The Disturbing History of How Much I’ve spent on Super Mario Bros.

Before we get started here I need to make one thing clear. No, it’s not that I love Mario. You know that already. And no, it’s not even that I regret what I’m about to lay before you. The one thing you need to know before you read this article is that we’re only discussing one game today. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the Mario games I’ve bought (and re-bought) over the years. That article may just be too depressing for me to consider writing. Today we’re talking about one game. Super Mario Bros. for the original NES. Most normal people bought this game once back in 1985, and then maybe, MAYBE once again on an emulator 20 years later.

Not this guy!

What follows is the (too) long list of the versions of my favorite game and the money spent on the same game from 1985 until today. Every time I buy a new version I swear it is the last time but then a new system comes out and I’m suckered into it all over again.

Mario Bros Opening Screen

Obviously there’s no other place to start then the bundled in copy of the game I received in either 1987 or 1988 for Christmas. It should come as no surprise that my reaction to receiving my first Nintendo product pretty closely resembled this:

I played this version for over half a decade before Nintendo was able to sell the game back to me for the first time.

Money spent (by my parents, in 80’s money): $89.99

super mario all stars

In 1993 Super Mario All-Stars was released for the SNES. At the time, this actually seemed like a great deal. Not only did we get Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3, but we got Super Mario Bros. the Lost Levels. As most big Nintendo fans know, the Lost Levels was originally released in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2. Nintendo of Japan thought that it was too hard for us Americans so instead they released Doki Doki Panic and re-skinned the characters to the Mario universe. Here’s what no one actually talks about: Japan was right. The Lost Levels are hard as shit. They’re so hard they’re not fun. I MUCH prefer having the Super Mario Bros. 2 we know and love. For all its quirkiness that game kicks ass.

I’m not 100% sure how I came into possession of Super Mario All-Stars, but if I had to guess I traded in some old games at FuncoLand and picked it up that way. Regardless, I either traded in some games or paid good money to play a bunch of games I already owned.

Money spent (in 90’s money): $59.99

mario deluxe

At some point right around the turn of the century, Nintendo figured out that they could re-sell me Super Mario Bros. as a way to tap into my childhood and I would spend whatever amount of money they wanted to charge me for the privilege of playing a game that was 15-25 years old. If you’re looking for a tipping point, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe is it. Of course I was fooled by the concept that now I could play my favorite game wherever I wanted to. On a side note, IGN has never helped in this. They always review these re-releases favorably. In fairness to them, I’d give the game a 10 too. I think I played this game about twice and then it just sat in a box until I sold it this year.

Money spent: $29.99

mario history poster

To this point, I honestly believe that all of these purchases could be justified. They at least allowed me to experience the game in a new way or offered new content. I really couldn’t argue with someone who told me that from here on out I was a little ridiculous.

When the Wii was first released, the idea of the Virtual Console blew my mind. I could play an entire library of of NES, SNES, and N64 games on one console? I immediately wanted to line up and purchase every game I could get my hands on. One of the release games was, not surprisingly, Super Mario Bros. TAKE MY $5 NINTENDO.

Money spent: $4.99

Mario El

Shortly after the Wii was released, I bought a 3DS. Oh, Mario is available there too? I can play the game on the L? Why, here’s another of my $5 Nintendo.

Money spent: $4.99

mario anniversary

In 2010, Super Mario Bros. had its 25th Anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, Nintendo released a new version of Super Mario All Stars for the Wii, including a bonus CD. Did you say bonus CD? HERE’S MY MONEY!!

Money spent: $39.99

wii gamepad

My final and (hopefully) last purchase was made for the Wii U. This allowed me to play Mario Bros. while watching a totally different program on the TV. I actually think this is amazing. I’ve been convinced duped into thinking this is a great idea. Nintendo allows you to upgrade any of the Virtual Console games you bought on Wii to be playable on the gamepad for a nominal fee ($.99 for NES games, $1.49 for SNES games, and just recently added! $1.99 for N64 games). So I spent one more dollar on Super Mario Bros. Is that really that big a deal? In the grand scheme of things?? NO. No it is not.

Money spent: $0.99

Animal Crossing NES

One final game I should mention that I won’t include in my final total is Animal Crossing. I certainly didn’t buy the game JUST to play the NES ROMs you could find…. OK, that’s the main reason I bought the game. But still, I had a great time playing the game besides that. Regardless, I had Super Mario Bros. in the game, and I certainly beat it in under fifteen minutes.

So there it is. 7 (or 8) distinctive times I purchased the same game that was originally released back in 1985. Over $230.00 (over $140.00 if you take out the NES) spent. Worth every cent. Sometimes the combination of nostalgia plus the greatest game of all time makes you do questionable things.

Now, where’s my HD remake of Super Mario Galaxy? Nintendo, I have more money I want to throw at you.

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