A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Physical exercise can be fun.
Positive Role Models
Players have to follow the rules of each sport, but otherwise, all characters are the same, regardless of hero/villain status in other games.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, but knowledge of specific sports is helpful.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mario Sports Superstars is an all-ages collection of five sports games -- soccer, tennis, baseball, golf, and horse racing -- which all feature Mario and his pals. There's no blood, gore, violence, drug use, drinking, or even naughty language when Mario loses at tennis. There's also no communication between players when you play with friends online.
Is It Any Good?
This cartoonish collection of sports, played by your favorite Nintendo characters, is a must-have for anyone who likes watching Mario get some exercise. In Mario Sports Superstars, the happy-go-lucky plumber and his friends play games of baseball, soccer, tennis, and golf, while also doing some horse racing. And these aren't mini-games, either. Baseball, for instance, isn't only a home run contest mini-game. You can even play them against your real-life friends, either locally or over the internet. Still, being a Mario game, they're not serious simulations. While baseball here is more involved than it was in Wii Sports, for example, it's not as deep as MLB 17 The Show.
That said, some of these work better than others. Tennis is the clear winner, though it's also the simplest of these games, with horse racing coming up fast by essentially being Mario Kart on ponies. Conversely, soccer takes some knowledge of the real sport and suffers the most from the 3DS' small screen (though said suffering is minimal). As for baseball and golf, both are solid, though enjoying the real thing is helpful. But while there's a lot to do here, there's obviously less to this if you play solo and will play only one sport. As much fun as tennis may be here, playing three tournaments on your own just isn't enough. Still, if you'll be playing most of these sports or a couple with your plumber, Mario Sports Superstars should keep you entertained until the playoffs.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.