In 1996, Nintendo and Square Soft (developer of the famous Final Fantasy series, now known as Square Enix) teamed up to bring Mario into the RPG genre. Since then, Intelligent Systems has been working on the Paper Mario games (RPGs with a distinctive graphical style) and AlphaDream has been working on the Mario & Luigi games. These RPGs not only provide a slant to menu-based battles, but also expand upon the Mario world in ways not possible in platformers. With the exception of the Mario and Luigi series and Super Paper Mario, Luigi tends to have a minor role in Mario RPGs.
The original Mario Party was hailed as a triumph in fun multiplayer party gaming—almost single-handedly coining the genre. Even though the series is regularly berated for its yearly updates, it continues to be popular, and introduces new ideas and refinements with each entry.
In 1992, Nintendo took the major Mario characters and put them into a simple circuit racing game, then threw in weapons, power slides and a battle mode. Super Mario Kart and its sequels have become some of the best loved Nintendo games of all time—primarily for the multiplayer focus. Starting with the DS entry, the series has also supported online play.
Mario Golf is a sports video game series that was developed by Camelot Software Planning and published by Nintendo. It began on the Nintendo 64 with two games, one for the Nintendo 64 and the other for the Game Boy Color. Since then, each successive generation has had two games, one for the console and the second for the handheld platform game.
Mario Tennis is a sports video game series that began in 1995 with Mario's Tennis for the Virtual Boy. In the vein of other Mario sport games, it features Mario and his all-star cast competing in a game of tennis. Since its second generation on the Nintendo 64, each successive generation features a console and a handheld version and all of them developed by Camelot Software Planning.
With the overwhelming success of Mario's golf and tennis games on the Nintendo 64—partly down to tight control systems, but largely to the vibrant special effects and colorful characters—has led to a new wave of sporting titles on the horizon.
When Dr. Mario was released on the NES and Game Boy it instantly become one of the more popular block puzzle games that flooded the market during the Tetris fever. In fact, the game's simplicity and longevity have meant that the series is still getting released sixteen years later with little or no changes made to the basic formula.
Picross is a paint by numbers game on a 5×5 to 15×15 grid in which digits along the sides describe the widths of squares to be filled out, or etched in, by Mario's pickax in order to reveal a picture within a time limit. It was similar to Sudoku and Minesweeper, but was never popular in North America.
On the compact disc-interactive console by Philips, is the obscure quality puzzle-action game where Mario must take the elevator between the several floors of a hotel to shut every door to clear the level. Like in Wrecking Crew, the path Mario takes is critical so that he does not walk into enemies. Some enemies open doors on each floor and will end the game if every door in the stage is opened. Each hotel ends in a boss battle with one of the Koopas from Super Mario Bros. 3 until Bowser at the end.
One of the early, pre-Super Mario Bros.Famicom games, Wrecking Crew combined action with puzzle. As Mario, players have to chip away all of |the stone walls on each tower, avoiding enemies and being sure not to get trapped. In 1998 a pseudo-sequel was created, putting Wrecking Crew into a more generic block puzzle format.
Shigeru Miyamoto was said to be experimenting with a 3D Super Mario game on the Super Famicom using the Super FX 2 chip. No screenshots were ever shown, and Miyamoto has admitted he became frustrated with the limitations of the system. It is now known that these limitations led to the development of the Nintendo 64 Control Pad, and the game itself evolved into Super Mario 64.
Classic Mario platforming on the Virtual Boy in a world where Wario is in charge. Mario could walk into the backgrounds of levels and enter top-down Zelda-like areas as well as the classic platforming action. The game was not finished before the Virtual Boy's untimely demise.
From shortly after the release of Super Mario 64, Shigeru Miyamoto promised a sequel to Super Mario 64. The game was apparently going to feature Mario and Luigi, and was said to be at varying stages of development throughout the life of the Nintendo 64 console. The game was never shown and never released, and it may eventually become the Super Mario 128 project that also has never been released, although there is some speculation that the game may have been retooled and ported and released as Super Mario 64 DS, although this has not been proven.
On top of the Mario Artist games that were released, four more were announced: Sound Maker, Graphical Message Maker, Video Jockey and Game Maker. It is thought that elements from these entries, made it into the games that were released.
Like Super Mario 64 2 before it, Super Mario 128 has been long-awaited and will almost definitely never be released. However, experiments of the game have reportedly led to the development of the Wii controller and has inspired the development of the Mario game for the Wii console (like how experiments with Super Mario FX led to the development of the Nintendo 64 controller and Super Mario 64). However, during his keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference 2007, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto revealed what eventually happened to Super Mario 128. "What happened to Mario 128?" said Miyamoto at the end of his keynote, "most of you already played it...," then the screen showed that Mario 128 equaled Pikmin.