Super Mario All-Stars – Definitive 50 SNES Game #20

Click here to view our list of the Definitive 50 SNES games. Links to each video and write-up are included.

The original Super Mario Bros. rewrote the way games were designed and played. There’s no doubt that that title alone sold millions of NESes. The subsequent Mario sequels on the NES were similarly well received by an adoring, Mario-hungry humanity.

The games were so well liked that Nintendo has managed to remake and re-release them numerous times on different platforms. Never so successfully, however, as in 1993 when the company bundled remade versions of its NES Marios together in Super Mario All-Stars.

This game takes 20th place on the list of Definitive 50 SNES games.

For the most part, I don’t consider compilations viable for the Definitive 50 as they do nothing to represent the system being discussed. Super Mario All-Stars is different, however. It’s not just four old game ROMs stuck onto a cart, it’s four classic titles carefully remade to take advantage of new hardware.

Super Mario All-Stars includes Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and the previously unreleased in the West Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (a game which was actually Japan’s Super Mario Bros. 2). Each has updated graphics befitting of Super Nintendo games and the clean, carefully drawn sprites and environments of the Mario universe look as good as ever here.

Nintendo also added save functionality to all of the games (none of the originals had it). For most of the games, saving allows you to return to the first level of whatever world you last saved on, but in The Lost Levels, progress can be saved after every level. This is done to compensate for the extreme difficulty of the title (which, by the way, is suitably legendary).

Super Mario All-Stars was such a well produced and high-value product that Nintendo even re-released it some 17 years later as a 25th Anniversary Edition, also packed with an art book and music CD for the Wii. That re-release was considered lazy by many (being a simple ROM dump, which was very much not what the original had been upon its release), but it sold well, and the timeless nature of the games packed inside ensured those who picked it up still had plenty of fun.