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Top 10 Mario Bros. Role-Playing Games

VO: Dan Paradis
Script Written by Nick Spake There’s a lot more to these games than simply rescuing a princess from a castle. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Mario Bros. Role-Playing Games. Special thanks to our user MikeyP for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script Written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Mario Bros. Role-Playing Games


There’s a lot more to these games than simply rescuing a princess from a castle. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Mario Bros. Role-Playing Games.

#10: “Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam” (2016)



Mario and Paper Mario, together at last! The most recent game on our list unites two of our favorite RPG series, as the three-dimensional residents of the Mushroom Kingdom cross paths with their paper counterparts. The mixture of these two contrasting art styles amounts to plenty of creative scenarios and imagery. Granted, it would’ve been nice to see more of Paper Mario’s world, but this is really a “Mario & Luigi” game at its core. Nevertheless, the stellar combat and humorous interplay between characters makes this crossover all too appealing to pass up.

#9: “Paper Mario: Sticker Star” (2012)



Paper Mario’s first adventure on a handheld system, “Sticker Star” lacks the memorable supporting characters previous entries gave us. This 3DS title more than compensates, however, with the innovative way stickers are integrated into the gameplay. Some stickers aid Mario in combat while others can be utilized to solve puzzles. The game developers come up with all sorts of fun uses for Thing Stickers, such as a vacuum cleaner, a can of soda, and a giant fan. Of course when you’re made of paper, nothing is deadlier than a pair of scissors. Colorful and imaginative, it’s an RPG that’ll stick with you for some time.

#8: “Mario & Luigi: Dream Team” (2013)



Luigi has always lived in his older brother’s shadow, but he’s truly the unsung hero of the “Mario” franchise. Although Luigi spends a good deal of this game in deep slumber, he still steals the entire show. The plot finds Mario traveling between the real world and the Dream World where he encounters Dreamy Luigi. “Dream Team” is primarily distinguished thanks to the special abilities known as Luiginary Works, which allow the player to interact with their environment in various inventive ways. If you’ve ever wanted to see a giant Luigi take on a giant Bowser, then this game will be a dream come true.

#7: “Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time” (2005)



Introducing time travel into the “Mario” universe is definitely an interesting idea. For years, though, we were unfortunately stuck with the educational “Mario's Time Machine.” AlphaDream finally did something inspired with the premise in this RPG, which centers on Mario and Luigi teaming up with their younger selves. In addition to its clever puzzles and combat, this game makes impeccable use of the DS’s dual screen, evolving the franchise to a new frontier. With double the Mario Bros. and double the screens, “Partners in Time” is naturally double the fun.

#6: “Super Paper Mario” (2009)



This Wii title maintains pretty much everything that made the previous “Paper Mario” games superb while also revisiting the Italian plumber’s platform roots. “Super Paper Mario” is both an RPG and side-scroller in which our hero shifts between 2D and 3D perspectives. Also accompanying Mario on this journey is a plucky Princess Peach, a brainwashed Luigi, and a reluctant Bowser, all of whom possess their own distinctive abilities. The developers additionally work in a compelling story, which features unexpected twists, a surprisingly sympathetic villain, and even a charming romance.

#5: “Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story” (2009)



While Bowser is usually depicted as Mario and Luigi’s greatest nemesis, occasionally he’s been forced to join forces with the good guys. The Koopa King makes for an unlikely hero in this RPG, although it doesn’t occur to him that he’s helping his archenemies. After inhaling the Mario Bros, the three set out on a whimsical quest to defeat the Engrish abusing Fawful. The game switches between two environments, as Bowser fights in the overworld while Mario and Luigi navigate through his body. No matter which character you’re playing as, “Bowser’s Inside Story” is a consistently humorous and engaging experience that never feels skin-deep.

#4: “Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga” (2003)



The initial entry in the “Mario & Luigi” RPG franchise, “Supetstar Saga” remains developer AlphaDream’s finest outing. The game borrows elements from a couple other “Mario” RPG’s, which you’ll see later on this list. At the same, “Superstar Saga” introduced several original ideas that gave the game an identity of its own. Perhaps the greatest novelty here is the inclusion of Luigi, who the player must simultaneously control along with Mario. Featuring turn-based combat and puzzles that require two brains to solve, each brother plays a crucial role in one of the best titles on the Game Boy Advance.

#3: “Paper Mario” (2001)



Nobody was sure what to expect when “Paper Mario” was first announced. What we got, however, was anything but two-dimensional. Part of this RPG’s appeal lies in its utterly unique design, which looks like a popup book sprung to life. More importantly, the combat system is genuinely enthralling and the overall gameplay will have you hooked from start to finish. On top of all that, there’s a truly involving story here with lovable characters waiting around every corner. “Paper Mario” is simply a joy to play, leading up to an epic final boss fight and one of the most charming end credits sequences you’ll ever see.

#2: “Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door” (2004)



“Paper Mario” was a tough act to follow, but “The Thousand-Year Door” somehow managed to improve upon its predecessor in virtually every way. Mario’s storybook world looks sharper than ever, but it’s not just the graphics that have been upgraded. The story is gripping, the comedy is endlessly witty, and even the drama hits the player hard on an emotional level. Admit it, TEC the computer actually got you all choked up. What’s more, this is among the best ensemble pieces in any “Mario” RPG with every party member completely winning you over. In short, “The Thousand-Year Door” soars like a paper airplane.

#1: “Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars” (1996)


Our inevitable top pick, “Legend of the Seven Stars” proved that Mario was tailor-made for the role-playing genre. Taking a page from their “Final Fantasy” games, Squaresoft (now Square-Enix) laid out the perfect blueprint for all subsequent “Mario” RPG’s to follow. This legendary title comes complete with wonderful gameplay, an absorbing story, an unforgettable soundtrack, and some of the most endearing graphics ever displayed on the Super Nintendo. Plus, the character of Geno has earned a passionate cult following unlike any other. Even two decades later, “Super Mario RPG” has tremendous replay value and continues to stand out from all the rest.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Mario Bros. role-playing game? For more entertaining Top 10s published everyday, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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