The Top 7... Mario spin-offs

5 - Mario Tennis (N64)

Long before The Great Mario Sports Whoring, there was only Mario Golf and Mario Tennis. Golf was a totally cool game in its own right, turning a yawnfest of a sport into an interesting video game, but it was Tennis that got people to give a crap about Nintendo sports. Everything just felt so tight and precise, from blasting a serve into the corner to incessantly volleying with three other players. Basically, it was a freakin' good tennis game that also happened to star Nintendo's biggest moneymaker. Later games added more to the menu, but perhaps a little too much crazy and not enough gameplay.

Accessible to newcomers yet deep enough for the hardcore, Mario Tennis was a fantastic follow-up to Golf. It's the first appearance of lame-o villain Waluigi and the first instance of a playable Birdo. You're also able to play as both Mario and Baby Mario, a feat we like to call "Paradox on the Other Side of the Net."

Also of note: this is technically the second Mario Tennis game. The first was a pack-in for the Virtual Boy.

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.