The compilation was released on September 18, 2020. It received positive reviews, with praise directed towards its technical improvements, controls, and the games themselves, but criticism for its presentation, limited-time release, and lack of additional content, such as the absence of Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010).
Sunshine does not natively support the GameCube controller on the Nintendo Switch. When originally released on the GameCube, Sunshine used the GameCube controller's analog triggers (which Switch controllers do not have) to regulate F.L.U.D.D.'s water pressure. For the collection, F.L.U.D.D. is controlled with the right bumper for precision aiming while standing still, while using the right trigger "is akin to pulling the GameCube's analog trigger to about the three-quarters mark".Galaxy features optional Joy-Con controls that imitate the motion controlled-pointing of the Wii Remote, with Mario's spin ability remapped to the Y button. In Handheld Mode, players can use the touch screen in lieu of the pointer. To play Galaxy'scooperative gameplay mode in handheld mode, a secondary Joy-Con is needed.
The compilation also features a music player mode, which compiles the entire original soundtracks of all three games—a total of 175 tracks. The music can be played when the screen is turned off.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars was developed and published by Nintendo to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros. (1985). According to Eurogamer, Nintendo referred to the compilation as Super Mario All-Stars 2 internally. Nintendo's goal was to retain the included games' "original design and spirit" with updates to the resolutions and controls. According to Kenta Motokura, the project's producer, the developers interviewed the games' original staff to learn of each's importance.
The collection was first reported by Video Games Chronicle in March 2020, and corroborated by other outlets. According to these reports, Nintendo planned to announce it during a Mario-themed presentation at E3 2020, but this was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nintendo announced the collection in a special Nintendo Direct for the 35th anniversary on September 3, 2020. The collection was released on September 18, 2020. It will only be available to purchase for a limited time, both physically and digitally, through March 31, 2021.
According to the review aggregating website Metacritic, Super Mario 3D All-Stars received "generally favorable reviews". Critics generally agreed that the games themselves remained enjoyable, but were divided over the presentation, which received criticism for its simplistic nature and lack of additional features, its limited time release, and the absence of Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010).
Ian Walker from Kotaku said the port of 64 "hasn't introduced any obviously unfortunate consequences" and even fixed some "occasional performance dips" from the original, and that the controls for the game worked well on the Switch. For Sunshine, he felt the adjusted controls would affect anyone playing who had muscle memory from the original and that the visuals stuttered somewhat late in the game. For Galaxy, Walker was thankful some of the motion-based controls were remapped to controller buttons but added some of the areas that still required the motion controls were still problematic as they were on the Wii.IGN's Zachary Ryan was "a little bit disappointed in the lack of effort Nintendo has put into" the collection, when compared to the "major overhauls" done for the games in Super Mario All-Stars, and noted the use of emulation to present the three games helped explain "a lot about the lack of upgrades" in each. For 64, Ryan felt the upscaling made the game look the nicest it ever had, and called the controls "still super tight" and "right at home on a Pro Controller or Joy-Con", despite the x-axis camera controls being inverted. He did wish Nintendo had added "some quality-of-life upgrades", feeling players experiencing the game for the first time "might find it somewhat inaccessible". Sunshine was still a fantastic looking game and commended the controls still remaining fluid, though Ryan experienced some slowdown in certain moments. Finally, Ryan felt upscaling Galaxy made it "a fully realized version" of the game and praised the updated control options, adding the handheld mode configuration, while "not the most ideal way to play", still worked.
By September 7, pre-orders for Super Mario 3D All-Stars made it the second-bestselling game of 2020 on Amazon US, behind Animal Crossing: New Horizons.Scalpers resold pre-orders on websites such as eBay, going as high as US$265. Base.com, an online retailer in the United Kingdom, was forced to cancel all of their customer's pre-orders because their allocation of physical games was not enough to fulfil pre-orders. They added that Nintendo and their UK distributors were "unable to give... any reassurance" that more copies would be made available to them through the on-sale period. In its first week of release, Super Mario 3D All-Stars was the best-selling game in the UK, and was the third-largest game launch of 2020 and the fifth-fastest selling Switch game in the country. In Japan, the game sold over 210,000 physical copies within the first three days of its release.