The Best and Worst of the Mario Tennis Series
Mario Tennis Aces is due out on June 22 for the Nintendo Switch, and it will be the seventh game in the Mario Tennis series. But not all games in this series have been received equally. Some are beloved by fans… and others are better left forgotten. Let’s take a look through the the series’ history and see how these games stack up.
1995 – Mario’s Tennis
The Virtual Boy isn’t exactly a system most people associate with fantastic gaming, but Mario’s Tennis can’t be considered one of the worst in the series. Not only did it start the tradition of Mario sports games, but it’s also considered to be one of the earliest successful tennis video games and one of the best Virtual Boy titles.
2000 – Mario Tennis
In 2000, Nintendo once again returned to the idea with Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color, developed by Camelot. Mario Tennis was positively received, and characters could be transferred between the two versions. This is still a favorite for many fans, definitely placing it among the best. It also introduced Waluigi. Finally, the Game Boy Color version had an RPG-like story mode.
2004 – Mario Power Tennis
Mario Power Tennis for the GameCube took everything the Nintendo 64 game did and expanded upon it – although it also introduced the unique “Power Shot” moves, which didn’t sit well with a lot of fans. However, Power Shots can be disabled, making it a strong contender for the best Mario Tennis game. It was later brought to the Wii, as well, but the Wii version’s motion controls saw a mixed reception.
2005 – Mario Tennis: Power Tour
Mario Tennis: Power Tour for the Game Boy Advance (not to be confused with Mario Power Tennis, despite that being its title in Europe and Australia) used gameplay mechanics from Mario Power Tennis, included returning characters from the Game Boy Color game, and brought back the RPG elements as well. As an RPG fan, I might be biased, but Mario Tennis: Power Tour is ranked among the best in the series.
2012 – Mario Tennis Open
After a long hiatus aside from re-releases, the series returned in 2012 with Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS. Unlike the previous handheld games, it didn’t have any RPG elements, and it added in Mii characters. Overall, this is one of the most neutral games in the series. It’s not ranked among the best… but it isn’t particularly hated. Mario Tennis Open is considered a decent game, but not as good as its predecessors.
2015 – Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for the Wii U is not remembered fondly. It lacked content and features compared to previous series and is often considered one of the worst Mario Sports games. It was the low point of the series, and since that’s the last Mario Tennis game we got, it makes sense that fans might be concerned… and to make matters worse, 2017’s Mario Sports Superstars for the 3DS wasn’t a huge hit either.
In Conclusion – Mario Tennis Aces
And that brings us all the way up to 2018, where we await the next entry in the series for the Nintendo Switch. Will Mario Tennis Aces be what fans have hoped for? Will its story mode live up to those of its predecessors? Will it redeem the series after Ultra Smash? Share your thoughts and hopes in the comments.