Super Mario 64 Released on the Nintendo 64 in North America
Super Mario 64 is a platform game, developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development and published by Nintendo, for the Nintendo 64.
Along with Pilotwings 64, it was one of the launch titles for the console. It was released in Japan on June 23, 1996, and later in North America and in Europe. Super Mario 64 has sold over eleven million copies. An enhanced remake called Super Mario 64 DS was released for the Nintendo DS in 2004.
Although technically the first "three dimensional" platforming Mario game was Mario Clash on the Virtual Boy, which allowed the player to move Mario between the foreground and the background using the digital control pad, Super Mario 64 improved on that title with free-roaming analog degrees of freedom, large open-ended areas, and true 3D polygons as opposed to the 2D sprites of past Mario titles including Clash. Super Mario 64 established a new archetype for the genre, much as Super Mario Bros. did for 2-dimensional (2D) sidescrolling platformers. Hailed as "revolutionary", the game left a lasting impression on 3D game design, particularly notable for its use of a dynamic camera system and the implementation of its analog control.
In going from two to three dimensions, Super Mario 64 placed an emphasis on exploration within vast worlds in which the player must complete multiple diverse missions, replacing the linear obstacle courses of traditional platform games. While doing so, it managed to preserve many gameplay elements and characters of earlier Mario games. It is acclaimed by many critics and fans as one of the greatest and most revolutionary video games of all time.