YMMV / Mario & Luigi

  • Superstar Saga
  • Partners in Time
  • Bowser's Inside Story
  • Dream Team
  • Paper Jam

  • Awesome Art: Akira Noguchi's concept and promotional art uses a strange, very unique, very colorful style that looks wonderful. The sprites are also some of the most popular in the Mario franchise, to the point that it's popular to customize them.
  • Awesome Music: All the games have been scored by Yoko Shimomura, so it's not surprising at all. Some examples include ''Bowser's Inside Story'''s The Grand Finale or ''Dream Team'''s Never Let Up!
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Fawful is often cited as saying "I am the mustard of your doom!" This exact phrasing never appeared in any of the games and the mustard wasn't referenced in relation to himself, but to the Evil Plan he and Cackletta were carrying out.
  • Broken Base:
    • While Bowser's depiction as one of the Badass protagonists in Bowser's Inside Story is universally loved, fans are divided on how he's depicted in the rest of the series. Bowser goes from an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain and Butt Monkey in Superstar Saga and Partners in Time to a Knight of Cerebus Big Bad in Dream Team and Paper Jam. Both portrayals have their fans, who frequently argue about which characterization works better for the Koopa King.
    • The relative quality of the games. Which one is the best and which one is the worst? The consensus seems to be that both Superstar Saga and Bowser's Inside Story are the two best games in the series, and fans debate which one of the two is the best of all. Opinions on how the other three games measure up are all over the place, but consensus seems to be that Partners in Time and Paper Jam are So Okay, It's Average while Dream Team is a case of Love It or Hate It. However, most fans agree that all the games are at least good and enjoyable, unlike its sister series, which is widely seen to be going through a Dork Age nowadays.
  • Contested Sequel: Every game after Superstar Saga with the exception of Bowser's Inside Story, which is seen either as an Even Better Sequel or in the same league, has been met with this. Partners in Time got it mainly because of its extreme linearity, overly long boss battles, replacing Bros. Attacks and Points with Bros. Items, total lack of post-game content, and more. In spite of this, many like the idea of having four characters in battle as opposed of two like in most other games, and the linearity can make the game faster paced compared to others.
    • Likewise, Dream Team was this to Bowser's Inside Story, mainly due to its slow pacing and excessive Forced Tutorials, although the latter has always been a problem in the Mario & Luigi series (that said, Dream Team is the worst offender in this regard). Other reasons include the fact that Bowser is the true main villain after being the main protagonist in the previous game, with the supposed main villain Antasma being a Generic Doomsday Villain, or the sometimes broken gyro controls, something that the next game removed entirely. However, some would argue that Dream Team has the best gameplay in the series, with many of it's boss fights being some of the best, that it has some clever use of the dream world mechanics, great level design, the best soundtrack of the series, and the fact that it still had unique characters and locations as opposed to the approach followed by many recent Mario games.
    • Paper Jam deserves a mention for being a Contested Sequel to a game that was already a Contested Sequel. While Paper Jam had an interesting spin on the formula (having three separate characters in battle as opposed to two) and got rid of the slow pacing, bad gyro controls and Forced Tutorials that plagued Dream Team, the game suffered from a total lack of original characters and locations, much like in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, on top of the tutorial syndrome being essentially replaced with overly frequent (and often annoying) Paper Toad Hunts, contributing to the Toad species' Base Breaker (or Scrappy, if you ask a Paper Mario fan) status due to being overly prominent. Added to the fact that Bowser is the main villain yet again along with his paper self (only that he's clearly the Big Bad from the beginning, unlike in Dream Team), there's no Hard Mode like in Dream Team (which isn't helped by the lowered difficulty overall), and the giant battles from the previous two games being replaced with Papercraft battles, often considered a Replacement Scrappy to the former, some fans would rather play Dream Team instead, especially since both games play very similar and Paper Jam suffers from several things that the later Paper Mario games also did, of which the former didn't.
  • Ear Worm: Superstar Saga's standard battle theme. So catchy that the mere sight of a .gif from the game can prompt it to start playing in your head.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Fawful, most definitely.
    • Though they caught on and made him the main villain in the third game.
    • While Popple came nowhere near Fawful levels of popularity, he was still the second most popular character from the first game and made a return for Dream Team.
    • Now that Fawful has been Killed Off for Real, Dream Team players have found the Massif Bros as two more characters with hilarious speech patterns, between their Russian accents and their constant mention of BEEF!
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Fawful is one of the most beloved and quoted characters among the Mario fanbase for his hilarious personality and speech patterns.
    • Bowser. The first two games (especially Superstar Saga) give him the short end of the stick, but his playable role and feats of Badassery in Bowser's Inside Story are well-loved, and subsequent games let him keep the levels of badass he took and turn him into even more of a Knight of Cerebus than he is in the main platformers while keeping him as hilariously hammy as always.
  • Fandom Rivalry: During a long time, fans of both Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario were Friendly Fandoms, in no small part thanks to both series having several similarities while being different at the same time. That was until Nintendo revealed that they were planning to make Mario & Luigi the de-facto Mario RPG series, and Paper Mario would continue in Sticker Star's direction, saying that Paper Mario wouldn't need RPG elements since the former "already covered those". Needless to say, fans didn't take this lightly one bit, and now Paper Mario fans often argue that Mario & Luigi can't replace the former, among other things. It doesn't help that each series are noticeably different in formula, making Nintendo's statement about not having two Mario RPG series even more controversial.
  • First Installment Wins: Despite the sequels developing on and streamlining the gameplay further, many people still cite Superstar Saga as the best one in the series. On the other hand, many fans consider Bowser's Inside Story as the best one, or at least second to Superstar Saga, in no small part thanks to the improved gameplay, Fawful as the main antagonist and of course, Bowser as the main character.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The games are much more popular in the US than they are in Japan or Europe. The English translation Woolseyisms probably help.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Many fans claim that the final boss themes of Bowser's Inside Story and onwards sound like Kingdom Hearts music. Cloud Strife, who appears in some Kingdom Hearts games, was eventually announced for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U where he can fight Mario, Luigi, Bowser and the others. Bonus points in that one of the final boss themes (from BiS) actually appears in Smash, so a "Mushroom Kingdom Hearts" is even closer to reality.
  • Memetic Mutation: "I HAVE FURY!"
  • Tough Act to Follow: While nowhere near as bad as in its sister series, some fans believe that every game after Superstar Saga has failed to reach the same level of quality. Likewise, some feel that Bowser's Inside Story was the series' high point, and that both Dream Team and Paper Jam were disappointing successors to the the third game. Downplayed, however, in that the games were still very well-received in spite of this, unlike the Dork Age caused by the later Paper Mario games.
  • The Woobie: Luigi, definitely. This scene and this scene from Superstar Saga and Partners in Time respectively, increase Luigi's woobieness when he breaks down crying in both of them.
  • Woolseyism: The games are known for diverting drastically from the Japanese scripts whenever Rule of Funny comes into play. The Hammer Bros. in the second game in particular definitely did not speak in 1337 in the original.
    • Fawful is interesting here, because he talks in a different funny way in every single translation. He adds Ru to the end of every sentence (repeatedly) in Japanese, has mangled Engrish in English, a strong accent in French, stutters in German, speaks the same in American Spanish versions, and speaks in refined Spanish with set phrases in the European Spanish versions. He speaks in metaphors in multiple versions.
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