Do you remember the first video game you played?  Maybe yes, maybe not, but certainly you’ll remember the graphic style of those games. Small pixels, represented using dots or squares, which created characters, castles, weapons and everything you could imagine.

With the advancement of technology, now you can play in 3D or virtual reality. However, pixel games never went out of style, as you can see, one of the highest grossing games in recent years is Minecraft, where you can build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world but with a retro touch.

Let’s compare the progress of the graphics in video games through the best-selling video game franchise of all time:


It’s a hims! Mario!


Mario first appeared as “Jumpman” in the arcade game Donkey Kong on 1981. Due to the graphical limitations of arcade hardware at the time, he was given a mustache to separate his nose from his face, red overalls and a blue shirt so arm movements were visible and contrast against each other, and a red cap because hair was hard to draw. There was also the issue of animating his hair as he jumped.


A few years later, he got his own video game “Super Mario Bros” with his brother Luigi. The only change on the character was that the t-shirt and socks were brown instead of blue.


Mario was originally portrayed as a two-dimensional sprite, but in 1996 he made his 3D debut in Super Mario 64. It’s considered the most revolutionary video game of all time, and its 3D polygonal effects are still seen in modern games today.

Ten years later, Mario went to 2.5D (2D graphical projections that simulate the appearance of being 3D) in New Super Mario Bros.


One of the latest Mario games “New Super Mario Bros. U” which launched on 2012 with the Wii U. It has a similar visual style like New Super Mario Bros. but featured high-definition graphics as you can see below. The development team  focused on camera angles at each point that would allow you to see the next course And thanks to HD, you can even clearly tell when Mario blinks.

New Super Mario Bros
best-selling video game franchises

Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. And it is the best-selling video game franchise of all time.

Over time, Mario’s appearance has become more defined; blue eyes, white gloves, brown shoes, a red “M” in a white circle on the front of his hat and gold buttons on his overalls have been added. The colors of his shirt and overalls were also reversed from a blue shirt with red overalls to a red shirt with blue overalls. The creator of Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto attributed this process to the different development teams and artists for each game as well as advances in technology as time has gone by.

But they managed to keep all of his iconic elements intact. Cap, overalls and mustache.

Feeling nostalgic?

See how your favorite games have changed over the years.

What Will video games Be Like in 20 Years? Leave a comment below!