In this series articles celebrating the upcoming 30th Anniversary of Super Mario, various members of the Nintendo Life extended family will share their memories and thoughts on the iconic franchise. This time we have our lovely reviewer Evan Chambers.

Mario 3

We never had an NES when I was growing up. It wasn't until the Game Boy Color that I got my first taste of owning some of that Nintendo magic. The Nintendo 64 was our first foray into Nintendo home consoles. That's not to say that I didn't play the NES or SNES growing up. My cousins and friends had the consoles and would show off their spectacular new games every time I went to visit. Every Mario game under the sun was tossed into those systems each time I was around.

It was Thanksgiving a few years ago, and we were at my mother-in-law's place for an assortment of deliciously home-cooked foods. Turkey, squash soup, vegetables, mashed potatoes… the list goes on. After the meal we all gathered in the living room to let our bodies attempt to digest our feast, and that was when my brother-in-law brought up the topic of favourite old video games.

Of course, you can't have a discussion about childhood video game favourites without mentioning Mario at least half a dozen times. His favourite Super Mario game was none other than Super Mario Bros. 3 (and I know he's not alone at placing that game at the top of his list). We reminisced about Toad, Mushroom Houses, Flutes, and Koopalings. That's when it struck him. He still had his NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 in his mother's basement!

Once it had been said, we knew that we had to hook it up and bring back all of those memories. While I fiddled with cables behind the old CRT TV, my brother-in-law set up the NES, with SMB3 and two old controllers in tow.

Finally, after having to blow on the cartridge a couple times to get the dust off the contacts (yes, I know you're not supposed to), we watched the iconic red curtain open up to reveal Super Mario Bros. 3.

Our rule was that we had to play every world, start to finish, without the use of cheats or flutes. I volunteered to play as Luigi (I'm a sucker for that green hat), and we embarked on our quest to save the ever-enticing Princess Toadstool, and all of the transformed Kings from each of the seven kingdoms.

Before we knew it, we were in World 8, staring down the barrels of the tanks in Bowser's Army. It was also 4:00 AM! My wife had long since gone to bed, and it was only the two us up, like little kids, basking in the glow of the TV. We had been playing all night, taking turns, running our way through all of the magical kingdoms. We didn't stop until Bowser lay defeated by the two Italian plumbers.

I'll never forget that Thanksgiving, and my brother-in-law and I still like to reminisce about it. Maybe next this year we'll take a run through Super Mario World (the one at the top of the list my favourite childhood Mario games)!