Whether you’re a fan of the original three games included in this collection or new to them entirely, the chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re very much deciding whether to pick this collection up or perhaps you have already done so.  Regardless of your purpose, after spending several hours playing each of these three classic titles, as cliché as it sounds, the games featured in this collection are truly timeless, despite the fact that the oldest game is 24 years old!  This just shows, age really is just a number.

Included in the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection is Super Mario 64 (1996) from the Nintendo 64, Super Mario Sunshine (2002) from the Nintendo GameCube and finally, Super Mario Galaxy (2007) from the Nintendo Wii.  It’s worth keeping in mind that while these ports may be considered remasters, they are only that in the simplest form, but they are decent ports none the less.  All three games seem to run very smoothly, whether you play docked or handheld, but you’d expect that with old games, running on a new system.

In terms of resolution, Super Mario 64 puts out at 720p docked and handheld, as well as being in a 4:3 aspect ratio.  While it would have been nice to be at 1080p and a slightly larger ratio, it would perhaps not do the aged, but charming visuals any favours.  The game also plays quite well too, though the movement with the analogue sticks can feel a little over sensitive at times, which can be frustrating during narrow platforming sections and you may find yourself fighting with the camera angles from time to time.  In fairness, as nice as it would have been to see both of those factors improved, it’s a sign of the times in 1996 and these are mere ports, with a new basic improvements and additions.  Story-wise, as you can guess, in Super Mario 64, Mario is tricked, Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach and Mario must save the day.  The common trope for practically every Super Mario game in existence.

Super Mario Sunshine is the game that I was looking forward to playing most and to this day, I still own it on my Nintendo GameCube.  Sunshine was perhaps one of the first quirky games in the Super Mario series, where they tried something a little different, rather than being just a platform game, whether its 2D or 3D.  Evolving from Super Mario 64, Sunshine is located in a 3D world, with small, but welcoming areas to explore.  It also tried something different mechanically, on the Isle of Defino, where Mario and friends are on vacation.  However, an evil Shadow Mario has vandalised the island with paint and frames Mario for his criminal shenanigans.

Mario is charged with damaging the island and must not only stop evil Shadow Mario and clear his name, but also clear the island of the paint using the F.L.U.D.D (Flash Liquidiser Dousing Device) device.  Mario must keep the F.L.U.D.D filled with water and hose down any graffiti he see’s.  However, some of the graffiti acts as portals for shadow Mario to escape and unlocks new areas of the island to explore.  It’s been quite a few years since I’ve played Sunshine, but I had almost forgotten how therapeutic clearing the graffiti on the small island can be and even to this day, 18 years later, Sunshine still looks nice in its original form on the GameCube, but it looks even better here at 1080p docked, and 720p handheld.  It’s really quite incredible how little this game has aged over the years.  Both Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy share the same resolution output, as well as the 16:9 aspect ratio, and all three games are optismed to feel at home using the Joy-Con controls.

As much as I love the Super Mario series, Super Mario Galaxy, up until this point, was one of the few games that I’ve never played.  To be honest, I was never overly fond of the Wii and during the brief time that I owned the console, Super Mario Galaxy was yet to be released.  So going into this game was a treat and much like Sunshine, I was surprised to how little Galaxy has aged both with how gorgeous it still looks 13 years on and it still plays great, in-fact, I’d say it feels better to play then Sunshine.  The gameplay structure of Galaxy is a little different too, as the name suggests the game features galaxies and in order for Mario or Luigi to save Peach from Bowser (again), they must collect a total of 121 Power Stars, from the charming small planets and colourful worlds.

Galaxy plays on a gravity mechanic a lot and it took me a while to get used to it, with it being the first time I’ve played this game, but it’s a prime example of Nintendo trying something different and it’s not for the sake of it either, because Galaxy plays very little like a Super Mario game that I’ve ever played and it’s wonderful.  Which seems quite strange to say, considering that this game originally released in 2007, but yet it still feels fresh to a newcomer such as I.  Galaxy also has a co-op mode, which I’ve not had the chance to play with anyone yet, but I can’t wait to try that out.  It’s also worth mentioning that Super Mario Galaxy still retains its motion controls from the Wii and the Switch Lite does not feature motion controls, so it’s worth keeping that in mind.  However, the motion control functions have been assigned to regular buttons, so you’ll still be able to play the game without any issues.

As a nice little bonus, Super Mario 3D All-Stars also features a music player, containing all the original soundtracks from all three games in the collection (175 in total), which can be played even when the screen is turned-off.  So if you ever wanted to have a Super Mario rave party, then you’re in luck!  In conclusion, while these are quite basic ports, every single one of these three games have aged wonderfully, which is a testament to the high level developing that is accustom to Nintendo titles, especially within the Super Mario franchise.  Whether your new or a veteran fan, you’ll have a blast with the Super Mario 3D All-Stars’ timeless classics.  Sadly however, the existence of this collection isn’t timeless, because Nintendo are making them disappear on March 31st, 2021, I kid you not.  If you own a physical copy you should be fine, because they’ll be available while retailers have stock, unless Nintendo breaks into your home at the turn of midnight on April 1st to steal your copy. But that probably won’t happen, probably.