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The History of Mario Games – The Ultimate Guide for Mario Fans

From Donkey Kong to Super Mario 3D World, the Mario series has become one of the most highly regarded in video game history. Today, people are still playing the latest titles in the franchise.

Early Days

Donkey Kong was first released in 1981 and is considered by many to be one of the first platformers.

The main character, Mario (originally called Mr. Video), must save his girlfriend Pauline from Donkey Kong.

Donkey Kong was not created with any intention of creating a franchise. However, the game was so successful Nintendo soon began producing many sequels (although not all were released). The game was already responsible for creating one of the biggest video game icons of all time.

The Super Mario Franchise Sweeps The World

By the 1990s, Nintendo had created a franchise that dominated the video game industry. Titles such as Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Kart exploded onto the market and would eventually go on to become some of the best selling video games of all time.

Super Mario Bros. was released in 1985 and is widely considered one of the greatest games ever made. The game sold 40 million copies worldwide, which might not seem like many when compared to modern titles, but at the time it was unprecedented (it has since been outsold by many games).

Super Mario Bros. is the first title in one of Nintendo’s most well known franchises – Super Mario. The series has developed considerably throughout the years, with each subsequent game adding new concepts and ideas. However, even today, elements from this classic are still present in modern titles. For example, Luigi still has poor traction when he runs.

Super Mario Bros. was one of the first platformers to have an overworld map where the player could choose their route through the game. This type of level design would go on to become a staple element in many modern games – perhaps most famously, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

When was The First Mario Game Released?

The first Mario ‘main series’ game was Donkey Kong, which was released in 1981.

What is the newest Mario Game?

Super Mario 3D World was released worldwide on November 22nd 2013.

How Many Games are There?

There are over 200 games featuring roughly 30 main titles. That being said, not all of these are full ‘main series’ titles.

The majority of Mario games are platformers, however there have also been many role playing games, party style titles, racing games and even educational releases.

What is the most popular?

This would likely be Super Mario Bros., which has sold over 40 million copies worldwide. It was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.

What are the most recent / relevant titles?

Super Mario 3D World is widely considered to be one of the best 3D Mario games ever made. It was released on November 22nd 2013 for the Nintendo Wii U. There is also Super Mario Maker, which allows players to create their own levels by using assets from previous games. It was released on September 11th 2015 for the Wii U.

What are the best selling Mario games?

The original Super Mario Bros. is widely considered one of the best video games ever made, so it would likely also be one of the best selling, however exact sales figures are currently unknown.

What are all the main titles?

The following are all of the main titles in the Mario franchise.

Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Land, Super Mario World, New Super Mario Bros., New Super Mario Bros. Wii, New  Super  Mario Bros. U, Super Mario 64, New  Super  Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, New  Super  Mario Bros. U, Super Mario 3D Land, New  Super  Mario Bros. 2, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker*, New Super Luigi U


Mario is one of the most recognisable video game franchises in the world. The character has evolved greatly since his introduction, going from a carpenter to a doctor and gaining a brother along the way.

The franchise has been around for over three decades and shows no signs of slowing down with each new release always looking to build upon what has come before. Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U was widely considered to be one of the best 3D mario games ever made and combined classic gameplay elements such as overworld maps with new ones such as 4 player co-op.