Super Mario

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Super Mario
The logo for the series.
Creator(s)Shigeru Miyamoto
Platform(s)Nintendo Entertainment System, Game & Watch, Game Boy, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS
First releaseSuper Mario Bros.
September 13, 1985
Latest releaseSuper Mario 3D Land
November 13, 2011

The Super Mario (スーパーマリオ) video game series, alternatively called the Super Mario Bros. (スーパーマリオブラザーズ, Sūpā Mario Burazāzu) series or simply the Mario (マリオ) series, is a series of highly popular and critically acclaimed[1] platforming video games by Nintendo, featuring Nintendo's mascot Mario and, in many games, his brother Luigi as the player characters. At least one Super Mario game has been released for every major Nintendo video game console and handheld since the release of Super Mario Bros., the first title in the series, in 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The Super Mario games focus on Mario's adventures in the fictional Mushroom Kingdom and all its various locales. Gameplay often centers around progressing through various levels set in these locales, where Mario jumps on and defeats various enemies. The games usually feature simple plots; the most common theme is that of Bowser, the primary antagonist, kidnapping Princess Peach, whom Mario rescues. Super Mario Bros. established many gameplay concepts and elements prevalent in nearly every Super Mario game, including a multitude of power-ups and items that bestow Mario with special abilities such as shooting fire.

The series is central to a greater Mario franchise that includes other genres of video game as well as other media such as film, television, printed media and merchandise. Over 262 million games in the Super Mario series have been sold worldwide, making it the best-selling video game franchise.[2]


Gameplay of the first game in the series involved jumping on enemies and walking screen right toward a specific goal. It has changed very little over the years.
File:Mariobros3 skyland.jpg
Part of the fifth world's map in Super Mario Bros. 3; cleared levels are marked with an "M" or "L" (for Mario and Luigi, respectively), while uncleared levels display a number.

In the 2D games of the Super Mario series, gameplay primarily involves jumping on enemies and avoiding enemy attacks. In later 3D games, close quarters fights were incorporated. Intense emphasis on reaching various goals permeates the series; such goals include defeating enemies, reaching specific points, or solving puzzles. Throughout the series, collecting power-ups has been an integral part of the gameplay.[3]

In 2D games, the levels are linear, and are usually divided into different worlds, each with a certain number of hidden items and secret warp pipes. Early 2D games used levels with only one exit, then forcing the player to advance to the next sequential level. Super Mario Bros. 3 was the first game to use an overworld. In the game, levels are shown on a map, and the player can take different paths through the game.[4] The order in which all these elements are arranged is not necessarily linear, which often allows the player to skip them or play them in different order. Super Mario World introduced levels with multiple exits. Unlike in Super Mario Bros. 3, where once a level is cleared, the player can choose the next level in the overworld, in Super Mario World, the way the player exits the level dictates which path opens to player in the overworld.[citation needed]

Until Super Mario 3D Land, 3D games of the series all had a non-linear, free-roaming layout. In Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, an overworld connects levels in the game; more areas of the overworld and thus more levels become accessible as the game progresses.[5] Super Mario Galaxy 2 uses a map like the one found in Super Mario World.[6] Each course is an enclosed world in which the player is free to wander in all directions and discover the environment without time limits. The player gathers Power Stars or Shine Sprites in each course; some only appear after completing certain tasks, often hinted at by the name of the course. As more Power Stars or Shine Sprites are collected, more areas of the overworld become accessible and thus more stages are available.[citation needed]

Recurring gameplay elements

Item blocks originated from the game Super Mario Bros. In that game and many of its sequels, such blocks contain either coins or power-ups, which aid the player's progress.

The Super Mushroom has been described as "the quintessential power-up".[7]

The Super Mushroom is a power-up in the series. Usually, it's about the size of Mario, and has an ivory stalk below a red and white (originally red and orange) spotted cap. Collecting one of these increases Mario's size, allowing him to break certain blocks and take an extra hit of damage (upon which he reverts to his small size.)".[7] While in Super form, most blocks that would contain a Super Mushroom will instead offer a more powerful power-up, such as the Fire Flower. Originally, it was shaped after a common mushroom, but since Super Mario Bros. 2 it gained a more cartoonish shape, becoming round and stubby, with a smiling face on the stalk. Shigeru Miyamoto stated in an interview that the Super Mushroom was created by chance, after beta tests of Super Mario Bros. showed Mario too tall, they implemented mushrooms to grow and shrink Mario.[8] Technical advances now allow to have a large Mario character, but later the power-up was introduced to make him "super" only as a bonus effect.[9]

The Poison Mushroom is an item first featured in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Unlike the Super Mushroom, it deals damage similar to an enemy attack upon contact. It is depicted as a purple-capped frowning mushroom with a skull on it. It also appears in Super Mario 3D Land, where it has the additional ability to chase Mario and Luigi in this game.

1-Up Mushrooms are common items that appear in the games and were introduced in Super Mario Bros. These mushrooms have green caps with white spots (originally orange caps with green spots). When Mario picks up one of these mushrooms, he is given an extra life. In Super Mario Bros., 1-Up Mushrooms are sometimes hidden in invisible item blocks. 3D games feature mushrooms that only appear if Mario walks over a certain spot, along with stationary 1-Up Mushrooms.

A Fire Flower, introduced in Super Mario Bros., transforms Mario into Fire Mario. Fire Mario can throw bouncing fireballs at enemies, using them as weapons. Super Mario Galaxy was the first 3D Mario platformer game to have this power-up. Its design has changed little since the beginning, aside from a smiling face that was eventually added to the design.

The Ice Flower, introduced in Super Mario Galaxy, appears in specific courses. This item turns Mario into ice and lets him walk on lava or water for a time by freezing the surface. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, its function changed and instead allowed Mario to throw ice projectiles that freeze enemies, preventing them from moving by freezing them in an ice cube. Mario can then ground pound the ice cube or pick it up as a projectile.

The Starman (or Super Star) is a smiling, flashing star in 2D Super Mario games and was introduced in Super Mario Bros. When Mario touches it, it temporarily grants him invincibility from enemies and, in some titles, increased speed. Super Mario Bros. 3 was the first game in which Mario did a somersault while jumping if he had touched a Starman. A similar item, the Rainbow Star, appears in Super Mario Galaxy and more or less gives the same ability, but gives Mario a rainbow-colored texture.

The Power Star is an item Mario needs to collect from levels in order to progress in some games of the series, such as Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy.

The Super Leaf is an item that made its debut in Super Mario Bros. 3. When collected, Mario has the unique ability to fly when running at full power and can also swat enemies and blocks with his raccoon tail. In Super Mario 3D Land, the Super Leaf makes a reappearance, allowing Mario to still swat enemies and blocks with his tail, but instead of flying, Mario this time uses it to slow his descent as he falls.[10] Though not a gameplay mechanic, it is still shown that the Super Leaf enables flying.

The Tanooki Suit is an item that also debuted in Super Mario Bros. 3. It has the same powers as the Super Leaf, but Mario has the ability to change into an invincible statue for about 5 seconds. In Super Mario 3D Land this item makes a reappearance, though as a silver-colored Super Leaf, called a Statue Leaf.[3] With a Statue Leaf, Mario and Luigi gain a scarf on top of the regular suit, and the ground pound is changed into a statue transformation that lasts for a long period of time, or until the R button is released.

Coins are often littered throughout Super Mario levels, with benefits occurring with collecting them. Most Super Mario games award the player an extra life once a certain amount of yellow coins, commonly 50 or 100, are collected. In Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 coins replenish health (and air, when Mario is underwater). In Super Mario 64, a Power Star can be earned in each level for collecting 100 coins. There are also stages in that game that require Mario to collect 8 red coins, worth two normal coins each, to gain a Power Star. In Super Mario Sunshine, when Mario collects 100 coins is awarded a Shine Sprite. In Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, after beating the game once, stages are unlocked in which Mario can collect a certain amount of purple coins to earn a Power Star. In Super Mario Galaxy 2 they can also be used to feed some hungry Lumas.

The Warp Pipe is a common method of transportation used in many of the games in the Mario series. Warp Pipes are most often green but also appear in other colors (early games included silver pipes, newer games have introduced red, green, blue and yellow pipes), and have many uses in the series. Along with providing transport to different areas within games, Warp Pipes can also contain enemies, usually Piranha Plants, and sometimes they can launch the player into the air (most commonly seen in New Super Mario Bros.).


The Mushroom Kingdom (キノコ王国, Kinoko Ōkoku) is the setting in the Super Mario series where most of the games take place. It is a monarchy and its heir is Princess Peach. The chancellor of the kingdom is its head of government in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars; however, he has not appeared since. Its capital, first appearing in Paper Mario, is Toad Town. Surrounding Toad Town are several territories, such as Dry Dry Desert. Though Princess Peach and the Mario brothers are human, the citizens of this area are the mushroom-like Toads.

Super Mario Bros. 3 is set in the Mushroom World, a collection of eight kingdoms. Seven of these are "Mushroom Kingdoms", and are ruled by independent Mushroom World kings. The eighth world is referred to as "Dark Land", and is ruled by Bowser, King of the Koopas. The instruction manual for the game states Bowser had taken over the Mushroom Kingdom, and the Mushroom Kingdom is a gateway to the Mushroom World, but this is never elaborated upon in Super Mario Bros. 3 or any other game.

Super Mario World introduced Dinosaur Land, a separate continent where Mario, Luigi and Princess Toadstool go for a vacation after the events of Super Mario Bros. 3.[11] Yoshi's Island, home of the Yoshis, is located within Dinosaur Land.

Super Mario 64 introduced Peach's Castle, which serves as a hub world. The worlds in the game are reached by jumping into paintings, which are portals to imaginary worlds created by Bowser. As such, the game is largely not set in the Mushroom Kingdom.


Much of the original Super Mario Bros. music and sound effects have become iconic to the series and incorporated into modern games. The original Super Mario Bros. theme has become very popular around the world and is composed by Koji Kondo. The theme from the underwater levels of Super Mario Bros. frequently appears as title screen music in the series, including in Super Mario Sunshine, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, and the Super Mario All-Stars versions of the four NES games.[citation needed]



Super Mario release timeline
1985Super Mario Bros.
1986Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japanese version)
1988Super Mario Bros. 2 (International version)
1988Super Mario Bros. 3
1989Super Mario Land
1990Super Mario World
1992Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
1994Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
1995Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
1996Super Mario 64
2002Super Mario Sunshine
2006New Super Mario Bros.
2007Super Mario Galaxy
2009New Super Mario Bros. Wii
2010Super Mario Galaxy 2
2011Super Mario 3D Land
2012New Super Mario Bros. 2 New Super Mario Bros. U

Super Mario Bros., for the NES, is the first traditional linear 2D platform game featuring Mario, where gameplay consists of a sidescrolling level. In this game, it is established that Mario and Luigi live in the Mushroom Kingdom, where they must rescue Princess Toadstool (later called Princess Peach) from Bowser. The game consists of eight worlds with four sub-levels in each world. Though each world is different, the fourth sub-world is always a fortress or castle. At the end of each castle level, Mario or Luigi fights Bowser (though if one of the brothers throws five fireballs at Bowser during the first seven battles, it is revealed that he is actually a different enemy in disguise).[12] The game was immensely successful, and is the second best-selling video game to date.

The brothers returned in the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels outside Japan) reuses gameplay elements from Super Mario Bros.; however, the game is much more difficult than its predecessor. For these reasons, Nintendo did not release it outside Japan in this time period.[13] The main game follows the same style of level progression as Super Mario Bros., with eight initial worlds containing four levels each. The player enters a lava-filled castle at the end of each World, culminating in a battle against Bowser. The game later debuted outside of Japan in the SNES compilation, Super Mario All-Stars, while the original NES version was not released until September 2007, when it was released for the Virtual Console service for the Wii. Also, a port of Super Mario All-Stars was released for the Wii titled Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition. It features the exact gameplay on the SNES, but with the controlling ability of the Wii[clarification needed].

The non-Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2

In the non-Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario and his companions are out to stop the evil frog Wart in the dream land of SubCon. In Japan, Super Mario Bros. 2 was originally made as Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, and later converted into a Mario game for the rest of the world. (The game was later released as a Mario game under the name Super Mario USA in Japan.) For this reason, the game is significantly different than other games in the series. One of the game's most defining aspects is the ability to pluck vegetables from the ground to throw at enemies. This is also the first Super Mario game to use a life meter, which allows Mario and the other playable characters to be hit up to four times before dying.

In Super Mario Bros. 3, the game is divided into eight playable worlds, and each world contains between 8–10 levels and several bonus stages. The worlds are themed, with each level containing characteristics of that theme. All of the levels are shown on a map, which allows the player to take different paths through the game. The order in which all these elements are arranged are not necessarily linear, and the player is thus permitted at times to skip a level or play it out of order. Once a level is cleared, it cannot be replayed. Super Mario Bros. 3 has multiple levels in every world featuring a boss at the end. At the end of all but the last world is an airship called a Doom Ship, featuring a scrolling level and one of Bowsers's Koopalings at the end. The game introduced a diverse array of new power ups, allowing Mario to take flight for the first time by becoming Raccoon Mario. The final boss is again Bowser.

Super Mario Land, for the Game Boy, uses gameplay similar to that of Super Mario Bros. and its successors for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Like in the previous games, the player takes over the role of Mario. The ultimate objective is to defeat Tatanga the "Mysterious Spaceman" and save Princess Daisy. The game consists of twelve levels split across four worlds.

Super Mario World, for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and later the Game Boy Advance, consists of seven main worlds and two secret worlds. Super Mario World contains an overworld, which provides a passive overview of all the game's levels. Each of the game's 72 levels is accessed individually from the world map. Most levels have one exit, though some have a second exit which is usually hidden. In total the game has 96 exits. Mario is capable of a variety of new moves, including a "spin jump". He can pick up and throw items, but is now also able to throw them upwards or set them down gently. He is also able to ride Yoshi, who is able to eat enemies and either swallow or spit them back out. In addition to the classic size-growing Super Mushroom, Fire Flower ability to project fireballs and Starman, game introduces the Cape Feather, based on Super Mario Bros. 3’s Super Leaf, which allows Mario and Luigi to fly with a cape.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins introduced Mario's rival, Wario, who takes over Mario's castle during the events of Super Mario Land and forces Mario to collect the six golden coins to reclaim his castle. While its predecessor was similar to the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Land 2 has more in common with later games.[citation needed] The player is no longer restricted to moving right in a level. At the end of a level is a bell, which if touched, activates a mini-game at the end, where the player can try to get extra lives. There are 32 levels in total, based in several different themed worlds. Each world has its own boss. Super Mario Land 2 features three returning power-ups—the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Starman. The game introduces one new power-up called the Carrot, which gives Mario large rabbit ears, allowing him to glide for a limited time and descend at a slower rate.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is the only game in the Super Mario series to date not to feature Mario as a playable character (although it is possible to play through Super Mario Bros. 2 without Mario). The player takes control of Wario, who is jealous of Mario's castle and sets out to steal a golden statue of Princess Toadstool in order to acquire enough wealth to buy his own castle. Wario's power ups include the Bull Hat, which gives greater strength, the Jet Hat, which allows him to fly briefly, and the Dragon Hat, which serves as a flamethrower. He can also perform the horizontal Body Slam move and vertical Stomp move. Wario Land later became a series that broke off from the Super Mario series.

In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, the player takes control of Yoshi (with the exception of brief instances in which Mario is controlled) who is carrying the infant Mario across Yoshi's Island to find Luigi. It is a prequel to all other Super Mario games. The main goal for each level to reach the end with Baby Mario safely on Yoshi's back. Baby Mario is then transferred to the back of a differently-colored Yoshi, who will carry him through the next level. If Yoshi is struck by an enemy, Baby Mario will be sprung from Yoshi's back and float around in a bubble crying while a timer counts down; if Yoshi does not reunite with Baby Mario before the timer reaches 0, Baby Bowser's minions will fly on screen and kidnap him, ending the level and reducing the player's chances to retry by one. The game has a childlike aesthetic, with environments that appear to have been drawn with crayons. Yoshi's Island received two sequels that spun-off from the Super Mario series: Yoshi's Story and Yoshi's Island DS.

Mario made his 3D debut in Super Mario 64.

Super Mario 64 was a launch game for Nintendo's next home console, the Nintendo 64, and is the first 3D game in the series. The game was not as linear as the previous installments. Each course is an enclosed world in which the player is free to wander in all directions and discover the environment without time limits. The player gathers stars in each course; some stars only appear after completing certain tasks, often hinted at by the name of the course. As more stars are collected, more areas of the castle become accessible.[14] The analog stick made an extensive repertoire of precise movements in all directions possible. The game introduced new moves such as punching, performing a triple jump, using a Wing Cap, and more. It is also the first game in the Super Mario series to feature the voice acting of Charles Martinet for Mario. Mario must once again save Princess Peach from Bowser, and collect up to 120 Power Stars from the paintings and return them to her castle (there are a total of 105 Power Stars in the paintings, with 15 hidden in the castle). Each level's stars can be obtained in different ways. The game also uses the power-up element from the original games. However, instead of power-ups from previous games, three different Caps with different effects are used as power-ups: the Wing Cap, Metal Cap, and Vanish Cap, which temporarily allow Mario to fly, become metal, and walk through obstacles, respectively.

In Super Mario Sunshine on the Nintendo GameCube, Mario and Peach travel to Isle Delfino for a vacation. However, a Mario doppelgänger appears and vandalizes the entire island. Mario is sentenced to clean up the island. Super Mario Sunshine shares many similar gameplay elements with its predecessor, Super Mario 64, but it also introduces new features, like the ability to spin while jumping. FLUDD, a water-squirting accessory, is a new element in Super Mario Sunshine, which Mario uses to complete his mission. The game contains a number of independent levels, which can be reached from the hub, Delfino Plaza. Gameplay is based on collecting "Shine Sprites" by completing various tasks in the levels. Once the player has collected enough Shine Sprites, a new level is available at Delfino Plaza, either by the acquisition of a new ability or a plot-related event.[15] This game also introduces Bowser's eighth child, Bowser Jr.

In New Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS, Mario and Luigi have to save Peach from Bowser Jr. While the gameplay is 2D, most of the characters and objects are 3D polygonal renderings on 2-dimensional backgrounds, resulting in a 2.5D effect. The game uses an overworld map similar to the ones from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Levels can have multiple exits. All the classic power-ups (Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Starman) return, with the addition of three new ones – the Mega Mushroom, Shell and Mini Mushroom. The Mega Mushroom briefly turns Mario (or Luigi) into an invincible giant who can destroy everything in the way, the Shell protects Mario from harm and allows him to slide (depending on speed), and the Mini Mushroom shrinks Mario to very small size—which allows him to fit through tight spaces.

Super Mario Galaxy is set in outer space, where Mario travels between "galaxies" to collect Power Stars, which are earned by completing quests or defeating enemies. Each galaxy contains a number of planets and other space matter for the player to explore. The game uses a new physics system that allows for a unique feature: each celestial object has its own gravitational force, allowing the player to completely circumnavigate rounded or irregular planetoids, walking sideways or upside down. The player is usually able to jump from one independent object and then fall towards another one close by. Though the main gameplay and physics are in 3D, there are several points in the game in which the player's movements are restricted to a 2D axis.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the sequel to New Super Mario Bros. At Peach's birthday party in her castle, she is captured by Bowser's children (Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings), and Mario, Luigi, and two Toads (blue and yellow) spring into action to save her. The game features 4-player co-op and new power-ups[16] – the Propellor Mushroom, the Ice Flower, and the Penguin Suit. The Propellor Mushroom allows players to soar high above the ground when shaking the Wii Remote. The Ice Flower is similar to the Fire Flower, in that it allows the player to shoot out projectiles at enemies, in this case being balls of ice.[16] The Penguin Suit gives the player enhanced sliding and swimming abilities,[16] as well as the power to shoot ice balls. Yoshi returns to the Mario platformer, and players can ride either a green, yellow, pink, or light blue Yoshi in certain levels. There are three star coins on each level, and they can also be used to unlock helpful tip movies back at Peach's castle on World One's map screen. It was released on November 15, 2009 in North America and November 20, 2009 in Europe.[17]

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the sequel to Super Mario Galaxy and was released on May 23, 2010. It retains the basic premise of its predecessor, but includes new items and power-ups; also, Mario has the ability to ride Yoshi. It was released to critical acclaim.

Super Mario 3D Land is a Super Mario title released for Nintendo 3DS in November and December 2011. It is an attempt to translate the gameplay of the 2D games into a 3D environment. It was released to critical acclaim.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a direct sequel to New Super Mario Bros. and will be released in August 2012. It retains the basic premise of its predecessor, but will see the return of the Tanooki Suit which, unlike Super Mario 3D Land, plays much more akin to its counterpart in Super Mario Bros. 3, allowing Mario to fly through the air. The game is based around the premise of collecting as many gold coins as possible.[18][19]

New Super Mario Bros. U is a follow up to New Super Mario Bros. Wii and will be released in holiday 2012 for the Wii U. It retains the basic premise of other New Super Mario Bros. games, but will see the introduction of a squirrel suit which allows the player characters to glide through the air, as well as asymmetric gameplay that allows the player holding the GamePad to influence the environment.

Remakes and rereleases

The Super Mario series includes many remakes. All four NES games of the series were remade in a 4-in-1 package named Super Mario All-Stars; later, a Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World package was released, which included a mildly altered version of Super Mario World. Super Mario Bros. was re-released with added features as Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the Game Boy Color, and later rereleased without any extra features as part of the Classic NES Series for the Game Boy Advance. Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island have all been ported separately on the Game Boy Advance as the Super Mario Advance series; all four also include a remade version of Mario Bros. Super Mario 64 has also been remade for the DS with added features such as additional stars (objectives) and minigames.

Some games have been re-released through the Virtual Console service.


Aggregate review scores
As of November 13, 2011.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Super Mario Bros. (GBC) 92.63%[20]
(GBA) 80.20%[21]
(GBA) 84[22]
Super Mario Bros. 2 (GBA) 82.15%[23] (GBA) 84[24]
Super Mario Bros. 3 (GBA) 92.25%[25] (GBA) 94[26]
Super Mario Land (GB) 75.42%[27]
Super Mario World (SNES) 96.00%[28]
(GBA) 92.42%[29]
(GBA) 92[30]
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (GB) 77.42%[31]
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (GB) 81.00%[32]
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES) 95.00%[33]
(GBA) 89.52%[34]
(GBA) 91[35]
Super Mario 64 (N64) 95.95%[36]
(NDS) 86.33%[37]
(N64) 94[38]
(NDS) 85[39]
Super Mario Sunshine (GC) 91.40%[40] (GC) 92[41]
New Super Mario Bros. (NDS) 89.17%[42] (NDS) 89[43]
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) 97.46%[44] (Wii) 97[45]
New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) 88.12%[46] (Wii) 87[47]
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) 97.12%[48] (Wii) 97[49]
Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) 90.19%[50] (3DS) 90[51]

The Super Mario series is one of the most popular and enduring series of all time. The series is ranked as the best game franchise by IGN.[52] The original Super Mario Bros. was awarded the top spot on Electronic Gaming Monthly's greatest 200 games of their time list[1] and IGN's top 100 games of all time list twice (2005, 2007).[53] Super Mario Bros. popularized the side scrolling genre of video games and led to the many sequels in the series that built upon the same basic premise. Super Mario Bros. sold 40.24 million copies, making it the best selling video game of the series.[54]

Super Mario Bros. 3 is often regarded as one of the Nintendo Entertainment System's greatest games; Nintendo Power rated the game No. 6 on their 200 Greatest Nintendo Games list. and the game was No. 14 on Electronic Gaming Monthly's list. Super Mario World also received very positive scores, with a 96.00% average from GameRankings[55] and rated the 8th best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list.[56]

Super Mario 64, as the first 3D platform game in the Mario series, established a new archetype for the genre, much as Super Mario Bros. did for 2D sidescrolling platformers. It is acclaimed by many critics and fans as one of the greatest and most revolutionary video games of all time.[57][58][59][60][61][62] Guinness World Records reported sales of 11.8 million copies for Super Mario 64 at the end of 2007.

Super Mario Sunshine also received critical acclaim by game reviewers. IGN praised the addition of the water backpack for improving the gameplay,[63] and GameSpy commented on the "wide variety of moves and the beautifully constructed environments".[64] Gamespot and Computer and Video Games, however, called the game "unpolished", with the latter going so far as to insinuate that it was unfinished.[65][66]

Of all the Mario games released, Super Mario Galaxy may very well be the most highly acclaimed Mario video game among both professional critics and ordinary gamers. Extolled for its creativity, special effects, graphics, and soundtrack, Super Mario Galaxy has not only been rated one of the best Mario games created but also one of the greatest platforming games ever made in video game history, according to sites such as IGN and TopTenReviews. GameRankings, a website that collects game scores and rankings from well-established video game critics, estimates that Super Mario Galaxy has an "average score rating of 97.46%",[67] making it the second best ranked game on the site.[68]


Units sold
Game Original platform Total sales
Super Mario Bros. NES 40.23[69]
Super Mario Bros. 2 NES 10[70]
Super Mario Bros. 3 NES 18[70]
Super Mario Land GB 14[70]
Super Mario World SNES 20[71]
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins GB 2.7[72]
Super Mario All-Stars SNES 2.12[73]
Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land GB 5.2[citation needed]
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island SNES 4[74]
Super Mario 64 N64 11[70]
Super Mario Bros. DX GBC 3[73][75]
Super Mario Advance GBA 3.74[73][75]
Super Mario Advance 2 GBA 4.08[73][75]
Super Mario Sunshine GC 5.5[76]
Super Mario Advance 3 GBA 2.11[75][77]
Super Mario Advance 4 GBA 3.6[75][77]
Famicom Mini: Super Mario Bros. GBA 1.37[73]
Famicom Mini: Super Mario Bros. 2 GBA 0.37[77]
Super Mario 64 DS DS 9.65[78]
New Super Mario Bros. DS 28.74[79]
Super Mario Galaxy Wii 10.4[79]
New Super Mario Bros. Wii Wii 25.47[79][80]
Super Mario Galaxy 2 Wii 6.36[78][81]
Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition Wii 2.24[78]
Super Mario 3D Land 3DS 5.03[79]
Total sales of all games (millions) 262[2]

Games in the Super Mario series have had consistently strong sales. Super Mario Bros. is the second best-selling game ever, second to Wii Sports, with 40.23 million units sold. It is also the best-selling game on the Nintendo Entertainment System, with its two sequels, Super Mario Bros. 3 (18 million copies) and Super Mario Bros. 2 (10 million copies), taking second and third place respectively for the NES.[70] For the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Mario World is the best-selling game for the console, selling 20 million copies. Super Mario World is the seventh best-selling game of all time. Super Mario 64 has sold the most copies for the Nintendo 64 (11 million), whereas Super Mario Sunshine is the second best-selling game, to Super Smash Bros. Melee, on the Nintendo GameCube with 5.5 million units sold. Super Mario Galaxy has sold 8.02 million units as of March 2009, and is the sixth best-selling game for the Wii.

The Super Mario series has also sold well on handheld consoles. Super Mario Land has sold 14 million copies for the Game Boy, and is the fourth best-selling game for that console. Its sequel, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, sold 2.7 million copies, placing twelfth. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 was a success in both the NTSC (United States) and JAP (Japan) regions, as well as the PAL (Europe) region, with high sales. New Super Mario Bros., for the Nintendo DS, sold 28.74 million units, making it the best-selling game for the console. Super Mario 64 DS sold 7.5 million copies, making it the eighth best selling game for the Nintendo DS.[82]

For all console and handheld games that have not been bundled with a console, Super Mario Bros. 3 is the fourth best-selling game, whereas New Super Mario Bros. is fifth, Super Mario Land is eleventh, and Super Mario 64 is eighteenth.


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