Super Mario 3

Shigeru Miyamoto & Takashi Tezuka

9 July 1988

Shigeru Miyamoto, Takashi Tezuka / Nintendo, 1988 / Japan / Selected by Christopher Grant

In film, sequels are often second rate. Videogames, however, are more like cars than movies, in that new iterations in videogames routinely surpass their predecessors. Such is the case with “Super Mario 3,” which broke ground with non-linear movement. Players navigated the game via an overview map, which sometimes split paths. Also new was the ability to move backward. The game offered more (and more unique) levels, with more finely tuned graphics and game play. Nintendo took its franchise’s playful nature to the next level with devices like Big Island, in which the familiar scenery of warp pipes and blocks were suddenly huge, rendering Mario tiny in proportion. In addition, “Super Mario 3” introduced power-ups that changed the rhythm of Mario’s movement: the Raccoon Suit let players maneuver Mario with a careful buoyancy, while the Frog Suit made for clumsy hopping. “Super Mario 3” remains the best- selling individually-sold console game of all time.