Mario Party 9

Last updated date: July 22, 2019

DWYM Score
8.1

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We looked at the top 1 Wii Games and dug through the reviews from 19 of the most popular review sites including IGN, Metacritic, GameSpot, Destructoid, Games Radar, Common Sense Media, Video Gamer, God Is A Geek, Nintendo Life, Game Revolution, Game Informer, Just Push Start, Game Rant, Kidz World, Nintendo World Report, Game FAQs, AV Forums, Worth Playing, Nintendo Insider and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Wii Game you should buy.

Overall Take

The ninth game in the "Mario Party" series is just as fresh and fun as the first go-round. A balanced mix of motion-controlled challenges and standard minigames use the Wii's features without losing the classic "Mario Party" feel. Not everyone is a fan of Solo Mode, but this game does have "party" in the name! In our analysis of 114 expert reviews, the Wii Wii Nintendo Mario Party 9 placed 4th when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Wii Game for a detailed review of all the top wii games.

Expert Summarized Score
7.6
19 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
738 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
One subtle, but important improvement that has been made in Mario Party 9 is its brilliant considerations for two- and three-player games. You can now turn off the computer-controlled opponents entirely, and the mini-games all adjust to your group size in clever ways. Mario Party veterans will no doubt recall the monotony of waiting for a computer-controlled player to take a turn, and the pathetic artificial intelligence on display in mini-games.
- IGN
Each board features two boss fights and, much like the majority of the minigames, they are genuinely good fun.
- GameSpot
March 13, 2012 | Full review
There is a much more balanced mix of motion-controlled and "standard" games this time around. A lot of the games are played with the Wii Remote held on its side, with either Mario Kart-style motion controls or no motion controls at all.
- Destructoid
March 31, 2012 | Full review
The boss battles are also another example of the increased importance of skill to a series that was notorious for its random results. Boss battles a nice touch.
- Games Radar
March 6, 2012 | Full review
Outside of the solo and multiplayer modes there are a few fairly trivial menu options, including a museum that lets you spend Party Points and the ability to play a few special versions of the mini-games, and access the standard games directly without going through the party system.
- Video Gamer
March 1, 2012 | Full review
LONGEVITY: Each round will take around the 40-60 minute mark, so even the solo mode will take around six hours to get through. Add in the local fun and you’ve got a game that is brilliant for families and will easily take up full afternoons.
- God Is A Geek
March 1, 2012 | Full review
The Extras menu holds a few intriguing alternatives, from an addictive puzzle game with the most infuriating music to Goomba Bowling, where you throw red shells at waves of Goombas. Both are worth a blast, though Shell Soccer is pretty woeful. You can also choose to play any unlocked mini game at your leisure if you don't fancy traipsing around the board.
- Nintendo Life
Mini-games are the best in any party game... ever.
- Game Revolution
March 19, 2012 | Full review
True to its name, in the extras menu are some extra things, some of which are worth a glance. One mode I like is the Perspective mode, which allows a single player to play some of the minigames with a re-aligned camera.
- Game Informer
March 11, 2012 | Full review
There is a reason that this game is called Mario Party, seeing as it is a game best played with a group of friends or family members. Mario Party 9 can provide hours of fun for you and your friends, giving you 80 mini-games to play that vary from skill based to all about luck. You may find that you hold a pretty steady lead up until the luck mini-games roll around and your friend may swoop in and take the lead.
- Just Push Start
Those who can’t manage to get a group of buddies or family members together to enjoy the game can look forward to a ‘Solo’ mode. As one might expect from a mode called ‘Solo Mode’, one player is tasked with playing games against computers.
- Game Rant
There are way more mini-games in this party than you can experience in a single sitting and almost all of them are fast, furious, and fun.
- Kidz World
Tons of gameplay modes to partake in.
- Nintendo World Report
March 12, 2012 | Full review
The minigames are extremely fun to play! There are four different types of minigames, Free for All, Bowser Jr, 1 vs Rivals, and Boss minigames. The free for all minigames to me are the most fun because they are exciting and very addictive.
- Game FAQs
October 27, 2014 | Full review
There’s enough variety in the gameplay to make the Mario Party entertaining, with enough replay value to make this a turn to title in times of need.
- AV Forums
April 2, 2012 | Full review
As you can kind of see, there are ample opportunities to stick it to your opponents over the course of a game. It's certainly a departure from the previous entries, but as I grew accustomed to the changes and played through more of the new stages, I found myself enjoying the new format more and more.
- Worth Playing
March 12, 2012 | Full review
New to Mario Party 9 are boss battles, co-operative mini-games that see you working as a team to take down one of Bowser’s many cronies.
- Nintendo Insider
March 10, 2012 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Mario Party 9's single-player mode places you in a dreary slog through all of the boards -- on the heels of suspiciously high-rolling computer-controlled characters.
- IGN
Solo mode is tedious and required for unlocks.
- GameSpot
March 13, 2012 | Full review
The games here are still simple and kid-friendly, but many of them feel much more like Mario experiences, and not just party games that happen to feature Mario-themed skins.
- Destructoid
March 31, 2012 | Full review
Some fans may miss random cruelty.
- Games Radar
March 6, 2012 | Full review
A single-player mode has been included, complete with a loose storyline involving Bowser trying to get all the mini stars, but it's fair to say that playing Mario Party 9 alone is like hosting a dinner party and not inviting anyone - sure, you'll get to eat all the same food, but there won't be any conversation and you'll be quite lonely.
- Video Gamer
March 1, 2012 | Full review
The biggest problem with the Mario Party series returns though, you can actually win the round without actually winning it. So much is based on chance and dice-rolls (which, given that it’s a board game is fair enough, I suppose) that if you are going to take things seriously, you’re going to get frustrated.
- God Is A Geek
March 1, 2012 | Full review
It's not all successful though: the so-called Captain Events are often poorly explained side quests that confuse far more than they entertain, and unlike fellow recent Mario-themed board game Fortune Street/Boom Street there's no online play, so it's strictly a single room-only experience.
- Nintendo Life
Players travel the board together, taking away individual progression.
- Game Revolution
March 19, 2012 | Full review
The biggest problem in single player is that if you lose to Bowser’s player, you have to restart that board. I played for about 45 minutes against Magikoopa and I aced every minigame, only to be usurped in the end by what I can only assume was my poor dice-rolling skills. In order to progress, I had to restart, and since luck wins against ability, it’s absolutely infuriating.
- Game Informer
March 11, 2012 | Full review
There isn’t much fun to be had if you play the game by yourself seeing as most of the fun comes from playing the game in multiplayer with your friends. There is a single-player mode that has you playing through the various boards alone facing off against Bowser’s minions, but that doesn’t compare to joining up with your friends on the couch and turning it into an all out brawl.
- Just Push Start
The game supports up to four players locally, but offers absolutely no form of online multiplayer.
- Game Rant
Boards are a tad dull.
- Nintendo World Report
March 12, 2012 | Full review
However the gameplay is very similar to Wii Party. If you play the game enough, you will find the similarities.
- Game FAQs
October 27, 2014 | Full review
Mario Party will also probably suffer from longevity problems or be neglected by those who don’t often have company as it’s hard to see how this would be as enjoyable when playing solo. There are also problems with the description of some of the games which will leave some stranded and coming last when competing against their peers.
- AV Forums
April 2, 2012 | Full review
One thing that's bothered me about the series for years is the lack of unlockable content, or content in general outside of the minigames. Where are the characters or game boards? You only get 10 characters and even fewer boards.
- Worth Playing
March 12, 2012 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Mario Party 9

Overall Product Rankings

1. Wii Nintendo Super Mario Galaxy 2
Overall Score: 9.9
Expert Reviews: 7
2. Wii Nintendo New Super Mario Bros.
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 22
3. Mario Kart Wii
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 20
4. Mario Party 9
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 19
5. Wii Nintendo Sports
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 6
6. Wii Go Vacation (Bandai)
Overall Score: 7.2
Expert Reviews: 8
7. Wii Scooby Doo First Frights (WB Games)
Overall Score: 6.7
Expert Reviews: 4
8. THQ Wii uDraw GameTablet
Overall Score: 6.5
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Wii Games

The Nintendo Wii is, both literally and figuratively, a game-changing console. The system brought an unprecedented level of physicality to mass-market video games, and it modernized smash-hit Nintendo franchises like “Super Mario Bros.” and “The Legend of Zelda.” The only hard part about owning a Wii is choosing which game you’ll play over the weekend. 

Every video game is shaped by its platform, and Nintendo’s best Wii games all capitalize on the console’s motion technology and groundbreaking controllers. Each player uses a wireless Wii Remote (or “Wiimote”), which communicates with your screen using gesture recognition. Translation: You control the onscreen action with a flip of your wrist.  

The best Wii games take advantage of the system’s controls in ways that feel natural. “Mario Kart for Wii” is a great example: Instead of hitting a button to make a sharp turn, you can attach a steering wheel for a more on-the-track experience.  

“Mario Kart for Wii” is one of the console’s most popular titles. It has a massive character roster to choose from, and the 32 unique tracks (with 16 tracks just for the Wii) keeps players guessing at every turn. The Grand Prix, Versus and Time Trial modes are perfect for single players or groups. Battle mode pits drivers against each other in a virtual demolition derby.

The “New Super Mario Bros.” is loaded with fresh power-ups. You can slide over long stretches of icy terrain with the Penguin Suit, reach new heights with the Propellor Mushroom and freeze Koopas with the Ice Flower. 

For the first time in Mario history, up to four characters can play on the screen at once. You’ll blaze through all eight worlds much faster with Luigi and Toad helping you out, then go up against Bowser to save the Princess with time to spare. 

“Mario Party” also still ranks as one of the best multiplayer games in Nintendo’s history. Players choose a character, then take turns rolling digital dice to move around the board. When they land on a space, they might have to play a minigame or challenge other players. The winner earns stars, and whoever has the most stars at the end of the game wins.   

The Wii’s “Mario Party 9” was a fun addition to the series, but it was met with some raised eyebrows. The unforgettable main Party Mode screen got a huge facelift: Instead of players moving around the board like analog game pieces, “Mario Party 9” had them all ride together in one cartoon car. 

Some players like the change of pace, while others feel that the switch up took away from the game’s competitive feel. Regardless, “Mario Party 9” has the minigames and multiplayer madness of its predecessors. 

The first “Super Mario Galaxy” game was a smash hit for the Wii, so Nintendo expanded the game’s story for a sequel. Mario floats from planet to planet in this 360-degree universe, knocking down Koopa Troopas and kicking Goombas into the stratosphere. The standard “Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach” storyline is intact, but this time Bowser is the size of a planet — and it’s up to you to knock him down a peg. Fans love its stunning graphics, nostalgic N64 levels and the return of Yoshi. 

Now that you’ve read our rundown of the Nintendo Wii’s smash hit titles, check out our Tips & Tricks to get the most out of your games. 

DYWM Fun Fact

The Wii remote was unlike any controller Nintendo had ever created. The wireless, motion-sensor technology created a phenomenal gaming experience. Despite the high-end tech inside the Wiimote, there was one thing that Nintendo couldn’t seem to get right: the wrist safety strap. 

The first Wiimotes were shipped out with a loose cable that hung around your wrist to stop your remote from flying out of your hand. Plot twist: It didn’t work very well. The strap was downright dangerous if it failed during a rousing round of golf or bowling. Customers started complaining, saying the Wiimote was flying out of their hands and cracking their TVs or injuring their fellow players. One woman even brought a class action suit against Nintendo, saying that the Wiimote’s faulty strap damaged her 52” TV after flying out of her son’s hand. 

Nintendo quickly released a second strap that had a plastic slider for a more secure fit, but the problems continued — strike two. Nintendo’s third version of the wrist strap had a locking slider, which resolved the issue and let fans get back to their favorite Wii games.

The Wii Game Buying Guide

  • Before you buy your game, check and see if your it requires any extra Wii accessories. You don’t have to buy the steering wheel accessory for “Mario Kart,” but it makes the game a lot more fun. 
  • Make sure you have enough Wiimotes for friends to come over and join the multiplayer fun. “Mario Party 9” and “Mario Kart” can liven up any get together. You also might want to buy a silicone cover for each Wiimote to protect it from drops. 
  • Find out how old your players will be before you select a game. Our top four picks have content that’s appropriate for all ages, but very young children might get frustrated by fast-paced games like “Mario Kart for Wii”. A slower-paced game, like “Mario Party 9,” will cause less frustration.
  • The Wii comes bundled with a second controller called the Nunchuk. It connects to the Wiimote via a small cable, and its joystick and trigger buttons will help your characters move more precisely. If you buy extra Wiimotes for multiplayer blowouts, you might need to buy Nunchuks.
  • Always loop the strap at the bottom of the Wiimote around your wrist before playing. Make sure it’s securely fastened with a close fit by shortening the strap with its plastic slider. The Wiimote can fly out of your hand if you forget to tighten the strap, putting you at risk for broken windows and damaged controllers.
  • The Wii’s motion-sensor controls make it downright addictive, but make sure you stop and take breaks during long gaming sessions. The repetitive motions can irritate tendons in your wrist, and learning to play with your opposite hand is more trouble than it’s worth.
  • Storing your Wii games in their cases instead of placing them on the TV or a table will prevent scratches that damage your game. You can also wipe down your Wii games with a clean, damp cotton cloth. Make sure you use straight strokes and wipe from the inner rim to the outer rim.