He's Nintendo's famous mascot and one of the most prolific characters in gaming - naturally Mario has more than a few Guinness World Records to his name, and these are ten of his best.
In case you haven't noticed, we here at The Escapist are all about Mario today. Like his games or not (and you really should), there's no denying that Mario has made his mark on the entertainment industry. How big a mark, you ask? Big enough for him to have at least ten entries in the Guinness World Records 2010 Gamer's Edition:
*Most prolific video game character: (Mario) The character who has appeared in the largest number of video games is Mario, created by Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo, in Kyoto, Japan, in 1982. Mario has appeared in 207 distinct titles including remakes and re-releases.
*Longest-running computer game character: (Mario) Nintendo's Mario character, a plumber by trade, first appeared in the arcade version of Donkey Kong in 1981. Mario has since made an appearance in over 70 games, although he is a "playable" character in only around 30 of these.
*Most successful videogame hero: (Mario) Mario, a computer-generated carpenter created by Shigeru Miyamoto (Japan), first made an appearance under that name in Nintendo's 'Game & Watch' version of Donkey Kong in 1982 (He was otherwise known as "Jumpman" in the original 1981 arcade version of the game). To date, Mario has featured in at least 125 video games that, combined, have sold nearly 200 million copies worldwide.
*Most critically acclaimed 3D platformer: (Super Mario Galaxy) The record for best critical reception for a 3D platformer is held by Super Mario Galaxy, with an outstanding 97.26% and 97% from GameRankings and Metacritic, respectively. The game was praised for its gravity-bending level design and for staying true to the series' nostalgic roots.
*Best-selling videogame series of all time: (Super Mario) With over 201 million copies sold, the Super Mario series is the best-selling gaming franchise in history - across all genres. While the last 28 years have seen the intrepid Mario engaging in a wide variety of activities - including role-playing, medicine and several sports - the series remains firmly rooted in the 2D platforming that first brought it success with the original Donkey Kong in 1981.
*Most prolific party games series: (Mario Party) The most prolific party video game series is Mario Party (Nintendo, 1998), which has seen 11 entries across six formats as of May 2007.
*Best selling non-bundled sports video game: (Sonic and Mario at the Olympic Games) It took Sonic and Mario at the Olympic Games 12 weeks to notch up worldwide sales of 5.5 million making it the bestselling non-bundled sports game of all time.
*Best-selling gaming character cross-over: (Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games) Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games has sold over 7.09 million copies on Wii and 4.22 million on DS since its launch in 2007, making it the most popular game to feature characters that originally starred in their own games. It was the first videogame to feature both iconic characters, who had been rivals for many years as mascots.
*Best-selling racing game: (Mario Kart Wii) In May 2009, Nintendo revealed lifetime sales figures for a number of its Wii and DS games, including Mario Kart Wii. The game's 15.4 million copies sold beats the previous record held by Sony's Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec, which has sold 14.89 million copies. Mario Kart DS is the best-selling racer on a handheld, with 14.61 million copies sold.
*Earliest Nintendo game to feature competitive online play: (Mario Kart DS) The first Nintendo-published game to feature competitive online play was Mario Kart DS in 2005. While earlier online titles included Animal Crossing and Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II, none allowed players to battle each other.
(Thanks to Guinness World Records for sending these over!)
So there you have it, folks. Mario has been in over 207 games. The Super Mario series has sold over 200 million copies, and that doesn't even count Mario Kart Wii (15.4 million), Mario Kart DS (14.61 million) or Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (a combined 11.31 million).
Holy crap. If you traveled back in time to 1981, would you have ever imagined that Shigeru Miyamoto's unassuming "Jumpman" would have turned out this way?
With that sort of legacy, is there any wonder that Nintendo's mustachioed plumber is the most famous videogame character in the world?
You know what, Mario? You deserve Peach's cake.
For more Mario fun, be sure to check out our Mario Party!