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Mario (Ohga Shrugs)

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Mario

Mario is a series of games developed and published by Nintendo. It was originally created by Shigeru Miyamoto. The Mario series is led by the platforming series Super Mario, but also includes a wide variety of other games and entire series. The entire series is by far the best selling retail game franchise of all time, with hundreds of millions of games sold since the 1980's.

Overview

Mario as a character had his origins in the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong. In that game, he was a hero who had to save his friend, Pauline, from the seemingly villainous Donkey Kong, an escaped ape. The game was a major success, spawning multiple sequels focusing on Donkey Kong, who would become a major Nintendo franchise in his own right.

Mario would soon star in a game with his name, the multiplayer-focused Mario Bros. The game helped define aspects of the series such as an emphasis on platforming and Mario's superhuman characteristics.

Mario's most important appearance, undoubtedly, was in 1985's Super Mario Bros. These games combined early platformers like Mario Bros. with a larger scale rarely before seen in console games. Super Mario Bros. would sell over 40 million units on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Since then, the Super Mario subseries has helped define every major Nintendo system, either as 2D or 3D platformers.

The Mario franchise has extended to encompass a variety of games in various genres. Mario Kart is the most popular racing franchise in video games, Mario Party is a popular series of party games, there are two major Mario RPG series, and Mario has also appeared in a number of sports, puzzle, and many other games.

Partial List of Mario Games

Arcade

  • Donkey Kong (1981)
  • Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)
  • Mario Bros. (1983)

NES

  • Super Mario Bros. (1985)
  • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (1986)
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)
  • Dr. Mario (1990)

SNES

  • Super Mario World (1990)
  • Super Mario Kart (1992)
  • Mario Paint (1992)
  • Super Mario All-Stars (1993)
  • Yoshi's Island (1995)
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996)

Nintendo 64

  • Super Mario 64 (1996)
  • Mario Kart 64 (1996)
  • Mario Party (1998)
  • Mario Party 2 (1999)
  • Mario Party 3 (2000)
  • Paper Mario (2001)
  • Dr. Mario 64 (2001)

GameCube

  • Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
  • Mario Party 4 (2002)
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash (2003)
  • Mario Party 5 (2003)
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (2004)
  • Mario Party 6 (2004)
  • Mario Party 7 (2005)

Revolution

  • Super Paper Mario (2007)
  • Mario Party 8 (2007)
  • Super Mario Galaxy (2007)
Mario Kart X
  • Mario Kart X (2008)
  • Mario Artist (2008)
  • Mario Hoops (2009)
  • New Super Mario Bros. Revolution (2009)
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010)
  • Mario Sports Mix (2010)
  • Mario Party 9 (2012)

Stream

  • New Super Mario World (2012)
  • Super Mario 3D Bros (2013)
  • Mario Kart Stream (2014)

Game Boy

  • Super Mario Land (1989)
  • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (1992)
  • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (1994)
  • Donkey Kong (1994)

Game Boy Color

  • Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (1998)

Game Boy Advance

  • Super Mario Advance (2001)
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001)
  • Super Mario Advance 2 (2001)
  • Super Mario Advance 3 (2002)
  • Super Mario Advance 4 (2003)
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003)
  • Mario Party Advance (2005)
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (2005)

Game Boy Nitro

  • Super Mario 64 Deluxe (2006)
  • Mario Kart Nitro (2006)
  • New Super Mario Bros. (2006)
  • Mario Party Nitro (2007)
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (2009)
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (2010)

Game Boy 3D

Mario Kart 3D
  • Mario Kart 3D (2012)
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 (2012)
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star (2012)
  • Mario Party 3D (2013)
  • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Reception and Legacy

The sales success of Mario can not be denied. With over 400 million retail sales, Mario is by far the best selling video game franchise of all time, with only a few other franchises such as Pokemon and Sim even being comparable. Furthermore, many individual Mario games are the best selling titles on their systems, with the top few best selling games on each Nintendo console typically including at least one Super Mario game and, since the SNES-era, a Mario Kart title. Mario is generally less successful on handhelds, but is still only matched by the Pokemon series.

Super Mario 64

Equally notable is the critical reception of the Mario games. Many games in the series, including Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, and the Galaxy duo, are constantly included in lists of the best games of all time. Many of the Mario spinoffs are also acclaimed, especially the RPG's.

The Mario games have been extremely influential on game design and culture. The original Super Mario Bros's success led to 2D sidescrolling games being the genre of choice up into the mid-90's. Even Mario's rival mascot, Sonic, follows many of the tropes and trends set by the Nintendo mascot. Later games were less influential, but still significant. Super Mario Kart virtually launched the kart racer subgenre, Mario Party did the same with the board game/minigame hybrid, and New Super Mario Bros repopularized the 2D platformer in the 2000's.

See Also

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