Super Tennis (Super Nintendo) Review

By Adam Riley 12.03.2006

Review for Super Tennis on Super Nintendo

When you think about the number of tennis games that have come and gone over the years, which are the ones that stick in your mind? Most likely the Virtua, Mario or Smash Court versions will automatically spring to mind. However, it would be a crying shame to forget about one of the all-time classics that first appeared when the Super Nintendo was released to the world – Super Tennis. Find out whether it is still worth digging this golden oldie out of the closet.

Watching Wimbledon every year can prove to be a disheartening experience for fans of the sport that come from countries with weaker tennis players. Unfortunately, year after year leads to disappointment, heartache and a great sense of frustration at not being able to do anything about it all. However, with wonderful tennis games at your disposal you can transpose that aggravation onto the virtual courts and show just how good the game should be played. You can be the next best thing...

Something needs to be remembered about Super Tennis, and that is that it was one of the very first games to be released on the Super NES, back in the early 1990s. In addition, it was not even developed in-house at Nintendo, rather created by Third Party licensee Tonkin House. Therefore, it could be forgiven if the game lacked the graphical finesse found in later SNES titles. However, Super Tennis remains such a solid game that it looks good even today! The characters are all minutely detailed, moving around the courts speedily and un-robotic-like. There is no problem with collision detection, so you do not have to worry about the ball going 'through' your racquet, slowdown, or issues with the slanted top-down viewpoint. Everything is just grand, with the exception of the shaky crowd...

Screenshot for Super Tennis on Super Nintendo

Sound effects tend to play a larger role in tennis games than the actual musical side, and it is here that Super Tennis really does not disappoint at all. The usual 'thwack' at the ball connects with players' racquets, slicing noises, soft 'putt putt's for when the ball lands on long grass and various crowd effects all add to a rousing experience. And then to top it all off, the synthesis soundtrack is actually very impressive, giving the feeling of taking part in a worldwide tournament and getting you in a competitive frame of mind. Nothing to complain about here at all...

The problem with looking back at older games is that more often than not, the opinion will be tinted in either the view that things were more basic back then, or that what was offered is seen to be far better than it actually was. Now, with tennis games it is a little difficult to change how the game is played out, in any format over the years. Therefore, just because this is from 1991 does not mean that there are too many areas that differ drastically from something like Mario Power Tennis on the Nintendo GameCube. If anything, the simplicity found in the GC title stems from just how well games like Super Tennis played. Why over-complicate matters unnecessarily, after all?

Screenshot for Super Tennis on Super Nintendo

Choosing from a wide selection of male and female tennis players you can hit the grass, clay or hard courts in either singles or doubles matches over a various amounts of Sets. Trying to keep the ball with the guidelines on the court is a must, whilst also attempting to thwart your opponent by making them miss completely or fail to return. This can prove to be an extremely arduous task when faced by a similiarly-skilled human opponent, yet against the computer AI everything suddenly seems a lot more intuitive and easier to master.

Lob, slice, backhand, forehand, volleys and flat shots can all be pulled of with the some difficulty in Super Tennis. But it is not so hard that you give up, rather it is the sort of challenge that makes you want to work that little bit harder to become the best as you can almost reach out and touch the final goal. The D-pad comes into play a lot whilst in a match, as this helps you determine the distance, angle and spin that can be put onto the various shots. One of my personal favourites used to be drawing my opponent close to the net on one side, then gently slicing the ball over the net in the opposite direction and keeping my fingers crossed. With any luck, I would have tweaked the D-pad enough to make the ball float nicely just over the net and drop dead on the ground on their side, leaving a look of agony on their face!

Screenshot for Super Tennis on Super Nintendo

And it is that great sense of satisfaction that helps to make Super Tennis one of my all-time favourite tennis simulations ever, which is saying something as I have a massive preference to the Mario Tennis series. Taking on the computer opponents never becomes tedious either, due to the real difference in skill levels found with each one. These are not just a bunch of identikit professionals, some are slow, others do not dive very well, whilst some seem to be incapable of hitting a ball properly! For a non-Nintendo product, this sure is of 'AAA' quality...

There are several tournament modes to play through, either as a man or woman, in singles or doubles. Therefore, those modes alone will ensure that you will be playing and playing through Super Tennis for a long time after you made that essential purchase. But on top of all that there are the exhibition matches where you can simply test out your serving arm against any opponent, or a two-player mode that really does help to extend matters much further. Running out of interest for this tennis title is something that will not happen any time soon.

Screenshot for Super Tennis on Super Nintendo

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Whilst this might get overlooked nowadays due to higher profile tennis titles, Super Tennis remains one of the strongest court games ever released. Doing everything the way it should be done, and yet still managing to be easy enough to just pick up and play for anyone, this is a gem in the Super Nintendo's crown.


Abyssal Arts


Abyssal Arts





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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