Grab your dice block and call in an ally; it’s time to check out the best Mario Party games of all time!
Nintendo know how to make amazing multiplayer games, and there’s no better example than Mario Party.
Filled with marvellous mini-games and coin-collecting-capers, these games have been keeping us entertained for the past 23 years.
Yes, Mario Party has been taking the ‘bored’ out of board games since 1998 when the very first title dropped on the N64. They bring the whole family around the table, and thanks to the Nintendo Switch’s online gameplay, players can now party with each other all over the world.
But which are the best Mario Party games to try for newbies to the canon? Which are the most unique games, and does the format work on portable consoles?
Find out the answers to all these important questions and more as we countdown the 15 best Mario Party games of all time!
15. Mario Party Advance (2005)
Mario Party Advance kickstarts this list of the best Mario Party games of all time. With graphics that resemble Mario & Luigi’s Superstar saga and the first example of board game madness on the go, this was one of the most popular party games for the console.
The main difference (get ready for this) was that it was primarily aimed at one-player gameplay. That’s right; it was a Me Party long before the Nintendo Mii’s were ever created!
This portable party just had one board, Shroom City. It’s a massive map with lots of different games, features, and secrets to uncover.
There are only 4 characters in this GBA title too. So far, it’s looking pretty limited compared to other titles in the series. Still, there are some rules such as each player starting on a different point on the map that make the chase to complete missions and battle bosses much more exciting.
There’s no star collecting in this game; it’s all about winning Gaddgets, which I assume must have something to do with Luigi’s wispy-haired inventor friend.
There is a multiplayer mode, but it’s more mini game based. Mario Party Advance is essentially a task-based game with players competing to help the most people.
If it were a board game, it would be Ticket to Ride and not something with explosions or tense battles…
… that could be a good or a bad thing depending on your disposition!
14. Mario Party Island Tour (2013)
Mario Party Island Tour is the first of three Mario Party games for the DS family, this time coming to us exclusively for the 2DS and 3DS.
For those of you who enjoyed Mario Party DS (spoiler alert – it’s somewhere in this list), then Mario Party Island Tour should be a big hit. It’s pretty much the same as the previous title but comes with 3D graphics, allowing users to get up close and personal with Bowser…
… is that something that anyone really wants to do?
Players can choose from eight regular names from the Mushroom Kingdom. Were talking Yoshi, Wario, Peach, Mario, Daisy and the gang, including Boo and a secret character that Bowser will surely be happy to see…
Very much in tune with the winning formula, Island Tour has a total of 7 levels and comes with 81 exciting mini games.
Once unlocked, you don’t even have to play the board game bit. You can just skip straight to the mini-game mode or try your hand at Bowser’s Tower. Play mini games, fight bosses, and show King Koopa who the real boss is!
Listen, it’s not revolutionary, but if you ever sat around thinking that Mario Party DS should have been in 3D, then give this game a bash.
13. Mario Party Star Rush (2016)
Mario Party Star Rush takes the 13th spot in this list of the best Mario Party games ever made. Its still very similar to the other DS games and boasts a similar level style, but there is one major difference.
Instead of waiting for one person to move and scrolling through Instagram until your turn arrives, players can move at the same time, making the game more of a free-for-all scramble.
Speaking orf which, the main game mode is actually called Toad Scramble (I definitely knew that before making that clever link!). It’s the most traditional method of play with gamers battling to get the most stars.
There are 10 modes including Coinathlon, a racing game where players collect coins; Baloon Bash, a mini game where players bash a coin balloon; and Rhythm Recital, where players recreate classic Mario tunes!
Star Rush does have a multiplayer mode, but this is another one that’s designed to keep solo gamers happy. It’s different enough from the main canon to be exciting for Mario Party fans, but it still doesn’t beat the success of Mario Party DS.
Still, If you’re a fan of mini-gaming on the move, then give this game a try!
12. Mario Party 9 (2012)
Ok, let’s bring out the big guns! Mario Party 9 carries on from the uber successful Mario Party 8, bringing more Wiimote waving antics to the Nintendo Wii.
As the cover suggests, this was another insanely popular game that sees Mario and Co. trying to stop the Bowsers (big and Jr.) from stealing all of the mini stars in the night sky.
Board game based antics ensue, with players competing in more exciting mini-games, though players no longer move on foot around the board.
That’s right; Mario Party 9 spices things up a little!
In this party adventure, players ride a vehicle around the board, with each player or CPU taking it in turn to pilot it. After rolling a dice block, the vehicle moves forward a number of spaces, and then the characters shift round.
New boards can be bought with points, and there are bosses to fight along the way. This system proved so popular that it went on to be used in Mario Party 10 on the Wii-U, one of the few games for the system worth buying!
I’m a huge fan of the mini-games in Mazza Party 9 and the graphics look a lot more polished than anything that came before it. Plus, the screen is in 16:9 ratio compared to its predecessor…
… keep reading to find out what I’m talking about further down this list!
11. Mario Party 6 (2004)
Mario Party 6 takes the 11th spot in this list of the best Mario Party games of all time.
Like Mario Party 7, this title has one thing that makes it differ to the games that came before it. And no, it’s not Bowser Jr. joining the likes of Yoshi and Luigi in mini-game mayhem.
Nintendo added the Memory Card microphone into the mix for games 6 and 7, allowing players to give instructions like ‘move’ through a piece of plastic on a wire.
‘But what’s the premise?’ I hear you cry from afar. Well, as well as taking part in voice activated mini-games specifically designed for the new accessory, the sun and the moon are having an argument as to who is the best.
Yeah, you heard that right. And, as a result, gameplay switches from light to dark periodically. that means that you might suddenly see a different set of mini-games appearing, or the manner of gameplay and the board itself might totally switch up.
I’ll say one thing for Mario arty 6; it might be mega expensive to buy these days, but it certainly keeps gamers on their toes!
10. Mario Party 3 (2000)
Mario Party 3 was the final Mario Party title on the N64, ending the reign of cartridge-based parties before moving onto mini-disc mini-games. Looking back at it now, the graphics look so dated, but they were everything back in the day.
Seeing DK and Yoshi battling out to be the victor in Battle Royal, Story Mode, or Duel Mode was unreal. Plus, Duel Mode meant playing with just one other player, which was great if you and a mate wanted to find out who was the Mazza Party Champion.
Mario Party 3 was always going to make this list of the best Mario Party games because it was a turning point for the franchise. It’s a great game, but it’s definitely a stepping stone up to the GameCube titles and Nintendo knew they simply couldn’t do any more on the N64.
For that reason, it marks the end of an era and also the beginning of a new chapter in the Mario Party series.
For the die hard fans, this is a big deal. You can take a minute to shed a tear if you wish.
For everyone else, it’s just a neat N64 game with multiplayer and single-player modes, packed with 70 new mini-games.
Either way, it’s great!
9. Mario Party 10 (2015)
Mario Party 10 carries on the vehicular-based play from Mario Party 9, though this time there’s an added danger constantly in the background.
In Bowser Mode, one player controls Bowser using the Wii-U Game Pad. When certain conditions are met, Bowser will advance on the party from behind and try to steal their hearts.
I’m not gonna lie; I love playing as Bowser and always go for this mode. It makes the game super fun as he’s just so massive, and I like thwarting my mates at every turn…
… maybe I need some help…
The main mode sees Spike joining the ranks, one of my favourite Mario characters of all time. Players take control of the little car once again, moving it forward on their turn by rolling a dice.
With over 70 mini-games, there’s lots to do and tonnes of skills to master. The Wii-U graphics are fantastic too, with the boards now looking more like Mario levels instead of an actual board game and lots of eye-catching Mushroom Kingdom features appearing throughout.
I’ve you’ve still got a Wii-U, then I recommend you give this a go. It’s a nice change from that old-fashioned walking method most of the other games use…
Seriously, it’s exciting, and it’s one of the best Wii U games on the console!
8. Mario Party 7 (2005)
Mario Party 7 takes the 8th spot in this list of the best Mario Party games of all time! It’s a title that I came to a little later on in my Nintendo gaming career (not a real thing), mainly because I had to wait till I had a proper income to be able to buy it!
The main thing that separates Mario Party 7 from the other games in the series is the use of the microphone. It plugs into the Memory Card slot and can be used to give commands.
Now, most of these accessories don’t understand my mixture of an Italian and Yorkshire accent; even Siri has a hard time knowing what the heck I’m talking about.
Still, this gimmick is pretty exciting, especially for first time users. It’s also compatible with Mario Party 6 too!
The previous Mario Party games capped the number of players at 4. Mario Party 7, however, lets up to 8 people battle it out by switching controllers!
This was pretty useless for me as I usually only had a couple of mates around at a time. Still, at Christmas and birthdays, this was a massive winner!
The premise is the same as every other Mario Party game bar the microphone. Play through 88 mini games while working your way around the board, getting interactive and bossing characters around with the sound of your voice.
That was a slight lie; it does differ in the respect that unlike the other titles in this best Mario Party games list, there’s a set objective to complete. It’s more mission based, one to check out if you’re looking for a title that breaks the Mario Party mould.
7. Mario Party (1998)
It wouldn’t be a list of the best Mario Party games if we didn’t include the original game itself! Yes, the very first Mario Party title from 1998 takes the 7th spot in this list, bringing everything we love about this iconic series to screens for the very first time.
I don’t need to tell you what this game is about; we’ve covered 8 games before it so far, and it’s Mario Party, for crying out loud.
Everyone knows it’s a board game where players collect coins and buy stars…
…and if you didn’t know, you know now!
The thing I like the most about the original Mario Party is its simplicity. There are 6 players and 6 boards, each board representing a player. Whether you’re a Peach fan or always play as DK, there’s a themed level for you.
Just imagine playing the first ever Mario Party game for the first time. I was eight, and it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced, Sure, I’d played Mario Kart, but this required much more skill.
It also made me tighter with my coins than a Gringotts Goblin on payday; Toad is the only person I ever gave my wonga to!
6. Mario Party 8 (2007)
Mario Party 8 takes the 6th spot in this list of the best Mario Party games! I’ll always remember this title as having some of the best family-friendly mini games of all the titles, mainly down to the simple-to-grasp Wiimote controls.
In fact, Mario Party 8 might have gone further down this list if it wasn’t for the strange 4:3 screen ratio it uses.
Why does a console with games that work perfectly well on widescreen TVs need a game that plays in 4:3 and can’t be changed?
Still, it seems that I’m the only one bothered by this as it sold 8.85 million copies over it’s lifetime, making it the 11th best selling Wii game of all time!
Once more, 4 players have the chance to take to the board, competing against each other to purchase stars and pummel their rivals into the dirt.
As always, there’s a compere to get the party started. This time it’s MC Ballyhoo, a dude with a talking hat that apparently coughs up coins when it’s feeling happy!
Where can we get one of those again? Ballyhoo-bay?
Using the Wiimote in mini games and for hitting dice is something that would continue on from this game to the latest release, Super Mario Party. The characters are all recognisable faces, and the tasks at the end of each round are fresh, fun, and terribly addictive.
The train level Is my favourite, with Kamek messing up the carriages and DK giving away free stars. He’s a good egg!
5. Mario Party 5 (2003)
Mario Party 5 could have taken third or even second place if it wasn’t for that ridiculous capsule station gimmick. What happened to the shop? It worked fine in Mario Party 4; random items are for losers!
Having said that, it’s always going to be one of the best Mario Party games on the GameCube as it’s got some cracking mini games.
Plus, unlike Mario Party 6 and 7, you don’t have to remortgage your house to buy it.
The boards felt a little more adventurous on Mario Party 5. with more levels to traverse and cool features to switch up gameplay and players’ fortunes.
Take to the Dream Depot or delve into one of Bowser’s Nightmare boards as you thrash it out (in a Mario-style manner) with mates to find out who is the ultimate Party Star.
Of course, Mario Party isn’t just about playing with mates. The single player mode is pretty fun too, allowing gamers to tackle up to 3 CPU characters from the Mushroom Kingdom.
If you liked 4 but want more GameCube party action, then this is where it’s at.
4. Mario Party 2 (1999)
Next up on our list of the best Mario Party titles is Mario Party 2, a cartridge that only really left my N64 when Ocarina of Time or Mario Kart when in.
If I had to pick my top entertainment game for the N64, one for all ages to enjoy that’s both meaty and exhilarating, it would be Mario Party 2. Sure, the first game in the series is also an N64 classic, but this was the first game I played religiously with my Mum and Dad on an evening…
… they were rubbish back then and still managed to win, so I guess it’s the ultimate retro party game!
You know the drill by now; move around a board by rolling a dice, psyching yourself up for a mini game at the end of each round.
Playing a board game as a Nintendo character dressed up in a specific theme is way more interesting than guessing what Colonel Mustard has done to Miss Scarlet in the study too!
Yes, Mario Party 2 was the first to bring characters dressing a certain way into the mix for each level too. It’s frantic-family-fun that’s both exciting and entertaining, and definitely one of the best Mario Party games of the 90s…
… a bit of a weak compliment as there were only 2!
3. Super Mario Party (2018)
Now, I was tempted to put Super Mario Party in 1st place because it both looks good and plays superbly. The new character dice add a great touch to the game, giving users a different reason to pick characters they might not usually choose.
The new character dice also add a bit of uncertainty to the mix; every roll is a gamble, and sometimes you can either win big or lose badly!
Still, despite the new dice and cool features like calling in an ally to help and using their extra dice rolls, it’s taking the third position.
Why? Because there are two other games that I’ve liked for longer and have had a bigger impact on my Nintendo gaming career (still not a real thing).
Just look at those graphics though! Visually, this is the most stunning Mario Party game of the bunch. Hands down, it’s the smoothest, most vibrant title in the collection, a real feast for the eyes.
And, most importantly, it’s got a river rapids game that makes my girlfriend so mad whenever we play, which instantly makes it a winner in my book.
Characters such as Monty Mole and Goomba make an appearance in the Mario Party world. There’s also my personal favourite, Dry Bones, although Wario’s character dice with four 6’s could be the one for you.
Compete in team mode or play to crush your friends. It’s a cool game that shows off just how advanced the Joycon remotes are!
2. Mario Party DS (2007)
The silver medal goes to Mario Party DS. It’s the best portable title in our list of the best Mario Party games, pipping the hybrid Super Mario Party to the post.
Still, this DS game has been awesome since it first came onto the scene back in 2007 and was an immediate success.
By 2011, it had sold 8 million copies and continues to be a popular game with handheld users everywhere.
So what is it about Mario Party DS that’s so special? Well, Mario Party Advance fell a bit short of the formula that we know and love, but Mario Party DS is just a classic Mario Party game made portable.
No; it’s more than that.
It has DS stylus mini-games ala WarioWare Touched that are super fun to play, and the dual screens work in perfect unison with each other throughout.
So many characters make an appearance, and the game itself is pretty advanced, coming after Mario Party 9 in the official series. We’re talking smooth gameplay, nice animations, and cool new features such as different dice blocks and exciting items stocked in the shops.
If you love a stylus-wielding game, then this is one of the best Nintendo DS games that needs to be in your collection!
1. Mario Party 4 (2002)
Mario Party 4 is the bet Mario Party game of all time. It’s a classic, and also the game that perfected the formula for the titles to come.
I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s the best party game ever, and that’s including Muppet’s Party Cruise!
Remember I was beefing about the change of shop system when talking about Mario Party 5? Well, visiting the shop to spend coins on the Gaddlight, the Mega Mushroom, and the Magic Lantern will always be one of my top Mario Party moments.
And paying 20 coins for a star is a fair amount too! The Bowser spaces were fun, the battle mode had some epic mini games…
… this game still has it all!
With 5 themed board games each compered by a different Nintendo character, there’s plenty of adventures to be had. Players can also unlock a sixth level by playing the single-player mode, taking a trip to Bowser’s castle for some totally unfair gameplay.
Once again, I want to highlight just how cool my Mum was when I was a kid and still is today. We’d play this game most nights, often doing the maximum 50 turns, and we still like to have a game whenever I head back to visit.
Never has the ‘E for Everyone’ been more applicable to this, the best of the best Mario Party games. It’s so simple that even a baby could play it, though the lottery shop might get them addicted to gambling at a young age…
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.