Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Top Games of All Time #5: Super Mario Bros. (NES)

While browsing through Video Games or Bust the other day, I read a post where the the author, Wade, spoke about his favorite game of all time. It got me thinking: What are MY favorite games? So I concocted a list of what I feel are the five greatest titles of all time, from the dawn of gaming through today's 80 gig, high definition monsters. For the next few days I'll be revealing my choices, culminating with a chance for you, the readers, to weigh in on YOUR most beloved titles. Feel free to agree or disagree with my choices, or even leave a list of your favorite games of all time, in order, as a comment!

Now, without further ado, Matt's fifth favorite game of all time: Super Mario Bros. for the NES.

*   *   * 

The third entry into the series might have been bigger and better, but the original Super Mario Bros. started the Nintendo revolution.

The title screen that's permanently burned into the psyche of thousands of 20-somethings.

From its instantly recognizable, peppy soundtrack to its brilliantly simple controls and play mechanics, Super Mario Bros. screamed instant classic from day one. Designed by the immortal Shigeru Miyamoto – who would go on to create many other system-defining titles like The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong and Kid Icarus – the original Super Mario Bros. shows the player everything he or she needs to know in the very first level, then expands upon those abilities as it progresses through World 8, when the action hits a fevered pitch. Novices and NES power players alike seemed to never get enough of the red-clad plumber and his brother, stomping gomba after gomba and terrorizing the turtle population of the Mushroom Kingdom on their endless quest to rescue the elusive Princess Toadstool (later retconned to the airheaded Prince Peach).

The first level.

One might assumed that a game which only progresses from left to right couldn’t have much depth, by Miyamoto’s Mario could discover a gaggle of hidden goodies, from extra coins, mushrooms and 1-ups to concealed steps, instant vines leading to “Coin Heaven” and even the coveted Warp Zones, which allowed industrious players to skip levels they didn’t feel like trudging though or had already completed. The secrets of Super Mario Bros. were the buzz of school yards, playgrounds and cafeterias for years afterward and, whether they cared to admit it or not, a hot topic for many adult fans as well.

This is an image we're all familiar with.
Because it was included in some way or another in many incarnations of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s basic gaming package, most NES players had access to Super Mario Bros.; therefore, Mario and Luigi’s first super adventure is what introduced many players to the vibrant world of Nintendo, or even video games in general. Super Mario Bros.' impact on gaming can be seen even in today’s 3D titles, and Mario is arguably the king of the video game mascots, securing just as many (if not more) Nintendo fans as he did during the glory days of the NES.

I salute you, Super Mario and slightly disrespected brother Luigi, for giving me hundreds of hours of fun and enlightening so many to the ways of the Nintendo.

*   *   *

So what are your favorite games of all time? Leave a reply with your top three in order of greatest to third greatest to have your voice heard here in a future post!


  1. Votes from Joe Barone:
    1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
    2. Super Metroid
    3. Kingdom Hearts II

  2. 1. Secret of Mana
    2. Metroid Fusion
    3. Legacy of the Wizard.

  3. Damn I don't know. I wish I did. @Spriteless I almost forgot about that game! Legacy of the Wizard has a huge place in my heart!
    I would have to say my top game would have to be Mother for the NES. When I finished that game it felt like my childhood was finally ripped away from me, but in a way that makes me cherish it in ways I had never felt before. Looking back at when I finished Mother, I find that having a new feeling at the age of 23 is an odd sensation; you know yourself at that point in life, and the new feeling took me completely by surprise. It was a ghost of a childhood dream that shouldn't have existed. I'll post again tomorrow for my 2nd favorite game, but let it be known: Mother has my number 1 vote.

  4. You know, Super Mario Bros. was the first game I downloaded from the wii store. This is truly an awesome game.

  5. 1. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

    2. Super Mario 64

    3. Super Metroid

    -Professor S

  6. 1. Super Metroid

    2. Castlevania 4

    3. Super Mario Bros. 3