The Mario & Sonic series is a collection of cross-over video games starring characters from the Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog franchises. These games are made by SEGA and are exclusive to the Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, and arcade systems.
Sega received the rights to make video games based on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The International Olympic Committee desired that SEGA make the Olympics appealing to a younger audience, so naturally they knew to use their Sonic the Hedgehog characters. Due to the atmosphere of competitive sportsmanship the Olympics had to offer, combined with the continued desire to interest younger audiences, Sega received approval from Nintendo to include Mario in the game with Sonic.
This cross-over was big news to the international gaming community because of the long business rivalry between the two mascots throughout a majority of the 1990s. After the first game, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games was very successful and received much praise, SEGA made a sequel, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. The third installment titled Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games was announced on April 21, 2011. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a Nintendo game that has both Mario and Sonic as playable characters, however it is not officially part of the Mario & Sonic series.
Many fans thought that it was quite odd due to the rivalry of Mario and Sonic in the 90's.
So far all the games in this series have been based on the Olympics and are officially licensed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through exclusive licensee International Sports Multimedia. The gameplay primarily revolves around the Wii's motion controls or the DS touch pad control system. Though the Wii and DS versions share the same titles, the graphics and gameplay are completely different in each version.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are not officially part of the Mario & Sonic Series even though both characters are playable in the games.
- Sumo Digital considered making Mario a guest star in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing exclusively on the Wii version, but SEGA rejected the idea, not wanting to cross contaminate with the Mario & Sonic Series.
- All of the female characters (excluding guest characters such as Rouge the Bat) in each of the games have a different outfit, but the male characters (including Metal Sonic) keep the same outfit that they have in regular games. In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, many of the male characters have special outfits as well.