The announcement of Mario Golf: Super Rush came as good news for many Mario sports fans. As great as it is, though, it also serves as a reminder that there are so many Mario sports titles still missing from the Switch’s library.
Nintendo placing Mario and his friends in different sports titles is practically a tradition at this point, going as far back as the Nintendo 64. Many of these games feature an insane amount of variety and creativity that engage hardcore fans, even when it comes to gamers that have never picked up a sports game before. In recent years however, Nintendo seems to have taken a slight step back when it comes to Mario sports, focusing specifically on Mario Tennis and Mario Golf. Here are some of the Mario sports games that still haven’t made their return on the Switch yet.
The Mario Strikers series is arguably one of the most unique Mario sports series out there. Developed by Next Level Games, Super Mario Strikers introduced fans to a very different take on the classic game of soccer. Unlike a lot of the other Mario sports, Super Mario Strikers is a game that put a lot of emphasis on aggression towards the opponents, a fitting decision considering the artwork features the mushroom kingdom cast rocking some of the meanest looks to date.
After its follow-up Mario Strikers Charged released on the Wii in 2007, the Mario Strikers series went silent. Fans of the two soccer titles have been waiting for news of a third entry and the Switch would be a perfect home for it. Now that Nintendo has purchased Next Level Games for themselves, a new Mario Strikers game might finally happen.
Similar to the Mario Strikers series, there hasn’t been a Mario baseball game since the Wii era. If there’s something that future Mario sports titles could learn from this duology, it would be its wide variety of playable characters. Beyond the usual faces that make their way into these kinds of Nintendo games, Mario Superstar Baseball and Super Mario Sluggers featured a number of minor characters that have never been made playable before in any other Mario game. For the first time, players could take control of characters like the Pianta and Nokis found in Super Mario Sunshine and characters like Tiny Kong made their return after a long absence.
A new Mario baseball entry would make a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch. Just as Mario Golf: Super Rush is going to feature motion controls that will allow players to simulate playing real golf, players could replicate the feel of playing baseball. It would likely be the follow-up that Super Mario Sluggers fans have been waiting for.
Of all of the sports titles mentioned so far, Mario Hoops 3-on-3 is probably the that’s the least talked about and that’s a bit of a shame. The Nintendo DS title took the Mario cast to the basketball court for a game of mostly traditional basketball. What is perhaps the most interesting thing about Mario Hoops 3-on-3 is that it was developed by Square Enix, resulting in some pretty awesome unlockable characters. Players were able to unlock the ninja, white mage and black mage from the first Final Fantasy, along with the series mascots, Moogle and Cactuar.
Unfortunately, Mario Hoops 3-on-3 never received a full-fledged sequel. With how close Nintendo and Square Enix have been in recent years however, a new Mario Hoops for the Nintendo Switch is still in the realm of possibilities. If a Switch sequel were made, it might be cool to see full-sized basketball teams next time around, possibly with even more cameos from Square Enix properties.
Although Mario Hoops 3-on-3 never got a real sequel, it did live on in a way through Mario Sports Mix, a collection. Comprised of four different sports (basketball, hockey, dodgeball and volleyball), Mario Sports Mix was an ambitious game to say the least. Developed again by Square Enix, the game featured all of the Final Fantasy characters found in Mario Hoops 3-on-3 and in addition, included the iconic slime from the Dragon Quest series along with a few of its colored variants.
Although they didn’t feature the typical amount of depth found in a Mario sports title, an enhanced sequel any of these sports would make for a great addition to the Nintendo Switch catalogue. Mario Sports Mix has laid out the foundation for these Mario sports titles and many fans would love to see dedicated Mario styled versions of their favorite games.
There’s no word yet as to whether any of Mario’s other sports games will make their way to the Switch in the near future. Thanks to the announcement of Mario Golf: Super Rush, it’s clear that the Mushroom Kingdom’s athletic outings aren’t coming to an end just yet, leaving fans with hope that their favorite sports titles may make the jump to the Switch after all.
Mario Golf: Super Rush is currently in development for the Nintendo Switch.