Anyone for Tennis? 🎾

At last week’s gaming meet-up we played SNES tennis games. Here is the verdict from the UK jury:

Andre Agassi Tennis - TekMagik
Too fast, Poor controls, average gameplay, nice training mode, not a impressive start to the night.

David Crane’s Amazing Tennis - Imagineering
Not so amazing! frankly ridiculous to have to play as a tiny sprite on the opposite end of the court viewing your opponents giant hairy legs. giant player sprite but the same sprites for both players just poorly re-coloured.

International Tennis Tour - Loriciel
Poor port of the ST & Amiga game Tennis Cup. Odd, distasteful style to the sprites and animation. The silly run animation and tiny wobbling arses are distracting. As shallow in depth as most other Loriciels releases. Not one to return to.

Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour - Blue Byte Software
Things are looking up! Another 16-bit home computer port but this one plays well. Unique serving mechanic, which was a hindrance at first but we grew to enjoy it. Also I think amateur mode on this one did the running around for you, leaving your only job to hit the ball properly. Pro mode was much better. Would play this again.

Smash Tennis (aka Super Family Tennis) - Namcot
Great fun, very polished, annoying shadows on the court though. Easily the most “alive” feeling game of all the games we played. Lots of lovely little details and gorgeous graphics. Need to play this one more.

Super Final Match Tennis - Human Entertainment
Our favourite of the night, we chose to switch off the hud (momentary score display) and the ball boy animations (to speed up the game). Plays a really nice game and some depth to uncover leading to some great competition.

Super Tennis - Tokyo Shoseki
Comfortable and familiar like an old pair of (tennis?) shoes. Not as much depth as some of the others, and very bare bones presentation, but the easiest to control and play by a long way. The safe choice.

There are a few exclusive MD tennis games I also wanted to include, but I didn’t get them onto the SNES mini in time.

Anybody else got any favourite tennis games?


Hate to say it, but the tennis game I’ve put the most time into is Mario Tennis on the virtual boy. Would go to sleep with the system on top of me playing it. Mostly because I had already beaten the Wario game too many times and it was more relaxing than the boxing game or Red Alarm…

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Loved Pro Tennis Tour 2 and Advantage Tennis on the Amiga!
Is there anything on the same wave of Smash Tennis /Final Match Tennis for the Mega Drive?

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I also first played Pro Tennis Tour on the ST/Amiga back in the day.

Advantage Tennis - Infogrames
This was a crazy! Rotoscoped 2D vector on 3D court. Very impressive for the day. These days the slow frame rate gets in the way of my enjoyment.

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Fair point, even though the fact the player can’t even serve doesn’t help the game to look all that exciting. XD

I must say, it’s a problem I have with modern tennis games too… They all seem artificially ‘slow’ to me, to the point that some of the best representations of the pace of an actual tennis match - incoming heresy! - I experienced them on mobile devices. :confused:

Have swapped the video of Advantage for a better one.

Also, compare with how fast Agassi is on SNES.

Wow. I need to play 4D Sports Tennis.


That might be the case for me, too. The atmosphere really makes that game.

Yep, too bad it’s single player only. A VB link cable version of that game would’ve been good.

I really dig Mario Tennis on N64 too. But to me, I think the best net game Nintendo made is likely the Ping Pong game in Wii Sports Resort. As a tennis player my whole life, nothing else really approaches the feel and nuances of angling shots and putting spin on the ball quite like that game.

I’ll see if I can borrow a VB from a friend with the game.

You should also look into the Virtual Tennis series of games on Dreamcast. They are really good even though they really don’t feel like the sport. They’re more like arcade games.

Yeah I’ve got them and played them but they’re not to my tastes.

If you got a friend with a VB I can’t see them not having Virtual Tennis. It is one of the few games at all on the system and a decent one at that.

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You talking Mario Tennis on VB or Virtua Tennis on DC?

Most Americans have Mario Tennis on VB because it came with it I believe? It didn’t in Japan.

VB, and even if you get the system second hand there are so few games that there is no reason not to have gotten it, it being actually playable.

It was through that game that I actually learned the rules and scoring system of Tennis. Just falling asleep with it on my head, hitting balls back as Yoshi.

pc engine has 2 fine Tennis games both are earlier versions of the SNES ones.

World Court Tennis and Final Match Tennis. There is also one from Hudson Soft called Power Tennis which is decent too.

Also SEGA made some great Virtua Tennis games especially if you just want the arcade aspect.

Fun fact: World Court Tennis for the TG16 has an RPG mode. It beat Final Fantasy to market (in the US) - and PROBABLY Dragon Warrior as well. This means it was among the FIRST console RPGs in the US. Phantasy Star definitely beat it, so it certainly wasn’t first.

Anyway, it’s a fun little Tennis RPG. Pretty great Tennis mechanics for its time.

Console RPGs go back as far as 1982 with Dragonstomper, and Treasure of Tarmin wasn’t long afterwards. But yeah, for Japanese RPGs in the West, there weren’t a lot when World Court Tennis came out in NA.

Now I’m curious about the release dates of Dragon Warrior vs World Court Tennis. Dragon Warrior is usually listed as an August 1989 release. The TG16 launched in late August but I don’t remember World Court Tennis being a launch title. Release dates were more approximations than exact days back then, though.

Super Family Tennis JP also has it (press Select 5 times on the title screen before you press start).

I think it was removed for Smash Tennis USA though?

This is super interesting. Never knew about these!