By Jackson Beach
Over its 50 years, there have been many influential franchises in the history of video games, such as Call of Duty and The Legend of Zelda. However, the franchise that has had the most impact on gaming is Super Mario Bros from Nintendo. First released in 1983, the arcade Mario Bros. quickly won over gamers everywhere in Japan, the US, and all over the world after it became a spin off from the popular arcade game and fellow Nintendo property Donkey Kong. This was because of its iconic elements such as the Koopa Turtles and coins which helped the series become popular in 1985 when Super Mario Bros. was released onto the NES console and revolutionized gaming, especially since it has become used for lessons in video game design. However, Mario became popular upon its introduction to America in 1987.
The series follows the plumber Mario as he goes on a quest to stop the evil Koopa tyrant Bowser after he kidnaps his love interest Princess Peach, ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom. Across the way, he encounters iconic enemies such as Goombas and Koopas and obstacles such as bricks, warp beams, and fire beams which have become important staples of the franchise and gaming as a whole. In the end, Mario defeats Bowser and saves the Mushroom Kingdom.
Since then Mario has spawned many more games and many more updates and changes in the forms of new enemies and obstacles from Banzai Bill Cannons and lasers to Cheep Cheeps and Thwomps. Mario has also accessed power ups such as Rainbow Invincibility and Fire Mushrooms which allow him to destroy enemies with fireball. As Nintendo has released more consoles, Mario has expanded onto them with popular games such as Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Mario Kart, and Super Mario Odyssey which allows Mario to use his hat to gain the powers of his enemies and was released on Nintendo Switch in 2017. The franchise is headed to the big screen as an animated movie in April 2023. Mario shows no signs of slowing down, even after turning 40 years old.