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6 Reasons Why Super Mario Bros. Holds Up After 40 Years(and 4 Why It Doesn’t)


The first Super Mario Bros. game was released in 1985 with many games from the franchise continue to be released. Decades after its release, the games are still popular among many Nintendo fans. 

Super Mario Bros. box
Super Mario Bros Box Art ©Nintendo

8-bit Graphics Still Popular

8-bit graphics provide nostalgia from the olden days in video game history. Because of the nostalgia, it provides to players, 8-bit graphics are still immensely popular among video game fans. Super Mario Bros. uses 8-bit graphics, making it an attraction for video games and Nintendo fans. Due to the popularity of 8-bit graphics, Super Mario Bros. is still commonly played and popular in the video game industry. 

8Bit Mario
Mario’s 8-Bit Sprite ©Nintendo

Platforming Still Used in Recent Mario Games

The platforming used in the original game is still used in the more recent Mario game releases. This shows the popularity of this kind of platforming. Due to the popularity of this platforming and the high usage of it in Mario games, these games remain immensely popular decades after their start. The platforming is simple, but classic, providing players with entertainment and a highly enjoyable experience. 

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New Super Mario Bros. Box Art ©Nintendo

Revisiting A Classic

Although this phrase is used quite often in the video game world, the original style that continues to be used gives the players of the game nostalgia. The original Super Mario Bros. games were a hit with video game fans across the world. Due to the popularity of the original styles, when the same styles are used to this day, the popularity level stays the same and even increases. When people who played Super Mario Bros. games in the past play recent Super Mario Bros. games, they are reminded of the good times that were had with the originals, and the style provides a homely feeling. Overall, the popularity of the games can be based partially on the feeling of visiting your childhood. 

super mario bros

Contains Some of the Most Popular Mario Stages

Over the years, many Mario stages have been created, but out of all the stages, there remain favorites among Nintendo fans. These stages can provide players with high enjoyment and entertainment. World 1-1 in Super Mario Bros. is still the most famous Mario stage of all time. This increases the overall popularity of the game and helps the game to hold up all these years later. 

SMB NES World 1 1 Map
World 1-1 Map ©Nintendo

Cheap to Purchase

Although the game is immensely popular, the price is still extremely low. The game sells on many Nintendo platforms for just 5 dollars, with its most recent release being free with Nintendo Switch Online. This is a reasonable and cheap price considering the popularity.

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Nintendo Switch Online ©Nintendo

Doesn’t-No Save System

Although many people enjoy the Super Mario Bros. games and make progress throughout the game providing entertainment, the games have their downfalls. One of the major downfalls that can upset the players is the lack of a save system. The fact that the game doesn’t have a save system upsets many players because they can’t save their progress. The ability to save your game and continue where you left off provides better entertainment for players, but this lack could ultimately lead to the game’s ultimate downfall.

Game Over Screen ©Nintendo

Unfairly Hard

Despite the game’s popularity, many more people would play if not for the unfairly hard stages/levels. There are many variables that cause the Mario games to be unfairly hard. With the lack of a save system as well as the difficulty, if it takes you a long time to get past a certain stage, you can’t later continue where you left off. This makes the game unfair in the way that you have to constantly surpass difficulties that take a while to accomplish. In sum, the unfairly difficult aspect of the game makes it less popular. 

Enemies page from the original instruction manual ©Nintendo

Fewer Movement Options 

In the original game, there are far fewer movement options than later games in their franchise. When given fewer movement options, the Mario game’s popularity levels drop significantly. The player has less room to make decisions with the limited movement options. This can overall make the game less enjoyable as well as less popular. Overall, the lack of movement options can lead to the game’s loss in popularity. 

Mario’s Move Set from the instruction manual ©Nintendo

No Real Multiplayer 

The New Super Mario Bros. games are very popular for their multiplayer modes. Although this has semi-multiplayer, it isn’t a real multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode that this game has to offer does not have real-time multiplayer. In sum, the popularity of the game would increase if the games had a better multiplayer experience.

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Written by Trinity Fulkroad