Mario is a vital part of videogame history, but it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see the moustached icon make the jump to PC. Fortunately, plenty of games have been influenced by the humble handyman's adventures - here’s our pick of the best of them!
A HAT IN TIME
There are a handful of games that have been influenced by the 3D platforming mechanics of Mario 64, but A Hat in Time stands head and shoulders above the rest.
You play as a girl with a magical top hat who can jump, climb, and swing through the game - and by collecting items, Hat Girl can make new hats that give her special abilities, evoking our plumber friend’s iconic red cap.
If you ever find yourself wishing that 2D Mario games were more difficult, then Celeste is the alternative for you. Help Madeline climb to the summit of Celeste Mountain in this precise, tough platformer.
Celeste’s perilous ascent is accompanied by a heartfelt story of self-discovery as she conquers her inner demons. While the level design is brutal, Celeste’s accessibility features mean that anyone can experience its story.
Bright 2D worlds, skill-based gameplay, and side-scrolling platforming - Sonic has long held a friendly rivalry with Nintendo’s portly plumber. Sonic Mania is a celebration of those roots as the blue blur goes back to basics.
Developed by fans for fans, Sonic Mania is a nostalgic love letter to anyone who still finds themselves involuntarily humming the Green Hill Zone theme music every now and again.
SPYRO REIGNITED TRILOGY
Just as Sega put Sonic against Mario in the 2D era, Nintendo’s competitor in the 3D era, Sony, designed its own rival - the adorable Spyro the Dragon.
If you prefer the 3D platforming pioneered by games like Super Mario 64, look no further for the definitive modern version of another challenger to Mario’s crown.
CRASH BANDICOOT N. SANE TRILOGY
Crash Bandicoot was another big name in 3D platformers - his platforming style is more linear and less free-roaming than Mario, though you’ll still need to stuff his pockets with collectibles to progress.
The N. Sane trilogy is a remaster of his first three games: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped.