Plumber brothers Mario and Luigi from Brooklyn have just arrived in an outlandish realm called the Mushroom Kingdom. It was ruled by Princess Toadstool and her faithful Mushroom people. But one day, evil cast a shadow over the land and the evil King Bowser Koopa emerged with his army of Goombas, Spinies, Flying Koopas, and other malignant creatures. King Koopa abducted Princess Toadstool and trapped her faithful Mushroom People in seven of his castles. So Mario and Luigi must intrepid deep and hazardous waters, jump from tree to tree (don't look down!), and visually examine their steps in the dark evil castles filled with fire balls and lava pits and must utilize their magic powers to subjugate the evil King Koopa and rescue the Princess.
A plumber named Mario and his brother Luigi travel through the Mushroom Kingdom to save the princess from the evil Bowser. After receiving my first Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991, I instantly became hooked on one game in particular: Super Mario Brothers. It's relatively new style of play (side-scrolling) in combination with an original story and the perfect difficulty arc (anyone can beat the beginning levels, but it takes a true pro to complete the game) made it the game that I played over and over again. Whether it was screaming in frustration due to the Hammer Brothers, hearing in disbelief that the Princess "was in another castle", or the sheer joy of beating that next castle, I played the game over and over again. Of course, being such a young child, I was never quite talented enough to complete the complicated jump moves or decipher the complex mazes (towards the end) well enough to actually beat the game. Yet, I still had a heck of a time trying!
Flash forward (LOST-style) 10-12 years later: Having been introduced to the NES at such a young age, I continued by brand loyalty to Nintendo by playing the Super Nintendo, Nintendo '64, Gamecube, and Wii. I had a lot of good times with those machines, but one day I got the urge to fire up the old NES again, for old times sake. Within moments (well, not exactly moments, as it took some blowing on the connectors and jiggling the game up and down) I was instantly transformed back into that excited six year old kid who couldn't wait to come home from school and play Mario. This time around, with a little practice, I was able to conquer even the final Bowser.
While playing the game at that older age, though, I was amazed at the purity of it. It was original (which can't be said about most SNES games), it was straight-forward (not like Donkey Kong '64, for example), it's difficulty arc progresses in a logical fashion (not like GCN, where in many games you have to be a master gamer to step right in), and the game's internal bugs are cute and looked forward too, not annoying and troublesome as is sometimes the case on the Wii.
Thus, taking all those things into consideration, Super Mario Brothers for the NES is, at least in my opinion, perhaps the closest thing to a "perfect video game" as has ever been created. Not only did it practically save the entire gaming industry, but it also gave hours of entertainment to people across the world. To me, only The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (for the '64) can challenge Mario Bros. in terms of overall game quality.
So, if you are a nostalgic video gamer (like myself) who is a bit frazzled by the current obsessions and skill levels, I would highly recommend dusting of the old NES box and popping in Super Mario Brothers (it often comes on the same cartridge as Duck Hunt). After a few moments of dickering, a few tries to re-master the old skill-sets, you will NOT be disappointed.
This game deserves a ten for it's ground-breaking game play. Nintendo surprised the world by giving the stage to its biggest future stars. This is an unforgettable classic that will hopefully be preserved for future generations of game players.