Everyone knows about the spin-off games like Mario Kart and the famous Mario Party series with its 16 entries so far. Most people don’t pay attention to the many sports games in which Mario, his friends, and his enemies fight for the title of champion.
These aren’t just games with a bunch of sports-themed minigames. There are whole games where Mario and his friends play golf, tennis, baseball, and even basketball. Which are the best?
Mario Hoops: 3 On 3 (2006)
It’s called Mario Slam Basketball in Europe. Mario Hoops: 3 On 3 is just like the title says. It’s basketball with two teams of three people who look like Mario. There are a lot of players to choose from. Play the game, perform unique skill shots, and try to have fun along the way.
When Square Enix (the makers of Final Fantasy) made a Mario sports game, no one thought they would do it. They even managed to sneak in some playable Final Fantasy characters. Unfortunately, Mario Hoops is only for the Nintendo DS, so it’s hard to get friends together to play it.
Mario Golf Super Rush (2021)
If you have the Nintendo Switch, you can play this game, which is called Mario Golf Super Rush! I’m sorry to say that it didn’t get the same amount of attention as other spin-offs on the same console. It had beautiful graphics and controls that are still as fun as ever, as well as a wide range of characters that could be added in DLC.
Unfortunately, Super Rush isn’t very good at what it does, or at least not very good at what it doesn’t do. When you play with friends or family, it can be a lot of fun. This is one of the best ways to bring back Mario Golf. With some good DLC that could add more modes and fun content, it could be even better.
Mario Golf (1999)
Last but not least, Mario Golf was a game that changed the way people thought about games like this one from Mario. In the end, it’s mostly just golf with Mario characters. It sounds boring, but Nintendo hit the right spot with this game. It was all just right.
It also helps that Mario Golf has more than just the big courses. You can also play mini-golf for an easier but still fun experience.
Mario Superstar Baseball (2005)
Mario doesn’t seem to be as good at baseball as he is at golf or tennis when he tries to play. Even so, for the GameCube, there was Mario Superstar Baseball, which many people still think is the best game in the Mario Superstar Baseball line.
Fans of Mario Tennis and Mario Golf may not like this game because it takes a little longer to play than other sports games. There are also some fun extra minigames that add a little Nintendo charm to the game. This keeps the gameplay from becoming too boring.
Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games (2009)
For a long time, Mario and Sonic’s crossover games were just rehashed games with new paint jobs. Mario & Sonic was the first of these games. You could feel a time shift happen early on at The Olympic Games. Still today, the Olympic Winter Games are still thought to be the best.
It’s easy to play, has a great mix of Mario and Sonic characters, and has the best sports minigames. Not many people bought it, but it got good reviews from people who did.
Mario Tennis (2000)
Through some kind of magic that Nintendo has, Mario Tennis made the game very appealing. A lot of sports games have a hard time understanding how to keep things bouncy and fast-paced, which is something Mario-style games do very well. This kept the game lively and cartoony.
When Waluigi first appeared in the game, he was tall, purple, and scheming. Mario Tennis is also an important game in the whole Mario series because it was the first game to show him. Waluigi has had a cult following ever since he first came out. This has led to him being in everything from Mario Party to Mario Kart.
Mario Golf: Advance Tour (2004)
There are a lot of portable Mario spin-off games that don’t go over very well. Mario Golf: Advance Tour is one of those rare games that people love. It takes everything that people liked about the Nintendo 64 sports game and makes it even better and smoother on a handheld console.
Advance Tour even adds quasi-RPG elements to the gameplay to keep things interesting. The only thing that isn’t great about Advance Tour is that it’s for the GameBoy Advance. It could have been a console game, but it’s still a good GameBoy Advance game.
Super Mario Strikers (2005)
This game’s title makes people think it’s a fighting game like Mortal Kombat or a Mario-only version of the Super Smash Bros. series like the one with Mario. Instead, it’s a game that’s all about soccer with Mario characters in it.
In some way, Nintendo made soccer the most intense sport out of all of the other sports. Fans thought it was fun and family-friendly, but just like Mario Party, it can break up friendships. Super Mario Strikers has a lot of superpowered skill shots that work well with the gameplay and make the soccer games fun.
Mario Slam Basketball
Mario Slam Basketball, or Mario Hoops 3-on-3 as it was known in North America, was released for the Nintendo DS in 2006. It took Mario to the basketball courts to play three-on-three. It was made by Square Enix, which isn’t the first time the company has made a Mario game. In 1996, the company made Super Mario RPG. Not only did Mario Slam Basketball have all the characters from the Mario series, but it also had a lot of characters from the Final Fantasy series as well.
Mario Slam Basketball has a lot of different tournaments where the player competes to get bronze, silver, or gold medals, and they can win them. Most Mario sports games don’t have teams with Peach and Mario on them. Instead, the best and final team in this game is made up of characters from Final Fantasy.
Mario Tennis Aces
It doesn’t do very well for people who want a simple game of tennis starring their favourite plumber from a video game. Mario Tennis Aces came out in 2018. It does, however, have a great tennis-themed adventure because of its big Adventure Mode.
Feels more like Mario RPG than tennis. Is that a bad thing? We think not. As you play, you’ll move around an overworld, going from level to level, as you progress through the game. if you want to read the whole story, but chances are you just want to play tennis. You’ll also get better at speed and agility as you go along. It’s fun. It might not be a typical sports game, but it’s still one of the best Mario games we’ve ever played.