My 10-year-old nephew asks me all the time what my favorite video game is. Without hesitation, I answer: Super Mario 64. And he inevitably asks, “why?” to which I always respond, “well, it's just good.” And that's the thing, all of the games included in Super Mario 3D All-Stars for Switch are “just good.” In fact, they're three of the best Mario games. Period.
There's not a lot of arguing that. Sure, there could be a debate about which is the best of the three, or maybe which of them pulls off X, Y, or Z better…but in the end, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy are all…well…just good.
Super Mario 64
The Nintendo 64 came out when I was 14 years old. I had to wait until Christmas to get one, and it felt like the longest few months in the history of the world. My friend Luke and I would even beg our parents to go to Wal-Mart for no other reason than to play the Super Mario 64 they had on display in the electronics department.
And when we did finally get to play it that Christmas…it was glorious and magical and to be quite honest…perfect.
While there has been a single remake of Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo DS. I was never the biggest fan of that one because it didn't have analog controls. So with the release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, I finally get to play the updated version of SM64 that I've always wanted.
In glorious HD.
Oh, and if you're in the ROM Hacking scene, you should try some of these mods. A few of them feel like they could be real sequels to Super Mario 64. Almost. Kind of like the Disney straight-to-DVD sequels. But sequels nonetheless.
Super Mario Sunshine
Sunshine is probably the one game in this collection that I have spent the least time with. And it's not because it's a bad game. In fact, I truly loved it when it was brand new on GameCube. It's probably one of the best Mario games out there.
Unfortunately, I was in college when it came out, so not only was I distracted by not going to class, I was also totally into online games. If it wasn't Ultima Online, it was Star Wars Galaxies and the fantastic community there, EverQuest, or eventually the all-consuming World of Warcraft.
So while I played Super Mario Sunshine, I can't say that I spent a lot of time with it. I have memories of the game, and they're quite fond. But…I can't recall much about it other than spraying paint off of things in Delfino Square.
I can't wait for Super Mario 3D All-Stars because I want to dive into this one right away and see what I've missed all these years.
And btw, if you've never seen a Super Mario Sunshine speedrun…treat yo'self.
Super Mario Galaxy
The reason I'm excited for Super Mario Galaxy isn't for me at all. It's for my wife. Galaxy was actually one of the very first video games she played. She didn't grow up playing games. So when we started dating, I taught her how to play Mario Kart and other games by being patient and showing her how to do it.
She loved how Super Mario Galaxy looked on the Wii, and she latched onto it when she started playing. Even now, she talks about how she should go back and finish the game.
And now she can. On the console she loves the most of any she's ever played, and she can do it handheld, incredibly comfortably, without having to worry about the sometimes-wonky motion controls. (Thank you, Nintendo, for letting us use the touch-screen in handheld mode.)
That said, I am gonna be playing it, too, because I had a blast with it. But more than anything, I am excited for the re-release of Super Mario Galaxy because of the joy it will bring to my wife. And I really like watching her play through games, too. It's like Twitch, except I'm the only heckler in the live chat.
Why Are You Excited for Super Mario 3D All-Stars? Are These The Best Mario Games?
There's been some drama about Nintendo having left out Super Mario Galaxy 2 from the collection, but I don't mind that much. It will eventually get a re-release. And if not, it's still available on Wii.
Even if it doesn't, I am crazy excited for the games that we do get to play. We get three of the best Mario games that have ever been made. And, if you ask me (which you didn't), the best video game of all time. Super Mario 64. Honestly…it can't get much better than that.
Oh, and before I forget. If you want even more Mario 3D goodness, check out our Geek to Geek magazine, PRESS START, over at Patreon.
Our August issue has a 10-page spread from Troytlepower about his going back and replaying all the 3D Mario games. (Not to mention our September issue is all about Mario and the 35th anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros. on NES, so you should totally subscribe.)
What are you most excited for about the collection? What do you think are the best Mario games?
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