The Paper Mario series began two decades ago when Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64 launched in Japan on 11th August 2000. Since then, we've seen five more mainline Paper Mario games of different flavours, plus a 3DS crossover with AlphaDream's Mario & Luigi series.
Branching off from the role-playing path put down by Super Mario RPG on SNES, the Paper Mario series has evolved and moved away from its traditional roots over the years, with the latest entry on Switch introducing a ring-based battle system alongside with its origami antagonists.
We recently asked Nintendo Life readers to rate the games in the series by assigning a score out of ten via our User Rating system, and you'll find the ranked results below. We've included crossover title Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam for fun; if its inclusion feels like sacrilege of the highest order, simply pretend that it isn't present and you've got your ranking of the six mainline Paper Marios right there!
Our thanks to everyone who voted. Remember that the order below is updated in real time according the each game's corresponding User Rating. Therefore, it's entirely possible to influence the ranking even as you read this. Simply click on the game you wish to rate and assign a score on the Game Page.
If you're after more information about this colourful collection, you may want to check out our complete history of the Paper Mario series. For now, let's dive into this ranked Paper Mario list, starting at the bottom...
7. Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
Paper Mario: Sticker Star is often funny, thoroughly charming and a joy to play, but it's also a touch too familiar and unwilling to go out on a limb and do something crazy, even if the potential to do so is immense. Despite its inhibitions, the game keeps a pace so delightful and fun that you can't help but crack a smile at the metric ton of whimsy folded into its rock-solid foundation, rendered all the more impressive thanks to beautiful use of stereoscopic 3D. Sticker Star might elicit some déjà vu from veterans of the series, but a memory this vivid and bright is worth remembering.
6. Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
Paper Mario: Color Splash isn't just painting by the numbers. The series still straddles that awkward middle ground between pure RPG and adventure title, but this entry found a comfortable niche that silenced many of our gripes. Almost everything was polished to a papery sheen, showcasing some of the series' best writing and presentation to date. The battle system and the overall plot are the weaker aspects of the experience, unfortunately, but even when we were left unsatisfied by enemy encounters, Prism Island was always a joy to explore, with diverse environments and catchy tunes to keep you engaged from start to finish. It's a game of memorable moments and, taken as such, and you might just find it to be a messy work of art.
5. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)
Adding Paper Mario into AlphaDream's Mario & Luigi mix, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam totally succeeds as an accessible, entertaining and lengthy crossover for fans and newcomers alike. This is an enjoyable romp that introduces a solid list of mechanics, plays with the battle system in exciting ways, and breaks exploration up with random quests. Although it doesn't quite nail its environmental design and storytelling, Paper Jam's simplicity makes it a great starting point for people looking to dip their toe into either series. Fans should be aware, though, that this crossover is closer to a mainline Mario & Luigi game than an entry in the Paper Mario series.
4. Paper Mario: The Origami King (Switch)
Paper Mario: The Origami King tries to do something different with its combat system and, to be honest, we aren't really feeling it. That doesn't mean the rest of the game isn't thoroughly entertaining, however, and while the puzzle-based battles aren't quite what a new Paper Mario game needed, they aren't so awful that everything else shouldn't be experienced as a result. It still isn't the new Thousand-Year Door fans will have been hoping for, but it's still one of the funniest games in the series and it's got a truly likeable companion character, and while the combat is far from ideal the fact that we still thoroughly recommend the game regardless should speak volumes.
3. Super Paper Mario (Wii)
Super Paper Mario blends classic platformer with some of the RPG elements of its predecessors and throws in a world-flipping mechanic that gives you a whole new perspective on traditional 2D platfoming courses. Originally planned as a GameCube game, it perhaps makes more sense that it diverges from Thousand-Year Door's way of doing things, and it certainly divides series fans. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of fandom, the Wii entry is a beautiful game with fiendish puzzles and an intriguing, unique flip mechanic.
2. Paper Mario (N64)
Two decades on and Paper Mario might not look as sharp as it once did, but it holds up very well where it matters and jostles with The Thousand-Year Door for the title of Best Paper Mario Game.
The N64 original does very well to ease Mario fans into a new style of adventure while providing a depth for RPG gamers that you might not expect from the paper-thin premise. With a great supporting cast and buckets of trademark Nintendo charm, the original is up there with the best. The ability to play it on Switch is great news to anyone who missed out but still enjoys the more recent, less vital entries in the Paper Mario series.
1. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GCN)
The power of GameCube enabled greater fidelity of its paper-based art style than the original, but otherwise Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door stuck closely to the original's blueprint. It's a wonderfully colourful adventure packed with clever callbacks to the portly plumber's history and the same irreverent spirit which makes so many Mario RPGs refreshingly different from the mascot's platformers. Where other entries have dropped the ball in an area or two, Thousand-Year Door gets everything right; plot, writing, battles, presentation - the lot.
Prices for a GameCube disc — still the only official way to play — have skyrocketed in recent years and given the quality, it's not hard to see why. Treasure your copy if you've got one, and perhaps lend it to a trusted friend who never visited the town of Rogueport.
Ah, it was a great idea on paper. Any surprises there? Remember, if you haven't rated any or all of the games above, you can still do so via the corresponding Game Page - and it will still count in the ranking above.
If you really must, feel free to vent your uncontrollable fury at the inclusion of Paper Jam, but we'd rather hear about your personal favourite Paper Mario(s) in the comments below.
Didn’t see that one coming 😂😂
Paper Jam was so dull.
The exact ranking I gave
That Sticker Star score... ouch. Deserved though.
Not at all surprised by the order. Lol
Well what do you know... that was the same ranking I gave minus Paper Jam because I still think it doesn't count.
PAPER JAM DOES NOT COUNT. It's literally a Mario & Luigi game that just happens to have Paper Mario in it.
I wasn’t crazy about Super Paper Mario, but I still want to play Origami King.
I haven’t played enough of them to where I felt that I could rank them.
Oh dear... 4.97 for Sticker Star? That's so sad...
They were way too nice when writing that description of Sticker Star, lol
I haven't played Origami King yet, but I'd argue that both Color Splash and Super Paper Mario are better games than the original Paper Mario.
Id swap colour for paper jam but the rest is spot on imo. Still got super sitting on my shelf in its origional seal 😂
TTYD - 9.35
That game does not deserve that rating. It's more aimless than its predecessor which got an 8 score. No debate.
The only surprising thing about that list is the fact that TTYD got an 8 from NL.
While Paper Mario 64 might not look as sharp as it once did (as is stated in this article), it's aged way better than most N64 titles. Glad to see it near the top of the list.
why the heck do Sticker Star and Thousand-Year Door both have 8/10 scores. They are absolutely not equals by any metric.
Review scores are meaningless anyway.
I'm in the process of replaying Super Paper Mario, and it really doesn't hold up to how I remembered it. I enjoyed Sticker Star however and would probably put it at #3 if I had my own list. Going into that one with very low expectations helped a lot.
Lol as if spm isn’t a worthless dumpy game. TOK is like ocarina compared to that lol
@KingBowser86 I’m agreed with you on that one. TTYD was the only Paper Mario I dabbled in, and it just felt so empty. Couldn’t get into it.
Problem with Origami King is that it's still too soon for this, a lot of people haven't played it yet (myself included), and MANY people here ranked it without having touched it (it's easy to see all the hate around here from people that haven't played it). Just because, you know, it's Sticker Star all over again. Really unfair.
The rest of the list was quite predictable. TTYD totally deserves that score imo, or even more xD, while Color Splash deserves a bit more than that, at least a 7 (it should never be behind Paper Jam). I'm pretty much okay with the rest.
TTYD is good, but ain’t even top 10 GC games
@Crockin Ocarina isn’t that good, though. I welcome the incoming beat down 😀
why is Super #3?
did they not look at the story?
that is enough to make it #1!
Super Paper Mario above The Origami King? I mean yeah the story was better and it had unique characters but the rest of the game was so meh wheras TOK was so much fun...
Also CS is imo much better than Paper Jam
@the_beaver I’m not going to pretend like I know people have played, or not played something, simply based on a shallow comment I read on the internet.
@TG16_IS_BAE replace ocarina with whatever game u would consider a great game. You get my drift
The sticker star rating seems fitting. While I don't think it's as bad as it's made out to be, it's a very 'meh' game.
@Crockin You’re good, not trying to argue. Just like trashing Ocarina at any chance I get 😂
That seems to broadly align with fan consensus on this series.
I'll say this: Sticker Star is absolutely not "a joy to play." It's tedious as hell. It was my first game in the series, one I played totally absent of expectations (I wasn't even aware it had previously been an RPG series), and I still didn't like it.
TTYD and TOK have been far better experiences, thankfully. The former nails the writing, character development, and story while the latter has really fun exploration, environmental interactivity, and music. I'm actually very OK with the puzzle-combat in that game, too. The main thing dragging it down for me is the lack of original characters, which, based on what we've heard, appears to totally be the fault of top Nintendo brass.
Hopefully Color Splash holds up well.
@TG16_IS_BAE They say it directly: "I haven't played it, but I've seen it in youtube and I hate it. It's not like the old ones" XD. Just go to any news of the game, it's always the same. Curious thing is that people that actually played liked it a lot. That's why I'll get it as soon as I can, I trust more the people that played the game, honestly.
Okay, but how did Sticker Star get an 8/10 from Nintendo Life?! I haven't played The Origami King yet but it's reassuring to see it's considered the best game since Super Paper Mario.
Color Splash is way underrated, should have been much higher. It's a wonderful game that streamlines and removes the (IMO) unnecessary EXP and leveling, while providing a really fun and funny adventure. OG Paper Mario doesn't hold up at all, it's too simplistic to put it above any of the better sequels. At the time, sure it was a breath of fresh air, but to me it's one game you could skip and not really miss anything in the series.
@the_beaver I don’t trust people to make recommendations for me, I’ll research/try it but not at the behest of others.
Hard disagree with you there. TTYD, imo, deserves at least a 9.5. Absolutely fantastic game, one that I thoroughly enjoy revisiting. The original doesn't get AS much praise from me, but it's still there.
Paper Jam deserved to be bottom of the shelf here, only maybe above Sticker Star. Though personally, I hate sticker star more. Both games just were simply not fun to play though, and as such have no redeeming qualities for their own existence as they had no story worth mentioning either.
EDIT: Actually, Paper Jam should be higher than Sticker Star I realize. The combat in that game was fun at least, if nothing else was. That gives it a leg up.
Where does Bug Fables rank? 😉
That was a very unsurprising order to me.
TTYD probably deserves to be top, but when it was first released it was called "Thousand Year Bore" by some for a reason.
It's a long, tough slog in some places with a difficult final quarter and lengthy cut scenes that you can't skip even if you've already seen them. So if you're playing for the first time, that's one "quality of life " feature you better be prepared to be without.
Other then that, it's a great game. I enjoyed SPM, Paper Jam and Colour Splash too, so would reccomend those.
Rating for The Origami King is clearly to low. And I bet, many around here, who rated it low, didn't even play it.
If PAPER JAM is on this list than so should SUPER MARIO RPG... the godfather of all these games.
TTYD holds a lot of good memories for me. I’m glad to see it holds up in time so well. I hope Nintendo makes it available for the Switch some day. So many are missing out on a big adventure.
Paper Jam should not even be included 😑
@Tandy255 ttyd>tok>64>bug fables
Paper Jam should absolutely be behind Color Splash come on
What a surprise. Nintendrones are SO predictable.
I think Origami King is getting under-appreciated here, for whatever it is worth.
I'm curious what % of people who rated it have played it.
...and Sticker Star was horrible. I tried SO hard to like that game. After playing it I'd decided no more Paper Mario for me. I only got the Switch game b/c I needed to use my voucher and had everything else. That was a lucky stroke b/c it is a good game, not a great game, but maybe the best Nintendo release in 2020?
My personal, current gamecube list would be:
10: Baten Kaitos
9: Mario Sunshine
8: Fire Emblem Path of Radiance
7: Smash Bros Melee
6: Zelda: Twilight Princess
5: Metroid Prime 2
4: Mario Kart: Double Dash
3: Paper Mario TTYD
2: Metroid Prime
1. Zelda: Wind Waker
TOK is much better than this list suggests. As I've see with many people in the comments didn't even play it, but had opinions on it based on what other people said (who most likely didn't play it as well).
Just finished it the other day, for me it is just behind TTYD. TTYD's unique characters, party mechanics, and unique partner uses throughout the story sets it above. But serious Bobby's story line is better than pretty much all the partner's stories in TTYD. Also the two last partners were fun and had lots of funny dialogue. Boss battles all were interesting and unique and I actually had to think about them unlike any battle in TTYD.
Also for people to put the original Paper Mario up there I would say replay it. It's okay and sets up a lot of the mechanics/scenarios for TTYD and that's probably the best thing it did. Otherwise they're too closely related.
I'm currently playing through Origami King, and I would rank it right where it currently is. It's cute, looks great, is funny... but combat is boring, the confetti feels pointless and shoehorned, the thousand fold arm is so far a poorly designed system. TTYD beats this game at every turn, and overall I agree with the full ranking list as it is now
I played TOK two times. The first time I played TOK I thought it was unenjoyable and the battle system was trash. The second time I played it I started to realize that this game actually improved of elements from the previous games. I guess this game is going in the right direction, I would say. Also, the Bobby story really hit the heart.
Having finished Origami King, I’d rate it higher than Super Paper Mario. Otherwise I agree with this list.
Wait, why the heck do Sticker Star and The Thousand-Year Door have the exact same rating by Nintendo Life?
Where are you in TOK at the moment?
Oh, and TTYD doesn't beat it at every turn. That's very, very, very exaggerated.
Here's my ignorance showing... I did not know Paper Mario started on the N64... I genuinely thought the 1000 Year Door was the first... then again I skipped the N64 so I dont have a vast knowledge of its library.
I only have Sticker Star and Color Splash, so...
Sticker Star = 7 / 10
Color Splash = 6.5 / 10
Thankfully the true greats are right on top. I hope Nintendo sees it and are taking notes.
TTYD was first. I neeeever saaaaaw thaaaaat oneeee coooooming
@jobvd You are the weakest link. Goodbye.
I think Bowser's inside story is better than all of these. Not a paper Mario game but aside from the art style I don't see much difference between the ML and paper games.
@KingBowser86 for something simple and aimless, they managed to make it well written, fill it with fresh ideas and advance alot of aspects. That’s something I see alot of developers try at in games and never succeed. The game is like a display of pure talent
No surprises, but I doubt many of those who remember the original to be a great game will still enjoy it today. It is extremely slow and talky, I can't play it for more than fifteen minutes without falling asleep.
Haven't finished Colour Splash or Origami King to know if they are where I would rank them, but overall, sounds correct to me.
Bring back old style Paper Mario Nintendo.
I don't exactly remember how far in I am, I'll have to check tonight. I remember going through a forest, checking out Toad Town, Crossing the next field, maybe somewhere after that? Still early on. But so far I would say TTYD has over TOK is this:
•Combat, which is huge for me.
•Partners in combat
•The art style of TTYD resembles story book, while TOK looks like a paper craft world
•The music in TTYD wasn't anything amazing, but seems more memorable so far.
•Less Toads, more... everything else
•I prefer the sectional layout of TTYD over the open style of TOK
•I also prefer the abilities of TTYD over 1,000 fold arms, but maybe more come later
Things TOK has over TTYD for me, so far:
•It looks beautiful
•the writing is on point
•so far, that's kind of it.
Obviously this is all opinion, but I would so far give TOK a 7.5 and TTYD a 9.5. Unless the game really ramps up in the coming chapters, I don't see it improving my rating. We'll see, though.
Well.. if there´s a series with consistency (regarding NintendoLife reviews) this is it .
Every game was ranked either 9 or 8.
Personally, I don´t think that there´s any "bad" game in this franchise. I do understand that fans of the first two games may feel dissapointed with Sticker Star and Color Splash, but these games were highly enjoyable to me.
It seems to me that Nintendo really wants Paper Mario to have a gameplay distinct to the Mario & Luigi series, hence so many changes in its battle system. I really don´t think that´s a bad thing at all.
@MrBlacky Some people already know what they like in paper mario games
I wonder how many here really have played "a thousand year door"?
An I think it is wreid that the wii game is so far up...
I consider every paper mario game after ttyd spin-offs because they dont have the rpg elements the first 2 had. super paper mario was really fun tho
@TioRogerio That says more about NLife’s policy of awarding anything Nintendo farts out at least an 8. I can’t remember the last game developed by a first party dev that didn’t get that score. Perhaps Chibi Robo Zip Lash or that weird Pikmin platformer?
@Euler thought that was kind of generous
All I know is The Origami King is muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch better than Sticker Star. Haven't played any of the others.
TOK is a 9/10 for me. I'm at the fourth streamer, on the last boss in that "world". Poor Toads taped all over the walls. 😅
Sticker Star? Probably a 5/10 for me.
I just wish they had gone the other way, kept Paper Mario as the turn based rpg series and let Mario and Luigi go 3D platformer or something.
Well that was predictable.
I've only played the original N64 Paper Mario, and coming from Super Mario R.P.G. I wasn't particularly fond of the game. so my view isn't the most objective on this saga.
Having said that, I think it is a fairly "failed" saga one that has the newest entries at the bottom and the oldest at the top.
I 100% agree. I absolutely love that game's story - for me, the most unique and memorable of the series, with characters that I actually cared about a lot. TTYD is nearly in a tie with SPM for #1 for me, only because it clearly has the RPG battle style edge that's expected of this series. But story-wise, which for me is the most important RPG element, SPM is #1.
I'm @ing you only to say I'm in agreement on that, as my previous words in this comment testify. In fact, I might even agree with your entire list. (Have only played through the first two streamers in Origami King so far, so can't fully speak to that one yet.)
So you basically are just at the beginning.
I finished The Origami King after around 45 hours and almost 100% and I can say it beats TTYD in overall pacing, Boss fights, final boss fight, exploration, music, end game and it had more surprising moments for me.
Who in the right mind thought that Paper Jam was better than Color Splash?
Exactly how I'd order the games
Yeah I'm fairly early on, assuming pretty close to the end of the red ribbon. We must differ when it comes to tastes, because the exploration so far seems tedious. I don't prefer open world games, I really liked TTYD doing it as sections and chapters. Same for Zelda games, I like the way the top down ones handle areas as opposed to BoTW.
What tracks (if you remember any) do you enjoy from TOK? I would like to give them a listen.
I can't speak to pacing, end boss or end game though, as I obviously haven't reached those points.
Okay ranking. Origami King's my least favorite of the bunch (yes, I played Sticker Star and Color Splash. I liked them very much), so it's at the bottom for me. TTYD is an amazing game, but the OP battle system, badges, and backtracking bring it down from being the "best Paper Mario game" for me.
Therefore, my ratings for the games go like this:
1) Paper Mario (11/10)
2) Paper Mario 2 (9/10)
3) Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (8.9/10)
4) Paper Mario: Sticker Star/Paper Mario: Color Splash (8.6/10)
5) Super Paper Mario (8.5/10)
6) Paper Mario: The Origami King (6/10)
@HotGoomba When Paper Jam actually had meaningful Experience Points and lack of consumable attacks.
Then again, I thought Color Splash was great as well.
So what is your favorite?
@KingBowser86 I absolutely agree! I came to hate TTYD with the General White wild goose chase.
@Classic603 Paper Mario N64.
There are many very good tracks, but unfortunately I can't name any of them or I would give out spoilers.😅
But one of them is a certain stationary very late in the game.
@NookMiler It factually doesn't count. It's not a Paper Mario game. I can't fathom why they included it. Also, it's definitely worse than Color Splash...
@mariomaster96 A lot of people raked Origami King without had played it.
@Kochambra Origami King should be second, in my opinion. Then Super Paper Mario, Paper Mario, Color Splash and Sticker Star last.
I would have thrown my toys out of the pram if TTYD wasn’t number 1 but turns out you guys have great taste! Kudos to you!
I'll just ignore Origami King since there's no way a bunch of the people who ranked it have played it enough time to compare to previous entries.
TTYD, I saw it from a mile away, it's the only Paper Mario I own and I'm not even into this series.
I actually hope that the Paper Mario series comes to Switch in some form of a collection. I would to just have all or 3 of the games come on one game card. Or possibly a new entry. I just want another one or remaster of all the games on Switch. That would be something I would definitely buy, if the 35th anniversary remaster turns out to be true.
@jobvd Wow, where did you get the term? From 2007? Get real.
Paper Jam is a Mario & Luigi game, not a Paper Mario game.
@Classic603 Care to say what you prefer from TTYD over PM1? I'm reading through the comparison post to TOK, and I really don't see any points that PM1 didn't have. The two games largely differ in tone, scenarios, and music. TTYD had the benefit of being a sequel on updated combat/badges and graphics, but the musical compositions took a nosedive and had some scenarios that were roughly recycled from PM1 (dungeon 1's a castle again, Penguin Mystery 2: The Less-Exciting Sequel, a mouse being a mystery again hidden behind a Quest Board with no Level guidance, etc.). Sure, it improved on presenting the "spectacle" of scenarios but that's all. And even that got hokey and forced when you got hit with those over and over just like recent PM (when everything's a spectacle, nothing is). The Doopliss scenario was entertaining, though, even with the "sheet ghost enemy" being recycled from late PM1.
@Freddyfred No, it's still horribly aimless. Aliens, shadows, world-lore spectacle (Glitz Pit, Boggy Woods, etc.), random "curses" that you'd think Mario would want undone — the simple Mario World mixing it up with ONE plotline is all that one game in a cartoonish franchise can handle. This isn't Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, here. If you throw more than one plot (and their attached lore elements) at something that's already fragile as Suspense of Disbelief goes, then there's a good chance that you won't answer all of the players' questions, leave gaping plotholes, or just flat-out add lore that doesn't fit within current framework and damages the franchise's integrity. "Well, it's Mario, so I don't think that's possible, because it's supposed to be wacky and can do whatever it wants." The Mario World (and most cartoon worlds) already had established rules and mechanisms, even in the Paper setting. On top of that, purely abstract franchises as the hypothetical quote posits don't last long because then there are no stakes to any plot. That happens with TTYD and SPM. By the end, you've been handed so many victories and MacGuffins and arsepulls that the whole experience is hollow.
I'm surprised by the low score for Color Splash , I had a blast with it. The only ones I didn't enjoy too much are Super Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi Paper Jam (I hate cross-overs, and mixing too overmilked series/concept doesn't work)
Honestly, TTYD felt like PM64-2, with a few characters feeling similar and story beats feeling similar as well. But it felt like it fine tuned everything that 64 did right, and added upon it.
@Classic603 the lack of F-Zero GX makes this list a sad list
@fafonio @Classic603 And the lack of Chibi-Robo!
@Classic603 It didn't fine tune quite everything, unfortunately. As I listed. Furthermore, personally, I figured out SMRPG's timed hits without help, but TTYD's were incredibly vague.
Confession: I've never played an F-Zero game... they were never on my radar
As secondary side notes, the fighting pit and train chapters are also amazing haha
@Classic603 To be fair, F-Zero is kinda hit and miss. They all have sizable learning curves. GX is probably the solid one of the lot, if you ever want to try it.
My brother hit me so hard after I said that this list wasn’t great, I still have a bump on my head.....
@Classic603 Oh yeah, no doubt! Proper writing goes far. Had the game put very large spotlights on those moments and made everything else fairly incidental (ala how PM1 sectioned off subplots), TTYD would have been better off.
@MrBlacky Just what I was thinking.
This is the cynics list of placing the two games they played above the ones they don't bother trying.
@the_beaver Well, I can tell you I've played it, and I can't say I'm a fan of it.
All the terrible paper mario games got the scores they deserve, yay! Maybe these scores are valid in the eyes of the avid Nintendo fans?
Funny how they described sticker star, and they didnt even mentioned SPM AMAZING STORY in the very short description there. Weird, Nintendo Life.
Imagine that, the only 3 good games in the series are the top 3.
I don't think that's it. Such an odd idea, deciding that popular vote = fake news.
"Perhaps I was wrong in my opinion of the Paper Mario rankings?"
"No! It's the users that voted it in that are wrong!"
"Treasure your copy if you've got one" nah fam, it's worth a bundle and imma cash in instead
@MayroMake I think it was 1998
Man the user scores for Sticker Star and Color Splash are really undersold. They deserve slightly better than what they received.
@jobvd And sony and microsoft fanboys don't spout the same crap over and over either? Lol Begone troll
Then I hope you didn't rate The Origami King.
I don't disagree with the rankings, but I feel Sticker Star got a bad rap more so for what it wasn't than what it was. When you accept that it didn't have the play mechanic so many wanted, it was still a funny, fun, strategic, beautiful game, IMO. But, we're all individuals so ... so be it.
I played Sticker Star. An enjoyable game but it’s not one that I wanted to replay.
Currently playing through Paper Jam. I’m surprised it’s ranked this high as I enjoyed Sticker Star more.
Origami King is getting mixed reactions. It’s obviously not as loved as the GameCube entry but it does seem to be the best of the modern entries. I’ll probably pick it up when it becomes part of the ‘select line’ or whatever Nintendo will call their discounted range in a few years time.
A list showing which game is better in a mediocre spinoff series.
Paper Jam should be lower than Color Splash imo.
We All Knew It Was coming I like 64 sticker star and origami king and color splash I'm probably going to get hated for this but it's Ture I like paper Mario but TTYD fans are just toxic
@HammerKirby no. Sonyponies have a higher Standard.
Sticker Star isn't a bad game. It's not a great game, either--but it is good. Super Paper Mario demonstrated Nintendo's intention to diversify the Paper Mario brand, and they've continued to do so ever since. SS is simply a victim of expectations versus reality, and would certainly have fared better were it branded differently.
I just would love it if Nintendo decided to remaster TTYD for Switch. I hear such good things about it and have never played it, nor do I have a Gamecube or interest in paying an outrageous price for the original disc...
I placed it above sticker and color, below ttyd and 64, tied with super. But I think I have a decent taste for how the game handles so far, and my score is fluid; can be changed later. Or do you think someone has to complete a game to have an opinion?
At this point, I've given up on waiting for Nintendo to make a truly great Paper Mario game. They've proven now that they specifically don't want to go back to the old style, and that's fine with me, because other games like bug fables have picked up the slack. Not every franchise has to go on forever, and as far as I'm concerned, Paper Mario is a thing of the past.
I'd probably put Paper Jam at the bottom, I couldn't even bring myself to finish it. Haven't played OK yet, given pretty much every review, both professional and from friends is basically "it's good enough" I'm not going to bother with it. Glad to see the general consensus is they are getting better, even if they're still falling short of TYD greatness.
@Classic603 I don’t blame you... is not like there are that many F-Zero games or recent ones... I blame Nintendo for not having faith in that franchise.
As others have said... try GX ... it’s an adrenaline rush for the racing genre. Steep mastering curve but worth it. I don’t know how has it hold over the years... but I remember it as the pinnacle of futuristic racing. It’s an unique game because they focus so much on the racers, as well as the ships. They all have backstories, unique characteristics, etc. Features that no other racing game has.
@Classic603 oh wow, a list of the best GC games, I like this. Mine would be:
10: Mario Sunshine
9: Baten Kaitos
8: F-Zero GX
7: Zelda: Twilight Princess
6: Smash Bros Melee
5: Paper Mario TTYD
3: Zelda: Wind Waker
2: Resident Evil 4
1. Metroid Prime
For those 10 games only, the console was totally worth it, and of my favourites.
@Kochambra I actually agree with that statement, when you consider the entire game and not just the battle system.
Using every chance I get to bring this out: The first two (or three, depending on whom you ask) Paper Mario games are your universally well-received Zelda games, and the rest of the entries are one variant or another of Skyward Sword.
I know I'm just old and should give it a rest, but I still yearn for a new Paper Mario in the style of TTYD. That game hit different, and created in me a longing. One that hasn't been satisfied yet, but after 16 years is still there
@the_beaver I haven’t played any of the series so curious on what you think on the series. I’d like to try some out someday. I can’t really trust people who so vehemently bash Sticker Star or Color Splash. To me it it looks like Sticker Star has some good ideas that could have perhaps been implemented better.
The order seems right enough
Will do. I'll have to nab it on Dolphin, haven't seen my Cube in ages haha
I feel like both Origami King and Paper jam were almost tied for me, with TOK at a 7.5 and PJ at a 7. Origami King did alot right with its environments, writing, and humor. The world is fun to explore, and there are some very emotional moments, with a decent enough story. The game just falls short with its beginning and its combat. The puzzles never improve until very late game, with certain enemies like boos just making them more annoying. And the whole first streamer is a bit of a slog. Not to mention most of the toads hidden in the overworld are found on the beginning 3 areas, which I found odd.
Paper Jam, while taking a big step back in terms of story and unique areas and characters, the game still feels like Mario and Luigi. The gameplay is the same, but with Paper Mario making combat a bit more interesting. Character interactions is amazing to see, with hilarious writing and dialogue throughout the game. Origami King is just a bit better though.
Both games do great things and bad things respectively. They are just kinda flipped between the two. TOK having better writing and world design, while PJ has better combat. TOK still is a bit better though.
Solid list! I noticed no Prime 2; as someone who put Prime as their top choice, what was your opinion of the sequel?
I'm in the camp that loves the first 2 Paper Mario games AND Skyward Sword haha
@roboshort I really like the Paper Marios, honestly. The only one that really stands out so far is TTYD, but they are all good enough. Pretty different, that's true, we all would like them to go back to the roots regarding the combat system, but they are good games in their own way.
I haven't tried Sticker Star, but Super PM was pretty good, and Color Splash was a surprise. Really nice little game. It could be more RPG, in that way it felt weird (a turn based system without exp, or anything to make you improve the character, is unusual), but I had a good time with it nevertheless. The humour and the situations were great. It's not worse than SPM or PM64 imo (a pretty simple RPG, compared to the sequel), just different.
And Origami King seems to be better than CS in every way, according to what people say. So I'm looking forward to playing it!
@Classic603 Thanks hehe.
Prime 2, tbh, I didn't enjoy it much XD. In fact, I never finished it (the Sanctuary Fortress was really, really tough...). Maybe it's because I played it right after the first one, which I LOVED, and I saw it was waaay too similar XD. Really enjoyed the third one though, a few years later!
I know I should give Echoes a try another time, but the memory I have with it I can't take it away from my mind (that damn Sanctuary! XD)
This is almost the exact way I ranked them, except I had Paper Mario 64 at the top.
I was recently playing through it again and I adore it. But I'm the opposite of you, it was such a fun spin on the first Prime, while 3 left a bad taste in my mouth. Here's hoping for a trilogy Switch release so we both can retry haha
@Classic603 Is that right? LOL! There's a lot to love in Skyward Sword ... just like modern Paper Mario games. Well, maybe not Sticker Star.
Skward Sword is actually home to my favorite art direction in the entire series. Despite how much I can appreciate its artistic merits with regard to music and visuals, its characters, and its dungeons, the gameplay never "clicked" with me.
@Classic603 hahah wow! Yes, definitely we need a retry!
Pretty much what i expected. Sticker Star got off pretty easily though in its description. To me it striped away everything about a Paper Mario game that I liked, and left it an empty shell.
I get what they were going for, but not having a permanent way to attack, being entirely reliant on stickers, and a lack of any EXP or character progression hurt it most in my view.
I havent played Colour Splash, and only just started The Origami King, but the other game i dislike is Paper Jam. I didnt entirely complete it, but I got far enough to feel it extremely dull and really disliked the 'vehicle' sections. It was at that point that i felt Paper Mario had truly become a cheap gimmick (at least in my eyes).
As a fan i prefer the original take on the series (called Mario Story in Japan); a story book design with paper thin characters, rather than of art stuff. Even Super Paper Mario in its 2d - 3d aspect and whacky designs won me over enough as a once off thing, in part cause of the story and gameplay, but also because it tried to do more than just cash literally on the 'Paper' in Paper Mario.
@Clyde_Radcliffe Your name makes me wish I had Creatures 2 to play on the Switch. Still feel very proud getting to the alien family back in the day.
On topic however; exactly how I imagined a list such as this would have played out.
@Euler I know. It should've been lower
Thanks everybody who voted. The ranking is as it should be
The music was AMAZING, I still bump to that golden cd. The art style was a beautiful blend of wind waker and twilight princess. The level designs were incredible, the dungeons were fun, the lanayru(?) Desert alone was awesome. But I do agree, the gameplay left some to be desired. I still loved it!
Modern Paper Marios definitely don't fit that mold for me. I just want turn based rpg combat with partners that are wacky twists on classic enemies, new abilities similar to TTYD and bring back the story book style.
I don't think I've seen a list on NL that was quite so predictable. Personally, I prefer PM as a traditional RPG, with experience points and turn based combat. Origami King turned out pretty good, though. I like all the exploration. I do hope we eventually get a remaster of TTYD.
Should I never bother spending time with Sticker Star?!?!?!
@Classic603 Ha I get that. I think it's unlikely to happen, but a TTYD remaster would be a big win for them! I guess my point is that I very much manage my expectations now when I see a new PM coming out. Like it or not, they're not making this an RPG again :/
I have been enjoying Origami King a lot, and, because of that, I'm interested in revisiting the series in general once I beat the game. I do not think Sticker Star is that bad at all either. Games don't have to be a specific genre to be a quality experience. I have yet to have a terrible experience while playing Sticker Star. If it wasn't for how vague it can be, I might have already beaten the game.
About what I expected, though I always considered Paper Jam to be more of a M&L game. I've only played two of the Paper Mario games so far: Super Paper Mario and Color Splash. Hence I only rated them as I do use the database here to keep track of (most) of my Nitnendo library and rate the games I've completed or sufficiently played.
SPM had an excellent story, some pretty awesome music and characters, and an interesting 2/3D overworld. The platforming elements are a bit odd at times and most of the Pixls are meh, but overall I enjoyed my time with the game. I'd give it roughly a 8.5/10.
Color Splash really seems underrated here IMO. Sure, the battle system is flawed, plus there's a mechanic introduced part of the way through that undos paint progress. Add in a very annoying enemy encounter related to the card system, and...yeah, the battle system could've been better. That said, Prism Island is beautiful and fun to explore, a lot of the writing is charming and hilarious, some of the characters are entertaining, and many of those "boring" Toads have their own personality. Thing cards are a blast to use, and I had fun searching our each and every paint spot. I'd give it a 7.5/10.
I do intend to play the rest of the series when I can barring Sticker Star unless I can find it very cheap somewhere. TOK will be an eventual purchase as my Switch backlog is a bit insane right now, and I plan to grab the original Paper Mario on the Wii U VC. TTYD is mostly out of my reach unless Nintendo rereleases it in some form.
SUPER PAPER MARIO does not get enough love. Such a great "flip" on past RPG and platformer entries.
i guess they didnt want the sticker star reviewer to feel bad lol
but man such a shame for SS too since it was probably the best PM has looked in terms of his boxart. it looked like he had actual texture and layers and i wish they stuck with that look for console entries
@KingBowser86 pretty much this.
Weird revisionist historian who is in charge of these blurbs under each title. I would say almost none of that hyperbole matches how those games are regarded by the audience. Just another reason why no one likes to see a 7-way tie, even though it almost would seem that if one judges by the descriptions alone.
Like if you want to see how games are graded here, and this website vigorously defends a user generated five score... well you can see where I am going with this.
@boxyguy you have the right idea - I think Paper Mario as a franchise is one of the most underserved series, where exemplar production values are defeated by the weight of feeble / outdated mechanics.
Glad I checked the comments.
Normally if the general consensus is that the game is worse than Super Paper Mario, I would skip it completely.
Super completely failed to hold my interest and made me wary of Paper Mario games going forward. Never played any after that one, but I rate Paper Mario 64 among the most entertaining games ever made, so I want to love the franchise.
Just goes to show that you can never trust anything anybody says anymore. No idea if they're just being reactionary or review bombing. I suppose I'll play this one and make up my own mind.
@Crono1973 What about the combat? I never played it, but I have seen some wild combos on that game on YouTube.
Curious... nothing below 8 from the official reviews. Must be a quality series!
Why is paper jam on this list??
Wow Baten Kaitos, been a while since i saw that gem on a "best of" list. The only title i would add to your list is Skies of Arcadia. For me its definatley a top 3 alongside ttyd and metroid prime
I didn’t like Super tbh
Paper Mario Origami King, right in the middle. And only ahead of two DS games and the Wii U's colour Splash which I guess very few people played.
This confirms my thoughts about Origami King, they messed about with it to much and a decent adventure game has been spoilt by a weak battle system.
Instead of Origami King, we could have had a port of Colour Splash. And instead of a port of Pikmin 3 we could have had Pikmin 4. But Nintendo had more faith in the Paper Mario series than the Pikmin series, I guess.
Of course you should finish a game before rating it.
Maybe I'm the odd one here, but I belt a game is the summary of all of it's parts and therefore should be rated as such.
Personally, if I would have give it a score, based at where you are at the moment, I probably gave it a 7/10 or so (mainly because it was still very early in the game and also because I suck a sliding puzzles). But in the end it was easily a 9/10.
The fact that people look down on Super Paper Mario makes me want to checkout the latest entry. I loved that game and had no idea people felt a ways about it until Origami King came out. I wonder had I not known about how people felt about OK, would I have been so reluctant to play it.
Paper jam shouldn't be on the list since its a Mario and Luigi game. I am surprised that Origami isn't at the bottom. The hate seems to have worn a bit off. Thank goodness, its a pretty fun game (not the best of course, but still pretty fun). And yeah, Thousand year door deserves the top spot.
I really do not understand NintendoLife's hate towards the battle system in The Origami King The only bad thing about it is no loot after battles, but the system itself is great.
Nintendo has really mishandled the Paper Mario franschise, both Sticker Star and Paper Jam should and could have been great games. And Origami King could have been a lot better too.
That sounds more to be Nintendo's fault. Sounds to me like the beginning chapter is slow and weak.
So if I gave up right now and said "I tried it, couldn't get into it. It was slow-paced, the combat was dull, etc. 7/10" you would say that isn't valid or fair criticism?
It isn't "slow and weak", it is just the beginning. Would I stop playing a game before it even really starts, I would give almost every game I played a 6 or 7/10 max.
I see what you're saying, but disagree. Anyone who picks up a book, game or movie and says "I tried, couldn't get into it and didn't enjoy it" has a valid point. You have to get invested, and the beginning should serve that purpose.
But he/she shouldn't rate it.🤷♂️
If you were a teacher, would you rate a kid after one month and say:"Sorry kid, you're to dumb, better quit now before it's to late."
6. Paper Mario: Sticker Star (4/10)
5. Paper Mario: Color Splash (7/10)
4. Paper Mario 64 (8/10)
3. Super Paper Mario (9/10)
2. Paper Mario: The Origami King (9/10)
1. Paper Mario: TTYD (9/10)
Constantly changing my rankings between the first three lmao. Can't really decide but right now it's like this.
Also, I don't consider Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam as it's a Mario and Luigi and not a Paper Mario as its name implies. Haven't really played it but I have seen some gameplays about it. I could give it a 6/10 as it seems very basic to me.
Wow, look at all those 8/10s from NLife!
First two Paper Mario games are among my favourite of all time, but it's now been over 15 years since the series had a great game. Super Paper Mario seemed like a big drop in quality at the time, but even that was decent. Since then, I'd go as far as saying they've all been BAD games. It's now like Star Fox, a series that is lauded, but has far more bad games than good games.
Lol no, because I'm not trying to instill knowledge and respect into The Origami King, I'm rating it on it's enjoyability. If it fails, even in the early stages, then that's it's own fault.
I definitely think anyone can rate and rank a game based on their personal experience. I don't think we're going to change each others minds, so I guess that's that. Enjoy your day man! As a side note, I'm still enjoying TOK; just not as much as I do TTYD or 64.
That's almost exactly how I ranked it, even the scores (besides Paper Jam, which I didn't rate, because I didn't really play it).😄
All right. I may be the odd one, but I still say it's dumb to rate something basically from the beginning.
Be it a game after only not even the beginning chapter, a TV show after the first one or two episodes, a book after five pages or whatever.
Also YOU were the one who basically declared TTYD is better than TOK in everything.
And I stand by it. So far, this game is fun and silly, but pales in comparison to TTYD.
Seems very biased, but okay.
Kinda hard to have an unbiased opinion... everything about it is biased. "I prefer X genre, this isn't it, therefor it isn't as fun to me" is pretty standard fare
paper jam before color splash ? this can"t be
Why the paper jam hate? It was probably the least best of the mario and luigi games but it still wasn't a bad game
I'd put Color Splash over Paper Jam, but otherwise, it's the same ranking I'd give them.
Most people defending Origami King are basically saying:
"The game hasn't sold that we'll compared to other Nintendo IPS so I doubt most people here have played it, so I doubt these votes are legitimate".
Why else would you come on to a Nintendo fan site and suggest that most people on said site haven't played the latest Nintendo IP, if you didn't already have doubts about the games ability to shift numbers.
I didn't vote on any of these games because the little I played on the Wii convinced me that the series isn't for me.
Sticker Star & Color Splash
Most fans of the series from the beginning: not a good game (as shown by this list and the ratings)
Writer of this article: "Pretty good with only a few flaws, everybody can't help but like them"
Okay yeah sure.
@Crockin GameCube is the most stacked system in terms of classic games though. TTYD is in my top ten, but I understand if it isn't in the majorities.
@TheRaiOh whut no its not lol. GC has 15-20 good games, SNES has like 50 or more great games. But also I was a teen when GC came out, so maybe different perspective
Interesting. I have Colour Splash & will be my first foray into Paper Mario. Might pick Origami King at a later date if I like CS.
@TG16_IS_BAE I’ll bite. Explain how Ocarina is not good either when it launched or now.
@RandomNerds For me, Ocarina made a great first impression when it debuted on the N64. I really enjoyed probably the first half of the game, and coming off of Mario 64, I remember how downright mind blowing these things were. Once I hit around the water temple, when I was a kid, I totally lost interest. Kept trying to come back to the game every now and then, but I kept getting turned off by the amount of silly busy work the game had you do. I dislike the clunky combat, and I do not like how much empty space existed between each point of interest. Navi is a huge turn off, I dislike handholding in games, that usually means they aren’t designed very well. I get when people gush about it over the nostalgia factor, we all have games in our memory banks like that. Ocarina just isn’t one of those for me. It’s especially jarring going back to it now, knowing how much that genre has been improved over the past couple decades. Give me Dark Souls over Ocarina any day. It fulfills a similar niche.
@TG16_IS_BAE Thank you. I think that was quite reasonable and 100% opinion based without you trying to claim they were facts which is refreshing when it comes to an internet comment.
@RandomNerds Exactly. It’s just not a good fit for me. I will acknowledge, however, watching people speedrun Ocarina is FASCINATING.
Spm got to low score, I think this game is at least 8.5 (it has problems with gameplay but that isnt that bad and everything else is good).
@Zadaris I would so love Creatures on Switch, as well as Mayhem in Monsterland and the Dizzy games! Switch needs a C64 collection.
That’s very wrong. ML are the types of games you take on the go. That’s they are in handhelds. Simple story, no seriousness, wacky characters... PM on the other hand is a big adventure that you sit down and play through. It builds a world, has an incredibly diverse battle system and just overall takes itself more seriously. Not saying any of these series are bad, just pointing out the differences.
I think both make a good on the go game. Super paper Mario is very different but other than that it's just two turn based rpgs.
I've been playing the original on Project 64 emulator and I can't wait to get to The Thousand Year Door on Dolphin. These games are super solid and consistent and the original really was ahead of it's time!
Super Paper Mario has the best story and villain in the series. It also has the rpg mechanics such as badges and exp without the tiring turn-based battles. I think it should be number 1.
As for TTYD, I think it's overrated by the series' standards. The only two stages I enjoyed were the arena and the train. The Grodus base had awesome music. Stuff like that jungle was pain to play, however.
At any rate, anyone claiming there are actual Bad games in the series don't know what a bad game looks like. They're all enjoyable and I wouldn't rate any of them lower than 8. Ratings don't work by principle "how does this compare to other Paper Mario games", but rather "how does this compare to all games in general".
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