‘Super Mario World’ can now be played in glorious widescreen

Retro gaming just keeps getting better thanks to the tireless efforts of devoted fans.

There’s nothing quite like playing a classic game through a modern lens. When we heard there’s now a method by which to play 1990 hit Super Mario World on a widescreen display, we knew we had to check it out (thanks, Kotaku).

The SNES classic has been brought to the widescreen by creative software engineer Vitor Vilela. He and his team delve into retro gaming projects and patches, which they raise funds for (and beta test) through a Patreon page.

Super Mario World Widescreen is exactly the same side-scrolling platformer the world has come to know and love in the last three decades — just much, much wider. The patch creates an extra 96 pixels on the game’s horizontal display, from 256x224 to 352x224. This allows the game to be played in either 16:9 or 16:10 widescreen.

Color us impressed. Not only is this an admirable project — refreshing decades-old games is definitely niche — but Vilela & company have made the widescreen process relatively easy, enough so that even ROM newcomers won’t have too much trouble getting their wide-scrolling Mario adventures up and running.

Try it at home — Super Mario Widescreen is, as far as retro gaming goes, relatively easy to get started with. A word of warning, though: Downloading ROMs carries some inherent copyright risk. There you go. You’ve been warned.

Once you’ve located a Super Mario World ROM and downloaded RetroArch for emulation purposes, you’ll also need the bsnes-hd emulator core, which can be found through a search on RetroArch or on GitHub. You’ll also need the project’s custom BSO config file and custom BPS patch file, both of which can be found on the project’s official GitHub page. Fuller instructions and troubleshooting can be found there, too.

The best of both worlds — If you’ve somehow not yet gotten into the world of retro gaming, there’s never been a better time to get started. The world’s most beloved classics are more accessible than ever before. We can thank big gaming companies like Nintendo for playing into the nostalgia with retro re-releases, but for the most part those companies are doing the bare minimum.

It’s devoted fan communities that really make retro gaming come alive. It’s through these projects that we end up with dedicated retro gaming hardware solutions and the ability to watch and play long-lost classics. Game Boys have never been so cool, thanks to fans.

So go ahead. Play Super Mario World in all its widescreen glory. And then be sure to thank those who made it possible.