By Andrew Liszewski
He might have started life as an anonymous plumber trying to save his beau from the clutches of an inaccurately named gorilla, but Mario really didn’t come into his own until he was upgraded with ‘Super’ status for the release of Super Mario Bros. on the NES (and Famicom) on September 13, 1985, 25 years ago today. Over the years there have been plenty of memorable video game characters, but Mario has been particularly valuable to Nintendo because he helps illustrate the point that great video games rely on great gameplay, not skimpy costumes, gratuitous violence or other gimmicks. I mean how else would a game featuring an overweight, red-coverall wearing, mustached hero have become so popular?
I’ve immensely enjoyed all of his misadventures so far, but if I had to choose my favorite outing I’d tip my hat to the SNES launch title Super Mario World, if for the simple fact that my SNES still sits between my Wii and 360 with that cartridge proudly sticking out of the slot.