Nintendo's seminal Super Mario series turns 25 today, as the company reports the series has sold 240 million units worldwide to date since the release of the original Super Mario Bros.
Nintendo calls the series, created by industry luminary Shigeru Miyamoto, the "best-selling video game series of all time."
"Stimulated by advancements in technologies, we have always enjoyed creating the Super Mario Bros. games," Miyamoto said in a statement. Miyamoto, whose official title is general manager of Nintendo's Entertainment Analysis and Development division, has created some of the most recognizable and beloved franchises in games, such as Zelda and Donkey Kong. More recently he introduced the hit franchise Wii Fit.
But Super Mario is the series that has served as the most prominent venue to exemplify Nintendo's creativity and innovation in game design.
"The [Super Mario] series has always taken advantage of the latest technological advancements and is the fruit of creativity of many of my hard-working friends working closely as a team", Miyamoto added.
The original Super Mario Bros. released on the Nintendo Entertainment System on September 13, 1985, and played a pivotal role in increasing the popularity of the console, in turn helping save the game industry from the video game crash in the earlier part of the decade.
The Mario character itself originated earlier in the 1980s, before he was "super," appearing in arcade games including Donkey Kong and Mario Bros.
Key points in the Super Mario series include 1988's widely-loved Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES, 1996's 3D gaming progenitor Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64, the popular side-scrolling throwback series New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS and Wii, and, most recently, the acclaimed universe-trotting 3D Wii entries Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel.