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Mario Tennis

aka: Mario Tennis 64, Mario Tennis: Mario & Friends Serve Up Another Ace!
Moby ID: 3548
Nintendo 64 Specs
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Description official descriptions

Choose your favourite Nintendo character and take to the world of tennis. Game types include ring shot (where you must shoot the ball through golden hoops that are suspended above the play area, gaining bonus points as you play), bomb tennis (simply put Tennis with Bombs) and Piranha Challenge (much like the tennis machines which chuck balls at you, but in this case they are replaced with Piranha plants). Of course, there is your normal tournament mode, with up to 4 players in on the action, and some crazy arenas, especially Bowser's Castle, which is suspended above a lava pit!


  • マリオテニス64 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Nintendo 64 version)

63 People (59 developers, 4 thanks) · View all



Average score: 86% (based on 27 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 46 ratings with 3 reviews)

Even Mario can't make tennis fun.

The Good
They had all the characters like DK, Bowser, Peach, Mario, Luigi, Wario, and my favorite, Waluigi! The Bowser Court was pretty cool.

The Bad
It's tennis! It's just not fun.

The Bottom Line
Better than the average tennis game but still pretty boring.

Nintendo 64 · by Attila (553) · 2001

Easily the best tennis game ever (Better than Super Tennis)

The Good
The great thing about this game is that it is simple. It's not some overcomplicated sports sim with the typical stagnant gameplay. It has at its heart what made all the great NES games of yesteryear so much fun. You can choose a wide range of characters and courts to play on, as well as a fair share of game modes, none of which are lacking. Overall an excellently fun game.

The Bad
Well, there really isn't much to dislike about this game. I'm hard pressed to find something to criticize.

The Bottom Line
A simple format that has within it a gameplay unmatched in any other tennis game. There's a depth to it that makes an experienced player much better than a beginner, but the game feels so relaxed and inviting (because its so funny) its really easy to get into. This was one of my favorite 64 games ever. Right up there with Zelda and Mario 64.

Nintendo 64 · by Feem (30) · 2004

Because Mario's Tennis was such a success, right?

The Good
You are able to choose between roughly thirty characters, a lot of which are long forgotten Nintendo characters like Birdie and Donkey Kong Jr., but you can also play as Boo, Shy Guy and all the main characters in the Mario franchise (like Mario for example). Each character also belongs to a category that determines what his or her specialty is, power characters are stronger, but technique characters handle their moves better. Each character also has certain animations for when they lose, Boo for examples disappears and abandons his equipment.

The tournament mode is obviously the core of this game which takes you through several different cups, each time you defeat an enemy you will have to take on an even better enemy and by the end of the first cup I already had to do my best in order to win. Tournaments can also be played in doubles which means that all matches will be a two on two, this is my favorite way of playing the game because the AI is pretty good, but not good enough to make you feel like you're just sitting in the back with nothing to do.

This is of course also a pretty decent multiplayer game for both the kids and adults, the Mario characters are obviously meant to appeal to the kids and the nostalgic adults while the game of tennis is more of an adult sport. That is what I love about Nintendo, they take something adults really like and turn it into something appealing for the kids (see also their Mario football game and Mario Kart series). The graphics are also quite good, they aren't as good as the triple A main titles like Super Mario 64 and Zelda, but at least it looks presentable (unlike Mario Kart 64).

There are optional game modes the player can do and these actually work pretty well (aside from one that I will discuss later). There is one mode where you have to shoot the ball through rings in order to make a counter go up, once you beat the opponent the amount of rings in the counter is added to your total score and the goal is to reach a certain amount of points before you end the match. There is also the piranha mode where plants fire tennis balls at the character and he has to return them while also avoiding an opponent who tries to keep the balls on his side of the field. These game modes offer a nice distraction from the main game and they work very well.

The Bad
The controls really needed some more polish because the lack of precision was a big problem for me during the matches. Almost every time I lost to an opponent it was because my character ran straight past the ball or because he started performing a smash when I wanted him to dive towards the ball. I am not even sure of the earlier mentioned difficulty was really that functional or if it was easy if only the characters didn't move like the entire tennis field was covered in a layer of ice.

The Bowser stage is one of the most frustrating and stupid features I have ever seen in a sports game, the idea is that the stage is balancing on lava which means that it is constantly moving, this causes your character to constantly slide all over the place while you're trying to line up a good shot. There are also a measly handful of items that you can get by shooting the ball through a cube, but these items vary from the completely useless banana to the instant win red shield.

The Bottom Line
I don't really like writing short reviews because it often makes me feel like I didn't pay enough attention while playing, but what can you say about a sports game that involves Mario? All it needs it a little bit of polish on the controls and a replacement for the Bowser stage and it would be the perfect sports game. Mario is like an official seal of quality, if it has the stamp, it's worth giving a shot. There is however one thing that keeps bugging me, who is the guy at Nintendo who is so death-centered on having a Mario Tennis franchise? Why would you want to do that, the first installment was a very mediocre game on one of the worst systems ever, there was no demand for a new game and this game certainly wasn't the gem that made people consider buying one of the Tennis games that came after this one.

Even the recommendation is pretty obvious; kids will like it without a doubt, adults will probably have a great time as well, especially when playing with their children. I do think however that people who are a fan of sports games and especially the Tennis ones will get ticked off at the controls which is one of the most important aspects when making a game about sports. I liked it a lot myself and will definitely consider playing it every once in a while, but at the moment I got Tetrisphere to keep myself busy with.

Nintendo 64 · by Asinine (957) · 2011



If you start the game without a controller plugged in, Waluigi flies away with the N64 while Luigi chasing after him with a controller.


This game is Waluigi's first appearance, and Paratroopa's first appearance as a playable character.

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 3548


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Wii added by Charly2.0. Wii U added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Freeman, Tiago Jacques, gamewarrior, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger.

Game added April 2nd, 2001. Last modified June 19th, 2023.