Mario games are synonymous with fun and innovation, and perhaps Mario 64 is the best example of the latter. It gathered the core elements of Mario’s best 2D, side-scrolling adventures and worked out how to translate them into a groundbreaking 3D world. It was still recognisably Mario – he collected mushrooms and ran and jumped his way to success, but he was forever changed. He could now long jump, triple jump, and backflip. While the underlying challenge remained the same and the locations were reassuringly familiar, the shift in perspective changed everything.
What’s even more impressive is that Mario did not simply enter a new dimension with ease, he did it with style that few games unburdened with such technical challenges ever achieve. Mario 64 might now look a little blocky but it remains bold and brilliant, too.