Platform: Nintendo 64Year: 1996
Original review score: 5 out of 5 Stars
Super Mario 64 literally invented the 3D platformer genre, setting the foundation for a hundred games after it, including the use of the analog stick and camera controls.
Why It Was Innovative:
Before Mario 64, Nintendo's mascot remained trapped in the confines of the side-scrolling genre. In 1996, Nintendo pulled off the impossible by successfully having their mascot make the massive leap to a fully 3D game for the first time. With the use of the Nintendo 64's new analog stick, players could make Mario jump, flip, and run like an Olympic gymnast, or move the camera view for a better angle. While Super Mario 64 didn't try a lot of "new" things that players hadn't already seen in a Mario game, what it did do was recreate key features and blow them up to gigantic, larger-than-life proportions. Levels were no long flat, cardboard cutouts littered with power-ups and Goombas, but colossal worlds honeycombed with secrets and collectible items, which added huge incentive to replay levels again and again.