By EW Staff
Updated December 27, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

Why Super Mario 64 is one of the 100 greatest videogames

Mario is Charlie Chaplin for the videogame generation: Both are taciturn, mustachioed icons who defined the early days of an emerging art form. Whether it was the original Super Mario Bros. (1987) or the more recent 3-D world of Mario 64, these games are exasperatingly cute, unimpeachably addictive, and imbued with enough rich and varied play to make a funny-speaking plumber synonymous with transcendent gaming.
FACE-OFF In the early 1990s, more kids recognized Super Mario than Mickey Mouse. (Nintendo 64, 1996)