Not just an entertaining golf game. Mario Golf is one of the best golf games one could ever hope to play.

User Rating: 9 | Mario Golf N64
Mario and friends have been known for playing all kinds of different sports and engaging in all sorts of different activities. In Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64 the Mario gang get together and pick up a bag of clubs to hit the links. Mario Golf is packed with 10 modes of play, six courses each with 18 holes, over a dozen characters, and that exclusive Mario feel.

Tournament mode can be played from the start, and it is the best place to earn experience points. You'll use experience points to unlock courses, as only one is available from the start. Eventually, you'll be able to play in all 6 courses, hence having access to the 6 different tournaments. You'll be competing against unseen players, and your stats can be tracked on the leaderboard and scorecard. As this is golf, you will be competing to get the lowest number of shots on each hole; the score will then be tallied and you can see your score as well as the computer's.

There are also other game modes that are sure to keep you entertained. Get Character mode will have you competing against the game's hidden characters. The objective is simple: defeat the hidden characters and you will unlock them and be able to use them yourself. Ring Shot will have you trying to make your ball go through the rings that are floating in the sky. To add to this, you still have to score Par or better on the hole. Speed Golf is exactly what it sounds like. You'll try to get through a course's 18 holes as fast as possible. Stroke play is your standard game of golf: 18 holes; best score wins. Training mode will have you doing just that, training. You can practice on each of the courses you've unlocked. This mode is perfect for setting up strategies on certain holes that are more difficult than others. Match Game has the players trying to win 10 holes before the other. A Skins Match will have you competing against other players for points, with the winner of each hole getting a skin for that hole. Club Slots is one of the more interesting game modes. At the start of each hole, you will use a slot machine to pick your clubs for you. This can cause a variety of different outcomes and it's really fun to see what you get. One of the most memorable modes of play is Mini Golf. You will compete in one of two courses and just use a putter to get the ball into the hole. This mode is very strategic as well as extremely fun.

Mario Golf is a game that anyone can pick and play, whether or not they are a golf fan. It combines high levels of entertainment with precision and strategy. The game is not overly difficult, but you will need to learn strategies and plan your shots, which will take time. You'll use the map to see where you need to get your ball. Then you will factor wind speed and direction. You can do this by looking at the HUD and by pressing Z to toss up some grass and seeing how the wind carries it. If you need a little extra distance, then you can power up your shot. Shooting is a matter of timing: tap the A button once to start the needle's movement, then tap it again when it reaches the distance you want your ball to travel. Also, keep in mind that each character hits differently. For example, Yoshi hits straight, but lacks power. While Wario and Bowser hit strong shots, but curve the ball.

You'll likely enjoy the gameplay in Mario Golf. And it would be hard to enjoy the gameplay if it wasn't accompanied by pretty graphics. You will see the 3D polygonal characters going up and down the beautiful greenery of the links. You'll try to steer cleer of all the trees and the water hazards. And in the later levels, you will see more colorful attractions around the fields. This game is as vibrant as any other Mario game.

The sound department delivers too. Each course has its own theme music. While some may complain that it's too cutesy for a golf game, you can't deny that it goes with the courses. A unique addition to the game is the ability to taunt. If you're playing against other people, it's always fun to taunt and try to throw off their timing. Whether you score Birdie or Bogey, your character will react to his score. You'll either hear them celebrating or showing disbelief after you score.

Mario Golf is packed with pure golf game goodness. There is much to do, and it can definitely appeal to both younger and older generations. This is the kind of game that a college student can enjoy just as much as his or her younger sibling.