Arcade games have been around for a while now, and we all know what a massive effect they have emitted on the gaming and entertainment community. Throughout the years, Super Mario has been one of the biggest titles in arcade gaming history. This character has become so iconic that he owns the biggest flagship Nintendo title and one of the biggest general entertainment names to date.

The Super Mario franchise has been around since the early 1980’s, gained it’s fame immediately and managed to retain it till the present day. Although, the franchise wasn’t always rightfully his. It all started when Nintendo’s original Donkey Kong introduced a character named Jumpman in 1981. He instantly became widely famous in the blooming arcade world where more than 60 thousand arcade machines were bought.

Later in 1982, a sequel had to come out, therefore Donkey Kong JR had been released. The President of Nintendo USA updated Jumpan’s name to Mario, naming him after Mario Segali, the owner of Nintendo’s first ever warehouse. This was where we saw Jumpman’s real name for the first time.

In 1983, the plot changed and the game was renamed after Mario, due to the notably larger focus on him as the main character, rather than the villain, Donkey Kong. The third game of the franchise also introduced Mario’s iconic brother, Luigi, hence the new name, Mario Bros.

Mario also made his Media/ TV debut in 1983, appearing in a cartoon series as a circus trainer on CBS, in the Supercade that aired on Saturdays. This carried on till 1985. Later in 1989, he starred in his first ever TV series under his own name, the Super Mario Show. This show featured both live action scenes and cartoon animations. Mario also made his first big screen appearance in the 1989 movie, The Wizard.

In 1985, the idea of Super Mario changed completely, from a game you go to play when visiting the arcade once in a while to something a whole lot bigger. The NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), Nintendo’s first ever home-gaming console had been released, and it was a no-brainer that Mario would appear on it from day one. Super Mario Bros had sold over 50 million copies worldwide, which was more than immense for the time.

In 1988, Super Mario Bros. 2 was released on the NES. The sequel was first produced and released in Japan but failed to become successful in the USA as American gamers found it too difficult for them to beat. This was because it did not consist of what the usual Mario game included. It was basically a reskin and rebrand of the Japanese game Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic. This made the game feel odd and different from its predecessor titles. This game also introduced the new Luigi, which didn’t look like a copy and pasted Mario with a different colour, for the first time we could see Luigi noticeably taller than Mario. This gave him an advantage of being able to jump higher, although Mario could run a bit faster.

In the same year in 1988, Super Mario Bros. 3 was released on the NES just a few months after the release of its predecessor title. This game is said to be one of the best video games of all time. In this title, Mario had been given a lot of new powers, most of which we still see used in versions to this day, like the Super mushroom, the fire flower power ups, the racoon suit for flying, frog suit for swimming and the hammer suit, giving you the ability to throw hammers. This suit was similar to the tanooki suit, which allowed Mario and Luigi to fly and turn themselves to stone to not be seen by opponents.

In 1989, the Game Boy was released and gave the title an even bigger boost with the release of Super Mario Land, selling another easy 15 million units all around the globe.

A year later In 1990, the Super Nes was the new big thing and the first title on everyone’s tongue was Super Mario World, the fourth of the Mario Bros. series. Thanks to the new generation console, in this game we could see a new more defined, bolder Mario in new clearer, brighter colours. A next gen console also meant new cool features, hence the addition of the feather power up which allowed Mario to fly similarly to the racoon suit, although he could now make a crash landing to kill enemies. The new game also introduced Yoshi, Mario’s trusty dinosaur who Mario could ride to go faster. Yoshi could also eat berries and shoot flames.

In 1992, a new type of Mario game was released. This game took the world by storm and new versions of it are still being released today. Super Mario Kart was born. This game is regarded by gamers as one of the greatest console games of all time. Super Mario Kart was a racing game which featured a variety of characters from the Mario world. Each character had particular skills and weaknesses for driving and CPU racers had their own unique powers, for example Donkey Kong Jr could throw bananas at you.

Later in 1993, the first Super Mario trilogy was re-released in a better, more modern form to match the Super NES. This helped the games take advantage of the new 16 bit system the Super NES had to offer, which made the games a lot clearer than they were on the previous console.

In 1996, Super Mario had made the biggest leap in gaming history, going from 2D to a 3D environment. The game was one of the first ever games to be set in a 3 dimensional environment, and most consoles still didn’t even support the setting at the time. This was something so out of the blue and unordinary that it was a leap almost as big as the first man on the moon. 3D setting gave players a lot more control over what Mario could do and games were no longer limited to just running and jumping. Thanks to the futuristic new design of the all new console of the time, the Nintendo 64, players could now climb, crawl, swim, creep, crouch, run, walk and more. He coils also do double and triple jumps and even jump off walls, but most importantly, it was the first time we could see and hear the all new and improved Super Mario which we still see today. This changed the Super Mario universe completely and made it what it is today.

From 2000 onwards, we have seen numerous more Super Mario titles on all nintendo consoles, including all the versions of the Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, the Wii U, and the all new Switch. In fact it has become one of the most iconic game titles in history. With the all new Mario Galaxy series and newer versions of the Super Mario Bros and Mario Kart games, Mario has involved himself in any kind of game we can imagine, whether it’s action based, adventure based, racing, sports, or even gambling and eSports. One can bet on eSports on websites like Unibet and many more. No one knows what can come out next with the new consoles coming out in 2020 and beyond. Will we see something new that will blow our minds and change the way we see gaming like it did in the 90’s? Or will we see the classic game return in the style which we know best? Only time can tell..

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