Paper Mario Nintendo 64
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 165 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 165

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  1. Nov 28, 2012
    Where to begin...This game is my favorite game of all time. To begin, let's start with the presentation, graphics and audio. The graphics are very good for n64. The contrast of the 2D characters with the 3D background still holds up today.
    The music is almost flawless. The title screen music gives the player a sense of fun urgency to begin the adventure, the battle themes are classic, and
    the remaining themes are all conducted perfectly, fitting their respective environments.
    The story appears to be typical of a mario game as bowser steals peach and mario must rescue her. However, Paper Mario's story shines in its details. The npcs of the game are given a great amount of characterization, which this creates a sense of connectivity within the game that is not seen in many other mario games. The story is revealed in storybook fashion, with each world being called a chapter instead. Each chapter is completely different from the previous, keeping the game fresh by introducing new environments, objectives, puzzles, characters, and gameplay. After each chapter, you get to see what peach is up to. This is the worst part of the game, as you have to control kidnapped peach in an attempt to find out information to get relayed to mario. However, this is an interesting concept that would get expanded on in the next 2 paper mario games.
    Onto the actual gameplay elements: As you progress in the game, you pick up several party members. These party members are needed for puzzles and assist you in battle. The battles are turn based, yet are interactive, as you can perform action commands to do more damage or block attacks, much like in mario rpg. As you progress, you get more attacks, upgrades, badges, and items that add an amazing amount of depth and strategy to the game. You can level up if you get enough battle experience. As a kid I didn't know any better but to always increase my heart points (health) rather than allocating it between flower points and badge points. The bosses all bring something new to the table, and you must figure out a strategy to beat each one. Other gameplay elements include solving well thought out puzzles that progressively get more rewarding and challenging, collecting star pieces to get new badges, and exploring the vast maze of the toad town tunnels. Yeah, so in summary, the battle system is pretty amazing and deep and tops off an almost flawless game.
  2. Dec 16, 2010
    GOD!!!!!When i played this game I started to see the light!The light of a good game!This game is just a piece of COOLNESS!Paper Mario is a RPG game where you control Mario and his partners: Goombario, Kooper, Bombette, Parakarry, Bow, Watt, Sushie and Lakilester!This game gives you a lot of things to do!Fight bad guys, collect stuff, discover things(Luigi's Diary,8-bit Mario,etc)..The graphics are a bit too colorful for the N64, but it still works!In this game are some classic songs and classic sound effects and this is just great!Paper Mario is a MUST-HAVE for N64! Expand
  3. Aug 12, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I grew up with Super Mario RPG on this SNES, and had wanted to play Paper Mario back when it was still Super Mario RPG 2 in development. So when I bought a Wii, this was the first game I downloaded. Did I enjoy the game? Yes and no.

    Starting with the good points. - There is a LOT to see and do in the game, and since most of the backtracking can be avoided it doesn't get old quickly, which I can really appreciate.
    - The character and enemy design is fairly decent. There's not a great deal of variety in either, but their graphics still look crisp for being 11 years old (though the 3D parts still look dated)
    - There's a lot of customizing to be done with badges, which does present a bit of thought provoking when you have to choose what will be good in the upcoming battles.
    - Humor is everywhere in the game. Most of it was too cheesy for me, but there were some I really enjoyed, like Whacka the mole.
    - The end credits were perfect, doing another march as in Super Mario RPG. Couldn't have done them better.

    Andddd the bad.
    - The story. For an RPG, they really didn't try too hard to make a decent storyline, just the same "Bowser kidnaps Peach" plot that they've reused dozens of times since 1985. - Though there are a lot of badge options, the low maximum for badge number really limits the usefulness. After equipping the 3 "Attack/Defense Plus" badges, you're down to only 12 to play with. I found the most effective build was to boost your normal attacking/defending skills, which really only gave you room for 1 special attack.
    - Whoever did the work on names really needed a second opinion. All of the toad names were mind numbingly terrible puns, like Tayse T. the cook, Russ T. the librarian, and Dain T. Gah.
    - The battle system needed a lot of polish. It still uses the same basic system from Super Mario RPG but was simplified at just about every turn. No armor and 2 weapons to choose from in the entire game made shops mostly invalidated. The enemy queue system meant that you were mostly stuck attacking whoever was closest first, unless you invested heavily in mostly useless badges. The experience system was frustrating at best, seeing as level-ups quickly made most battles pointless, as no experience would be awarded.
    - Mario's secondary characters were mostly useless. Goombario, Watt and Bombette would last you the entire game. The others were generally unimpressive in battle and really only served for non-combat abilities.
    - Peach's scenes were the worst by far. She couldn't take any real actions (no jumping or attacking) and it quickly became repetitive, as she could even take a "secret" passageway into Bowser's room with him IN THERE, and still get to try it again next time. Baffling. The cake making was miserable.
    - The arguing with Square got a lot of the more nostalgic points removed from the game (at least for me), with Star Hill becoming Shooting Star Point, and even "Time Hits" became "Action Commands". I would have loved to see Mallow in the game, but that's life.
    - No real mini-games to speak of. Unless you want to count the letter delivering. Which I don't.

    In the end, Paper Mario was a serviceable RPG. Too simplistic to really be called amazing, but it was decent. And it's hard to fault the game too much, because it's a non Squaresoft, non-Pokemon RPG. At least they tried. But I doubt I'd play it a second time through.
  4. Aug 31, 2012
    Paper Mario is what I call, "Perfect Perfection." Everything in the game is truly memorable. From the characters, the environments, the enemies, and everything else! And thus far, I think it is one of the best RPG games ever made. The game is very original, turning Mario into Paper material, as you explore various worlds in search of the missing "Star Spirits." The plot is very well put together. And the battle system is just simply unique, easy to use, and fun. This is definetely a must play for Mario fans or any other serious gamer. In the end, this game receives a well earned score of 10 from me. Expand
  5. Sep 19, 2012
    Amazing game. This is my favorite game of all time, and for good reason, the only thing bad about it is that it wasn't longer. This game is a great combination of RPG and platforming, the badges and upgrade systems really allow you to tweak your character just right.
  6. DME
    Jul 25, 2012
    Engaging, varied, hilarious, and just plain fun. Even in 2012, Paper Mario still entertains far more than many new releases. The story and dialogue was written exceptionally well and it's turn-based combat system is still unmatched (apart from Paper Mario 2). I found only two flaws in this entire game: The introduction was very boring and you can't save your game after defeating the final boss.
  7. Dec 2, 2011
    The greatest rpg of all time and spiritually my favorite game. There is nothing about this game that isn't fun. From the Dry Dry Desert to Star Haven every moment of this game is memorable and perfectly done. Great classic Mario story and so much to do.
  8. Jan 9, 2011
    Paper Mario is an instant classic and PAPRMRIODSTROYR, I think it's pretty pathetic to make an account just so you can leave lies on this game. I don't really think your 0 did anything to the score. It's still a 9.1. I actually downloaded this game from the wii shop channel and I couldn't stop playing it. Great N64 game.
  9. Aug 14, 2011
    Great graphics and art direction with deep turn-based gameplay and a surprisingly good story. An army of charming supporting characters make this a larger scale adventure than most other Mario titles. Vibrant environments range from deserts to forests to the skies, each with its own personality. The game succeeds in adapting classic Mario gameplay, enemies and regions into an RPG without feeling like a thin lick of paint on an RPG template. Dialogue is well written and occasionally funny, with a kind of self aware glee that would never be attempted in a main series Mario game. Paper Mario is an incredible game that manages to be gloriously simple and complex simultaneously. Expand
  10. May 4, 2011
    Despite its rather bland title, Paper Mario is a straightforward RPG game with a unique concept, simple, yet powerful weapons a good deal of humor, and is fun from beginning to end.
  11. Dec 30, 2012
    One of my Favorite games. This is easily the best in the series for me. The chapters and partners are great and the battle system never gets old for me. The only problems are the fact that you can't do anything after you beat the final boss, you just go back to your last save, and the fact that you have a limit to leveling up. Despite the graphics being outdated, this game still holds up quite strong, and has many wonderful memories. Expand
  12. Nov 9, 2011
    I love the graphics and while the gameplay is very simple, it is very well executed and fun. It is very unique to other games on the Nintendo 64, even though it came out late in the console's lifetime.
  13. Dec 30, 2013
    Game: Paper Mario Genre: RPG Developer: Nintendo System: Nintendo 64 (N64) Total Score: 90/100 Value Score: 9/10 • Story: 10/10 • Characters: 10/10 • GamePlay: 10/10 • Graphics: 9/10 • Sound: 9/10 • Music: 10/10 • Length: 7/10 • Replay Value: 5/10 • Player Value: 10/10 Pros +Great Story and Progress compared to other Mario titles +Great and colorful characters and cast
    +Original gameplay style twist to the RPG genre
    +Great music with some nostalgic tracks
    +Well done puzzles

    -Lack of Post-Game content/replay value
    -Short compared to other RPGs of its time
  14. Nov 20, 2011
    Mario does RPG (again) is the jist of this game, but this is not SMRPG: Seven Stars repeat folks. The story is pretty simple like most mario games (Princess is kidnapped again, oh no) but expands on it by adding more detailed characters and while it's not video game art, it pulls you in. The RPG gameplay fits perfectly in and is addicting. The only reason this game doesn't get a 10 is because I feel the game is way too easy, and while I appreciated it as a kid who had barely played, it feels WAY too easy nowadays as a teen who has played many other games. Great game, but needs a better difficulty curve. 9/10 A- Expand
  15. Nov 20, 2011
    Paper Mario is a whimsical, number-light role-playing-game. Mario frequently receives partners who assist him in puzzles and combat, constantly refreshing the game, and the badge system (allowing Mario to use Badge Points to put on his equipment) is a brilliant way to add depth to an otherwise tired turn-based system. The story is unfortunately basic, particularly in that partners get shoved into the background after their chapter of the game. Though light on challenge and perhaps slightly too long for its simplicity, Paper Mario is not to be missed. Expand
  16. Jun 10, 2012
    The game succeeds in adapting classic Mario gameplay, enemies and regions into an RPG without feeling like a thin lick of paint on an RPG template. Dialogue is well written and occasionally funny, with a kind of self aware glee that would never be attempted in a main series Mario game. Paper Mario is an incredible game that manages to be gloriously simple and complex simultaneously.
  17. Aug 2, 2013
    Final score: 9.5
    I love this game and I have had it for as long as I can remember. It's incredibly cute and captivating as well as original! The graphics and music are great too! It spawned 3 sequels and is still so fun to play today, the main reason i got a nintendo 64. I suggest you do too! Now the flaws, it got hard at times in the later levels, I also felt underpowered at times as the
    max health is only 50, and some enemies are very strong. Other than that, this game is a must have for any mario fan! Expand
  18. Nov 5, 2013
    I've played over 300 games on PC and hundreds across tons of different consoles, and this game, Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64, is my all time favorite. And within no time of starting this game I promise you will see why. If you haven't played this in the past, or forgot how good it is, please pick this up (or dig it up) and play through it one more time. It'll remind you what makes a good game good, and give you hope for the gaming industry after playing all these half-assed highly produced modern games that could never stand up to a game as superb as Paper Mario 64. Expand
  19. May 22, 2012
    This is one of the few (or maybe the only) RPG for N64. As RPG is very simple in its mechanics which I don't like. Some degree of complexity is always welcome in this kind of games. On the other side, I like the artistic style and the localizations. Maybe the only problem is that it could be completed in 10 or 20 hours (can't remember very well, sorry), which is very short for a RPG game. This game is in the middle of the genre, not the best but not the worst certainly. Collapse
  20. Oct 21, 2012
    I wasn't a fan of Super Mario RPG. The story was boring, the characters were bland/cliché, and I couldn't get into the gameplay. Regardless, I dived into the second Mario RPG with an open mind and, I gotta tell you, I can't find a flaw with this game. The gameplay is very immersive and perfectly suited for a console, the characters are lively and entertaining, the level design is very colorful, and the story, while at its core is the same as any Mario platformer, takes its sweet time getting there with all of the aforementioned criteria. I recommend you ignore the idiot haters who can't provide any points and get this game. It's $10 on Virtual Console right now. Expand
  21. Mar 19, 2013
    This is one of those games that you need a Nintendo 64. Man, I used to play the hell out of this game. The soundtrack is so awesome! It's like, cool and unique and memorable! The story is so solid and awesome! No, I am not kidding. No, I am not a small child. Though, this game is fit for small children. This is great for a child's first RPG. There is hours upon hours of gameplay and so much to do after you beat it. You can go back and get badges you missed. You can go and beat optional mini-bosses blocking paths. You can talk to each and every individual NPC and read what they have to say. It's just so great, and it's fun to replay. I think I replayed this game three times and started again recently-ish.
    However, this game is not perfect. There are many moments where you want to throw your controller at the screen. I have ragequit for months on end. If you have an old N64 laying around gathering dust and you DON'T have this game, find it on eBay, hook up your system, drop Skyrim, and play this game. Yeah, I said it. Drop Skyrim to play Paper Mario.
  22. Jan 20, 2013
    One of my favorite games of my childhood, Paper Mario is a game that forms a marriage between the mechanics of the Mario series with turn-based RPG elements. Though past games (such as Super Mario RPG) have already introduced the RPG style of game-play, Paper Mario introduces new elements into the mix. With an amazing soundtrack and colorful characters, Paper Mario can truly be considered nostalgic. Expand
  23. Apr 10, 2013
    In what is quite possibly one of the most creative and unique moves in the video game industry, Mario moves into the world of paper of all things, in the first Mario RPG since "Legend of the Seven Stars". Surprisingly the game was incredible as it introduced many incredible staples and prowess in the RPG genre. I remember playing this game since I was a kid and it is still making such an impact today. The game has such a nostalgic and childish atmosphere that you can't help but feel like your going through memory lane as you play. And if you don't crack one smile during this whole game....your dead inside. From the very beggining you find the same old Bowser kidnaps Peach storyline far more meaningful in this game than most other Mario games. Not just because their is a little more in depth look at the story, but the new locations, and characters you see along the way. And the unique obstacles you will have overcome to find the seven star sages. The game plays great in the RPG department, as it is easy to learn and master once you get the hang of timing your attacks perfectly. Badges only make the fights more interesting as you learn new techniques and utilize their full potential. The variety in this game is outstanding and you will no doubt run into a few skirmishes here and there, especially if you get too and end up accepting a challenge from some other which you learn the true limits of your own strength. While their are many easy baddies here in this game, I wouldn't really call this game easy. The puzzles can easily turn devious on you and their are rivals that will give you a hard time. Still the bosses are usually easy one you figure their weaknesses but they become essential to your survival if you just try the same old tactic just like any other baddie. The partners are charming and really make the game that much more enjoyable in and out of battle. Following you like a pokemon, each partner has a unique ability that you will likely have fun using throughout the game. Like I said before this game is memorable, and will really make you look at Mario in a different light. There are so many things to do even after you defeat Bowser.....even though you will always start back at you last checkpoint after the credits roll. Making recipes, delivering letters, finding special items, and even challenging against a kung fu master who's stronger than Bowser himself! Like I said this game is truly enjoyable and quite a memorable experience. The ending still makes me shed tear as it really brings you back. This is truly a great beggining to a great series. Expand
  24. Jun 27, 2013
    Paper Mario is a very fun RPG. The gameplay is well designed and executed, the story is standard Mario fare with a twist, and the music is pretty enjoyable. The special parts to this game are the graphics and dialogue. Graphically, the game resembles, well, paper. All the characters a 2D in a 3D cardboard cut out world, and it just looks great. The graphics still look nice to this day, and that shows how good they must have been back 10 years ago. Especially well done is the dialogue. It's just a quirky and well written as the games spiritual predecessor, Super Mario RPG. You'll find yourself laughing at some of the hilarious bits of narrative that you read throughout the adventure.

    All in all, it's a great RPG that any N64 fan shouldn't miss.
  25. Aug 20, 2013
    The formula of Mario games is pretty basic. Jump over obstacles to get to the goal and save the princess. The games typically are not very story heavy and the gameplay is basic but fun. However, for those looking for a little bit more substance in your Mario games, Mario has a handful of role playing games (RPGs) that have unique gameplay and an interesting story. The first Mario RPG was Super Mario RPG for the SNES and it was a decent game. However, it was Paper Mario for the N64 that perfected the Mario RPG formula. The gameplay for most of the Mario RPGs involve the action command system. This means the battles are turn based but to deal damage, the player must input a certain button command. This system works tremendously in Paper Mario. The commands work perfectly and you can defend when the enemy attacks by using these button commands. The Mario RPGs also have ability points called Flower Points (FP). By spending FP you can use certain abilities such as a more powerful jump or a partners special ability. In Paper Mario you have one partner by your side at all times and you can always switch them out with another partner. Each partner has there own special trait. For example, the partner Parakarry can fly Mario across gaps outside of battle and attacks using flight related attacks in battle. Outside of battle, you will be solving puzzles and platforming. One of the best parts about the game are the boss battles. The bosses always have something to do with each chapter of the game your in. For example, chapter 7 is a chapter focused on ice. The boss of chapter 7 is Crystal King and uses ice based attacks. Because of there relations to the chapter, it is fun to figure out what there weakness (i.e. Crystal King is weak to heat attacks). The gameplay would be improved upon in each of the sequels to Paper Mario, specifically Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. The story is your basic Bowser kidnaps Peach scenario. However, the characters are now fleshed out, especially Bowser. Bowser now feels incredibly threatening compared to his former interpretations. The graphics are good. Everything is designed to look like it came out of a pop up book The only problem is that the concept is not used to its fullest potential. Overall, the main problem with the game is that it is out-shined by its sequels, specifically Super Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. The game by itself however, stands alone as an excellent title and should not be missed by any RPG or Mario fan. Expand
  26. Aug 15, 2013
    I can't even begin because this was the game that got me truly interested in RPG's if I hadn't played this I don't know how I would be today in terms of my opinions. This game is truly a classic.
  27. Jul 4, 2014
    Paper mario for the nintendo 64 is one of the greatest RPG games ever ,the visuals are papered themed and they are beautiful , it's charming and the game it's filled with humor ,the music is epic and the sound effects are great the battle system is flawless the characters are memorable ,the worlds you explore are massive this game has high replay value perfect music flawless gameplay and beautiful graphics it's an experience you can't miss ,buy it now Expand
  28. Feb 28, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Great game. I get what people see in it, and it delivers some great gameplay and some fun tunes to put the icing on a cake (you actually make a cake in the game.) After a while it got old but still was tons of fun. Expand
  29. Apr 1, 2014
    Paper Mario is another excellent Nintendo 64 title that shouldn't be overlooked. It takes everything we love about the Mario series and puts it all into this masterpiece of a game! The RPG aspects in this game are top notch and while simplistic they are very fun. I think the environments in this game are great and creative, the battles can be fun and the characters are also great. I would highly suggest everyone to play Paper Mario 64, it is a solid RPG that should not be overlooked. I do think that it's sequel on the GameCube is superior, but Paper Mario is great and I highly recommend this masterpiece of a game! If only Super Paper Mario and Sticker Star followed the formulas that made the first two Paper Mario's so grand. Expand
  30. May 22, 2012
    This is one of the few (or maybe the only) RPG for N64. As RPG is very simple in its mechanics which I don't like. Some degree of complexity is always welcome in this kind of games. On the other side, I like the artistic style and the localizations. Maybe the only problem is that it could be completed in 10 or 20 hours (can't remember very well, sorry), which is very short for a RPG game. This game is in the middle of the genre, not the best but not the worst certainly. Collapse

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. While said story may not live up to the expectations of most RPG fans, or fans of Super Mario RPG, it is far better and more interesting than the typical 'stories' you have to endure in a Mario game.
  2. With its light-hearted plot, loveable characters, innovative gameplay and perfectly fitting music, this game should appeal to anyone and everyone.
  3. With stunning graphics, excellent sound, and extremely solid gameplay, Paper Mario is a quality game on all fronts.