So first up we have #10, and as you all probably guessed…it’s Mario Party 10. I’m sure this wasn’t a shock to anyone, just because of how poorly Mario Party 10 was received by all the Mario Party aficionados out there, but what exactly makes this game such an easy choice for last place? After thinking about it for as long as I have, I think it’s just because this game lost a lot of the spirit and charm that kept the series strong up to this point. Even Mario Party 9, a game with very similar gameplay to 10, seemed to have a lot more going for it. And I think it’s very apparent when the first thing you see when you turn on Mario Party 10 is a very standard and boring main menu with the different games you can play. No animations, no cutscenes, no cutesy storylines with the Mario characters playing around, just a basic main menu. And from there, you’re just kind of clumsily tossed into whatever mode of gameplay you’ve selected.
In fact, it’s kind of hard to even grade this game on the criteria I listed, just because I don’t feel like there is a main mode of gameplay to even start with. Party Mode is an extension of what Mario Party 9 gave us, but many of the boards just don’t feel very inspirational or fun to play on. Bowser Party was an interesting concept, albeit a bit unbalanced in terms of gameplay, and is perhaps the most entertaining mode to play when it comes to this game. There’s just something thrilling about chasing down the other players when playing as Bowser, and working together as a team to avoid him when playing as the team of four. The only problem with this though is, once again, the lack of balance in the play-styles and the fact that there are only 3 boards to play on. Amiibo Party, the mode I was perhaps the most excited to play when I first got the game, ended up being the biggest disappointment. It goes back to the gameplay stylings of the first eight games, but in an incredibly stale and lackluster attempt. You only get one basic, square board to play on with the Amiibo functionality really only affecting the character you play as and very slight board customization and interchangeable board events. That’s really about it. It’s like the developers heard the demands of people wanting the old Mario Party back and threw this together last minute, putting in as little effort as possible.
The minigames on the other hand, at least I can say one thing to the game’s credit; and that is that the minigames were actually pretty well done and it is rather impressive that even after 9 games and a few handheld installments, there were some fresh ideas and some games I really enjoyed that I would honestly rank as some of the best ever. Now, with that being said though, there are a few flops, but at this point, that’s pretty much par for the course as far as Mario Party is concerned. Even in my #1 choice there are a few games I absolutely despise, but the main point I want to put out there is, even after 10 installments, you can still be innovative and you can still make enjoyable content. You just have to try, and unfortunately, I don’t think there was a lot of “trying” that went into this Mario Party.
I can’t really talk about side content here because the entire game is side content, and anything outside of the three main modes I mentioned earlier is pretty much filler. Which also brings up another problem I had; even with the entire game being side content and various extra modes, there really isn’t a lot of content here at all. You have your standard “Free Play” mode and your standard “Win minigames this many times,” but everything else just feels so forgettable and not even worth mentioning. This did not deserve to be a full-retail game and due to the fact that you need to purchase Amiibo to get some of the minimal extra content, overall the Mario Party 10 experience did not feel worth the very few sparks of enjoyment I actually got from the game. I guess that means that this game is a perfect choice for the bottom of this list.