In 1996, an unlikely collaboration between Nintendo and Square resulted in one of the greatest Japanese RPGs of all time: Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars. Somehow the platforming plumber translated incredibly well into a turn-based RPG similar to this Final fantasies of the era.
Almost three decades later, we have more than a few RPGs starring Mario, as well as remakes of Super Mario RPG And Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door at the horizon. From RPGs that rely more on puzzle mechanics to tactical crossovers and traditional JRPGs, here’s a list of RPGs ranked from worst to best, with a focus on what makes RPGs great – unforgettable adventures with addictive combat.
14. Paper Mario: Sticker Star
The various Mario RPG developers on this list have packed tons of charm and fun into each and every one of them Paper Mario: Sticker Star is no different; However, it strayed far from its RPG roots and added little to the game Paper Mario Series. The sticker mechanic provided hours of fun exploring and solving puzzles, but it couldn’t make up for the lack of party members, badges, and other Mario RPG staples. In fact, one could argue that it doesn’t belong on this list at all.
13. Paper Mario: Paint splatters
Really, Paper Mario: Color Splashes And Sticker star are interchangeable for the top spot. Both offered entertaining puzzles and exploration based on their respective gimmicks, but the lack of prominent RPG mechanics made their respective turn-based combat tedious. However, Splash of color Added more reasons to fight: the more you defeat enemies, the more paint you have on hand. That is, the paper-thin plot and over-reliance on Toad NPCs instead of unique world-building fortresses Splash of color at the bottom of this list.
12. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
It has been for some time now Mario & Luigi The series gave Mario RPG fans what they wanted Paper Mario The titles moved away from RPG mechanics. When Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam When Crossover between the two worlds was released, many expected a deep RPG experience. However, that wasn’t the case: despite mixing ideas from both games to create a unique adventure, it ultimately ends up lower on this list because it didn’t make good use of either series – not to mention the incredibly memorable story and the lengthy Toad Hunt mini-game. games.
11. Paper Mario: The Origami King
Paper Mario: The Origami King brought back some of what fans have loved since the first entries: fun, memorable supporting characters and unique locations to explore. Actually, The Origami King had some of the best level design and secrets ever Paper Mario games. Unfortunately, developer Intelligent Systems has also tried to reinvent the wheel – in the truest sense of the word. Instead of traditional turn-based combat with one or two party members assisting Mario, The Origami King featured a shallow, wheel-and-grid-based system that offered no real challenge other than a handful of decent boss fights. If Intelligent Systems just went with a more traditional RPG system, The Origami King might have been fighting for a top 5 spot.
10. Super Paper Mario
Super Paper Marios The greatest sin was the massive abandonment of it Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Gate. Experience points, different playable characters to change, and items remained, but it was no longer turn-based; Instead, it played much more like an action-adventure game. Still, clever puzzles, a 2D-to-3D shifting mechanic, some truly unique locations, and a rather dark and intriguing – if somewhat overwritten – story make it one of the best Paper Mario titles after the original two. Despite all the positive aspects, it wasn’t a particularly action-oriented role-playing game.
9. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
From here it’s quite difficult to determine a ranking Mario & Luigi games. Dream team contained some great ideas: Dream World levels to explore as Dreamy Luigi with some clever Luigi puzzles and huge battles. These pair well with the real-world levels on the aptly named Pi’illo Island, which feature the standard turn-based battles the series is known for. It’s just that at this point the Mario & Luigi The formula was a bit stale due to the overlong, tutorial-filled adventure. His predecessor, Bowser’s inside storymade everything better.
8. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
In this bizarre mashup developed by Ubisoft, Mario and his friends are given ranged weapons to take down some corrupt Rabbids plaguing the Mushroom Kingdom. To everyone’s surprise, it quickly became one of the best tactical RPGs on the Nintendo Switch – a console with a lot of tactical RPGs – combining deep, almost puzzling strategy with skill trees to equip Mario, Luigi, Rabbid Peach and more. The labyrinthine worlds were fun to explore and solve puzzles within, and there was also an absolutely fantastic DLC starring Donkey Kong.
7. Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
The second Mario & Luigi The game successfully transferred the puzzle- and role-playing-heavy gameplay to the two screens of the Nintendo DS with great success. Partner in Time’s The most memorable feature was the time-skip storyline, where Baby Mario and Baby Luigi teamed up with their adult versions to rescue Princess Peach, increasing the number of characters players controlled at once to four. The controls of Mario Bros. as a baby were a bit clunky, but it also offered a lot of fun puzzles to solve. While some parts of the adventure became tiring with lengthy battles, it utilized the DS so well that dual screens became a staple of the series.
6. Mario + Rabbids Spark of Hope
Sparks of hope took something Kingdom Battle Player freedom has been cranked up to 11, with free movement and magnificent galactic worlds to explore. Although not as mechanically rigorous as its predecessor, it allowed for groundbreaking builds between the use of Sparks, character combinations, and abilities; One of the greatest feelings an RPG can provide is making players feel powerful Sparks of hope did it so well. Like the best Mario RPGs, it let Bowser join in, although the DLC definitely couldn’t keep up Kingdom Battle offered.
5. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
The first Mario & Luigi The game successfully channeled what was its inspiration, Super Mario RPG, great: a whimsical adventure with exciting time-based and turn-based RPG gameplay. Players controlled Mario and Luigi at the same time, which took some getting used to, but was an innovative way to experience the puzzles of a role-playing game. It features one of the most memorable locations in a Mario game with the Beanbean Kingdom, along with some of the funniest gags, such as the exchange rate between Beanbean Kingdom coins and Mushroom Kingdom coins.
4. Paper Mario
Proof that Mario really works, whether he’s made of pixels, polygons or paper, Paper Mario took players on an incredibly bizarre and unforgettable adventure through the Mushroom Kingdom. Each of Mario’s partners, of which there were eight in total, helped with both clever puzzles and simple – yet exciting – battles. Bright and vibrant, it’s one of the oldest Nintendo 64 games, and a single playthrough leaves little doubt as to why it spawned so many successors. It’s just a shame they didn’t stick with more traditional RPG mechanics.
3. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Bowser’s inside story was that Mario & Luigi The pinnacle of the series in terms of story, gameplay and a clever gimmick that later entries couldn’t beat: platforming adventures and RPG combat as Bowser on one of the DS screens and RPG adventures as Bowser on the other. In fact, this time around, Bowser has stolen something other than Princess Peach: the spotlight from Mario Bros. Along with gigantic Bowser battles and the best writing in the series, Bowser’s inside story is by far the best Mario & Luigi title and one of the best Mario RPGs of all time.
2. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Excuse me, Super Mario RPG Fans – the original isn’t at the top of this list. However, if you want to cross out the 2 next to the heading and write a 1 on your screen with a Sharpie, go ahead. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars isn’t just one of the best Mario RPGs – it’s probably in the top 5 best JRPGs ever made. An amazing cast of unique characters, including fan favorite Geno (who somehow never made it). Super Smash Bros. Squad), along with an absolutely fantastic soundtrack, innovative turn-based battles and a vibrant world to explore, there’s not much to criticize Super Mario RPG. The rest of the games on this list wouldn’t be here without it.
1. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Gate
Yes, the second one Paper Mario – and least played afterwards Splash of color and the original, as it was a GameCube exclusive – packed with the quirkiest characters, surprising locations and entertaining turn-based battles of any Mario role-playing game. Part of this is because Intelligent Systems has divided the game into eight different chapters, each filled to the brim with their own expansive stories and characters. From the seedy center of Rogueport to a trip to the moon, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an RPG that offers as much clever writing, intuitive puzzles, and memorable boss battles as The Thousand Year Gateand that’s without even mentioning Luigi’s hilarious parallel adventure stories through the Waffle Kingdom.
If you’re looking for other Mario lists, here are all the plumber’s 3D games ranked.