Major critics were split between the game. Most based their review not only on how it holds up today, but how it did when it initially was released. Some were favorable of the game when it first released on the NES, while others, such as 1up, explained that the game, "like Mario Bros. was completely obsolete long before it was ever released". GameSpot, IGN, and Nintendo Power were all more positive about the game, giving it a 7.4, 7.0, and average of 7.2, respectively. IGN said that "the game scores well thanks to its simple fun and its quick ability to get into two player mode". GameSpot stated in their review that the style of Dr. Mario has stood the test of time.