Unlike other installments from the Mario Party series, which have a focus on boards and their gameplay, Mario Party: The Top 100 has a focus on the various minigames from home console entries, which serves akin to an extended minigame mode from previous installments. Mario Party: The Top 100 does not introduce any new minigames on its own, serving purely as a compilation for minigames from previous installments.
The minigames have players doing various activities in a short time limit, such as racing against opponents in a skating rink or platforming against rivals. Players use Nintendo 3DS capabilities to perform actions, such as tapping objects with the touch screen, blowing into the mic, or using the gyroscope to balance or steer objects, though most minigames use the traditional buttons and control stick format. The goal is to perform the best out of opponents within each minigame rule and controls, which are briefly explained prior to playing the minigame. Some minigames allow players to team up against opponents, either in symmetrical 2-on-2 minigames or asymmetrical 1-on-3 minigames, and some minigames have only two players competing against each other, called Duel minigames. Not limited to these general minigames are DK minigames, Bowser minigames, Extra minigames, and Puzzle minigames from previous installments, all labeled as Special minigames in this game.
The game is for four players only: if there are not enough human players, computer-controlled players fill up the slots. These computer players can be adjusted with difficulty levels from Normal, Hard, Very Hard, and the unlockable Master difficulty. There are colors for each player (P1 is red, P2 is blue, P3 is green, and P4 is yellow).
Other auxiliary game modes are included in this installment. They provide other ways to play minigames, such as playing through a randomized set of minigames in Minigame Island, or playing a fixed amount and type of minigames to set records in a Decathlon mode.
Mario Party: The Top 100 has a total of seven game modes.
All 100 minigames can be selected and played on in this mode, similar to "Free Play" modes from previous games. Minigames can be sorted by game, type, or favorite status. Initially, players have access to only 55 minigames, most of them Free-for-All minigames. The rest of the minigames are unlocked through playing Minigame Island. Players can tag minigames as favorites to ease the process of selecting a minigame they wish to play in, thus creating their own pack. Players can create up to three favorite packs. The game also keeps track of how many times a particular minigame is played. When a minigame is completed, a player can opt to play again, return to the 100 minigames menu, return to the main menu, or play another randomly selected minigame that is unlocked.
Minigame Island is a single player mode, hosted by Toad, that first appears in Mario Party. After players select their player character, they can select a computer-controlled teammate for 2-on-2 minigames: if chosen as a teammate, these characters do not appear as rivals. Players compete against computer-controlled rivals as they travel through four worlds. Minigames are in a set location, with the aesthetics of the area surrounding the space giving a clue to what minigame the player can play in; due to some worlds having a grid-like branching paths, players can also play minigames in a certain order they wish or skip certain minigames altogether. In order to beat this mode, players need to best their rivals through minigames and retain their lives given at the beginning of the game from not placing fourth. Players do not have to win the minigame to progress through Minigame Island: simply playing the minigame opens up paths to other minigames. Once a Warp Pipe is reached, Toad asks the player to either continue or quit the game, and if players continue, they can access the next World by jumping into Warp Pipes. Gradually, CPU difficulty gets harder the more players advance through the mode.
When players receive first place in a minigame, they receive three Mini Star's and 10 coins. If they win against Bowser, Donkey Kong, or against another playable character in their respective minigames, they receive four Mini Stars; prior to entering World 4, players face off against Toad himself in Slot Car Derby with other CPU players. Players receive less Mini Stars when they place second and third, and performing the worst in the minigame loses a life. Earning Mini Stars from placing well in minigames unlocks certain Special type minigames. Players can earn lives when they receive 100 coins. Players can find numbered coin blocks in the map (marked by an ! space) and can receive an amount of coins depending on what number they hit, though ! space can also indicate that there is a Bowser, Duel, or DK type minigame. Minigames unlocked through this mode will be available in 100 Minigames. If players clear all minigames, they unlock a harder variation of the mode, which has more difficult CPU opponents participating in minigames. If players earn all 300 Mini Stars by placing first in all minigames, they unlock the Master difficulty for computer players.
Hosted by Toad, this game mode serves as the game's only board-type mode and plays similarly to Balloon Bash from the previous installment, Mario Party: Star Rush. Players travel around a small board, rolling the dice that dictates their movement. Prior to starting the game players can set the amount of turns the game has between ten and fifty, in multiples of five; games that have less turns end more quickly than games that contain more. All players also choose a minigame pack from which minigames during the game will be selected. Similarly to Balloon Bash, players need to pop Star Balloon's dotted across the board, as collecting the most stars is essential to winning the game. Star Balloons come at a price of ten coins, and if players cannot afford the star, they cannot receive the star. Once popped, Star Balloons respawn in another area of the board, giving other players opportunities to purchase them. Star Balloons can come in bundles of one, two, three, four or five, with their prices adjusting depending on the amount offered. If players cannot afford all Star Balloons, the rest of the balloons are discarded. Players can earn more coins by doing well in minigames, as well as by collecting them around the board and popping various Minigame Balloon's. A 30-coin bonus can be earned if players pass by all three stamp spaces (Shy Guy, Koopa Troopa, and Goomba) on the board. Items return and assist players against their opponents: players can either obtain items by landing on the random event ! spaces, ? Block spaces, or via purchasing them from Shy Guy Shop's. When two players land on the same space as each other, they are both awarded one coin. When the last five turns is reached, Toad gives a pity item towards the player who is last. At the end of the game, three Bonus Stars are rewarded to players that met certain criteria, such as popping the fewest Star Balloons.
When a Minigame Balloon is popped, a minigame will be played at the end of the turn. The minigame is chosen by a roulette, with each player selecting one of the minigames from their chosen minigame pack. If a minigame has been played, it cannot be selected again until all the other minigames in that player's minigame pack have been played. As well, the player's portion of the roulette is larger if they were the one to pop a balloon or if a Lucky Card is used, increasing the chances of their minigame being selected. Finally, the player whose minigame was chosen earns double the coins from the minigame. If two of the same minigame was part of the roulette, if the minigame gets selected, the earnings are doubled.
Championship Battles is hosted by Toadette, and it has players setting off against rivals and other players using random minigames from a minigame pack, a concept first introduced in Mario Party 4. Whichever player receives the best of three or five rounds wins the mode.
First introduced in Mario Party 5, Decathlon has players playing a fixed number of set minigames in a set of either five or ten minigames against rivals and other players. The player earns more points depending on how well they completed the minigame rather than if they won, and the score in the minigame converts to points to the overall score. Players can also set a high score record in this mode, as well as viewing preset records, indicated by a character setting the record, with Mario setting the top score for both Decathlon types.
These are the minigames and their order in both Decathlon modes.
- Princess Peach
- Princess Daisy
- Donkey Kong