Good tennis video games are few and far between, but there are some gems to be found in the video game world. We’ve tried to whittle down the top 5 for your convenience.
Here are the 5 best tennis games ever made, let us know if you think we’ve missed a great one in the comment section below!
What are the best tennis games of all time?
5. Tennis Elbow 4
Developer: Mana Games
Platform: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
Year of Release: 2021
Tennis Elbow 4 is the most recent game on this list, and this realistic tennis title is as good as they come. In the absence of AAA tennis games, indie developers are having to fly the flag for aficionados of the sport, and Mana Games are filling the void with flying colors.
Despite lacking official licensing and real player names, Tennis Elbow 4 is insanely fun and requires a decent amount of skill and reflexes to become good at it.
The game includes 9 court surface types, around 20 different stadiums, and a huge roster of male and female players. There is also the option of customizing your players, too.
The game is equal parts challenging and rewarding, and with 6 different difficulty levels you can tailor the challenge to your skill. Without a doubt, this is one of the best tennis games around right now.
4. Mario Tennis (N64)
Developer: Camelot Software Planning
Platform: Nintendo 64, Gameboy Color
Year of Release: 2000
If you’re not too bothered about realism and official player licensing, Mario Tennis for the N64 could be one of the best tennis games for you. It’s a real blast and actually has some good tennis physics to boot.
Using one of the 20 characters from the Mario universe, players can take part in singles or doubles matches and compete in six different cups. There are the usual shot types – lob, topspin, slice, etc. – with the addition of a special power shot that can be charged up.
Each character has a completely unique playing style and celebration animation, and all of them are worth experiencing.
Perhaps a game for those looking for a more light-hearted approach to tennis video games, but the goofiness certainly doesn’t detract from the level of fun to be had.
Related: The top 5 racing games for the N64
3. AO Tennis 2
Developer: Big Ant Studios
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Year of Release: 2020
By far the best tennis game to be released on consoles in recent years, AO Tennis 2 was a welcome addition to sports video games when it was released in early 2020.
Despite some mixed reviews from gaming critics, the game is a ton of fun and has incredibly smooth visuals and gameplay. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that this is the best-looking tennis game ever released.
Despite only having one official major tournament licensed (the Australian Open), AO Tennis 2 has a vast quantity of community created content, which includes realistic renditions of unlicensed players and stadiums. Additionally, the game has a very detailed player creation feature and an excellent career mode that incorporates training drills and a variety of staff members to augment your player.
For those on the fence with AO Tennis 2, I’d say it’s definitely worth the plunge, if only for the realistic animations and velvety smooth gameplay.
2. Pete Sampras Tennis
Developer: Zeppelin Games
Platform: Sega Genesis
Year of Release: 1994
At the time of release, Pete Sampras Tennis had revolutionary AI in comparison to other games in the field. Each player has a unique style, with some serving powerfully and others acrobatically diving to hit every shot.
Granted, the graphics were a little blocky (even for the time), but the gameplay is silky smooth and runs at a fast pace. There are the usual shot variations and the crowds and backgrounds are vibrant and colorful.
In all honesty, this game didn’t get the plaudits it deserved, but it’s quite fitting that one of the best players of all time endorsed what ended up being one of the best tennis games of all time, at least in my book.
For those with a Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, I highly recommend that you seek out this game. For those without the console, try this online version of Pete Sampras Tennis.
1. Top Spin 4
Developer: 2K Czech
Platform: PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2011
For tennis video game fans, it’s probably no surprise to see Top Spin 4 top this list, but it really is still the best tennis game around.
It had cutting edge graphics at the time of release, that still stands up well today, and the gameplay is second to none. Players move fluidly with realistic animations, the ball goes in the direction you want to with a bit of practice, and the shot variation allows for some thoroughly engaging rallies that really give off a rewarding feeling when executed well.
To top it all off, the game has a large number of licensed players – including Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, and Murray – in addition to official stadiums and equipment.
There’s no doubt about it, Top Spin 4 will go down as one of the best tennis games around for many years to come.
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What do you think is the best tennis video game of all time? Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comment section below!
If you’re into sports video games, check out our list of the best NES sports games.
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For a look at Top Spin 4 in action, watch the video below by JohnnyDGaming on YouTube.