The first three Super Mario games—Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3—were pivotal in shaping the landscape of video gaming on the original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) for several reasons. Firstly, Super Mario Bros., released in 1985, revolutionized the platformer genre by introducing tight controls, imaginative level design, and a memorable protagonist in Mario. It set the standard for side-scrolling action games, establishing many conventions still used in the genre today. Its accessible yet challenging gameplay appealed to players of all ages and skill levels, helping to popularize gaming as a mainstream form of entertainment and cementing Nintendo’s position as a dominant force in the industry.
Following the success of the original Super Mario Bros., its sequels—Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3—further solidified Mario’s status as a cultural icon and Nintendo’s flagship franchise. Super Mario Bros. 2 introduced innovative gameplay mechanics, such as the ability to play as multiple characters with unique abilities, and showcased Nintendo’s willingness to experiment with new ideas. Meanwhile, Super Mario Bros. 3 pushed the NES hardware to its limits with its expansive world map, diverse environments, and plethora of power-ups and secrets, offering players an even deeper and more immersive gaming experience. These games not only helped drive sales of the NES console but also fostered a sense of community and shared experiences among players, laying the foundation for the enduring legacy of the Super Mario series and its impact on the gaming industry as a whole.