Mario Tennis Open Game Poster Image

Mario Tennis Open

Simple game for all ages is best played with others.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn a bit about tennis and friendly competition in this handheld sports game for Nintendo 3DS. Cartoonish appearance aside, it employs a set of rules very similar to the real sport. Kids will learn about scoring, the differences in doubles and singles play, and how to distinguish basic shot types, such as forehands, backhands, lobs, and smashes. They may also develop sportsmanship and social skills while playing with friends in local area network matches. Kids who play Mario Tennis Open will come away with a better understanding of the rules and strategies of tennis.

Positive messages

This game promotes social gaming experience, both online and locally. Play is founded on the notion of friendly competition, and depicts tennis as a fun and challenging pastime.

Positive role models

Mario and friends celebrate when they win and look a bit sad when they lose. They never rub losers' faces in their defeat. They may, however, display a mild, cartoonish temper when a rally doesn’t go their way.

Ease of play

Players can choose to make shots either by pressing buttons or tapping areas of the bottom screen. Free movement is available via the d-pad, though beginners can opt to use the dynamic view mode, which will place the camera behind the character. He or she will then move automatically, with players aiming shots using the 3DS's gyro sensor, swiveling the camera in the direction they’d like to hit the ball. Single player tournaments begin easily and gradually progress to some very challenging events. Online play will depend on the skill of the player’s human opponents.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Characters in this game, including Yoshi, Bowser, Wario, and others, appear in many other Nintendo games.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mario Tennis Open is a family friendly tennis game for Nintendo 3DS with single-player and multiplayer modes. This game depicts tennis as a fun and challenging sport and promotes healthy competitive play among small groups. Online play allows kids to connect with friends and strangers, but does not facilitate communication. Note, though, that players' customizable Mii avatars can be shared in StreetPass mode. Parents need to remember that Nintendo is warning parents not to allow kids age six and under to view the graphics in 3D because that viewing "may cause vision damage." The Nintendo 3DS offers parents the ability to lock out the use of 3D graphics in the system's Parental Controls.

What's it about?

Mario's first new tennis game in eight years, MARIO TENNIS OPEN for Nintendo 3DS offers both single and multiplayer modes. Fans of solo play can work through several short tournaments in singles or doubles format, choosing from several popular Mario universe characters with slightly different attributes. They can also play one-off exhibition matches and try a quartet of simple mini games that range from keeping rallies going through rings that hover in the air to novelty themed challenges, such as one that has players hitting the ball against a giant wall display across levels from the original Super Mario Bros. scroll, with points awarded for hitting goombas, coins, and other elements. Multiplayer modes are available for both local networks and online play, with players able to select courts and set their own rules. StreetPass play, meanwhile, allows players passing each other on the street to swap Mii avatars and then use them in matches and ring shot games.

Is it any good?


It may not have the universal appeal of other Mario games, but Mario Tennis Open bears the license’s hallmark accessibility -- including a clever gyro mode that lets beginners aim by physically shifting their 3DS -- and should prove fun regardless of whether you care much for the sport upon which it's based. That said, it may not have the longevity you'd expect. With no career or story mode, fans of solo play haven’t much reason to keep playing after working through the few short tournaments and mini-games.

If, however, you happen to enjoy local and online multiplayer matches, you'll likely get a lot more out of the experience. Human rivals are far more engaging than artificial opponents. Plus, the game's shop offers a wide variety of outfits and pieces of gear with varying attributes, which gives kids who like to show off the stuff they’ve collected good reason to keep playing and earning the virtual coins needed to buy them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about tennis. Did this game make you want to grab a racquet and hit the courts in the real world? Do you enjoy playing singles or doubles? Does your preference in the game reflect your preference in the real world? 

  • Families can also discuss online safety. What would you do if you encountered an online predator or bully? When is it best to simply ignore them, and when should you tell your parents or an adult about what you've encountered?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Subjects:Math: estimation, patterns, probability
Hobbies: sports
Skills:Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making, strategy
Self-Direction: identifying strengths and weaknesses, self-assessment, self-reflection
Available online?Not available online
Release date:May 20, 2012
Topics:Sports and martial arts
ESRB rating:E for (No Descriptors)

This review of Mario Tennis Open was written by

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Teen, 15 years old Written bydoublediva12 June 11, 2012

crossing the roads

i think that kids should be care of the roads
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 16 years old Written byShadowolf104 February 7, 2013

it alright

It's ok, but not the best. some people have suggested that playing against total strangers is a bad idea, well no, i disagree, i have beaten near 100 people, i don't think i've ever run into anyone with a offensive name, and they can't even talk to you. The game is boring without the Wi-fi matches, so unless you got like 3-4 friends that you see often that have the game, don't buy it unless you got internet.
Kid, 11 years old May 15, 2015

Good game but energy is low

Mario tennis is a good game but isn't all that exciting. You never really get to do anything different than play tennis. The special challenge modes don't give a fresh new look to the series and is disappointing. Can be fun at times but lacks constant energy.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use