8 - Super Mario World (Super Nintendo)

Nintendo's greatest achievement and the greatest platform game ever made. Super Mario World is an absolute masterpiece of game design that has yet to be bettered almost 20 years on. I can't decide whether that's a cause for celebration or sadness.

Nintendo took the leaps forward that had been made with Super Mario Bros. 3, polished them up a bit, expanded them and let the Super Nintendo work its magic. For a start the look is timeless. Super Mario World will look just as great in 100 years as it does today - its crisp, clean style invincible against the march of technology. It handles so well. It's a given with Nintendo that its games - especially its Mario games - would be playtested to perfection, but it's most obvious here. The entire thing is flawless.

All the greatest tricks of the genre seem to have been put to work here. Hidden exits leading to hidden levels or even entirely new areas of the map, a dash of puzzling here and there and a range of new tricks and abilities opening up new possibilities. And this was a launch game.

Amazingly, the quality and inventiveness was maintained through nearly 100 levels. Never along the way are you just fed up of playing the game. It's possible to shortcut to the end, but why would you? You want to play through all those areas because it's such damn good fun.

And yep, I found all the exits, did the star road, collected the 'Super Player' coins.

In the case of Super Mario World it would be rude not to.

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