaur that Mario can ride, and power-ups like the feather that allows Mario to fly.
The SNES era also saw the release of several other Super Mario games, including Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, a collaboration with RPG developer Square, and Super Mario Kart, a racing game that spawned its own popular franchise.
In 1996, Nintendo released the Nintendo 64, a 64-bit console that would once again change the video game landscape. With the Nintendo 64 came the first 3D Super Mario game, Super Mario 64. Super Mario 64 was a groundbreaking game, introducing players to a fully 3D world that they could explore and interact with in ways never before possible.
Super Mario 64 was a critical and commercial success, selling over 11 million copies worldwide and becoming one of the most beloved games of all time. The game's success would lead to several more 3D Mario games, including Super Mario Sunshine for the GameCube and Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii.
In recent years, the Super Mario franchise has continued to evolve and innovate, with new games released on Nintendo's latest console, the Nintendo Switch. Super Mario Odyssey, released in 2017, was a return to the open-world 3D gameplay of Super Mario 64, allowing players to explore various kingdoms and capture objects and enemies with Mario's hat, Cappy.
Other recent Mario games include the side-scrolling platformer, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, an updated version of the popular racing game with new characters and tracks.
The Super Mario franchise has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1985. With each new console generation, Mario has continued to evolve and innovate, introducing new gameplay mechanics, graphics, and technologies that have helped to shape the gaming industry as we know it.