PC Magazine documents Super Mario 64 innovations 25 years ago, where 3-D graphics were successfully implemented in computer gaming for a major release

25 Years Ago, Super Mario 64 Rocketed Nintendo Into the Third Dimension | PCMag

But as Nintendo prepared to release its fifth-generation console, the Nintendo 64, the company knew that incremental improvements on the formula weren’t going to cut it. The next Mario game needed to take a mighty leap into the third dimension and do for platformers what the original game had done in 1985. And 25 years ago, Nintendo did just that. But the path to get there would be a long and winding one.

Super Mario 64 was an immediate success both critically and commercially. As one of the Nintendo 64’s launch titles, it sold half a million copies in its first three months of release, becoming a system-defining game. It also laid the groundwork for the entire genre of 3D platformers. In addition to the camera innovations, the game’s hub area that led to multiple levels that could be completed in any order became a staple of the genre, as did the level goals being changed from finding the finish line to collecting stars.