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In this paper, we introduce the concept of the Tutte polynomials of genus $g$ and discuss some of its properties. We note that the Tutte polynomials of genus one are well-known Tutte polynomials. The Tutte polynomials are matroid invariants, and we claim that the Tutte polynomials of genus $g$ are also matroid invariants. The main result of this paper and the forthcoming paper declares that the Tutte polynomials of genus $g$ are complete matroid invariants.