39. Super Mario 64
First Played: 1998
Times Completed: 10+
Back in 1995, I was watching a TV show called Bad Influence and was completely amazed by Mario (and Kirby) being played in 3D on the Ultra 64. I had all sorts of questions like, "But what happens when you die? Do you just fall through the floor? That'd look weird in 3D" and "How are they going to cope with Kirby being able to fly in any direction?". Well, somehow Nintendo figured the Mario one out, but maybe they're still stuck on the Kirby one. About 6 months later I had a Sega Saturn and then the PS1 and N64 both arrived in my house in 1998 so 3D games weren't quite the novelty they seemed in 1995. But that didn't take much away from Mario 64, the game was still unbelievably well made.
Surprisingly, this remains my favourite Mario game. The controls are still good, the level design is top notch and most Power Stars are fun to collect. The only complaint I have is the camera, it’s not bad enough that it spoils the game, but later games definitely improve this aspect. It never gets old, no matter how many times I’ve started a new game, it’s always a fun playthrough, even to 100%. As usual, Koji Kondo provides a timeless soundtrack and to this day, I will never skip the credits sequence to this game, it's just so good.