As a kid, I played almost any game that had a cool character on the box or starred my beloved Ninja Turtles. But even then, although I lacked the vocabulary to explain it, I knew that Super Mario Bros. was special, and better than almost everything else. So when I received Super Mario Bros. 3 from Santa one year, and saw on the back of the box that Mario could fly, I knew I was in for something special.
The game exceeded my every hope and wish for it, and I spent hundreds of blissful afternoons defeating Koopa Kids, rescuing kings, and discovering secrets strewn throughout Mushroom World. Mario 3 earned a place on my list of favorite games way back in 1990, and 25 years of gaming progress have yet to dislodge it.
Super Mario Bros. 3 is a textbook example of how to make a perfect video game sequel. It’s a mixture of the original’s best elements, combined with an almost excessive amount of imaginative new ideas. So much of what we consider so quintessentially Mario – the suits, the boos, the overworld – all actually originated here.