From 2000 all the way until 2020, Paper Mario is a series that has gone through a lot of metamorphoses. From adding new mechanics upon every new iteration to flat out switching genres, Paper Mario has never stayed the same. As a result, people have strong opinions on what the best Paper Mario games are.
It’s because of this metamorphosis that these games have widely different critical and fan reception. Some fans want the series to stick to its RPG roots, while others are happy that the developers are prioritizing innovation and new ideas.
While it may be hard to compare and contrast games with very different mechanics, there is definitely a big range in quality among the Paper Mario franchise. So let’s just jump right into it.
6. Paper Mario Sticker Star
Best Paper Mario Games
Paper Mario: Sticker Star is on the bottom of this list for one simple reason: none of its mechanics complement each other and the game feels like one big gimmick.
While in past games the paper aspect of Paper Mario felt like nothing more than an aesthetic/art direction, Sticker Star leans hard into making sure every aspect and mechanic has something to do with paper/stickers.
You gather stickers to use in battle and to solve puzzles like building a bridge/gate. Even battle status aliments are paper-based puns like Mario getting soggy, clipped, or tacked. And the game is filled to the brim with jokes that are just about paper.
The issue is that this game tries to have RPG mechanics without being an RPG, and gives players no sense of reward or accomplishment for engaging in battles.
What’s the point in having a battle system when there is no incentive to fight? In a typical RPG, if you do random battles, you get more experience points, items, or maybe even gear that your party can use.
In Sticker Star, you get coins that you use to buy more stickers to use in battle. But what’s the point in that when you don’t want to battle to begin with?
The best way to describe Sticker Star is that it’s a shadow of its former shadow. It tries to implement things that people used to like about the older games but does it so watered down that it’s a chore to play.
There are no interesting characters to interact with, it doesn’t have a good story to be apart of, and the world just isn’t fun to explore. Sticker Star is without a doubt, the worst Paper Mario game.
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