Mario made his gaming debut in 1981 platform game Donkey Kong - a late addition after Nintendo couldn't get the rights to use the character of Popeye.
Even then, creator Shigeru Miyamoto thought that the Italian plumber would only be a bit part player, rather than ending up as Nintendo's mascot and one of the most profitable computer game characters in history.
He's featured in hundreds of games, many of which have launched new consoles and his popularity shows no signs of dipping - this year's Super Mario Bros. Movie has outgrossed every other film except the record-shattering Barbie.
And just this week saw the release of his latest adventure, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, on the Nintendo Switch.
It's already garnered rave reviews, making it one of the most highly-rated games to date.
Here's where it ranks in the pantheon of Mario tites, according to review aggregator website Metacritic.
1. Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy is one of three Mario games that has an impressive score of 97 (out of 100) on Metacritic, but takes top spot due to its larger number of reviews. It sees Mario on a quest to rescue Princess Peach, save the universe from Bowser, and collect 120 Power Stars. Once you've finished you can play the whole game as Luigi, should you wish.
2. Super Mario Odyssey
Nintendo Switch game Super Mario Odyssey, released in 2017, also earns a rating of 97. Mario journeys across several kingdoms to save Princess Peach from the horrors of a forced marriage to Bowzer. He's helped out by Cappy - a sentient hat that allows him to control items and other characters.
3. Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2 completes the three podium places. Like the other two games to achieve a rating of 97 it's a 3D adventure that sees Mario, as ever, in pursuit of Bowzer. This time he heads to outer space where Princess Peach has been imprisoned at the centre of the universe. It was released on the Wii in 2010.
4. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3
The first portable Mario game takes fourth spot, with Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3. The Gameboy Advance game is an enhanced version of the classic NES game Super Mario Bros 3, first seen in Super Nintendo title Super Mario All-Stars. The side-scrolling platformer featured a multiplayer mode for the first time and the ability to scan e-Cards into Nintendo's e-Reader to add content. It has a Metacritic rating of 94.