Super Mario Brother 3 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) - Best Games of All Time

Super Mario Brothers 3 was like crack. In fact, it was often sold in back alleyways to video gaming addicts who couldn't get enough. Pictured here is an illicit deal involving a Mario 3 transaction.
Super Mario Brothers 3 was like crack. In fact, it was often sold in back alleyways to video gaming addicts who couldn't get enough. Pictured here is an illicit deal involving a Mario 3 transaction.

A Truly Great NES Game

For most people, when they think about great Nintendo games, Super Mario Brother 3 comes up right away. For those of us who came during the era of the Nintendo Entertainment System, this game was basically the crowning achievement of all video gaming. Back then, we didn't know that Super Mario Brother 2 was actually a game called Doki Doki Panic with Mario sprites thrown in. So, we all thought that Mario had gone haywire, and the designers at Nintendo had gone crazy. Super Mario Brother 3 for the NES returned to the game's roots. Video gamers everywhere rejoiced.

Finally, this was another straight-up sidescroller that felt like the first game, but way better in a million different ways. You didn't have to put up with weird crap like Luigi hopping around with Moon gravity like in the second game. Princess Peach wasn't floating around with her magic underpants, either. Nope, this was pure Mario. The power-up system was vastly more detailed, and you could save power-ups that you received as a bonus between stages for later use. In the original Super Mario brothers, there were 8 worlds with 4 levels each. In Super Mario Brothers 3, there were 8 worlds that were huge map screens with tons of levels, multiple castles, and special areas! This game was Super Mario Brothers on crack!

Super Mario Brothers 3 Speed Run - No Warp Zones! Wow!

Super Mario Brothers 3 was a beautiful looking game, especially in comparison to the clunky looking first game from 1985. The NES had a limited color palette, and they used it to its fullest potential here.
Super Mario Brothers 3 was a beautiful looking game, especially in comparison to the clunky looking first game from 1985. The NES had a limited color palette, and they used it to its fullest potential here.
Pictured here are all of the color palette choices that designers could use for NES games. The color palette of the Nintendo Entertainment System did not offer a lot of choices. Super Mario 3 really got it right.
Pictured here are all of the color palette choices that designers could use for NES games. The color palette of the Nintendo Entertainment System did not offer a lot of choices. Super Mario 3 really got it right.

So Much to Love About Mario 3

Everyone loved this game. Even the colors made the original 1985's Super Mario Brothers look like trash. Now we had a vibrant Mario world that looked amazing. The music, too, was improved. That's saying a lot, considering the fact that the original Mario Brothers theme is perhaps the greatest (or at least most well-known) piece of music in video gaming history. The controls were even more fluid than the original.

It may be surprising for some people to learn that Super Mario Brothers 3 was released in Japan in 1988! It was released approximately around the same time that the US version of Super Mario Brothers 2 was released. It's actually fairly shocking to hear of this, because we didn't get Super Mario Brothers 3 until about 2 years after the release date in Japan, in 1990. Nintendo obviously did this in order to reap profits from Mario, but it's sad to think that we could have been playing Super Mario Brothers 3 for a longer period during our childhoods. My childhood would have been better with more Mario 3.

The final levels of Super Mario 3 always seemed really harcore. I mean - cannons shooting at Mario left and right? It seems so uncharacteristic for a fun, lighthearted Mario game. That's really my only beef with the design of Super Mario Brothers 3.
The final levels of Super Mario 3 always seemed really harcore. I mean - cannons shooting at Mario left and right? It seems so uncharacteristic for a fun, lighthearted Mario game. That's really my only beef with the design of Super Mario Brothers 3.

Why Complain? It's Mario 3.

There's really nothing to complain about where Super Mario Brothers 3 is concerned. This is a game that will live on and on forever as possibly one of the greatest 8-bit era games. Super Mario World came out in the United States the year after this one hit the shelves, but people still played this game for many years after its release. While Super Mario World took the concept of Super Mario Brothers 3 to even greater heights, it was Super Mario Brothers 3 that truly ushered in a more modern and refined Mario experience. Most of what Nintendo views as "Mario-esque" can be traced back to this game, even today. Ah, and boy was Super Mario Brothers 3 on the NES fun as hell.

What Is Your Favorite NES Mario Game?

Pick a favorite from Mario 1 - 3 on the North American Nintendo

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Brothers 2
  • Super Mario Brothers 3
See results without voting

© 2014 Rywads

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