We’ve reached the end of Wonderpod On Line’s Top 50 Games. #1 was posted mere moments ago. Is it a big shock? Eh… yes and no. I’ll let everybody decide for themselves. There’s bound to be some fun postgame activities soon, so stay tuned. I would like to thank Al Creed, Eric Bailey, Gun Sage, G, Jonkind, Bruce McGee, PatMan and Glasenator for their cooperation on this project. It has been most fun. – SRD
Al Creed: This is The Game. The Game amongst games. You have to give credit where credit is due. Despite technological innovation after technological innovation, despite generation upon generation of more powerful consoles, this is still The Game. Even in 2011, people still play this, and still have fun playing it. I’m not one for empty platitudes, but, there is no question that Super Mario Bros. deserves to be on the top of this list. Was it my favourite? Not by a long shot, but I’m big enough to admit that, in the grand scheme of things, it was a more important game. It made Mario a cultural icon, it made Video Games a profitable industry, and above all else, it revolutionized pop culture. Think for a moment. Imagine your life without video games. It’s pretty hard, right? No Halo, no Bioshock, no Sonic, no Zelda. You can’t do it, can you? I know I cannot.
G: It comes at no shock what so ever that this title ranked number one in our project, and why shouldn’t it? Coming out of an era where the video game market had become over saturated and faced a label of a passing fad, this game one may argue saved and repopularized the industry. Furthermore, it built a franchise and slough of subsequent games unparalled by any other title. For me, it certainly made my list (ranked low so i could squeeze some points towards other less obvious titles). I’ve spent many hours of my childhood playing this game, and it is one of the few that I can return to on a regular basis and still be entertained.
Gun Sage: Well, what can you say? Well, I can say I’m surprised this took #1, but I’d wager that’s because it was on everyones’ lists. Yes, the classic SMB is a game you can play again and again with little to no skill and is a greater starter game for anyone. The fact that you also have the warp zones and that the game gets harder when you beat it and play through it again and again is equally interesting as it scales itself almost like an arcade title with an adjustable difficulty. There are really two reasons I see this being #1. Firstly, much like Super Mario World with the SNES, Super Mario 64 with the Nintendo 64, and Sonic the Hedgehog with the Genesis, it was a pack-in title for most new NESs. As a result, who DIDN’T play this title and on top of that, as their first console experience? Second, accessibility. It wasn’t overly challenging, but it could get to that point and it scaled well. Perfect for new gamers, infant gamers, and even gamers who were looking for a challenge because of the almost new game+ like quality. Nevermind that it has to be acknowledged here specifically for the franchise itself, Mario has become Nintendo’s whore and our hero that can do no wrong when it comes to platforming. Except for Mario’s Time Machine. And Mario is Missing. But still!
Nintendo Legend: A lot has been said about this game, and a lot will continue to be said, but perhaps the most important single aspect of Super Mario Bros. is this: This single cartridge title almost single-handedly resurrected the home video game console industry. For that, alone, it deserves much credit eternally. Its gameplay merits need not be ignored either, however. Not only does it stand head and shoulders above most of the other 8-bit launch titles for Nintendo, but there seems to be a particular strain of whimsy injected into it; which was strange, at the time, since rarely did video games bother with recognizable mascots (Pac-Man being the pioneer for that concept), much less completely invent an entirely new world composed of imaginative enemies and colorful, albeit palette-swapped, environments. Not only was this a game that markedly busted well ahead of the prior Atari carts, but could be recognized as high-quality even at such early standpoint. Yet the marvels do not end there. Unlike the vast majority of later titles for the console and future systems, Super Mario Bros. was masterfully crafted. This may not be evident at first, but the coders behind this game intentionally placed every pixel on the first level in such a way that, merely by traveling through, the player would subconsciously be learning the exact limits of Mario’s speed, jumping length, jumping height, momentum, acceleration, mid-air steering, gap clearance, hit detection, scroll threshold, and other parameters. Other, third-party titles often seem lazily patched-together by comparison, but the design behind Super Mario Bros. is worthy of study by programmers for decades to come as a prime example of the thought that needs to go into design before a game can be heralded as anything above ordinary. For its miraculous reinvigoration of an entire industry, for its defining of the soon-dominant side-scrolling platformer genre, for its refreshingly innovative style, for its unforgettable strides in chiptune music, and for being the initial step into a franchise pond that would ripple through the ages with unprecedented success, Super Mario Bros. firmly and deservedly earns its number one spot.
SRD: For me, this is where it all began. It can all be traced back to this singular title. This was the concept that introduced me to video games. It was the first game I played and the first game I owned. It wasn’t the first game I beat, but that doesn’t matter. Despite it being 25 years old, I still play Super Mario Bros. regularly. And guess what! It still kicks my butt. #1 all the way.