Mario surely ranks right up there with Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson as one of the most recognizable characters in all of history. He hasn't been around for very long, but in that time he's starred and been featured in countless games. And along the way he's made more cash for Nintendo than you'll see in a hundred life times.
What exactly is it that makes the little plumber so appealing? Is it his every-man sensibilities? His incredible abilities? What about his unwavering determination and heroism?
Or maybe it's the designers behind him, who keep on delivering quality experiences, even after three decades of Mario games. Shigeru Miyamoto and many others have contributed to the Mario legacy over the years, and Nintendo continues to set the bar high even today.
For the purposes of this list, a rubric: a "Mario game" has to feature Mario, and if it features an ensemble cast, that cast must be of the Mario universe. That means no Luigi's Mansion, Super Smash Bros. (that's Nintendo universe, not Mario universe; there's a difference) and no Super Princess Peach. As great as those games are, the line had to be drawn somewhere.
As it is, we're sure you'll disagree with some of the choices; feel free to sound off in the comments or on Twitter.