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31. Super Mario 3D Land
3DS (2011)
Nintendo EAD Tokyo

After EAD Tokyo's masterpiece that was Super Mario Galaxy 2 had finished development, fans quickly wanted to know what was next in store for the now legendary development team. Could another game be headed to the Wii (or even Project Cafe?), or could they even create a game for Nintendo's newest handheld: the 3DS? And if it was developed for the handheld, how would a 3D Mario title fit into a handheld ecosystem? Well we soon found out that Super Mario 3D Land would be heading to the 3DS, and just in time, as the handheld was struggling to find an audience with its lackluster game lineup. And when we finally got our hands on the game, it was nothing we've ever seen in a 3D Mario title. Where 64 and Sunshine gave us large arenas to explore and delve into, and the Galaxy titles gave us more focused rollercoaster ride-type levels, 3D Land embraced its on-the-go hardware by giving us bite sized platform playgrounds. Instead of each level having multiple goals/stars, each level is built for one distinct platforming design, allowing for super tight platform level design. Tokyo EAD proved once more that they are the current masters of the platform genre (and let's face it... gameplay design in general). Also, I need to give a shoutout to Super Mario 3D World. It's brilliant. Top 10 game for sure. Hats off.