Paper Mario: The Origami King — Do I need to play the first five Paper Mario games?

Paper Mario: The Origami King
Paper Mario: The Origami King (Image credit: Nintendo)

Paper Mario: The Origami King — Do I need to play the first five Paper Mario games?

Best answer: No, you don't need to play any of the previous Paper Mario entries to enjoy Paper Mario: The Origami King as each game is stand alone. If you are familiar with the Super Mario franchise, Paper or otherwise, you should recognize the typical cast of characters. The additional characters and gameplay are unique to the newest Paper Mario game for the Nintendo Switch.Beneath the folds: Paper Mario: The Origami King ($60 at Amazon)

A brand new Mushroom Kingdom

Paper Mario: Origami King Peach

Paper Mario: Origami King Peach (Image credit: Nintendo)

It finally happened! Nintendo announced a new Paper Mario game is coming to the Nintendo Switch on July 17, 2020: Paper Mario: The Origami King. The Mushroom Kingdom is in trouble again, and it's up to our hero, Mario, to save everyone from the villainous King Olly.

It's a standard Super Mario affair with a unique twist; the Paper Mario franchise has embraced a 2D art style. Additionally, it features the RPG elements that made its predecessor, Super Mario RPG, so great.

There is very little known at this time regarding this new, mysterious, paper-folding inspired title. It's the sixth entry in this long-running series, so there's a lot Nintendo could pull from. With such a deep history, you might think you need to dive into the previous games before getting into this series. If you don't have the time or desire to dig up your old consoles to play, no worries. Each Paper Mario game stands on its own, so you're not required to play the previous entries.

Advantages and disadvantages to veterans

Paper Mario: Origami Baby Bowser

Paper Mario: Origami Baby Bowser (Image credit: Nintendo)

So, should you revisit the Paper Mario games of old before you play the newest entry? That depends. As a veteran player myself, I can honestly say the original Paper Mario for the N64 and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for the GameCube were two amazing games that set a high standard for the series. The original was a new spin on the original IP, with a charming cast of characters, a fun turn-based battle system, and an engaging story. The GameCube entry took what was great about the first one and somehow made it better, taking players out of the Mushroom Kingdom and exploring a new world, improved mechanics, and unique partners adding polish to a winning formula.

However, the developers took the last three entries in directions that long-time fans weren't exactly happy with. Super Paper Mario, Sticker Star, and Color Splash were met with mixed reviews, though the concepts were inventive and the graphics vibrant and wonderful. Depending on who you ask, you'll get a different answer concerning which game is the best.

If you want to go into Paper Mario: The Origami King completely unbiased and ready for a new experience, it might work in your favor if you haven't played the others. In classic Nintendo style, it's likely players will be able to play a tutorial to familiarize themselves with the game mechanics. As far as the story goes, much like other Mario games, there's no over-arching narrative. Whether you're a long-time fan or newbie, you can pick up this game and enjoy it no matter your past experiences.

Paper Mario: The Origami King releases on July 17, 2020, on the Nintendo Switch.

Sara Gitkos

Sara is the Freelance Coordinator, writer, and editor at iMore. When not editing or writing away, she's glued to her Nintendo Switch, Xbox, or PS5, though she's a retro gamer at heart.