Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. One of the sparklier gems in the GameCube's small but meticulously crafted treasure chest.
  2. A simplified RPG at its core, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is just too charming, funny and unique to dislike and you'll probably be smiling and feel good the whole way through.
  3. Flaws are in short supply. It's easy to save, the control is great, the presentation awesome, and the gameplay deep and addictive.
  4. The game can last up to 40+ hours, depending on how in-depth you want to get with your exploration. Once you make if past the first 3 hours or so, things begin to pick up quickly, so don't start thinking the game is as slow paced as the beginning stages.
  5. A RPG that captures the excitement and fun of the Super Mario Bros series and combines it with depth found only in top-shelf RPGs. It all adds up to what is sure to be consider another Mario classic.
  6. Incredible replay value, with a lengthy main storyline and dozens of sidequests and things to collect in your spare time. It seems like there's always something to get in between quests, which makes the game long-lasting and very hard to put down.
  7. Seriously, random villagers in this game have more character than major players in other RPGs, and certain moments are literally laugh-out-loud funny. [Dec 2004, p.168]
  8. There is so much here that evokes what we know and love about Mario, as well as an equal share of what is genuinely new, and all of this is bundled together in such a wonderful package that this game is destined to be a fan favorite for a long time.
  9. And it'll soak up far more of YOU than "Mario & Luigi" or the other Mario RPGs ever did, too. It's easy to believe you could spend as long with this as you could a decent-length Final Fantasy title.
  10. 89
    So much on offer in the game that you might pop!
  11. Its battles are strangely beautiful. Most of all, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is the most fun I've had spending 50 hours-and 50 dollars-in a long, long time.
  12. The game starts rather slow (like most RPGs) and there are a few fetch quests that feel like they're just there to make the game longer, but overall this has to be one of the best, if not the best RPG on the Cube.
  13. An enchanting adventure in Mario's familiar world, with excellent fighting and a brilliant script. [GamesMaster]
  14. It's practically overflowing with wonderful, funny characters, memorable subplots, inventive gameplay, and beautiful visuals, and it's lengthy and quite challenging to boot.
  15. Certainly one of the best new Mario games to come to market in recent years, blending the best of many of Nintendo's game types into something that is a blast to play and varied enough to capture and keep your attention from beginning to end.
  16. Side-scrolling, Goomba-stomping, RPG adventuring. Paper Mario isn't among the best GameCube RPGs; it is the best.
  17. There are loads of savory things to do in this paper-made world that's funny, and original, and just solid by any and all means.
  18. The mix of 2D characters on a 3D plane not only looks appealing, the gameplay that's designed around the concept (Mario's transformation skills in particular) is a creative fusion of art and design. [Nov 2004, p.105]
  19. 91
    Get past the slow-moving first chapter and some clunky NPC path finding routines in chapter 2 and you'll be hooked. The story is funny, the gameplay varied, and the world so charming, you'll want to explore every last corner of it.
  20. Every single element to the game is polished to such a high degree that virtually everything you do in the game is highly entertaining.
  21. Now that it has arrived however, we can safely say that it's firmly up there as one of the best games released this year.
  22. Emotional, delightful, amazing. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a work of art no Mario fan will want to miss.
  23. 90
    It mixes together some very well-designed elements, such as its battle system, level design, puzzle design and its funny, charming storyline.
  24. 90
    The only negative thing that I can say about this game is that it is extremely addictive; players can expect to find themselves completely engrossed, blissfully unaware of how much time has passed since they picked up the controller.
  25. Bottom line, this game is very, very good, but it is not a system seller. If you already own a GameCube, I highly recommend buying this game.
  26. Hardcore RPG fans, wait for "Baten Kaitos;" everyone else, plan on following the most hee-haw-larious yarn spun in years. [Dec 2004, p.140]
  27. If you're looking for a great long-lasting game that's consistently fun from open to close, quit reading this stupid review and drive to the store.
  28. Plainly put, this is one of the best games available on the Gamecube to date. Though not quite as challenging as Superstar Saga (or most RPG's in general), Paper Mario 2 manages to remain wholly engaging from beginning to end.
  29. There's simply so much to see and do in Paper Mario, with secrets galore. With its entertaining characters and script and absolutely fantastic gameplay, Paper Mario will be a gem for generations to come.
  30. In terms of sheer fun, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is the best RPG I've played in a long time. [Dec 2004, p.80]
  31. But what strikes us the most is how polished it feels. It's pointless going on about the gameplay because by now you know it's flawless. [JPN Import]
  32. Simple enough for kids to enjoy, while challenging and funny enough that adults will get a kick out of it. It's great for newbies to the Mario games, while it's got plenty of nostalgic humor for older gamers.
  33. While this isn't a hardcore title, the puzzles and numerous battles will keep serious gamers busy for some time. Paper Mario is easy to play, exceptional fun, and a thoroughly engaging title.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 201 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 62
  2. Negative: 0 out of 62
  1. Dec 11, 2011
    The story is silly, yet captivating, and the controller inputs utilized during the battle segments keep the turn-based battles engaging. TheThe story is silly, yet captivating, and the controller inputs utilized during the battle segments keep the turn-based battles engaging. The characters are charming, and I actually found myself looking forward to encountering new enemies, even the ones that were just recolored sprites (the Tattle bestiary system and the item library were also nice features, providing impetuses for scouring the nooks and crannies of the world for hidden goodies and ingredients for recipes). The platforming features in the out-of-battle world were also satisfying, and the abilities Mario gains and those that his partners grant him have imaginative uses. The areas of the game are accessible with very little backtracking, too, as new shortcuts are opened up to the player. My one gripe about the game is a trivial matter. At one point in the game, I became stuck in the Palace of Shadow with one HP. Unfortunately, I reflexively hit the first save block that I saw, not realizing that it would make getting out of there very difficult (I was pretty much in the middle of the chapter, and had no healing items). As such, a "Teleport to Rogueport" option would have been nice. Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    The sequel to the ever popular Paper Mario will not disappoint. With all new environments, characters, badges, side quests, enemies, and more!The sequel to the ever popular Paper Mario will not disappoint. With all new environments, characters, badges, side quests, enemies, and more! It has it all! Including our favorite Italian plumber in his second mission in paper form. Indeed, the game has beautiful graphics and fresh looking environments. Exploring the world can be so much fun when you finish the game. And the game is long enough to keep the storyline interesting and smart. It is one of the best GC games in my opinion, and it receives a very well earned 10 from me. Full Review »
  3. Jan 19, 2013
    A truly wonderful game for the Gamecube, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door not only offers a great experience through easy to learn butA truly wonderful game for the Gamecube, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door not only offers a great experience through easy to learn but difficult to master gameplay and quirky but lovable characters, but may even be considered one of the greatest RPG's of all time. Full Review »