Top Ten: 2D Platformers

The platformers that rise above.

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 08/26/2014 09:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

1) Super Mario World

Released: SNES, 1991

It makes people smile. It also makes people frown, cheer with joy, yell, curse, and puff their chests out with pride. Super Mario World elicited almost the entire spectrum of emotions that human beings can muster, because it did so much in so many different ways. Taking elements from Super Mario Bros. 3, most notably its secrets, flying, and interactive map, Mario World went above and beyond being a simple launch title for SNES. It was a revolution and reinvigoration of 2D platformers. Its beautiful graphics were front and center, but they were just the icing on the cake; Mario World was and remains in a category all its own.

Though the basic gameplay of Mario World wasn’t totally different from what had come before in the series, Nintendo’s alterations were undeniably important and impactful. The addition of Yoshi brought new strategies to the gameplay. The cape was empowering, granting a sense of flight more visceral than Mario Bros. 3. The oft-noted “secrets within secrets” of Mario World created layers of density that many platformers (even today) could only dream of. Mario World felt like it took players down an endless version of Alice’s rabbit hole, rewarding players for being inquisitive and poking around every inch of Dinosaur Land. Mario World did everything right, and developers continue to look to it for inspiration when making platformers today.

What platformers do you consider essential? Wish Cool Spot was on this list? Speak and be heard in the comments!

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