Mario is one of the oldest and most well-known video game mascots of all time, and he's also one of the most popular and best-selling. Mario first appeared in Donkey Kong in 1981, though he technically didn't have a name at the time, and was retroactively called "Jumpman," though this would change.
By 1982's Donkey Kong Junior, Jumpman had evolved into Mario, and he's been a turtle-stomping Italian plumber ever since. The character has developed into a massive franchise filled with support characters, more games than any other franchise, and he's even been the protagonist in one of the worst movies ever made.
To put it simply, Mario is money, and Nintendo has been reaping the benefits of its creation for four decades, but that comes with some problems. When you're hot, your competitors are going to try and take advantage, and they've been doing it for almost as long as Mario has been a thing.
Knock-off games that misappropriated Mario's pixels are constantly showing up in games on all sorts of devices. This has mostly gone away as Nintendo rose to become one of the biggest players in the gaming industry, but there are hundreds of terrible clones out there with these ten taking the lead as the worst Mario rip-offs ever made.
Jonathan is a graphic artist, illustrator, writer, and game designer. Jonathan retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 and enjoys researching and writing about history, science, theology, and many other subjects. He writes for ScreenRant, CBR, NerdBastards, Listverse, Ranker, WhatCulture, and many other sites online. You can check out his latest on Twitter: @TalkingBull or on his blog: jonathanhkantor.com