Nintendo of America is keen for today to be 'Mar10 Day', a charming little spin on date conventions which doesn't have the same ring to it elsewhere - it's 10Mar day in the UK, for example, which isn't anywhere near as catchy. With a cute video to celebrate and some social media shenanigans afoot, it is at least an opportunity to celebrate Nintendo's mascot and most enduring success to date.
Though many will naturally talk about the plumber's many, many platformers of both the 2D and 3D variety, we thought we'd give a little love to the spin-offs. There are so many of them and, seeing as we asked you to vote for your favourite Mario platformer last year, it seemed only right that we give you the same opportunity once again with these other Mario games.
In terms of the 'rules', we've got entries that are a mix of series and individual games - the logic is simple, if a spin-off has had multiple entries the 'series' has a vote, but one-offs are also in the running. We're also treating Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars as its own entry, as although it inspired other franchises it wasn't followed up with an actual sequel. We're also including Super Mario Maker, which may be contentious but we maintain that its status as a creation tool separates it from the typical platformer series. We are leaving some out, too, focusing on proper Mario spin-offs and not counting the original 'Mario Bros.', retro cameo appearances or every edutainment titles featuring the mascot. That also means games where the actual lead star is Luigi, Donkey Kong and others are also out.
In terms of voting for a 'series', if you've only played one entry (for example) that's fine - this is all about choosing the franchises or games you love the most.
This is likely to be a tough choice, so we're letting you give three equally weighted votes, but if you only want to vote for one or two that's fine. Also, if we've missed any franchises we're sorry - there are a lot of them.
Enough pre-amble, let's have the vote!