Super Mario Bros. 3 - Reception


The game has received critical acclaim by the video game press. Julian Rignall of Mean Machines referred to Super Mario Bros. 3 as the "finest videogame" he had ever played, citing its addictiveness, depth, and challenge. A second Mean Machines reviewer, Matt Regan, anticipated the game would be a top-selling title in the United Kingdom, and echoed Rignall's praise calling it a "truly brilliant game". Regan further stated that the game offered elements which tested the player's "brains and reflexes", and that though the graphics were simple, they were "incredibly varied". In a preview of the game, Nintendo Power gave it high marks in graphics, audio, challenge, gameplay, and enjoyability. Edge magazine considered Super Mario Bros. 3 Nintendo's standout title of 1989, and commented that its success outshone the first Super Mario Bros.'s sales milestone; the first title sold 40 million copies, but was bundled with the NES. They lauded the overworld map as an elegant alternative to a menu to select levels. Allgame's Skyler Miller praised many of the game's elements: level design, graphics, music, and nonlinearity. Dengeki referred to the game as a popular title and expressed excitement over its rerelease on the Game Boy Advance system. The in-game, hidden items were a well-received element. Rignall considered them a component of the game's addictiveness, and Sheff stated that finding the secret items in the game, such as the whistles, provided a sense of satisfaction.

Criticism focused on different aspects of the game. Miller considered the exclusion of a system to save progress a drawback, while Rignall described the audio and visuals as being outdated compared to games on the new Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

Super Mario Bros. 3 has appeared on numerous top video game lists. The game debuted on Nintendo Power's Top 30 list at number 20 in September 1989. It entered the list's top 10 a few months later and reached number one in May 1990. Super Mario Bros. 3 remained within the top 20 for more than five years. More than a decade later, the magazine ranked the game number six on their list of 200 Greatest Nintendo Games. In August 2008, Nintendo Power listed Super Mario Bros. 3 as the second best Nintendo Entertainment System video game, praising it for making the series more complex and introducing new abilities that have since become signature abilities in the series. The game placed 11th, behind Super Mario Bros., in Official Nintendo Magazine's "100 greatest Nintendo games of all time". In 2007, Screwattack called Super Mario Bros. 3 the best Mario game in the series as well as the best game on the NES, citing the graphics, power-ups, secrets, and popularity, summing it up as "it is just incredible" and "If you haven't experienced this greatness, we pity you". In a poll conducted by Dengeki, it tied with Super Mario World as the number three video game their readers first played. The game has been ranked on several of IGN's lists of "top games". In 2005, they rated it 23rd among their Top 100 Games, and praised the precise and intuitive controls. IGN editors from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia ranked Super Mario Bros. 3 number 39 in their 2007 Top 100 Games, citing Miyamoto's "ingenious" designs. They further commented that the game improved on the "already-brilliant concepts" of the previous titles with new power-ups and enemies. Users and readers of the website placed the game high on similar lists: 32nd in 2005 and 21st in 2006. In 2007, it was included in the "game canon", a list of the ten most important video games selected by a committee to preserve key titles within the industry. In 2009, Game Informer put Super Mario Bros. 3 9th on their list of "The Top 200 Games of All Time", saying that it is "a game with incredible lasting power that we won't soon forget". UGO listed Super Mario Bros. 3 on their list of the "Top 50 Games That Belong On the 3DS", calling it "Arguably the greatest Mario game ever made." Gamespot placed the game in their list of the greatest games of all time.

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