The Mario series has been a fundamental part of every Nintendo gamer’s household since the world was first introduced in the old arcades. And since then, it has changed a hell of a lot. Now, nostalgia surrounds Mario. Those days of fighting your siblings just to be able to play Mario first are long gone. Those classic games are hard to get unless you have hundreds of dollars and are willing to pay the absolutely absurd prices sellers request. But there is a solution to this: Online Super Mario.

A Brief History of Super Mario

The Mario series first came to life back in 1981 in the arcade game Donkey Kong. Then known as Jumpman, the ‘knight in shining overalls’ was renamed Mario in 1982’s Donkey Kong Junior, and truly premiered in the 1983 game Mario Bros. alongside his younger brother Luigi.

But it was 1985 that Mario launched onto home consoles, featuring on the Nintendo Entertainment System as Super Mario Bros. In this game, Mario had to rescue Princess Peach – known then as Princess Toadstool – from the clutches of the evil King Koopa (renamed Bowser in later iterations). This game was followed by Super Mario Bros. 2 in 1988, and Super Mario Bros. 3 in 1988 (Japan) and 1990 (North America). Later games included Super Mario Land and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins for the Game Boy, and Super Mario World and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

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Arguably, these games are the several that fit into the ‘nostalgia’ generation of Mario. You might include 1996’s Super Mario 64, the franchise’s 3D debut, but for the sake of this piece, we will not.

Yearning for the Older Times

The core concept of the series has always been the same. They have always been platformers, even if they don’t seem it at times. They’ve always been fun, too. The 3D games are just as fun as the older ones, though maybe not as difficult. But there’s something about the 2D, 8-bit and 16-bit games that draws people back time and time again. Maybe it’s because they grew up with them and it takes them back to your youth, to the days where they were sitting in front of their television playing the game and marvelling at Nintendo’s handiwork. Or maybe it’s just an appreciation of the classics, of the roots of what has to be one of the most well-known franchises today.

Unfortunately, getting your hands on these games is… difficult nowadays, to say the least. Unless you’ve owned the consoles and a copy of the game since release, you’ll be hard pressed and broke to get them today. But there is a solution, one that should take you to the feeling of childhood you might yearn for.

Online Mario?

Back when I was growing up, online games were never an option. Ever. And downloading things took a while; God forbid someone picked up the phone in the middle of a download. But now, some of the best Mario flash games have been compiled on one handy-dandy website:

So long as you have Adobe Flash Player, a decent internet connection, and a web browser, you are set. Play Mario Games have compiled all of the Mario flash games floating around on the internet, which numbers over 300 fanmade games. There’s Super Mario Flash for those who love online games, but even if you have other interests there’s Super Mario Crossover, in which you can play as Link (Legend of Zelda), Samus Aran (Metroid), Mega Man (Mega Man), and more.

These online Flash games are still around because people still play them, and that’s saying something. And that’s because of the ease of access. Sure, you can play spectacular games like Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch, but what if you can’t afford a Switch? (I know I can’t.)

Most households now have a PC – whether that be a desktop or a laptop – so playing games has never been easier. Flash games don’t even need fancy specs to run, just a stable internet connection. So when you need to unwind after work or after school… how about you pick up a Mario flash game?

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