Tennis (NES)

Tennis Box Art


System: NES

Release Date: October 1985

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Sports

Here’s another one of the sports launch titles on the NES, Tennis! I don’t care for tennis as a sport to play or watch, but I typically like it a lot as a video game. Weird, right? This is another good launch title to enjoy.

The opening serve.

There are two modes, the singles mode, which is for one player, and the doubles mode, which is for two players. Not having anyone to play with on my team, I opted for the single player mode. You move with the D-pad, the A-button is a normal swing, and the B-button is a lob.

Selecting how badly you want to get stomped.

You start by picking your difficulty, one is easiest, five is hardest. I first started playing on the normal difficulty of 3. Boy oh boy, was I in for a beatdown. My timing was way off. The ball was moving too fast for me to set myself properly. The AI was hitting everything and half of what I hit went into the net. I got spanked in two straight sets, winning only one game. Not one of my higher moments in video gaming.


I didn’t think that would make for a very good video, just watching me get spanked, so I tried again on difficulty 2. I was able to work on my timing with a slightly slower ball and as a result, didn’t get my butt kicked. It was no cakewalk, but I was able to defeat my opponent in three sets.

It took 3 sets, but I won!

After winning, you face off against the next level of difficulty. After just finishing a 45 minute match, I declined to face off against the next opponent who whooped me to begin with. If I didn’t know about slightly better tennis games on the system, I’d come back to this one in the future.

Graphics: 2.0

The graphics are on par with the other launch sports titles. None of them do anything special, but they get their point across.

Sound: 1.5

The sounds are very Pong-esque. It shares the opening song of Baseball, which I enjoy.

Gameplay: 2.0

I think the gameplay is fine. I didn’t always hit the swing types I wanted, nor do I think swings that should have hit did.

Difficulty: 3.5

I played a competitive 45 minute match with difficulty 2. As one gets better, they can scale the difficulty up to get the challenge they want. That’s good difficulty.

Fun Factor: 3.0

Like I said above, I like tennis games. I have fun with them and Tennis on NES is no exception.

Overall Grade: 2.4

Tennis earns a C+. It’s the best sports game of the launch titles. All of them leave a lot of room for growth, which they all receive through dozens of other sports releases on the system.

Tennis Video Review on YouTube

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