Best Mario Party 1 Boards

The Top Ten
1 DK's Jungle Adventure

DK's Jungle Adventure is not the kind of board I'd expect to be the first one in the entire series. No, seriously, I would've thought something like Mario's Rainbow Castle would fill that honor. Jungles and forest-themed levels, in general, tend to be found in the middle of Mario's adventures, but the fact that it isn't this time actually makes the beginner board of Mario Party 1 surprisingly stand out in a good way.

The layout of the board is just what you'd expect from any quality starting board. It's simple and rectangular but easy to navigate, with every pathway offering something of value. There are some parts of the board I wish were changed. I think having two Whomps right after each other is a little excessive, and putting Boo in a place where everyone will pass by, no matter what, is really stupid. But these are not big enough problems to significantly worsen the board.

In general, though, I think DK's Jungle Adventure is a perfect example of how to make a good Mario Party board. It's big enough that you don't find yourself circling the same areas over and over again, with enough variety in different pathways but not so much that you get lost. Most boards in this game haven't really aged well, but if I didn't know the differences between N64 Mario Party games and you told me this was actually from Mario Party 2 or 3, I would've believed you. In fact, the stone doors that only let you pass if you have 20 coins remind me very much of the skeleton key doors that were found in the later games. If items had been present in this game, they honestly should have been skeleton key doors.

Overall, DK's Jungle Adventure is one of the best boards in Mario Party 1.

2 Mario's Rainbow Castle

This is easily the best board in the sea of relatively mediocre MP1 boards. What makes this one so great, apart from the relaxing music, is the gameplay. It's a linear, static-star board, but the many split paths offer a lot of strategy. Which path you should pick depends on whether Bowser or Toad is at the end of the board, which changes every time someone reaches the end. For this reason, Rainbow Castle is in first place.

3 Peach's Birthday Cake

Peach's Birthday Cake was another ambitious static-star board like Rainbow Castle. The layout is really interesting, and the highlight is obviously the Flower Seed lottery, which could result in a theoretical infinite. The reason this board is worse than Rainbow Castle boils down to the somewhat grating color palette and frustrating music. But either way, this board is good!

4 Luigi's Engine Room

A bit annoying and random, but overall, Luigi's Engine Room is a pretty cool board! The gates, which are the board's main gimmick, block off certain routes each time a turn has passed. However, I liked it far better in Woody Woods, where you actually had the chance to plan ahead instead of just mindlessly going with the flow.

5 Eternal Star

The secret unlockable board is by far the most original one. You'll be traversing pieces of a giant star, gambling with Koopa Kids for stars by rolling dice. It's not too bad, though, because your dice are rigged to roll at least between 8-10. Overall, a good board!

6 Bowser's Magma Mountain
7 Yoshi's Tropical Island

This board was greatly remade in Superstars. However, I'm not the biggest fan of the original one in MP1. The visuals are kind of bland, and the fact that this board has no items means you'll, once again, just be going with the flow. It's RNG whether or not you land on an event space that will switch the places of Toad and Bowser.

8 Wario's Battle Canyon

This board is so freakin' bad! If you remember Mystery Land in Mario Party 2, well, this is that board's awful predecessor. Island hopping almost never works, and this board doesn't succeed at it. It's just so random and annoying to get through.