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I am currently working on a game in XNA 4.0 where I want to implement 2.75D, like in Paper Mario. I feel like it has something to do with z-buffering a Texture2D and drawing that, but I really have no idea where to start. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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it's not 2.75D or whatever, it's regular 3D, only that sprites are rendered as "flat" polygons with textures, that gives the 2D illusion, bilboarding is applied when necessary, but not all of the time, which isn't anything special, it's used widely in 3D engines for impostors to increse performance. if you want to make a game like that then read up on 3D rendering theory because that's all it is, no tricks or anything like that. – dreta Sep 30 '12 at 23:27
Thanks, I was breaking my brain trying to figure out how to take a 2D texture out of a plane and into 3D. I never gave a thought to the fact that it is a 3D plane. – Shaan Verma Oct 1 '12 at 2:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Rendering a 2D sprite in a 3D space could be handled as a specific case of rendering a 3d object. The 3d model being a flat rectangular shape that is textured with the sprite in question. This is how I would suggest you handle your sprites.

I think this tutorial gives an example:

The way bullets are handled there (2d images in 3d space) is what you are looking to do with characters in your game.

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