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Super Mario Bros. reaches ripe old age of 25

The title first hit store shelves in Japan in September 1985 and eventually became one of the most respected franchises in the gaming industry.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

Happy 25th birthday, Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. launched on September 13, 1985, in Japan. The title, which allowed players to take on the role of Mario (and Luigi for multiplayer purposes) in his trek to save Princess Peach, was the best-selling video game of all time for over 20 years before it was eventually ousted by Wii Sports in 2009. The original release of the game sold 40 million units worldwide.

The importance of Super Mario Bros. to the gaming industry should not be underestimated: it influenced slews of titles that followed and was responsible for the success of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The very fact that a title is being celebrated 25 years after release is a wonder in and of itself. Unlike so many other titular characters who have fallen out of the spotlight, Mario and his gang of friends and foes still captivate audiences to this day (though to be perfectly honest, Mario himself is a bit older, having made his first appearance as Jumpman in Donkey Kong in 1981).

Last year, Nintendo released New Super Mario Bros. Wii to much fanfare. Super Mario Galaxy 2, which came out this past May, has proven to be one of the best games released for Nintendo's Wii so far this year.

And earlier this year the Guinness Book of World Records dubbed Mario the "The Godfather of gaming."

Not bad for a twentysomething.