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Mario Tennis Aces

One of the reasons the Nintendo GameCube is my absolute favorite home console to date is that was when Mario sports titles absolutely exploded. The N64 brought us Mario Tennis and Golf, but it was on the next system where we got the best versions of both those games, as well as Mario Superstar Baseball and the so-good-it-has-to-make-a-return Super Mario Strikers

This continued early into the Wii era, where we got quick follow-ups to the latter two games. But that's when things started to take a turn. Anticipated sequels for Golf and Tennis were no-shows on the DS and Wii. While we would eventually make a celebrated return to the greens of the Mushroom Kingdom in Mario Golf: World Tour, subsequent tennis titles have been less than a Grand Slam. Mario Tennis Open is fine for what it is, but Mario Tennis Ultra Smash was an absolute low point for the franchise and the sport's appearance in Mario Sports Superstars didn't exactly raise the bar.

Really, this series has only one direction to go from here and that's up. And while Mario Tennis Aces is unequivocally a better game than its past few entries, it's still not everything it could be.

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