Note: All images taken from Nintendo’s official site.
Mario is about to celebrate his 35th anniversary, and with this momentous occasion comes news of his three-dimensional outings receiving remasters. Thus far, the only time Nintendo has done this for Mario was Super Mario 64 DS, which added some mini-games and playable characters while also showcasing how the 64 in its name would become increasingly bizarre as time went on. However, this isn’t the first time Nintendo has remastered its 3D games: nearly every three-dimensional Legend of Zelda game has received at least one remaster, and even StarFox 64 got a 3DS port.
Of course, this rumor has left fans wondering: what of the 2-D games? Will these get remasters, or perhaps be put into a collection? Sadly, we probably won’t be seeing any new releases of any of them since they’re available with a monthly Nintendo Switch Online membership and most of these games have been available in one form or another since their inception.
Super Mario Brothers, for example, may have been released for the Nintendo Entertainment System but was present in Super Mario All-Stars, received an upgraded Deluxe version for the Game Boy Color, and received straight ports for the Game Boy Advance and every Nintendo system with access to the Virtual Console. This is true of Super Mario Brothers 2, Super Mario Brothers 3, Super Mario World, and even Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. In fact, the only time you couldn’t purchase and play a version of these was during the Nintendo 64’s genesis.
The same can be said of most Mario games and while a version of Wrecking Crew or Donkey Kong with slightly upgraded extras on a cartridge with the initial Super Mario Brothers trilogy with a slew of extras might be tantalizing, the sad fact is that Nintendo is unlikely to put that effort in so long as Nintendo Switch Online exists no matter how well they’d be received. In fact, the only Mario puzzle game currently unavailable on the service is Yoshi’s Cookie.
This is not to say, however, that all Mario titles have been treated equally. Following Nintendo’s lead and ignoring Yoshi’s Cookie for the moment, there’s several Super Nintendo games which haven’t been seen since their release though the reason for this is fairly clear: the controls were atypical. These games were Yoshi’s Safari, Mario Paint, and Mario & Wario. The first was one of the only games to use the Super Scope and is, essentially, a Super Mario FPS. The latter two used the mouse peripheral and, honestly, while there’s a lot of nostalgia for Mario Paint the fact we haven’t seen it since isn’t much of a travesty. Even Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars got a Virtual Console release, but the other three games haven’t been seen since their release.
There’s also the matter of the Game Boy games, though all of them were available on the 3DS Virtual Console, so they haven’t been treated nearly as badly. Even so, a re-release of these games (for our purposes, everything from Super Mario Land to Wario Land 4) with updated graphics on some sort of Mario Game Boy Collection wouldn’t go amiss. You could even toss in the Virtual Boy Wario Land (another title we haven’t seen since its release) and watch the money roll in though at that point it’d basically be a Wario Origins cartridge with Super Mario Land added in. This would also allow a re-release of Wario Blast, the baffling crossover between Wario and Bomberman.
Finally, we have the true oddities: the edutainment and CD-i games. Mario is Missing and its sister game, Mario’s Time Machine have been consigned to Nintendo’s scrapheap along with Hotel Mario and while I doubt anyone truly wants to play any of these games it’d be nice to have them available, perhaps as a budget cartridge along with Yoshi’s Safari and Mario & Wario, and refer to it as a Mario’s Lost Adventures cartridge or something.
Now, none of this is to say that an updated All-Stars type collection wouldn’t be welcome with Mario’s 35th anniversary especially since the work has, largely, already been done and to make it worth our while (as if fans wouldn’t buy such a thing already) the answer would be simple: release the collection with every version.
For example, keeping things to the original series, this updated All-Stars could have options to play the original Super Mario Brothers, the All-Stars version, or the Super Mario Deluxe version with all its bells and whistles. The same could be done with the other Mario games up to and including Yoshi’s Island, arguably the last “classic” Mario game, since all but Yoshi’s Island has an original version, an All-Stars version, and then another “deluxe” version thanks to the Super Mario Advance series.
Past this, other Mario collections would be simple: the aforementioned Wario collection would take some work, but since all that’s being posited is 32-bit graphics it wouldn’t take as much effort as the recent Link’s Awakening remake. You could have a Mario Arcade Collection with Donkey Kong (including the 1994 Game Boy version), Mario Brothers, Wrecking Crew, Alleyway, Pinball, and perhaps even the Vs modes of these games. If Nintendo was daring enough, they could even include the puzzle games (Dr. Mario, Yoshi, Yoshi’s Cookie, and the Mario Picross series) here to make the collection more well-rounded. And heck, throw in Super Mario Kart as well.
An oddities collection would be headlined by a remaster of Super Mario RPG and contain things like Hotel Mario and the edutainment games, along with Yoshi’s Safari and, perhaps, Mario & Wario. The remaining two would be the Mario and Luigi Collection (again, with options to play either version) and a Paper Mario collection. Perhaps these two could even be part of the same collection (half digital, half physical like Capcom’s Mega Man Legacy Collections) since they do have a crossover game.
While it’s unlikely we’re ever going to get any of this (and I’m just pleased we’re going to be getting a version of Super Mario Galaxy without motion controls which, perhaps, paves the way for the a similar Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword port) it’s nice to dream.
From this point forward it’s just hypothetical lists so feel free to ignore it.
Games on the Super Mario All-Stars Deluxe collection:
- Super Mario All-Stars + World
- Super Mario Brothers
- Super Mario Brothers Deluxe
- Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels
- Super Mario Brothers 2
- Super Mario Advance
- Super Mario Brothers 3
- Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Brothers 3
- Super Mario World
- Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
- Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3
Games on the Wario Origins collection:
- Super Mario Land
- Super Mario Land 2: The Six Golden Coins
- Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land
- Wario Land 2/DX
- Wario Land 3
- Wario Land 4
- Wario Land (VB)
- Wario Blast
Games on the Mario Arcade collection:
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Donkey Kong 3
- Donkey Kong ’94
- Wrecking Crew
- Mario Brothers
- Dr. Mario
- Yoshi’s Cookie
- Mario Picross (all of them)
- Super Mario Kart
Games on the Mario Oddities collection:
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- Mario Paint
- Mario & Wario
- Yoshi’s Safari
- Mario is Missing
- Mario’s Time Machine
- Mario’s Game Gallery
Games on the Paper Mario/Mario and Luigi collection:
- Paper Mario
- Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
- Super Paper Mario
- Paper Mario: Color Splash
- Paper Mario: Sticker Star
- Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga
- Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions
- Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time
- Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
- Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey
- Mario and Luigi: Dream Team
- Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam