2. Super Mario Brothers 3

Released: 1990
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Fun Fact: Super Mario Brothers 3 was listed in a 2007 survey by a committee of game scholars, developers and journalists as one of the 10 greatest video games of all time, to be enshrined by the Library of Congress as a “game canon.”

Super Mario Brothers 3 is not only generally considered to be the best game ever released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but it also is considered to be one of the best video games of all time, on any system.

Super Mario 3 was a quantum leap forward for the series. It turned the “world” structure of Super Mario games into actual worlds, with variable paths to take and embedded mini games and choices. Each of the eight worlds in the game had very distinct personalities, which were translated down into the levels within those worlds.

Super Mario 3 introduced mechanics like the Tanooki Suit which are beloved to this very day. The two-player mode traded active control of the game between Mario and Luigi, so they could explore the worlds independently, which made playing the game with a friend somewhat cooperative as they could unlock areas for the other player. This was a game that simply did not miss in any way.