If you’ve read the headline and are already flexing your fingers ready to write an outraged response on the T&G message boards telling me that I'm more evil than Wario and Bowser's demonic offspring, let me explain why I think it's about time that Nintendo's most famous character is put out to pasture.
The stuff of gaming legend
The thing is, Mario is a true icon of gaming. He's forever going to be associated with all that's good about our favourite consoles of yesteryear. His Jumpman beginnings in Donkey Kong and the arrival of Luigi for Mario Bros make him more old-school than the Tucker years on Grange Hill.
And then there was his foray into sideways scrolling action and the genuinely world-class Super Mario Bros, the only game whose first level music can be hummed by 99% of gamers – who could also put in the jump and power up sound effects at the most appropriate places.