- Release Date: 1985
- Platform: NES
- Developer: Nintendo
- Genre: Platform
The problem with classics, is that they are old. They usher in great changes and they redifine the landscape, but less influential games perfect the trends they started and end up being a lot more fun to play. For example, StarFox isn't as ground breaking as Asteroids as far as space games go, but anyone stuck in an elevator would undoubtedly prefer it as a means to pass the time.
And yet, while Super Mario Bros. did so much to define the side-scrolling platformer, twenty-odd years on its still one of the best there is. It's colours may seem a little muted by today's standards, and its ironic plumber's mustache lacks definition, but this has excellent enemy design, tricky, secret-packed worlds, and an unforgettable soundtrack.
Most of all, Super Mario Bros. has a sense of believable physics - something still missing from modern day platformers. Set Mario running, and you'll need time and space to get him to slow down; attempt a big jump, and you're going to have to get a running start; bounce on an enemy, and you may still need to fine tune your landing while still in the air. All of which gives the game the precision necessary to allow for a cluster of tightly paced underground and overworld levels, with their gloriously destructable environments and famous power-ups, like the growth mushroom and the fire flower. Super Mario Bros. is venerable, then, but not remotely rickety: a simple delight that can still give far more complex games a comprehensive run-around.