Super Mario Bros.
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

It's hard to think of a game that carries as much importance as Super Mario Bros. on the NES.

While it's not the Italian plumber's first appearance, it's perhaps his most significant; this 1985 adventure laid down the 2D platforming template that Mario (and his many imitators) would follow for years to come, and was also formative in terms of establishing both his world (the Mushroom Kingdom), his foe (Bowser / King Koopa) and his skills (jumping on the heads of enemies to defeat them, as well as gobbling mushrooms to grow bigger and grabbing flowers to hurl fireballs).

Looking at it today, Super Mario Bros. of course looks hopelessly dated, but at the time of release, the NES / Famicom was still very in its infancy, and Mario's smoothly scrolling levels and bold, colourful sprites felt like a step into the future.

With Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka working in perfect synergy with one another – and Koji Kondo's music driving the action – Super Mario Bros. is Nintendo's first domestic smash hit. The company's fortunes would have arguably been a lot different had this game not been released.

Today, mint copies of Super Mario Bros. tend to sell for a decent amount, but the copy we've got in the Time Extension office is well-loved and somewhat battered. We wouldn't have it any other way, either; this is a game which, even now, has a seemingly endless capacity to entertain – and we hope that this rough-around-the-edges copy will continue to offer pleasure and fun for many more years to come.