THE video game that defines the video game experience of people my age.
This game started it all for me. I was too young to really get into the Atari. By the time I was 3, this game was already all over the place. It was my first true video game experience. It's hard to explain what it meant to me and my development. Psychologists would say something to do with learning to deal with addiction for the first time. It was the most intuitive, most fun, most satisfying, and most popular game of its time. I grew up with Mario, and I can not imagine my life without him.
Those hammer bros in world 8 - 3 always got on my nerves. And once you've beaten the game all the way through twice in a row, it becomes infinite. It never really lets you stop, no matter how good you are. Also, the NES version (as with a lot of NES games that were also arcade games) doesn't save your high score like at the arcades.
The Bottom Line
I think it is beyond my capacity to describe this game to people who haven't played it thousands of times - for it has had such an impact upon the very nature of my being, I have difficult theorizing what it must be like to have been introduced to video games in different circumstances.