Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 was quite the turning point for Nintendo. Not only was it Wario's first outing as protagonist, but it all signified Nintendo's first venture into the realms of being evil.

Wario is not looking to save any princesses nor rid the land of any evil - he just wants to get rich quickly and build a giant castle with the proceeds.

Wario Land is a sort of parody of the original Super Mario Land games, and it manages to not only match them in terms of fun but also create an entirely unique experience.

War(io) is heaven

You're going to need a few special ingredients for this. First, take the Super Mario series as your base, with its twitch platforming and precise jumps.

Now throw tiny Mario away, replace him with a great big galoot who fills a good portion of the screen, make him slow and bulky, and set out in pursuit of greed rather than valour. Voila - Wario Land is born.

The world of Super Mario from the eyes of Wario is very different indeed. Wario can simply walk into a good number of his foes to topple them over, and many of your 'enemies' don't look all that harmless to begin with - in fact, the regular Mario coin blocks have rather worried looks on their faces.

Wario Land is the perfect parody, obliterating Mario's cosy little world and turning it into a coin-filled free-for-all. Smashing through blocks and lobbing enemies into each other is fantastic fun, and collecting caps such as the Bull Cap and the Dragon Cap is an amusing affront to Mario's roots.

We're in too deep

Where Wario Land really excels is level design. While the levels are usually quite linear, each contains a number of secret passageways that will grant you extra coins and treasure.

Finding these passages and the keys to unlocking the doors feels hugely rewarding. You'll most likely find next-to-none on your first play through, meaning you'll want to play again to discover where they're all hiding.

Depending on how much treasure you manage to bag, Wario's castle at the end of the game will either be a titchy little thing or a magnificent spectacle. For all the achievement points and trophies you get nowadays that urge you to replay a game, nothing works better than scrutinising the size of a castle.

Wario Land gets pretty tricky later into the game - especially given that a number of enemies will render you DOA with just a single touch. Some will enjoy the challenge, but for others it may be too much.

Whatever the case, this is a Nintendo classic that you must play - especially if you never have before. It's certainly one of the best Virtual Console games available for the 3DS.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

Wario Land is a Game Boy darling that comes with a huge recommendation from us