Does Super Mario 64 Still Hold Up 22 Years Later?


A. Currens, Staff Writer

One very influential video game has to be Super Mario 64, an early 3D platformer that revolutionized the gaming industry with the way it worked, has gone down as a legend among many gamers.

The game was originally released in Japan on June 23, 1996, as one of the release titles for the Nintendo 64, a 64-bit gaming console released also in 1996. It was later released in the U.S. The game was really popular and sold 11.62 million copies within its first few years according to The game didn’t just die out in popularity though, like most old video games. The people who play it are still playing it to this day, but the most common way you see people playing the game is by speedrunning.

Speedrunning is trying to beat a game as fast as possible by either using glitches or exploits, or finishing it without glitches as fast as possible. The first speedrun of the game was done in 2004 (if you want to watch the run, you can view it  here.) Ths run opened the door for speedrunners and has created a dedicated group of people that want to finish the game really fast. There are five categories in super Mario 64 runs and they are: 120 stars, 70 stars, 16 stars, 1 star, and 0 stars. A comprehensive history of the runs can be found in various videos on YouTube.

Another way Super Mario 64 is kept alive is by its huge community of “ROM hackers.” A ROM hack is a way to change the game both physically and fundamentally. Sometimes a hack can just be cosmetic, like changing the character, or can be changing the game completely into something new. One very good example is Super Mario 64: Star Road, a hack that completely changes the game into something else.

So to the question, Does Super Mario 64 still hold up today? The answer is yes; the game had been revived by a dedicated group of hackers and speedrunners and has made its way back onto the mainstream 22 years after its release.