Thinking about renewing your Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership? It’s that time of year when many yearlong memberships lapse, so Nintendo has strategically announced that Mario Party 3 will become playable for Nintendo Switch owners around the world this week.
Mario Party 3 is the culmination of the original Mario Party trilogy on Nintendo’s 64-bit console. In many ways, it offered more of what the previous two entries did. There were more boards to play on, more minigames to ruin your thumbstick with, and more random elements to ruin your friendships. That said, I can’t lie; I really liked this one back in the day. Even today, I still hear many consider this one the best in the series.
With that in mind, I can sort of see why Nintendo might tempt Switch owners into another year of their subscription service with this announcement. I mean, I don’t know how many people actually use the online play feature of the service. But for those that do (and make it work without lag), this could make for a solid game night.
The best Mario Party?
Mario Party is one of those series that, back in the day, I didn’t get for the longest time. Don’t get me wrong; I had friends, I definitely had friends, no one can say that I did not have friends. But on the rare occasions that I played Mario Party 1 or 2 with friends or family members, I found myself getting bored before a single game was over. Mario Party 3 was the first entry to really grab me, and I still have my physical copy.
The Duel Mode of Mario Party 3 is what really sold me on the game. This was a 1v1 mode that had each player grinding coins, hiring classic Mario enemies as party members, and using them to fight the other player whenever you crossed paths. It wasn’t that complex, but that slight RPG flavor of building a party captivated me. Plus, I almost never had more than one friend over at my house at once to play video games. Duel Mode offered just about everything I wanted from the series, even if it had some balance issues.
I honestly fell off the series after this point. I’ve since heard that Mario Party 6 is a standout entry, but by that point I had moved on to playing stuff like TimeSplitters 2 with friends. I was too edgy of a teenager to return to something family friendly like Mario Party. My loss, probably. Feel free to let me know if Mario Party 3 isn’t actually the best game in the series.
Anyway, if you’re looking for some multiplayer nostalgia, check out Mario Party 3 when it launches on the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack service on October 27. Friends not included.