Ever since Nintendo released games like Mario Kart 64 and Super Smash Bros. on the N64, the company became known as one of the best for multiplayer games. Those titles and their sequels have performed well and other heavy hitters like Mario Party and Goldeneye 007 only helped to seal this reputation. Similarly, many Mario sports games have a great reputation among fans for being fantastic party games that bring people together. They all focus on different versions of arcade sports and therefore feel quite different from each other. They’re all fun to play, but some of these are still better than the others.
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Mario sports games have been around for quite some time, but it wasn’t until the N64 that they started to take off. Games like Mario’s Tennis on the Virtual Boy or NES Open Tournament Golf featured playable Mario characters in sports games, but they didn’t support the same level of multiplayer found in the newer Mario sports titles. From the N64 forward, they featured large rosters of Mario characters, supported up to four players, and typically added elements to the game that separated them from other sports games on the market.
The N64 had Mario Golf and Mario Tennis, but the GameCube had sequels featuring soccer and baseball as well. Nintendo DS owners could play basketball via Mario Hoops 3-on-3, and Wii owners saw sequels to many of the GameCube sports games. However, they started to slow down after the Wii era with the Wii U only getting Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. Meanwhile, the 3DS saw a handful of other Mario sports titles that performed on a merely average level. Luckily for Switch owners, Mario Tennis Aces was a solid game, and Mario Golf: Super Rush is looking even better. Plenty of these games offer a great time with friends, but some of them are definitely more enjoyable to play than others.
The Best Mario Sports Games
If there’s any Mario sports game that needs another sequel, it’s Mario Strikers Charged on the Wii. It’s one of the best multiplayer games on the console since it depicts Mario in a way no other game does. Its gritty style is oozing with as much personality as the gameplay oozes violence. The electric fences, charge shots, various character abilities, and fast-paced gameplay all come together to make it one of the best party games on the Wii. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour which is a very relaxing experience. It’s mostly a simple golfing simulator, but it does a great job at it. Players have access to all different kinds of clubs, shots, and courses. It’s not the most bombastic title, but it makes for a very lax multiplayer experience.
Mario Tennis Aces and Mario Power Tennis are also really solid entries in the series. Mario Tennis Aces has some solid online multiplayer and an engaging power meter that can be used to slow down time or unleash a powerful shot. Mario Power Tennis has a whole bunch of variety with a bunch of available modes and mini-games to play. The GBA games, Mario Tennis: Power Tour and Mario Golf: Advance Tour, featured RPG-like story modes in which players competed to become the best in the mushroom kingdom. They were quite popular because of these story modes, so hopeful Mario Golf Super Rush’s campaign can compare to these classic games. It seems like Mario sports games are an inevitability, yet they’re still fun and enjoyable enough to excite fans whenever a new one is about to be released.
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