With the memories of a terrific Wimbledon tournament still in our minds and the sceptre of the US Open not too far off, it is a great time to be a tennis fan. If like us, your passion for backhand smashes and swing volleys has reached Fever Pitch then the weeks and months in between Majors can feel like an eternity.
It’s the same for players too who notoriously hate the downtime in between tournaments, often finding themselves at a loss for things to do. American tennis star Sloane Stephens reportedly uses online bingo to relax and kill time in between tournaments whereas others become obsessive about their mental and physical preparation.
But what about the likes of us? What can we do to kill the time between major tournaments whilst still getting our tennis hit? Play tennis-based games of course! Below we’ve compiled 5 of the best tennis video games to keep you entertained.
Originally released in October 2003 on Xbox and PlayStation 2, Top Spin instantly became a cult classic with not just tennis fans but with fans of the sporting video game genre. The game was ahead of its time in terms of gameplay and graphics but where it really excelled was with its career mode feature.
It was the most in-depth career mode on any gaming title and allowed players to start right from the bottom of the pile and work their way up to world domination. Along the way players could sign lucrative sponsorship deals which unlocked new clothing items – none of which were sold as micro transactions!
The last release in the series was Top Spin 4 which came out in 2011 and is still worth a play today.
If you’re old enough to remember the release of the Wii you’ll recall the hype and noise that surrounded the release of this game. Using the motion control stick, players could head to the virtual tennis court and play for points as they would on a real life court.
Flicking the wrists the get over the ball and deliver a bit of top spin, locking out the shoulder to get maximum force on a return and delicately tickling a drop shot over the net. In terms of immersion, no game has ever come close to Wii Sports tennis.
An updated version with better graphics and a potential incorporation of AR/VR would really make for a global blockbuster of a game!
Mario Power Tennis
Remember the GameCube? It was supposed to be all the rage and rival Microsoft and Sony for their dominance of the console market. Unfortunately for Nintendo things didn’t quite work out in that regard, but it did spawn some truly iconic games like Luigi’s Mansion.
Another great GameCube title was Mario Power Tennis which was a masterpiece in terms of gameplay and was just wildly fun and exciting. If you want to play it now but don’t have a GameCube, fear not, you can play it online fairly easily.
Full Ace Tennis Simulator
If you want an in-depth game that will allow you to bore down into the nitty gritty of tennis then this game is the ideal title for you.
Ball trajectory, collisions, friction and other factors will all impact the success of your shots making it hard to go out and absolutely dominate from start to finish in a non-realistic fashion.
Whilst this title is available on PC, we recommend connecting a controller to your computer to allow you to enjoy the game to the maximum.
Sega first released this iconic game in 1999 onto the almost forgotten Dreamcast. The sequel Virtua Tennis 2 was available on a wider range of consoles, bringing it to a much larger audience of players who took to the game almost instantly.
Over the years the game grew in size with a number of spin-offs released to the market, including one that was playable on the Game Boy Advance.
The last in the series – Virtua Tennis Challenge – was released in 2012 and unfortunately there have been no further releases since with licensing rights cited as one of the main causes.