Mario's Tennis

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This article is about the Virtual Boy game Mario's Tennis. For the Nintendo 64 Mario Tennis game, see Mario Tennis (Nintendo 64). For the Game Boy Color Mario Tennis game, see Mario Tennis (Game Boy Color).
Mario's Tennis
Mario's Tennis
North American game cover.
For alternate box art, see the game's gallery.
Developer Nintendo R&D1, TOSE
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Virtual Boy
Release date Japan July 21, 1995
USA August 14, 1995
Genre Tennis
ESRB:ESRB's K-A rating symbol - Kids to Adults
Mode(s) Single-player
Virtual Boy:
Game Pak
Virtual Boy:

Mario's Tennis, initially known as Mario's Dream Tennis during development,[1] is a game that was released as a launch title for the Virtual Boy in 1995. It is the first tennis-related Mario game, and would later be followed by the Mario Tennis series. All playable characters that appeared in Super Mario Kart for the SNES (with the exception of Bowser) were also playable in Mario's Tennis. The cable that would have been used to connect two Virtual Boys together was never added due to poor Virtual Boy sales.



A serve begins each point in tennis. A single player serves each game, and players alternate serving throughout the course of the match. If the player wishes to serve, they must press either the A Button button or the B Button button, A Button for regular shots and B Button for long-distance shots.


The basic shot in in Mario's Tennis, this shot has a higher arch to it, and can be used by pressing the A Button button. The shot is mainly used for regular, run-of-the-mill shot.


The Lob Shot is the second method of hitting a ball in Mario's Tennis. The Lob Shot is a powerful shot that can be used to shoot high, powerful shots whenever the B Button button is pressed. However, the Lob can be a disadvantage if the character hitting the ball is in the front of the court.


Doubles is the second method of play in Mario's Tennis. Doubles are very different than singles, and can be a great advantage for beginner players. In Doubles, the player can choose a partner to help them play tennis, while the player serves in the back the computer partner covers the net, and vice-versa.

Playable characters[edit]

The descriptions are taken from the game's instruction manual.

Sprite of Mario's character icon in Mario's Tennis
He is an average player whose court speed and leg strength are solid. His racquet contact area is average, and he relies on his skillful groundstrokes, though he will approach the net occasionally.
Sprite of Luigi's character icon in Mario's Tennis
Luigi's Tennis.jpg
His skill level and court strategy are similar to Mario's. He has better court coverage, though, due to being faster than Mario.
Sprite of Princess Peach's character icon in Mario's Tennis
Artwork of Princess Toadstool playing tennis from Mario's Tennis.
The princess is slow, but her racquet contact area is large. She doesn't like to approach the net, preferring to instead rally from the baseline.
Sprite of Yoshi's character icon in Mario's Tennis
He is the fastest of all the players, but his racquet contact area is small. He plays an aggressive type of game by rushing the net at every opportunity.
Sprite of Toad's character icon in Mario's Tennis
Toad is quite quick on the court, but his racquet contact area is not very large. Like Yoshi, he tries to approach the net often. Though he is not strong, he has great court coverage because he can lunge at though shots.
Sprite of Koopa Troopa's character icon in Mario's Tennis
Being a turtle, basically, his court speed suffers. He has a large racquet contact area, though. He likes to rally from the baseline, and he also can lunge at tough shots like Toad.
Sprite of Donkey Kong Jr.'s character icon in Mario's Tennis
Donkey Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
He is slower than all the other players, and also has a smaller racquet contact area. He is, however, understandably the most powerful of all the players. His strong groundstrokes allow him to win many points from the baseline.

Pre-release and unused content[edit]

Evidence of the Mario's Tennis beta character "Cassarin" (Birdo)
Evidence of the scrapped character "Cassarin", through a game rip.


The character list in this game's ROM features the name "CASSARIN", which is notable for, unlike the other characters, not having any sprites. "Cassarin" is an alternate romanization for "Catherine", which is Birdo's Japanese name; it can therefore be assumed that Birdo was initially planned for playability in Mario's Tennis.


Main article: List of Mario's Tennis staff


Critical reception[edit]

Mario's Tennis received generally mixed reviews from critics. A common complaint cited by reviewers was the fact that it was a tennis/sports game that lacked a multiplayer mode. praised the game's 3D effects, but criticized the game's lack of a multiplayer mode, or much to actually accomplish in the single player mode. Nintendo Life gave the game a 7 out of 10, calling it a "solid, if simple, tennis game" that processed "Good music and graphics combined with...excellent 3D effect", though they too felt the game was held back by a lack of multiplayer mode, and a lack of characters, which lead to the tournaments being too short. IGN's Patrick Kolan compared the game to Wii Sports, another one of Nintendo's pack-in games for one of its consoles, the Wii, in that it showed off the system's unique strengths, but suffered in regards to non-impressive graphics and a lack of long term game content. Games Radar echoed these sentiments, stating "Gameplay was rudimentary, and lacked all the flash and silliness that came to define the Mario Sports series, but as a 3D showpiece it worked fairly well". Famicom Tsūshin scored the game a 26 out of 40. The Rome News-Tribune referred to Mario's Tennis as "the only decent stab of tennis" prior to the release of Sega's 2000 Dreamcast game Virtua Tennis.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario's Tennis.

References in other games[edit]

  • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins: Mario's character selection sprite is an edited version of his sprite from this game. Luigi's sprite in the character selection also looks noticeably similar.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオズテニス
Mariozu Tenisu
Mario's Tennis