The creator of the most successful game character of all time says he came close to making something like one of the most successful games of all time.

In an interview with Glixel, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto explained that he admires Minecraft “from the perspective of the fact that I really feel like that's something we should have made”.

9 Mario Easter Eggs in the New Minecraft Update

The Mario creator said: “We had actually done a lot of experiments that were similar to that back in the N64 days and we had some designs that were very similar.”

It sounds as though the idea didn't meet Miyamoto's notoriously high bar for quality, however – which seems to be why he's impressed by Minecraft‘s success in that department: “It's really impressive to me to see how they've been able to take that idea and turn it into a product.”

Minecraft has sold over 100 million copies since entering its beta phase in 2011. Nintendo finally got in on the blocky action earlier this year, when it released a Super Mario mash-up pack for the Wii U edition of the game.

Shigeru Miyamoto: Nintendo Planned a Minecraft-Like Game for N64