Maximum Mario – Remember when Nintendo was Number one?

I actually remember the time when the house that Mario built was on top of the world.  Nintendo was a hot commodity and it was hard to come across anyone who had not played a Mario game.  It is a stretch to say that Nintendo’s success was solely built on the humble plumber, but it was a major contributing factor.  As Nintendo called it in its Australian summer catalogue, Nintendo was all about the ‘Maximum Mario’, bragging that it had sold a total of 120 million Mario games worldwide to date.:


Mario was everywhere in the 90’s, and next to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, some of my fondest memories involve playing through the latest Mario game either by myself or with a  childhood friend.  That same friend gave me this birthday card on my 13th birthday.


Even more telling as to how integral Mario was to growing up for many people of my generation is the message written inside:


Eerily this card, written in 1996, is almost a sign of things to come – the unprecedented and seemingly unwavering popularity of ‘mature’ games like DOOM.  DOOM does rule, but to even to me and my friends way back in the Summer of 1995 and 1996, the love for it was secondary.  Mario was king.

I wonder how many 13 year old boys now if given the choice would choose New Super Mario Brothers U over Call of Duty: Black Ops II?  It makes me sad to know the answer.


  1. For us ’90’s kids, Mario was such a huge part of many of our lives that I can’t imagine what my life would be like or who I would be today if I hadn’t played those games (the Zelda games included) back in the day. Also, all the good times I had playing with my friends solidified those friendships to this day! Sure, the more modern games of today look great and are definitely fun, but as you said, I do think it’s sad that many of kids now probably won’t experience the whimsical worlds that Nintendo has created and will probably opt for super-realistic games like Call of Duty instead. I think they’re really missing out!

  2. I think perhaps what makes me saddest is that they will never know the joys of growing up in the 80’s and 90’s virtually alongside video games. Makes me glad to be almost 30.

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