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Mario may be known for his background as a plumber, or his recent adventure as a body-snatching fashionista, but over the years he's also become one of gaming's most popular athletes. With Mario's newest tennis iteration launching later this year for the Nintendo Switch, it's the perfect time to look back on the many games that preceded it.

Like other classic Nintendo franchises, Mario sports has become a staple of each console and handheld library. While it seems like Mario's athletic glory days are behind him, through the good, the bad, and the painfully mediocre there have always been moments and modes that have stuck with players.


The summer of 1998 found me weeding through my parents' recycling for a peanut butter jar. Once I had found one and cleaned it out, I scrawled "Pokémon" on the side in permanent marker. I wasn't exactly sure what Pokémon was, but according to Nintendo Power, it was the next big thing.