Soaring into the Number 4 position….
We’ve done over 95 reviews on this list so far, and we’re closing in on what the internet claims to be the best game out there. In those 95 reviews, we’ve come across one name a total of seven times. Mario. We’re talking about a plumber who single handedly saved gaming (… Well, maybe not singlehandedly; we can’t forget about his clumsy brother, Luigi. Actually, you know what? Mario gets the credit. Screw Luigi). In 1985, when video games were thought to be nothing more than a child’s toy, Mario came along and changed everyone’s mind. From young to old, gaming was now an acceptable use of your time. Well, maybe not acceptable, but you didn’t get nearly as many weird looks. We all have Mario to thank for the current landscape of gaming, and of pop-culture in general.
Mario, Now in 3D!
With an already impressive catalog of games under his belt, Mario, as was his style, was the first to make a new type of game work. He brought us 3D platforming like no one had before. Hours upon hours upon hours of my life were sunk into finding and earning those elusive 120 stars… And I don’t regret a moment of it. Had there been achievements and trophies tied into games back then, this would be one of the most coveted; believe me, this was not an easy task. Mario, similar to when he brought us the glory that was side scrolling, brought us the wonder that is 3D platforming, and he did it flawlessly. Whether you were soaring over the deserts of Shifting Sand Land or diving the deep of Dire, Dire Docks, this game offered something unique. This was, as far as I’m concerned, the first true 3D platformer to ever be released, and man, did Nintendo nail it.
Where’d Everybody Go?
The ONLY criticism I could ever lay on this game is the lack of multiplayer… And… Why, oh, why did Yoshi abandon me? Mario, from his first game, was a multiplayer title. Sure, in some of his earlier games you weren’t able to play side by side with your green brother but he was always there, waiting in the wings to tag in. In Mario 64, Luigi was nowhere to be found. My theory is that Luigi and Yoshi were on some grand adventure of their own that we just never had the fortune of seeing… But that just sucks. The worst part about Luigi’s mysterious absence from Mario 64 was that the trend continued into other games. For quite some time, it seemed that Nintendo was trying its damnedest to separate the brothers and not let them help each other when they needed each other the most. Luigi not showing up when Mario’s lady friend gets kidnaped? Highly unlikely! I know it’s commonplace in their world, but still… Luigi is a good guy; he would never have just sat by and let this happen to his dear ol’ brother… But, I digress.
Mario is as Mario Does…
Bottom line, here: Mario games are inherently awesome and this game is not only a part of that, but it was one of the titles that truly set the standard for Mario games in terms of quality. While it may be a bit dated these days, it is still one of the best Mario games to ever hit our systems. And that’s saying something.
I think it really goes without saying, but I will anyway: Super Mario 64 is a phenomenal game and needs to be played by everyone. An easy 5 out of 5 from me.