Title: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
 System: Super Nintendo





This cult favorite for the Super Nintendo brought the Super Mario universe into the world of the role-playing game. In turn-based Final Fantasy fashion, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars took place all over the Mushroom Kingdom encorporating many characters from the Mario universe, with a handful of new ones as well. The story revolved around a giant sword shattering into Bowser’s castle, effectively kicking Bowser out, and Mario and company’s battle to clear this new evil from the land.

As the first Mario game where Bowser wasn’t the bad guy, and not just that but a playable character as well, it made for a very interesting dynamic. Still primarily geared toward kids it was a surprising mixture of adult gameplay and problem solving, wrought with your standard side-quests, secrets, and little hidden gems. It wasn’t difficult on the level of something like Final Fantasy’s complexity, but it gave enough of a challenge to make people really, really want to play it.

The turn-based system was enhanced by timed action commands mixed into the fighting that could increase attacks or help to defend. RPG standards like weapon upgrades, new techniques, and a multitude of items are of course evident. The enemies, much like Chrono Trigger, are actually active on the map screen and touching them takes you into a battle unlike the random encounter system most commonly used at the time. Aside from that it added little new to the world of the RPG with a pretty major exception; using an existing franchise to branch out.

There is something about this game that I love immensely. There was always something to do, somewhere to go, some little secret to collect. And while that’s not unique in games by any stretch, it was the fact that they took the Mario universe out of its element and plopped it into a genre it had never seen. It’s something that a lot of other game franchises could take a few tips from (I’m sorry but I personally believe if done right a Mortal Kombat RPG would be bad ass).

Luigi is still my favorite of the 2 original Mario Brothers. In any game that had him available, at least until the invention of his counterpart Waluigi, I would play him all the time. I was one of those kids that always wanted to be player 2 on the original Mario Bros. (and Mario 3) because I could play as Luigi. He got his own silly games, but he’s so often shoved to the side it’s kind of depressing. I can’t even imagine how much more excited about games like Mario Galaxy I would have been if you could play Luigi instead.

The Mario & Luigi series (Nintendo DS)
In similar fashion to Mario RPG, these “stylistic sequels” allowed you to play as Mario and Luigi together an a method that was incredibly depending on one another. Unfortunately, they were only produced for the handheld systems but it’s better than nothing!