What the game’s about: Mario Party is the most surefire way to end any sort of relationship. The crux of the whole game lies in your ability to ruthlessly crush your friends in a series of challenges engineered in the deepest pits of hell, guaranteed to bring out the worst in all people. And then the game decides to play favorites by handing out random stars, resulting in a landslide victory for your buddy who quit half-way through the game and left his controller completely unmanned. Awesome.
Above: Mushroom Kingdom – where friendships go to die
Why you love it anyway: Odds are, at this point, you probably don’t. But back when Nintendo first removed a rib from its biggest franchise and named it “Mario Party,” it was something of a novel concept. Tons of varied, off-the-wall minigames – perfect for our ADD-riddled generation – set to the tune of a family friendly board game. Plus, Mario, the world’s most multitalented plumber/playboy, led the proverbial conga line, and while Nintendo’s “Seal of Quality” may be completely worthless, Mario’s mustachioed face is generally an indicator of polish and fun. So you bought the first game – and maybe the second – and after that, you were all partied out.
Then came the sequels.
These sequels, unfortunately, didn’t fix many of the series inherentflaws, leading to frustration, boredom, and the occasional utterance of “Maybe Mario Kart’s not so bad after all.” For now, though, Nintendo appears to have retired Mario Party, or at least put the series on extended hold. Which is probably for the best.