is the fifth release in the Super Mario video game series. It was first released for the Famicom in Japan and later on the NES in North America and PAL regions. The game was directed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, with music composed by Koji Kondo. It is often regarded as one of the Nintendo Entertainment System's greatest games and is the second best selling game for the NES, after Super Mario Bros.
It was originally planned for a 1989 release in North America. However, at the time, Nintendo claimed a "chip shortage", a deficit in the amount of available silicon used to produce cartridges. Because of this, the release date was held back by one year. Nintendo of America used this opportunity to promote it through a major motion picture called The Wizard, where it made its first appearance featuring three people playing it in a competition. Upon Super Mario Bros. 3's release, it was promoted through McDonald's and their Mario-themed Happy Meals.
Today, Super Mario Bros. 3 remains one of the best-selling single video games, with eighteen million copies sold.
The game is divided into eight playable worlds, and each world contains between 8-10 levels and several bonus stages. The worlds are themed with each level containing characteristics of that theme. All of the levels are shown on a map, and allow the player to take different paths through the game. The order in which all these elements are arranged are not necessarily linear, which allows the players to skip them or play them in different order, if possible. Once a level is cleared, it cannot be replayed. Super Mario Bros. 3 has multiple levels in every world featuring a boss at the end. At the end of all but the last world is an airship called a Doom Ship, featuring a scrolling level and one of King Koopa's Koopalings at the end. Each world until the final world also contains some Toad houses where Mario can enter and choose one of three boxes and receive the item contained within that box. There are two mini-games located in the game. There are also multiple mini-games found on the map that can aid the player.
Nintendo Power rated the game #6 on their 200 Greatest Nintendo Games list and was #14 on Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM writer Dan "Shoe" Hsu's comments on the game were "Many still believe this is the best Mario game ever!" It has seen many remakes and is a big seller on Nintendo's Virtual Console service. Screwattack also ranked Super Mario Bros 3 the best Mario game of all time on their Top Ten Mario Games. They have also ranked it as the best NES game of all time, although restricted themselves to choose only one game per franchise.
Super Mario Bros. 3 received a graphical and audio facelift for the Super NES (SNES) (and in Japan, the Super Famicom) in the Super Mario All-Stars cartridge of 1993. The player can also save the game.
A similar version appears on the Game Boy Advance as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. This version was developed by Nintendo R&D2. It includes the updated original Mario Bros. and the ability to connect with the link cable for multi-player battles. Super Mario Advance 4 supports the Game Boy Advance's _Super_Mario_Bros._3-e device, which allows players to scan e-Cards to add to the game, which is done by taking two Game Boy Advances, one with Super Mario Advance 4 in, and the other with the e-Reader in and linking them together, then scanning a card into the e-Reader. There are a variety of different card types, including cards that contain new levels made for this remake, cards with items that can be stored in the item box, cards that add new power-ups such as one from Super Mario World, demonstration cards of some levels, and cards that add new gameplay features to the game, such as putting turnips, a feature from Super Mario Bros. 2, in all of the levels. There were four sets released in Japan, North America And Australia only had two. The game also features voice acting for Mario and Luigi, provided by Charles Martinet.
The e-Reader extension was received with mixed reactions. Ryan Davis from GameSpot said that the e-Reader levels were entertaining and challenging, but was critical of the process, saying that the procedure to use the e-Reader was "clunky" and "poorly explained However, the IGN Staff was very enthusiastic on the e-Reader, saying that "potential for future expandability" made Super Mario Advance 4 the best of the series.