Atari Poop

Atari Poop – Top 10 Reasons Why Mario Bros. is the Best Mario Game

Some of you might be thinking, “A Mario game on the 2600? Surely you jest, good sir! Might it not merely have been a videoed game of the home-brewèd variety?” Well, my learnèd friends, you’d be wrong. Mario Bros. for the 2600 was a port of the original arcade game and is without a doubt the greatest Mario game ever made (besides this one obviously). Here are the top 10 reasons why:

10 – Sorry Mario, But Your Princess is in Another Game

Super Mario - Toad Giving the Finger

With all the talk of sexism in video games recently, I think it’s important to point out that Mario Bros. does not involve saving a poor, helpless princess or any kind of damsel in distress. This fact alone puts it above most Mario games where sexism is concerned. I’d even argue that it comes second only to Super Mario Bros. 2, since in that one you can actually play as a female character who just happens to be the best of the four characters available.

9 – You Kill Turtles in Sewers

Mario - Turtle Corpse

This game has turtles. Turtles that, although terribly pixelated, look like turtles. Not turtles with wings or turkeys wearing turtle shells, just damn turtles.

The game and its manual never explain why these turtles are in the sewers, but does it really need to? Obviously, they are former pets: turtles flushed down household toilets or abandoned in storm drains.

Your job: to murder all of these discarded family pets. How twisted and hardcore is that? You modern gamers can have your prostitute-killing, head-shotting, and tea-bagging. We retro gamers will stick to the destruction of pets through a variety of means.

8 – No Water Levels

Water Levels Suck

You hate them and I hate them. They’re just the worst. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Mario, Zelda, TMNT, or Mega Man game. Water levels suck and this game has not a one. I’d say that’s a definitive win for it.

7 – No Mushrooms

Magic Mushrooms

No mushrooms in the background with faces on them. No mushrooms with doors and windows (what is this, the Smurfs?!). No mushrooms that look remarkably similar to a certain Japanese hallucinogenic mushroom. Just no mushrooms. Mushrooms are lame. Who even likes them anyway? Are they plants? Some kind of weird, slow-moving animal like a sea sponge? Pick a side. You aren’t special. Also, did you know that eating certain mushrooms can kill you? What was Miyamoto thinking? Children are impressionable. How many have died because of subsequent Mario games and Miyamoto’s bizarre mushroom fetish?

6 – No Goombas

Stupid Goomba

I don’t even know why these guys were ever in a Mario game beyond the first enemy of level 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. In that game, you meet the first one, jump on him, and he dies. He teaches you that jumping on enemies will kill them. That encounter should be the very last time you meet an enemy so pathetic that killing him should be as simple as raising your foot a little higher as you walk over him.

5 – Not the Year of Weegee

Weegee - Luigi

Luigi makes his first ever appearance thanks to this game. Now, this is definitely a knock against this game because Luigi is by far the lamest character in the history of gaming. That being said, you can’t blame this game for Luigi’s future lameness.

To be honest, this is the best game Luigi has ever been in. It doesn’t matter that he is nothing more than a palette swapped Mario. What does matter is that he doesn’t speak, his name never appears in the game itself, and he really just is Mario in green and nothing more. He’s in the game and given a name just because the game has a two player mode (which is the best two player co-op to be found in any Mario game). All that shitty, boring, bullshit Luigi does in subsequent games has nothing to do with this one. Frankly, he should have been killed off after this game. Forget the princess, just think of how awesome Super Mario Bros. could have been if Mario was out to kill Bowser out of revenge for killing his brother.

4 – Not Super


This is Mario Bros., plain and simple. Nintendo made this before they felt the need to tack “Super” onto seemingly every single one of their games. As a result, this game doesn’t scream how good it is at you. It’s a game that knows how good it is. It isn’t insecure and doesn’t constantly need people to acknowledge how great it is. It’s the kind of game that, when you tell it that it’s great, it replies with a shrug and a  “Hmm, I just think there are lots of good games.”

3 – Game Serves as a PSA

The More You Know

Remember those kids who died getting hit by cars while looking for Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatelo, and Raphael because they had shitty parents? It’s too bad that generation didn’t have this game to serve as a warning.

This game instills the feeling into to children that sewers are a bad and dangerous place. They’re full of turtles that can kill you by merely touching you. There are also giant-ass bugs, fireballs that swirl around, and disturbing blue… things… that freeze the surface of everything they touch. All of this conveys “Stay the Hell Out!” much more effectively than any sign ever could. This game has saved lives.

2 – Carpenters are Stupid

This game marks the first time Mario is a plumber. Mario the carpenter is no more. I have one, irrefutable argument proving that plumbers are superior to carpenters. Everyone will agree with me that ties are the stupidest piece of clothing ever conceived. Their only purpose is to restrict oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Ties are the worst. With that in mind:

I rest my case.

1 – Graphics

Mario Bros - 2600 - Gameplay

Any retro gamer worth his pixelated salt knows that good graphics do not a good game make; therefore, through a process I like to call logic, bad graphics make a game good.

With that proven, it becomes clear that the Atari 2600 port of Mario Bros. is the best Mario game of all time.  Its graphics are clearly the worst of any of the game’s ports, but more than that, its graphics are the worst of any Mario game, which, as proven by deductive reasoning above, must mean that it has the best graphics.

It’s logic folks. You can’t argue with a deductive argument once you’ve agreed to the premises, so if you still think any other Mario game is better than this one, your brain is just pathetically clouded by nostalgia. I feel sorry for you. It must not be easy to live with a brain full of flaws and faults.