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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Anyone else with a heartbeat, a DS and forty bucks should pick this game up immediately.
  5. Mario is no stranger to RPGs but there are probably no stranger RPGs than this one. Highly recommended.
  6. 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.
  7. Pelit (Finland)
    A fun and interesting RPG. The clever combat system works almost perfectly. Too bad the touchscreen is not used. [Mar 2006]
  8. Nintendo Power
    A worthy follow-up to "Superstar Saga," and the first great RPG on the DS. [Jan 2006, p.110]
  9. 90
    Partners in Time has an even crazier story, funnier dialogue, more elaborate puzzles, and more action-based fights than the original game.
  10. 90
    It's just too original, funny, and innovative to ignore.
  11. 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.
  12. 90
    There's enough action so that it doesn't really feel like an RPG, and the humor makes it all the sweeter.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. It's gorgeous. It's cute. It's surprisingly deep. It's deeply satisfying. And it's oh so hilariously funny.
  16. As good a Mario adventure as you could hope for, and a cracking RPG in its own right. [GamesMaster]
  17. Enjoyed "Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga"? Looking for a fun RPG on your handheld? You can’t go wrong with this title.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. As light-hearted as it is, it has a seriously addictive flavour to it and it looks and sounds great to boot.
  23. But don't let the linearity fool you--Partners in Time is an excellent game no matter what platform it's running on.
  24. 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.
  25. Retains most of the original's brilliance, though it isn't quite as funny.
  26. 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]
  27. 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]
  28. 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.
  29. It’s still pleasant, lighthearted fun and legions better than the embarrassing "Lunar: Dragon Song," making it the uncontested champion of DS RPGs.
  30. 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]
  31. 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.
  32. It also ends up being around twenty hours, so there is plenty of fun to be had in it.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 80
    A fun, engaging, thoughtful and compelling game in its own right, and a definite purchase for those entranced by earlier iterations.
  39. Perhaps the only real disappointment is the game's inability to make use of the DS touch capabilities.
  40. While equally entertaining, Partners in Time inevitably lacks its predecessor's impact.
  41. A fresh, entertaining title that delicately balances role-playing and classic "Mario" gameplay.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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]
  45. 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.

Awards & Rankings

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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 173 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 173
  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. Jul 10, 2017
    This was by far the worst Mario and Luigi game. The pacing was horrid and they actually make you buy the bros attacks which is absolute bullThis was by far the worst Mario and Luigi game. The pacing was horrid and they actually make you buy the bros attacks which is absolute bull **** they should've just stuck with BP or magic or whatever. And playing as just the babies is not fun Full Review »
  3. Jul 23, 2016
    This is the second game of the original Mario & Luigi Trilogy. For me, all of them were perfect. But some users try to compare it to PaperThis is the second game of the original Mario & Luigi Trilogy. For me, all of them were perfect. But some users try to compare it to Paper Mario, even tough this series are a sequel for the original Mario RPG game for SNES, that's appreciable due to its combat system and the original story. Even tough it has continuity despite having a different story and characters. Anyways, this game is the perfect way to make an original story in a trilogy. Full Review »