Universal acclaim - based on 58 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 161 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: In his evil plot to take over the Mushroom Kingdom, Fawful tricks Bowser into eating a magic mushroom. The mushroom causes Bowser to begin inhaling everything around him, including Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach! Do the Mario Bros. have the guts to rescue Peach and escape? Players are in control of two separate storylines. One features Bowser and his efforts to stop an arch-villain from taking over his castle. Meanwhile, inside Bowser, the microbe-sized Mario & Luigi must muscle their way through challenges and keep their nerve if they want to find a way out. They take action to control Bowser from the inside - but without his knowledge. Players can switch between storylines at will. What happens inside Bowser affects what he’s doing on the outside. Sometimes Mario & Luigi must solve puzzles and challenges behind the scenes to help Bowser overcome various obstacles and advance the plot. Players must make well-timed button presses to enhance their performance during battles and challenges. In some battles, Bowser grows so large that players must turn their Nintendo DS or Nintendo DSi system sideways, blow into the microphone or tap on the touch screen with the stylus to keep up with the action. The game features the same hilarious dialogue that has been the hallmark of the Mario & Luigi series. [Nintendo] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 58
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 58
  3. Negative: 0 out of 58
  1. The adventure is lengthy, the characters are entertaining, and this is truly a game that you’ll want to keep in your pocket for any free minute you find yourself with. DS owners should not miss out on what could certainly be the best handheld RPG of 2009.
  2. 95
    The Mario & Luigi series has already established itself as a fantastic RPG franchise, and the third game does not disappoint. I have no problem classifying it as the best of the bunch, thanks to an excellent and appropriately surreal script, epic oversized battles, and the fact that Bowser is a playable character and gets most of the gameplay time.
  3. 92
    Once again, Mario and Luigi star in one of the most ingenious and well-polished titles on the DS. Their Fawfulized adventure through the bowels of the Mushroom Kingdom and its number one bad guy is one no one is likely to forget, especially Bowser.
  4. 90
    There's very little in Bowser's Inside Story to not like. It's great to look at, the interaction between the "inside" and "outside" worlds is well thought-out, the mini-games and interactive battles are always a treat to play, and it's probably the funniest Mario & Luigi game yet.
  5. Alphadream surpassed themselves with the best game in the Mario & Luigi Saga. Bowser's Inside Story is excellent in all its aspects, but if we had to choose something it would be its hilarious script.
  6. Inside Story is also incredibly beautiful, possibly among the best looking DS games ever made.
  7. The concept of Marios action rpg Paper Mario/Mario & Luigi are known to be good. The latest title takes place inside Bowser's body and, of course, makes it a bit different from the earlier games. But it's a fun twist of both story and gameplay, and with all the qualities in the game it makes Bowser's Inside Story one of the best games for the DS 2009.

See all 58 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Jun 1, 2011
    Bowser's Inside Story, to put it quite simply, is an AMAZING game. The plot is great, the concept is great, and the battles are great. And don't forget about Fawful. Fawful and his "I HAVE FURY!" quote are just hilarious. But what I feel is best about Bowser's Inside Story is the ability to play as Bowser! Half of the game is dedicated to his side of the story, and Mario and Luigi can help Bowser accomplish his goals from inside his own body! Then...he grows HUGE. That is EPIC. Controls are better than ever too. I love this game, and recommend it to anyone and everyone. Collapse
  2. ShawnP
    Sep 20, 2009
    This game is easily the best Mario RPG ever. Luigi is really funny, and so are Mario and Bowser surprisingly. Special moves are more like minigames and actually force you to do something so they are more powerful. Fighting as all 3 is really fun. The story is different from the usual save Peach story. Normal battles are never to easy or to hard. You never nail avoiding enemy moves all the time, which adds more challenge. Badges can actually help you in tough situations. If it wasnt for the unbalanced boss battles this game would be near perfect. Expand
  3. Aug 13, 2012
    By far the most creative Mario & Luigi game in the series. With an immersive story, fun and addictive gameplay, and engaging battles of epic proportions, this game is a must play for any fan of Mario RPG's, or not. It's just a must play in general. Seriously this is amazing. And while you're at it, reading this, go ahead and get Superstar Saga, and maybe even Partners in Time. They are all bloody amazing. Expand
  4. AnthonyS
    Dec 15, 2009
    This is a great RPG. I highly recommend it to fans of the series, newcomers alike and people who just like fun. Complete whit Mario & Luigi's fake Italian, a living French stereotype block, Navi who's in disguise as some star thing(lulz), only not as annoying, and many funny moments as well as being a blast to play, and I loved the touch screen controls. Best of all, YOU GET TO PLAY AS EFFING BOWSER!!! Expand
  5. WillC
    Oct 22, 2009
    Easily the most intentive Mario RPG since Paper Mario 2. The writing is witty and sharp. The graphics are charming. The combat is fun. The music is memorable and while its not reinventing the Mario & Luigi formula its still great fun. Expand
  6. Jan 8, 2011
    Although the game's battle system, story, music and engine in general is amazing, this game still fails in my opinion to capture the truly epic feel of its prequel Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for GBA. You can play as Mario and Luigi like the other two Mario & Luigi games in the series and as an added twist, Bowser as well which hasn't been done since Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars back on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. An interesting mechanic is while playing RPG battles as Bowser, you can sometimes use a special skill and then switch to battling the same enemies as the Mario & Luigi which can cause an interesting change in tactics. There are also special Godzilla-like special boss battles as Bowser also which make unique and interesting use of the microphone and touch screen. There are also boss challenges and minigames as well which are pretty fun as well. Expand
  7. May 3, 2011
    I signed up for Metacritic just so I could give a negative review for this game. It is not an RPG. It is a series of touch-based minigames that increase in difficulty and soon become ridiculous. Expand

See all 42 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Ranked: Mario and Super Mario Games

    Ranked: Mario and Super Mario Games Image
    Published: May 20, 2010
    This weekend, Nintendo releases Mario's latest adventure, "Super Mario Galaxy 2" (Wii). It seems like the perfect time to explore the history of the Mario series, and rank the previous titles from best to worst.
  2. The Best Games of 2009

    The Best Games of 2009 Image
    Published: December 9, 2009
    Metacritic's Best of 2009 coverage kicks off with Games. We reveal the best-reviewed games of 2009, and rank the performance of each game platform for the year.