Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
Buy On
  1. 85
    Overall, I'd recommend this game for any fan of Mario RPG titles, anyone looking for a nice solid RPG for the DS, and of course, people who enjoy smiling, since this game will brighten your mood.
  2. It's gorgeous. It's cute. It's surprisingly deep. It's deeply satisfying. And it's oh so hilariously funny.
  3. Despite being a very solid RPG, it never takes itself too seriously. There's just something very cheeky, almost silly about it all (and the game really focuses on this) as it throws one ridiculous situation at you after the next.
  4. It has a story chock full of hilarity, the right balance between fast-paced combat and multitasking puzzles, tons of items and a handful of memorable characters, and presents it to use in a psychedelic blend of 2D animation and a wide array of colors.
  5. Fantastic. With an insane plot, goofy characters and some incredibly well-designed gameplay, this is a game which should be on the must-buy list of any DS owner who does not hate fun.
  6. A plot that is both epic and comical, a quirky and addictive battle system, beautiful graphics and music, and retro charm. Along with Meteos, this is a DS must-have.
  7. Anyone else with a heartbeat, a DS and forty bucks should pick this game up immediately.
  8. Mario is no stranger to RPGs but there are probably no stranger RPGs than this one. Highly recommended.
  9. An engaging narrative that actually inspires an urge to read all the text, fun and evolving combat, and a smooth coat of presentational polish make Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time a compelling package.
  10. 90
    Partners in Time has an even crazier story, funnier dialogue, more elaborate puzzles, and more action-based fights than the original game.
  11. Though not as innovative or as funny as the first, no fan will be able to put the game down, nor will fans be able to finish it without feeling excited and satisfied.
  12. As good a Mario adventure as you could hope for, and a cracking RPG in its own right. [GamesMaster]
  13. 90
    It's not a pure action game, it's not really an RPG...and it's not even an action-RPG. It's a successful blend of all these elements, proof that Nintendo does have some good ideas for the DS.
  14. Partners in Time might not have as strong of a script as the previous Mario & Luigi, but it's still another charming, high quality RPG worth any DS owner's while.
  15. Retains most of the original's brilliance, though it isn't quite as funny.
  16. It’s still pleasant, lighthearted fun and legions better than the embarrassing "Lunar: Dragon Song," making it the uncontested champion of DS RPGs.
  17. My complaints about the storytelling and button-pressing aside, it's impossible to deny that Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is engaging from a tactile perspective—taking out evil toadstools by kicking a red shell back and forth between the mustache brothers just never gets old.
  18. My opinion of Partners in Time is smeared by the battle system's flaws, which become more of an issue towards the end of the game. However, this is by far the best RPG currently available for the DS, and its use of the dual screens opens up gameplay possibilities that just aren't available on any other system.
  19. netjak
    Partners in Time has its flaws and can get repetitive at times, but it certainly keeps you coming back for more, thanks to engaging gameplay and the unmistakable Mario charm.
  20. 75
    The game offers around 20 hours of play for the first time through, with several sidequests. Unfortunately, the mediocre story doesn’t have enough impact to keep players enthralled for the full playthrough, and it suffers from a linear, generic world-home-world structure.
  21. A fresh, entertaining title that delicately balances role-playing and classic "Mario" gameplay.
  22. 100
    Not a guarantee that it's a game for everyone, but rather a big fat A+ for Alphadream when it comes to Advanced Game Design. This game is the cream of the portable gaming crop, and you'll be really hard-ressed not to be taken in by at least one of it's plentiful charms.
  23. 90
    There's enough action so that it doesn't really feel like an RPG, and the humor makes it all the sweeter.
  24. 80
    Some may yearn for a more complicated gameplay, but for those who do not, Partners in Time is still as funny and enjoyable as its predecessor.
  25. While equally entertaining, Partners in Time inevitably lacks its predecessor's impact.
  26. 60
    The threadbare story can barely support the game’s 20 hours of gameplay and the brothers don’t have enough moves to keep the puzzle-solving fresh.
  27. An exceptional blend of gaming styles filled with enough irreverent humor to please old and young alike. It could stand to be harder and less linear, but in the end this marks another winner for the mustachioed mascot.
  28. Some may scoff at a Mario RPG, but this turn-based masterpiece is perfect for the increasingly popular DS, featuring solid combat and trademark Nintendo feel.
  29. Enjoyed "Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga"? Looking for a fun RPG on your handheld? You can’t go wrong with this title.
  30. Perhaps the only real disappointment is the game's inability to make use of the DS touch capabilities.
  31. 80
    A fun, engaging, thoughtful and compelling game in its own right, and a definite purchase for those entranced by earlier iterations.
  32. Edge Magazine
    Often, it can be enough for a sequel to deliver more of the same, but in Superstar Saga’s case, when what the first game delivered was such a powerful sense of freshness, more of the same – which Partners In Time certainly delivers – inevitably feels like less. [Feb 2006, p.86]
  33. Pelit (Finland)
    A fun and interesting RPG. The clever combat system works almost perfectly. Too bad the touchscreen is not used. [Mar 2006]
  34. The ‘cuteness' of Partners in Time does not take away from any of the overall scope of the game and developers AlphaDream have done the Mario name proud with pretty graphics, great sound and great gameplay to match.
  35. A solid follow-up to Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA), this game sticks to its predecessor's proven game play, adding updated graphics, a new story and a couple of extra Mario Bros., making for one of the most enjoyable DS titles to date.
  36. Nintendo Power
    A worthy follow-up to "Superstar Saga," and the first great RPG on the DS. [Jan 2006, p.110]
  37. As light-hearted as it is, it has a seriously addictive flavour to it and it looks and sounds great to boot.
  38. But don't let the linearity fool you--Partners in Time is an excellent game no matter what platform it's running on.
  39. The only feature of the DS used is the double screens, and it's used pretty well too. I wouldn't want it any different.
  40. Play Magazine
    I don't often get a good belly laugh from a video game, but then not many games pack the humorous charm of Mario and Luigi 2... [Nov p.99]
  41. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Clever, addictive gameplay like this fits the Mario subject matter perfectly, but neither the story line (it's too cute to stomach, really) nor the visuals (can you say GBA?) do it justice. [Jan 2006, p.130]
  42. Game Informer
    It may not be the most emotionally complex RPG on the market, but it's solid entertainment with a quirky twist. [Dec 2005, p.187]
  43. Combines rock-solid and dynamic gameplay with an actually funny sense of humor. Returning gamers will find a bag full of changes, while those new to the series will have an easy time picking this up and running with it.
  44. 90
    It's just too original, funny, and innovative to ignore.
  45. It also ends up being around twenty hours, so there is plenty of fun to be had in it.

Awards & Rankings

#7 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
#7 Most Shared DS Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 152 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 152
  1. Apr 10, 2014
    Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is the most beautiful and enjoyable game produced by Mario and Luigi franchise yet. It's graphics may not beMario & Luigi: Partners in Time is the most beautiful and enjoyable game produced by Mario and Luigi franchise yet. It's graphics may not be totally ranked in the A-team but for its coherent story and interesting premise, it's a big winner for me. With great soundtracks and especially a stunning epic music at the ending of the game. Full Review »
  2. Apr 3, 2014
    sorry to people who liked it, but this game was a pain to endure, it felt like a filler episode of a show, and there's soooo much padding.sorry to people who liked it, but this game was a pain to endure, it felt like a filler episode of a show, and there's soooo much padding.
    the plot is weak, the development of it is weak, and a lot of elements seem to have been thrown into it just to make it more complicated and pad it more. the ending comes rather abruptly, and a lot of plot threads lead nowhere, they are there just to keep you distracted longer.

    the battle system, while and evolution of the system from the first game, became confusing, you'll find yourself many times mistaking baby mario or luigi for their grown up counterparts in the battle sequences where you have a milisecond to guess which bro is falling.
    the enemies have no personality or motivation either.
    all in all, this is just a cheap sequel to get the franchise going, if you can, skip directly to bowser's inside story, there's no plot on this, you are not missing anything at all
    I'd bet this was co-developed by ghost developer TOSE
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 26, 2012
    Mario it's a very talented man , showing in sports games, saving the princess a thousand of times , he also participates in countless ofMario it's a very talented man , showing in sports games, saving the princess a thousand of times , he also participates in countless of racing competition, also maintains his positive reputation against the show off Sonic and heck ! He even has his own RPG. Thats impressive for this mature man, anyway , Mario & Luigi Partners in Time it's a different take and also a very fresh entry on the already huge franchise . The game is overall interesting until the end, but after that start feeling empty and boring. While the take, wasn't that much of a full RPG side I'm pleased with many of the ideas taken from triple A franchise's and the story is great for awhile , however , everything is forgettable after beating the game. Full Review »