Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 54
  2. Negative: 0 out of 54
  1. 75
    I'm honestly pretty underwhelmed...Mario 64 DS is a poorly-conceived port of an otherwise good game.
  2. Within the adventure mode the stylus control is a somewhat weak idea that shifts the learning curve upwards steeply, making a very accessible game a great deal less so. If you stick to digital control - and it's not that precise a game, to be honest - then you'll find Mario 64 DS to be a great title.
  3. 100
    I can't tell you how impressed I am with the quality of sound, not only that this game produces but from the DS itself. It rivals anything your television can put out and it even has a surround sound option.
  4. May not be as groundbreaking as the original Super Mario 64 but as a launch title and a full-featured game you absolutely get your money’s worth.
  5. Just keep in mind that your enjoyment of this cart will be in direct proportion to how easily you adapt to the less than stellar control scheme. With analog control built into the DS, this game would have been off the charts, but as it is I think a lot of people who played the original will be shocked to discover just how different it feels.
  6. 100
    The minigames are easily one of the high-lights of the game.
  7. Control issues aside, the look and overall feel of this game is very solid.
  8. For those of you who never got the privilege of playing the original, or want to relive those fond memories, the game is a good purchase for you!
  9. From the unlockable minigames to the multiplayer mode and the new stars to find, this latest installment in the Mario series is a shining example of gaming at its best.
  10. Mario 64 DS is a magnificent execution of entirely the wrong content. Happily, despite its age, that content is so robust and remarkable that the result is still surprising, spectacular and, yes, downright Super. [Jan 2005, p.78]
  11. None of the different control options on the DS come close to providing the effortless precision the analog stick delivers. Also, outside of the occasionally entertaining Wario Ware—style micro minigames, Mario DS doesn't make good use of the hardware's unique features.
  12. The developers at NCL have done a lot with the original game to give players a considerable amount of new content to keep the experience of playing a title that originated back in 1996 still feeling fresh and fun.
  13. Even pointlessly simple card matching games like Luigi's "Pair-A-Gone" and "Memory Match" had us playing relentlessly, whiling away Tube journeys and whiling away stolen moments at all manner of the day and night.
  14. 80
    Though gameplay is really one big scavenger hunt though a diverse set of worlds, there are so many memorable moments, from racing down corkscrew slides to surfing lava on a koopa shell, that you can’t help but grin with giddy delight.
  15. I think it's ironic that what will no doubt be the best of the DS launch lineup is a game that makes little use of its unique technology. [Jan 2005, p.144]
  16. It’s a little odd looking so far back into Nintendo's past as we invest in its future, and you can’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu while traipsing through what is essentially a port. That's not exactly riveting for a launch title.
  17. 90
    All the extra and different stars, compiled with the new playable characters, multiplayer, and the dozens of mini-games makes Super Mario 64 DS THE launch title to pick up, hands down.
  18. As much a joy to play now as the original ever was. What it now lacks in the single player adventure (but in all honesty, it’s not lacking much at all) is more than made up for thanks to the competitive multiplayer whilst the minigames alone make this game a must-have.
  19. 80
    You can never get enough of a classic. Super Mario 64 is essentially here with enough DS goodies to make a compelling dual-screen package.
  20. Thanks to the additional features and a galore of fun mini games that focus on the new hardware features Super Mario DS 64 is a really good title and definitely worth buying.
  21. The whole affair feels like a slightly slower more elegant version of the recently released "Wario Ware."
  22. Unfortunately, this game still isn't as good as Super Mario 64 due to the fact that there is no substitute for the controller built around that classic. It is the best game Nintendo DS has to offer, though, and hints at the possibilities for the future of the system.
  23. Even today it's an absolutely essential gaming experience.
  24. If only the machine's best game actually showed off the possibilities of the touch screen rather than highlighting its lack of an analogue stick. [NGC Pocket]
  25. By far the most pleasing aspect of Super Mario 64 DS is the consistent quality of the new mini-games, with the bombs and the catapult game adding something to dip into alongside the lure of the main adventure itself. [Jan 2005, p.121]
  26. While the main game in Super Mario 64 DS does seem a bit dated to be a launch title for the Nintendo DS, it is still a fun action/adventure that will satisfy the handful of people that have always wished they could have Super Mario 64 on a handheld.
  27. A great update of a classic game. While some portions of the game have aged better than others, and while the control could've been a little tighter, the game is done right enough to make it a faithful update for fans of the original; new players will certainly find a lot to like here, as well.
  28. 100
    Its greatness holds up almost ten years later. It's a treat having an enhanced (both gameplay-wise and visually) version of the game that you can toss in your pocket and play on the go. This is easily the best launch title in the DS lineup.
  29. It's the game we all fell in love with when the N64 launched - and it's looking extremely likely to happen again this holiday season. Unmissable.
  30. Could have been titled Mario 64 Plus. Plus new characters. Plus new stages. Plus new mini-games. Plus touch screen controls. Plus new music, not to mention incredible sound quality that blows Game Boy Advance out of the water.
  31. With 30 extra stars to collect, a few new levels thrown in, unique power-ups and characters, addictive mini-games, and even a multiplayer battle mode, the game truly delivers a great experience for Nintendo’s new handheld.
  32. If you can overlook some control issues you’ll find quite a lot of game play that will have you going for months to come.
  33. Takes an excellent original game, loses some ground on control, but gains it back with variety. [Feb 2005, p.109]
  34. 89
    The fix, a touch-screen Analog Stick emulator, is a good idea that's entirely functional...if just a little flawed due to the lack of physical restraints.
  35. Without a doubt, the Nintendo DS is an amazing new piece of hardware. It is just a shame that Nintendo has a port for their launch game. Plus, the game does not even use some of the system’s specialties like the microphone.
  36. Control worries aside, I found tons to enjoy from the many mini games available to even the weak multiplayer mode.
  37. Who would have thought you would be playing a portable version of this game with better graphics, more levels, more characters, wireless gaming and new bonus games. Nintendo took a great game and added more greatness to it.
  38. The main adventure will keep you busy for dozens of hours, but the mini-games and Vs. mode are nice extra treats as well.
  39. The minigames alone are reason to buy this title. [Feb 2005, p.111]
  40. With a huge adventure that will take dozens of hours to complete, along with 36 different mini-games and single-card multiplayer, Super Mario 64 DS is easily the best title on the Nintendo DS right now.
  41. THE must-own launch title. There are a couple of issues keeping it from being a definitive killer-app for the system, such as the problematic control scheme, but it’s as close as any of us could have hoped for, and certainly close enough to warrant a purchase.
  42. It makes rather poor use of the dual screen displays (the map feature is largely useless), the touch screen control isn't exactly perfect, and it runs the risk of establishing a long trend of N64 ports that might crowd out original games on the system. Yet, on its own merits, SM64DS is an exciting, revamped version of a monumental game.
  43. 80
    The important part is that the game is still as fun, enjoyable and challenging as it was when it first came out; everything else is icing on the three-tiered cake, with the mini-games happening to be a rather thick layer of icing at that.
  44. 80
    With a lengthy single player adventure and 3 dozen mini-games to enjoy, Super Mario 64 DS is well worth the cash, despite its minor control issues.
  45. In a perfect world, wouldn't it have been great to get an original Mario game? Isn't that the way it used to be? [Jan 2005, p.84]
  46. 85
    It's just a shame that time and time again it's the controls that you'll be telling your mates about as much as the game itself.
  47. An undeniable classic somewhat ruined by a terrible, terrible (though unavoidable, really) control system, accompanied by a few fun extras showing off what the console can do.
  48. An undeniable classic tainted by an awful control mechanism that still doesn’t feel natural after some ten hours’ play, with a few fun extras more suited to the input method.
  49. 80
    The Mario faithful will no doubt rejoice, since it's easily the best of the launch titles. But if you're not a Mario lover, you may want to hold out a few more weeks for something better.
  50. The main issue is naturally the control which brings up one or two occasionally frustrating moments, however we’d personally liked to have seen a game that made more of the “innovative” features of the DS – how about Mario’s face on the title screen responding to comments you make to demonstrate the voice recognition features Nintendo???
  51. If not for some small issues with the control, it would have been a great expansion on the original, and deserving of the same accolades the original had.
  52. The 3D graphics are amazing in comparison to the flat sprites from earlier systems.
  53. Even gamers who have played the "parent" game to death can find something to love in this promising -- if not entirely coordinated -- bundle of joy.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 190 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 77
  2. Negative: 7 out of 77
  1. Nov 16, 2011
    9
    "Mario 64" is definitely one of the best DS game i've ever played up to date. It's a unique platform adventure that's not 2-D (oh joy!) and"Mario 64" is definitely one of the best DS game i've ever played up to date. It's a unique platform adventure that's not 2-D (oh joy!) and gives you tons of fun, challenging stuff to do. Overall a game any person of any age would enjoy. Must Buy!!! Full Review »
  2. Nov 11, 2010
    9
    I have played both versions of Super Mario 64 and gotten 100% on each, and honestly I think that this version is actually better in terms ofI have played both versions of Super Mario 64 and gotten 100% on each, and honestly I think that this version is actually better in terms of design. There were some god-awful character designs in the original, and the graphics are much improved. The controls are annoying, but otherwise this is an awesome port of a classic. Full Review »
  3. JamesR.
    Oct 12, 2007
    6
    I wanted this game as soon as I saw it for the DS and was disappointed. You start off as Yoshi, of all characters, but get Mario right off I wanted this game as soon as I saw it for the DS and was disappointed. You start off as Yoshi, of all characters, but get Mario right off the bat, so that's ok. What really bugs me is that I would never have noticed how much I needed that analog stick from the N64 to play this game right, and using the stylus just isn't the same. You'll find yourself frustrated at really only having one run speed throughout the game. A real shame, but it's all due to the technical limitations of a directional pad. Other than that, this game is great. It's just frustrating to lose so much control. Full Review »