35 years ago today, on 13th September 1985, the original Super Mario Bros. launched for the Famicom in Japan. Nobody could have predicted just how successful Nintendo’s main mascot would become, especially 35 years down the line, but here we are, looking at one of the most instantly recognisable faces in gaming and – arguably – the world.
Super Mario Bros. wasn’t Mario’s first gaming appearance, of course – he originally starred in 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong and 1983’s Mario Bros. – but the launch of the classic NES hit is widely regarded to be the true start of his epic journey.
Since then, he’s gone on to appear in well over 200 games and is still going strong today. Indeed, by our count, he’ll have starred in 11 games on Switch by the end of the year – and the console’s only been out for three-and-a-half years.
As you’ve no doubt seen already, Nintendo’s going pretty big with the Mario 35th celebrations this year. A special Nintendo Direct marking the occasion revealed the heavily rumoured Super Mario 3D All-Stars (a compilation of three Mario classics), a new Mario Kart experience in Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, the gorgeous looking Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. system, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (which launches on Switch next year), and lots of other merch and in-game celebrations.
Whether you’ve played one or one hundred of his games, chances are that if you’re reading this very site, Mario’s likely had a relatively sizable impact on your life. For many of us, he was a childhood hero who has stayed with us ever since, and we here at Nintendo Life can say with absolute certainty that our lives wouldn’t be the same without him.
Here’s to the next 35 years, Mario. Now hurry up and star in a Super Mario Sunshine 2, would ya?