No game series is more iconic than Mario. Not only has it transcended pop culture, it effectively saved the gaming industry from ruin alongside the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

In celebration of its 25th year anniversary, today we're going to look back at the biggest releases

1. Mario Bros. - 1983

This is Nintendo's classic arcade hit that started it all. Although it isn't widely known as the first true Mario game, it served as a proof of concept that spurred development of Super Mario Bros.

2. Super Mario Bros. - 1985

Super Mario Bros. could very well be the most important game of all-time. It introduced the overall-wearing plumber to the world, and had a tight and polished experience that went well beyond standards of the time.

3. Super Mario Bros 2 - 1988

Although less popular than its predecessor, Super Mario Bros. 2 was a big hit for Nintendo that helped keep the NES relevant leading up to the SNES' launch. It built upon the previous game with a few new mechanics that would become mainstays for the franchise.

Also Read: Top 10 PlayStation 1 Games That We'll Never Forget

4. Super Mario Bros. 3 - 1988

Super Mario Bros. 3 was a big jump for the series, introducing several new abilities and a new world structure that had far more content than prior games.

5. Super Mario Land - 1989

Super Mario Land was the first handheld Mario game, and performed as one of the system's best-sellers. Mario has since had more than a dozen releases across Nintendo's handheld consoles.

As a side note, the Game Boy is the third best-selling gaming console of all-time.

6. Super Mario World - 1990

One of the few launch titles of the SNES (and bundled with the system in North America), the fifth main game in the Super Mario series brought the Mario brothers into the mysterious Dinosaur Land. It marked the first appearance of Mario's dinosaur companion, Yoshi, and played a big part in the SNES early popularity.

7. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

This game allowed players to take control of Yoshi as he escorted Baby Mario to Baby Bowser's Lair. It's considered one of the series' best games, and diverted from tradition more than just about any other Mario game.

Also Read: The Top 20 PC Games, Of All-Time

8. Super Mario 64 - 1996

Super Mario 64 took the Mario franchise into polygonal worlds, setting numerous standards for 3D game design along the way. 

9. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

This was Mario's first RPG adventure. It was the first time Nintendo collaborated with another company for a Mario release (Square), and not only vastly altered the formula, but did it in a way that was well-received.

10. New Super Mario Bros. - 2006

As good as some previous handheld Mario games were, New Super Mario Bros. was a huge step up in terms of quality and content.

11. Super Mario Galaxy - 2007

Currently standing as the series' most well-received game, Super Mario Galaxy completely changed the way people think about Mario. Instead of running across 2D or 3D landscapes, it brought Mario into outer space, introducing platforming on globular structures.

12. Super Mario 3D Land - 2011

Super Mario 3D Land blended elements of 2D and 3D Mario platformers in extremely tight fashion. It's the most well-received handheld Mario game.

Also Read: Top 25 Best Games Of All-Time In One Sentence Or Less

13. Super Mario Odyssey - 2017

The latest Mario release was a big one. Arriving during the first year of Nintendo's Switch console it competed for game of the year awards and introduced a new mechanic where Mario could throw his cap to take control of various enemies in the game world.

What's your favorite Mario game? Let us know in the comments below.