Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle shouldn't work. There's nothing about the frantic, screaming, destructive Rabbids that makes them seem like a good fit for the Mushroom Kingdom. Given the Rabbids' history headlining mini-game collections, it's bizarre to see them star in a deep, X-Com-inspired strategy game. Over the years, Mario and his gang have proved to be more flexible, but this mashup still stretches the limits of what's acceptable. In Mario + Rabbids, Mario can't execute his signature move—jumping—without help. He wields guns instead of fire flowers. There are pipes and piranha plants, but most classic Mario foes—like, say, goombas and koopa troopas—only make cameo appearances.
But, somehow, it does work, and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle isn't just a good game; at times, it's great. Running, sliding, and jumping across the battlefield with Mario, Luigi, Peach, and their Rabbid doppelgängers is fun, and it opens up all kinds of interesting strategic options. The cover system adds a number of wrinkles to combat, but remains simple enough for newcomers to intuitively understand. A variety of different mission objectives keep combat fresh, and in true Mario fashion, the map is stuffed full of secrets, making between-fight exploring key. Heck, in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, even the Rabbids—which usually end up somewhere between mildly amusing and downright annoying—are laugh-out-loud funny.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle may not be a crossover that anybody asked for, but we got it anyway, and it's a good thing. While Mario + Rabbids may not be an instant classic like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, it's one of the best games on the Switch. Don't overlook it.
Metascore: Critics – 85/100, Users – 8.9/10