The Progression Of Mario Games

How They’ve Improved Through The Years


Image Courtesy Of Fanshare.

Corvus Mixsooke, Writer

The Super Mario Bros series is one of the most iconic game series, but when did it start, and how has it progressed? It has progressed throughout the years in many ways starting back with Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released in 1985 on September 13 up to the present day with the most recent mainline game being Super Mario Odyssey which released in 2017 on October 27 for the Nintendo Switch.

The Mario series started out as a two-dimensional platformer where you traveled throughout eight unique worlds fighting various enemies. On the fourth stage of each world you enter a castle ruled by King Bowser. You defeat him either by shooting him with fire balls or jumping over him and touching the ax behind him to instantly beat him. Your goal is to beat all eight worlds and save the princes at the end of the last world. That’s the same throughout the first three games except Super Mario Bros 2 which was a reskin of another game called Doki Doki Panic. They did this because the Japanese Mario Bros 2 (later renamed to Mario the Lost Levels for American audiences) was deemed too hard for people from the US.

Starting with Super Mario Bros 3, they added an overworld map with branching paths making it to where you don’t have to complete every level in a world. Super Mario World expanded upon this by adding secret exits to some levels to unlock shorter paths through the worlds. Super Mario World also added a special world you could unlock by finishing every level in the game. Upon beating the special world, it sends you to the first level with some changes to the difficulty and look of the game.

When the Super Mario 64 was released alongside the Nintendo 64 on June 23, 1996, fans were excited for a new Mario game, and this time it was in 3D which was a new concept back then. In Super Mario 64 you have to explore 15 worlds with seven power stars to collect, along with three boss worlds where you again fight Bowser. There are a total of 120 power stars to collect in the game, but you only need 70 to beat the game. The next 3D Mario game is Super Mario Sunshine for the Nintendo GameCube. In this one, your goal is to prove that Mario is innocent of a crime by collecting the lost Shine Sprites and bringing light back to Delfino Isle. There are again 120 Shine Sprites to collect throughout the eight levels and a minimum of 70 to beat the game. This game also added blue coins that you can trade for Shine Sprites.

With the most recent mario game, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario has to travel across the entire world to save the princess and defeat Bowser. This time Mario is accompanied by a ghost called Cappy who possesses Mario’s hat. Mario can throw Cappy at any non-player character to take control of them. In this game, there are 999 power moons to collect, along with other new collectibles you can use to get power stars and costume from the shops around the world, but you only need 124 to get to bowser at the end of the game.

Mario is a franchise that I really enjoy, and I think they’re going in the right direction with their games. I don’t think the series will die any time soon and will go on for many years to come. If you have a Nintendo Switch, I think you should get Super Mario Odyssey and give it a play.