Mario Party 5 (also called MP5) is a video game for the Nintendo GameCube that was released in late 2003. As the name implies, this is the fifth Mario Party video game in the popular series, and the second to be released on the GameCube. The game includes three new characters, which are Toad, Boo, and Koopa Kid, as well as most of the characters from the previous installations, except for Donkey Kong (who does appear in Super Duel Mode). There are seven boards are in the game. It was first released in November 10, 2003 in North American territories, approximately one year after Mario Party 4 was released. As in the other Mario Party installments, players interact with one another in virtual boards, playing as various Mario characters. Players then can participate in various mini-games at the end of every turn in the board, each with their own set of rules and settings. The most notable change in this game is that the item system that was first introduced in Mario Party 2 was replaced with the new capsule system, where players can not only use them for their own advantage but set up traps for other players to fall into; Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7 would later return the capsule system (now called Orbs) and add new mechanics to the capsules. Mario Party 5 also introduces new modes such as Super Duel Mode, where players can battle each other on battle machines and Bonus Mode, where players can play special mini-games, similar to Mario Party 4's Extra Mode. The game is also significant for being the second in the series to introduce 3D game boards. Previous titles, all except for Mario Party 4, use pre-rendered backgrounds, which are static and limited in their presentation. As a result, all subsequent Mario Party titles, with the exception of Mario Party Advance on the Game Boy Advance, have employed 3D backgrounds allowing for much more dynamic fields of play.
Mario Party 5 features the Star Spirits (known as Star Guards in this game) from Paper Mario as the main hosts of the game, where one of them guides the player through each of the game's various modes. The game features a dream-theme, where the game takes place in the Dream Depot and each of the boards' names have "Dream" suffixes. In the game's Story Mode, geared towards single players, a playable character has to face Bowser and the Koopa Kids (known as Mini Bowser in the PAL version), who invade the Dream Depot, and need to challenge them in every stage.
Mario Party 5 became part of the Nintendo Player's Choice label in October 22, 2004, and won the Console's Children award at the 2004 Interactive Achievement Awards.
From the Mario Party 5 instruction booklet:
In the night sky, past the moon and beyond the stars, there's a dream world known as Dream Depot, where everyone's dreams come together. This is the real land of dreams... In this land, there are Star Guards who protect the dreams of all.
One dreamy night, the Star Guards thought of something.
Many dreams arrive here at Dream Depot every day," they said, "so... why don't we offer those with the power of dreaming a chance to visit?
In the end, they decided to invite Mario and his closest friends because, when it comes to dreamers, nobody dreams bigger than they do!
So the Star Guards prepared for their guests' arrival by creating many fun-filled games for them to play. And that is how the story of Mario and his friends both old and new began!
In Story Mode, Bowser and Koopa Kid are planning to ruin everyone's dreams, and players must stop Bowser from taking over said dreams. After winning the 5 boards, the player delves in Bowser Nightmare where if the player wins against the Koopa Kids, the final fight with Bowser begins in Frightmare.
The gameplay in Mario Party 5 is the same as in other installments. Players move around the board by rolling a Dice Block numbered one through ten. The game begins by deciding the order of play with Dice Blocks. Players who roll the highest numbers get to start their turn sooner. Then players are given ten coins to start. The object of the game is to collect as many Stars as possible. Each Star is worth 20 coins. Stars appear in random, set locations, which get shuffled every time a player acquires a Star. Players can earn coins to purchase these Stars by either landing on spaces or winning mini-games. The spaces players land on can either be beneficial or harmful: for example, Plus Spaces award players three coins, Minus Spaces deduct three coins, and ? Spaces cause an event to happen, which is dependent on the board being played. Players also have the option to receive items called capsules at capsule machines, which replace the Item Shops of the previous entries of the Mario Party series. Players can toss capsules onto spaces or use capsules on themselves for a price. Plus or Minus Spaces that have an icon on them mean that they are under influence of a capsule and their effects is dependent on the capsule effect it has.
After everyone moves, a mini-game starts; the type of mini-game is determined by the color of the panel, which is dependent on the space the player has landed on. If everyone has the same color, then a 4-Player mini-game begin. If players have equal amount of colored panels, a 2-vs.-2 mini-game is played. If all players except one have landed on the same space, a 1-vs.-3 mini-game commences. Sometimes, a battle mini-game take place and everyone pays coins to put at stake to compete, with winning players receiving more coins than lower-placed players. After a mini-game, players earn 10 coins if they win, with Bonus mini-games having the potential of players receiving even more coins. Other mini-games such as Duel, Bowser, and DK mini-games require a specific space-landing or item usage for the mini-games to be played; these do not happen at the end of a turn as normal mini-games. After normal mini-games are played, the game saves and the next turn begins, repeating the process until the end of the game.
When there is only five turns left, the Last Five Turns Event starts. Here, Bowser announces the current standings and asks the player in last place to spin the wheel to add a new rule for the remainder of the game. Also, when two players land on the same space, a Duel mini-game begins.
After the final turn, Eldstar announces the results starting with the current Star count and the final coin count. Then, players receive three Bonus Stars based on their performance before announcing the winner of the game, which is the player with the most Stars overall (with coins or Dice Blocks serving as the tiebreaker).
Mario Party 5 returns the playable characters from Mario Party 4, aside from Donkey Kong, who is now the host of his own space, while also introducing new playable characters, featuring ten playable characters in total. However, the new playable characters (Toad, Boo, and Koopa Kid) are not playable in Story Mode (similar to Princess Daisy and Waluigi in Mario Party 3), as Koopa Kid is the player's opponent and Toad is the player's partner if there are two Koopa Kids remaining. Despite Donkey Kong's role as an NPC, he is an unlockable character in the game's Super Duel Mode. He can be unlocked by defeating him in a tournament on Hard difficulty.
- Princess Peach
- Princess Daisy
- Toad (Party Mode only)
- Boo (Party Mode only)
- Koopa Kid (Party Mode only)
There are in total 78 minigames in this entry with 23 4-Player minigames, 12 1 vs. 3 minigames, 12 2 vs. 2 minigames, 6 Battle minigames, 15 Duel minigames, 3 Bowser minigames, 3 DK minigames, 1 story minigame and 3 Bonus minigames
|4-player||1 vs. 3||2 vs. 2||Duel||Battle||Bonus|
|Move Happily||Chimp Chase|
Ground Pound Down
|Exciting Walk||Chomp Romp|
Quilt for Speed
|Everybody Party||Coin Cache|
|Tube It or Lose It||Banking Coins|
|Sky Survivor||Bill Blasters||Beach Volleyball|
|Rolling About||Dodge Bomb|
|Flatiator||Defuse or Lose||Bound of Music|
|Bustling Noisily||Fish Upon a Star|
|None||Manic Mallets||Blown Away||Twist 'n' Out||None|
|Serious Competition||Mazed and Confused||Mario Mechs||None||Countdown Pound|
|Nervous Tension||Night Light Fright||Revolving Fire||None|
|Doubtful Chance||Vicious Vending||None||Lucky Lineup||None|
|In Great Fear||None||Big Top Drop|
|Battle Match||None||Fight Cards||None||Random Ride (act 1)||None|
|Danger Abounds||None||Heat Stroke||None|
|In Calm Water||None||Submarathon||None|
|Midday Showdown||None||Button Mashers|
Get a Rope
Pump 'n' Jump (act 1)
Shy Guy Showdown
|How Far?||None||Merry Poppings|
Pump 'n' Jump (act 2)
|Random Ride (act 2)||None|
Mario Party 5 received mostly mixed to positive reviews from critics. Game Informer's Andrew Reiner cited the example of coin redistribution in the game, which meant that "you could win every mini-game and collect the most coins and still end up in last place", when giving a second option of the game. GameSpot's Ryan Davis processed to note "If you bought Mario Party 4 last year, Mario Party 5 is hard to recommend.", noting a lack of change to the series formula. The game's graphics received a mediocre response, with GameSpot commenting that the presentation is "starting to seem a bit antiquated" when noting that the character models did not seem to have been updated from Mario Party 4. Generally, critics cited having a fun experience in Mario Party 5, although the minigames received a more enthusiastic reaction than the actual board game, with GameSpy commenting that "the sheer volume can keep you compelled. If only you didn't have to deal with all that BS in-between" when referring to gameplay of the actual board game.
Pre-release and unused content
The pre-release title screen is different from the final version. Unlike the final version, it features various playable characters running around the screen. However, it does strike a resemblance with the file select screen in the final version.
The character select screen is also significantly different from the final version.
There is also data for two unused capsules, the DK Capsule and the VS Capsule. 
References to other games
- Super Mario Bros. - Pop-Star Piranhas features three differently-styled covers of the main theme. A rendition of the underwater theme is used in Submarathon.
- Super Mario 64 - Coin Cache takes place in front of Princess Peach's Castle, which looks very similar to how it did in this game. Plastic Dorries appear in the minigame Tug-o-Dorrie.
- Paper Mario - The Star Spirits return in this game.
- Mario Party 3 - Some of the playable characters' voice clips were reused in this game.
- Luigi's Mansion - Professor E. Gadd is mentioned as having created several vehicle parts in Super Duel Mode.
- Super Mario Sunshine - Mecha-Bowser makes a cameo in Toy Dream.
- Mario Party 4 - A whistle resembling the Chomp Call is featured in the minigame Chomp Romp. Beach Volley Folley returns in this game, though it is simply named "Beach Volleyball" and now includes the option to use special gimmick balls. Also, several voice clips are recycled.
References in later games
- Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix - The Toy Dream song is rearranged in the song, Cabin Fever.
- Mario Party 6/Mario Party 7 - Several sound effects were reused.
- Mario Party 8 - The design of Princess Peach's Castle from this game is reused in Crank to Rank.
- Mario Party DS - The song "Think It Out" from this game has an intro that sounds similar to that of "Serious Competition". The character celebration and lose portraits are reused, along with the Mario Party 8 portraits.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Eldstar, Misstar, and Muskular appear as stickers.
- Mario Party: The Top 100 - Seventeen minigames return in this game, and come complete with a cover version of their original minigame completion theme. The Star Spirits make a cameo in the Characters section of the Series Guide.
- Mario Party 5 was the first Mario Party game to use orbs to cause events on the board.
- The capsule depicting a Toady is incorrectly labeled as "Magikoopa Capsule". Later Mario Party games correctly labeled it as "Toady Orb".
- There are seven boards in this game, which ties Mario Party 9 for the second-highest number of boards in a game. (The original Mario Party has eight.)
- Donkey Kong does not appear as a playable character, but he does get his own space on the board. Donkey Kong would later return to his duties as a playable character in Mario Party 10.
- This is the last Mario Party game and the final Mario game where Jen Taylor voices Princess Daisy. Starting with Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and for Mario Party 6 onward, she is replaced by Deanna Mustard for the voice of Princess Daisy.
- Some of the playable characters' voice clips were recycled from Mario Party 3 and Mario Party 4.
- This is the last Mario Party game in non-Japanese versions (except the Dutch, European Portuguese and Russian versions of Mario Party: Island Tour) to feature a female announcer until Super Mario Party.
- Nintendo of America promoted Mario Party 5 with an ad campaign spoofing the actual presidential campaigns of the United States, where Mario and his friends "campaigned" against Bowser and his minions. Inconsistent with his appearance in the game itself and its artworks, Bowser appeared to use his N64-era design in material related to this campaign. Similarly, the campaign also used one of Mario's artworks from Mario Kart 64 in addition to his actual GameCube-era artworks.