When it comes to party games, the Mario Party series has long been the go-to since its N64 days of the 90s. This charming and endlessly enjoyable franchise is the perfect ice-breaker at parties, the source of countless yucks among friends, and a score-settler among siblings. With its fantastic implementation of 4 player support, it's always a great time Mario Party'ing it up.
Over the years, the series has had its ups and downs, with a track record of quality that's been as turbulent as a 4 player game of Handcar Havoc. But even the weaker MP titles have plenty of stand-out minigames. Then you've got classics like Mario Party 2 and Super Mario Party which are simply brimming with tons of fun hits. After all these years, and 100s of minigames to keep track of amongst over a dozen Mario Party games, it can be tough to pinpoint the most memorable.
But not to worry! This list will cover the very best of the best; the all-time most fun, creative, and well-crafted minigames ever to grace the Mario Party series.
10 Jump The Gun (Mario Party 6)
Most Mario Party players "in the know" will tell you that the crux of the game's fun lies mostly in the 4 player free-for-all minigames. 1 vs 3 and 2 vs 2 varieties tend to be more of a mixed bag, as the experience can be bogged down by some nutty concepts, or imbalanced, cumbersome mechanics. Still one of the more clever and fun minigames of the co-op variety has to be Jump the Gun.
This unique twist on a sidescroller nails that fine line of simplicity and complexity, making it one of the most fun 2 vs 2 experiences and a standout of Mario Party 6 (aside from those hilarious mic games). The game requires both teammates on the same page, as one must fire off a path of makeshift bullet bill platforms to be carefully traversed by their partner. This minigame is truly a blast!
9 Eatsa Pizza (Mario Party 3)
You might say this is a game of gluttony.
The original Mario Party's Buried Treasure was an entertaining scramble to dig for - what else? - treasure buried beneath the ground. This game takes those enjoyable mechanics and repaints it with a more creative and colorful overlay - a giant pizza!
Instead of anxiously searching for one focal point, Eatsa Pizza just requires you to dig and chow your way through as much of the enormous pizza pie as you can. It's a rather simple concept, but sometimes these sorts of goofy, action-packed romps can make for the most fun games, as Eatsa Pizza proves.
8 Sizzling Stakes (Super Mario Party)
It's true that the Wiimote's more primitive motion controls produced some clunky and generally questionable minigame mechanics. Yet, Switch's more sophisticated Joy-Cons combined with Super Mario Party's simple nature creates a more intuitive and satisfying experience. The juiciest, most prime example of this might be the delectable meat-simmering simulator, Sizzling Stakes.
The game avoids the awkward, clunky feel that tends to bog down many motion-based games, and in fact, actually feels quite nice. The crisp feedback of the HD rumble combined with the accurate and responsive controls make cooking a virtual steak fun and satisfying. Just be sure you don't flip too aggressively, as your meat cube will fly off the pan and you'll need to start over!
7 Stamp Out (Mario Party 4)
Despite a plethora of minigames across the several MP titles, reoccurring themes occasionally crop back up in different forms; experiences with a similar "feel" or mechanic despite a new overlay. One of these is the highly technical term of the "cover a bunch of surface area" theme.
Though the most fun example of this sort of 4 player scramble has to be Mario Party 4's Stamp Out. The concept is a basic one - hop around a large canvas and make a colorful mess as you coat as much blank space with your oversized stamp as you can. You can even annoy your friends by stamping over their already marked turf in the process.
6 Slaparazzi (Super Mario Party)
There's something both hilarious and visceral about this one - which is why it's so fun.
While Super Mario Party has a number of contenders, if there's any minigame that's already left a great impression from this relatively fresh release, it has to be the wacky free-for-all, Slaparazzi.
The game seems to emphasize pure chaos as well as a juvenile sort of aggression. The goal is to scramble to a constantly shifting Troopa as he sets up to snap photos of your crew. You'll find yourself exchanging plenty of laughs as you and your friends push, punch, and smack each other around, muscling your way front and center. The person most visible and in-frame earns the most points, so go slaphappy!
5 Crazy Cutters (Mario Party 1)
Crazy Cutters will invoke feelings of tracing or cutting objects in Kindergarten.
Indeed, this classic from Mario Party 1 and 2 on N64 almost feels like a virtual exercise in training kids in coordination and precision. Though, that doesn't mean Crazy Cutters isn't a whole lot of fun to drill through.
The goal is simply to drill yourself a relatively clean marked path along the edges of a number of recognizable Mario-based faces. Unlike many minigames that stress quickness, slow and steady wins the race in this case - not to mention accuracy in your chiseling.
4 Bob Omb Breakers (Mario Party 4)
Amongst Mario Party 4's super strong lineup, I probably logged more time into this than most of its other minigames combined. I still have vivid memories rocking marathon sessions of Bob Omb Breakers, long after my friends and I had planned to move it on to another minigame.
The gameplay, in essence, feels like a simplified Dr. Mario-meets-Puyo. But it implements a neat and satisfying twist that allows you to manipulate pieces on your opponents' screens. This basically turns the whole area into a free-for-all and throws your friends off their game.
With a bit of fleshing out, this could almost act as its own separate game!
3 Shock Drop or Roll (Mario Party 2)
Despite having some concepts that are creative and outright bonkers, 1 vs 3 minigames in MP are notorious for being annoyingly imbalanced. Though Shock Drop Or Roll manages to give both factions a relatively fair shake - as long as they're quick enough.
The name of the game is to yank your opponents off a large spinning wheel into electrified oblivion, or, if you're on the receiving end, hold on for dear life and scramble to stay on it. This showdown is super satisfying - especially if you're the lone wolf controlling the wheel's movement with the all-powerful lever.
2 Mushroom Mix-Up (Mario Party 1)
Mario Party 2 is known for taking many of the already solid minigames of the first game and refining them to perfection. Still, in the case of Mushroom Mix-Up, this more colorful version (at least slightly) edges out its virtually identical successor "Hexagon Heat".
In another example of simple mechanics setting the stage for pure fun and joy, Mushroom Mix-Up just requires you to stay above water as groups of mushroom platforms sink. Groups of 4 stand and wait for a brief signal from Toad, who flashes a flag representing the color of salvation. At this point, it's a mad dash to the safe mushroom, where there's bound to be plenty of bumping, punching, and ground pounding. It's at once basic, and super intense.
1 Bumper Balls (Mario Party 2)
This is the real deal - the minigame that many turn to when they want a swift, thrilling, and endlessly exciting Mario Party showdown. The game is the epitome of simplicity, yet it somehow never gets old. The premise boils down to riding colorful balls as you bash into one another bumper cars style, attempting to knock each other off a platform. Only in a Mario game, right?
This classic was a breakout hit on the first Mario Party, yet this sequel takes that solid foundation and further builds upon it. Rather than a single, bare platform, it tosses in icy and hilly stages, making for more eventful gameplay. It also sets the stage for easier eliminations - cutting down on the abundance of anticlimactic tie games that often ended the first Bumper Balls rendition.