10 Best Tennis Video Games So Far

I have been planning to write an article about the best tennis video games for months now. I was just waiting for all upcoming titles to be released before I put this top list together. Besides Mario Tennis Aces for the Nintendo Switch, there haven’t been any decent tennis games released this gaming generation. However, the last gaming generation consoles (PS3, Xbox 360) released some of the best tennis games ever. Creating a ranked top list was challenging because a lot of the tennis games listed fall into different gameplay sub-genres. Some are simulators or simulator/arcade games while others are pure fictional arcade games. The following game rankings are based on gameplay, graphics,  amount of useful content, and how fun the game is to play in 2018. When new worthy games are released, this article will be updated.

10. Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2 (PS2)

#10 smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2
– See It On Amazon
Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2 (SCTPT2) was developed by Namco and released exclusivity on PS2 in 2004. SCTPT2 was Namco’s answer to SEGA’s popular and successful Virtua Tennis series on the Dreamcast. At the time SCTPT2 had stunning graphics that pushed PS2’s hardware, but in 2018 this games low resolution and fuzzy graphics don’t hold up too well. This game features a large roster of 16 professional male and female playable tennis pro’s. There are 6 different playable modes to choose from, with Arcade and Pro tour mode being the highlights of the modes available. SCTPT2 controls feel a little stiff and wonky compared to modern tennis games, but it’s still playable and fun. If you already own a PS2, SCTPT2 is worth a try.
– Gameplay Video

9. Mario Power Tennis (Gamecube)

#9 Mario Power Tennis
– See It On Amazon
Mario Power Tennis is one of the most memorable classic tennis games ever made. Releasing in 2004, Mario Power Tennis is a sequel to Nintendo 64 classic “Mario Tennis”. This game took  Nintendo franchise characters and their charm to the next level with fast-paced gameplay and crazy power shots. This game features 18 playable characters all with there own unique power shot moves, along with 10 character themed courts to play on. The single player tournament mode difficulty is easy compared to modern tennis games, which is good for kids or casual gamers. This game also has a large number of special mini-games that offer more gameplay variety in case you get bored of the main tennis games. Mario Power Tennis is most fun when played with four players in 2 vs 2 local versus mode. Overall Mario Power Tennis is still fun to play, but the graphics/resolution is a little outdated and the gameplay movement feels somewhat sluggish.
– Gameplay Video

8. Tennis Elbow 2013 (PC)

#8 Tennis Elbow 2013
– See It On Steam
Tennis Elbow 2013 is currently the highest rated tennis game on Steam (PC Games Marketplace), but there aren’t many mainstream tennis games available on Steam to compare it to. Tennis Elbow 2013 is praised among PC gamers and has a solid fan base. For me, Tennis Elbow is a mixed bag, but I lean more towards a positive outlook for the game. One part of me loves this game, the other part of me desires more from it. Graphically character animations look outdated, but the resolution of the game is in 1080p which makes it look decent in motion. The available courts are bare bones looking, with stagnate backgrounds giving off an unfinished bland vibe. Tennis Elbow is a lower budget indie game though, so high production value in the graphics and camera view departments shouldn’t be expected. As for the gameplay, Once I got used to Tennis Elbows controls and swing physics I did enjoy it. Tennis Elbow’s simulator gameplay mechanics start to feel simple after a few hours of practice. The opponent AI is challenging all the way through the lengthy campaign, making for an addicting experience. I think any Tennis game enthusiast should give Tennis Elbow 2013 a try. Just expect the gameplay to be above average and the design to be below average.
– Gameplay Video

7. Virtua Tennis & 2K2 (AKA: SEGA Sports Tennis 2 on PS2) (Sega Dreamcast, PC, Arcade)

#7 Virtua Tennis 1
– See It On Amazon
Virtua Tennis & 2K2 were the first tennis games that really excited me. The first game was released on SEGA Dreamcast in 2000. The realistic graphics and addicting fast-paced arcade-style gameplay were unseen at the time for a tennis game. Virtua Tennis’s gameplay appealed to tennis sports fans and everyday gamers. There are two main modes to play through Exhibition (Campaign tournament mode) and arcade. Both Virtua Tennis and 2k2 have a large roster of Male and Female pro players to choose from and a decent variety of courts to play on. Virtua Tennis 2K2 is slightly better with minor gameplay and graphical improvements. A lot of tennis mini games were also added to the newer 2K2 version. When Virtua Tennis 2K2 later released on PS2 its named changed to SEGA Sports Tennis 2. All console versions of Virtua Tennis & 2k2 were developed exceptionally well. If you’re craving a deep arcade gameplay experience featuring real life pro players, you can’t go wrong with Virtua Tennis & 2K2.
– Gameplay Video

6. Top Spin 1 & 2 (PC, Xbox, Xbox 360)

#6 Top Spin 1 & 2
– See It On Amazon
Top Spin was a stand out exclusive on the original Xbox. Top Spin’s graphics were really impressive at the time and exceeded above the Virtua Tennis series. Top Spin felt like the first complete Tennis game to ever come out. Besides playable pro players, there was a  deep player customization mode where you could create and dress your own tennis players. Top Spin also had a large variety of real-life courts to play on, along with many interesting unofficial outdoor courts. Top Spin’s gameplay is tighter and more realistic than Virtua Tennis games, but not as realistic as newer Top Spin games like Top Spin 3 & 4. The gameplay is both simulation and arcade-like, with realistic and slightly exaggerated movements and ball physics. Top Spin 2 was later released on Xbox 360. Top Spin 2 had everything Top Spin 1 offered, with better graphics and deeper player creation options. However, Top Spin 2 is missing a lot of pro players and the difficulty of the campaign is really difficult. Both games are good and similar to each other, but I prefer the first game over the second one. Top Spin was eventually ported to PS2, but it wasn’t any good so I can’t recommend it 🙁 .
– Gameplay Video

5. Mario Tennis Aces (Nintendo Switch)

#5 Mario Tennis Aces
– See It On Amazon
Mario Tennis Aces on Nintendo Switch is like the updated, beefed up version of Mario Power Tennis on Gamecube. Mario Tennis Aces is colorful and gorgeous running at 1080p resolution and a smooth 60 frames per second. Even when playing in Handheld mode it looks gorgeous and performs wonderfully. Mario Tennis Aces won’t appeal to hardcore tennis simulator fans though, this game definitely targets Nintendo fans and players that enjoy fast-paced arcade style gameplay. The Power shots, campaign adventure mode, and the multiplayer play are some of Mario Tennis Aces biggest high lights. Learning how to utilize your power shots takes some practice. Once you get the hang of Mario Tennis Aces gameplay mechanics it can become quite addicting and fun. The campaign adventure mode features 27 varied levels to play through, an odd story, racket unlockables, and boss fights. You can only play the campaign using Mario, which is a little bit of a bummer. local and online multiplayer is a lot of fun also, especially for family play. Overall this isn’t a perfect Mario Tennis game but is one of the better tennis games to play in 2018.
– Gameplay Video

4. Grand Slam Tennis 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)

#4 Grand Slam Tennis 2
– See It On Amazon
Grand Slam Tennis 2 received a lot of great reviews and average reviews. I personally lean more towards higher rated reviews when comes to Grand Slam Tennis 2, but I do acknowledge the faults it has. Graphically I think Grand Slam Tennis 2 is the best looking Tennis game ever made, and it looks even better in motion. The player movement animations are beautiful and eerily realistic at times. This game features a large roster of playable Tennis Pros and famous tennis courts to play on. The gameplay is fun and simulation/arcade like, but it’s not as tight as Top Spin 3 or 4. The amount of playable modes is a little slim and the campaign is fairly short, but this game feels and looks like professional tennis in every other area. If you own a PS3 or 360 and are looking for an alternative simulation experience to Top Spin 4, Grand Slam Tennis 2 is a great choice.
– Gameplay Video

3. Virtua Tennis 3 (Xbox 360, PS3)

#3 Virtua Tennis 3
– See It On Amazon
Virtua Tennis 3 is the best game choice if you’re looking for pure arcade gameplay that’s easy to play. Virtua Tennis 3 is a lot like previous games in the series but has a lot of major improvements. Graphically Virtua Tennis 3 is a beautiful game when in motion, but up close player faces could have used more detail and emotion. I really enjoyed creating my player and moving up the ranks in the world tour mode. As you progress through the world tour mode, the opponent AI becomes increasingly difficult, but if you’re up for the challenge it shouldn’t be too frustrating. Besides created characters, this game has a large roster of playable pro players. Most carnival mini-games are fun to play, and useful as a training method. The gameplay is still arcadey but the swing mechanics feel tighter and more responsive compared to previous games in the series. If you’re looking for a deep arcade experience with some worthy extras, Virtua Tennis 3 won’t disappoint you.
– Gameplay Video

2. Top Spin 3 (Xbox 360, PS3)

#2 top spin 3
– See It On Amazon
Top Spin 3 is the second best game in the Top Spin series. The majority of Top Spin fans prefer Top Spin 4 over 3, but some fans like Top Spin 3’s simulation/arcade gameplay better than Top Spin 4’s simulation gameplay. Top Spin 3’s movements feel similar but more realistic than Virtua Tennis 3, but Top Spin 3’s controls feel simulation like. The controls take some time to get used to. Each of the three different swing shot button’s have to be pressed for certain situations while playing. Once you become good at the controls, understand the different swing buttons, and learn how Top Spin 3’s physics work, it can become a very addicting game. Top Spin 3 offers a large roster of tennis pros to choose from and tournaments to play through. The computer AI in tournaments gradually becomes more difficult as you progress, but opponents never become too frustrating. Like previous Top Spin games, there is an advanced character creation tool in Top Spin 3, that works well but could have been a little easier to use. Overall I would check out Top Spin 4 over Top Spin 3, but you might actually prefer Top Spins 3’s slightly more arcadey gameplay.
– Gameplay Video

1. Top Spin 4 (Xbox 360, PS3)

#1 Top Spin 4
– See It On Amazon
Top Spin 4 is not only the best game in the Top Spin series but my pick as the best tennis game ever made. Top Spin 4 has a large amount of useful and fun modes to check out, but the career mode is amazing. In the career mode, you will create a character and then start from the bottom as a rookie tennis player and eventually make it to the biggest professional tennis tournaments. As you play through the career mode, you will earn XP to level up your created characters attributes with. Top Spin 4’s gameplay and swing animations are more simulations like than any other tennis game out there. When it comes to Top Spins 4’s gameplay button press swing timing and movement timing is everything. That’s why the gameplay is so addicting because there are so many different gameplay variants to master. The rallies against opponents can become really intense, and I found this game to be even more fun when playing doubles cooperatively with an experienced friend. Playing this game online was a lot of fun, but sadly all online servers are now shut down. Graphically this game is beautiful when in motion and stagnate, but I think Grand Slam Tennis 2 looks slightly better. Top Spin 4 was also ported to the Wii, but don’t waste your time, it’s a bad port. Overall Top Spin 4 is the most realistic tennis game ever made and packs in a lot of content. If you’re interested in playing a great tennis game, Top Spin 4 should be the first game you check out, unless you don’t like simulators.
– Gameplay Video

On A Side Note: Since the disappointing PS4 & Xbox One releases of AO Tennis & Tennis World Tour, I am hoping a new Top Spin or Virtua Tennis game is announced for current generation consoles in the near future. If those titles aren’t possible to develop, I am hoping the Xbox 360 versions of Virtua Tennis 3, and Top Spin 3 & 4 eventually become backward compatible on Xbox One.

* Honorable Mentions *

The following games either barely missed our top list, are outdated memorable classics, or are loosely related to the tennis games genre.

Virtua Tennis 4 (PS3, Xbox 360) – This is a good game and really similar to Virtua Tennis 3. I thought the campaign was frustratingly difficult and the level map was unnecessary, that’s why I prefer part 3 over 4. If you liked Virtua Tennis 3, you might also like part 4.

Grand Slam Tennis (Wii) – The best and most realistic Wii Tennis game released. It utilized Wii motion controls well.

Wii Sports Tennis (Wii) – A not so serious, unrealistic tennis party game that’s most fun when played with family members or friends locally.

Full Ace Tennis Simulator (PC) – Another Indie Tennis game available on Steam. I thought Tennis Elbow 2013 was better, but you might want to give this game a try if you play on PC.

Hot Shots Tennis (PS4, PS2) – A classic PS2 game that was recently ported to PS4. It’s a simple arcade-style tennis game, and decently fun.

Sega Superstars Tennis (Wii, PS3, PS2, Xbox 360) – A Sonic themed tennis game that’s best when played with others cooperatively or versus. It’s a fun game, and worth checking out if you’re a fan of Sonic characters and themed levels.

Mario Tennis Power Tour(Gameboy Advance) – One of the better 2D tennis games available on a Hand Held consoles. Featuring your favorite Super Mario characters and power shots. This games campaign is still a lot of fun to play through.

Mario Tennis (Nintendo 64) – This was a great competitive tennis game back in the day. It was most fun playing against friends locally. Sadly the N64 graphics and gameplay did not age well. Mario Power Tennis & Mario Tennis Aces are much better options if you’re craving a Mario Tennis game.

Super Tennis (Snes) – The best classic 16-Bit Tennis game released exclusively on the Super Nintendo console.

Pete Sampras Tennis (SEGA Genesis) – The second best 16-Bit Tennis game released exclusively on the SEGA Genesis console. It featured legendary pro-Pete Sampras :D.

Rockstar Table Tennis (Xbox 360, Xbox One Backwards Compatible, Wii) – It’s one of the only retail 3D Table Tennis (pong) games ever made, and it happens to be a good game. I am glad this game was recently added to Xbox One backward compatibility.

Ultimate Tennis (Android, IOS) – A decent arcade-style mobile tennis game that features tons of unlockable power moves.

Virtua Tennis Challenge (Android, IOS) – This is the bare bones version of Virtua Tennis available for mobile devices. It’s lacking content and has stat upgrade micro-transactions that are almost necessary for harder opponents. I guess it’s ok though if mobile gaming is your only option.

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Chris D.
Level Smack founder. I am a long time webmaster. I have been playing video games all my life since the NES days. I am a video games fanatic and a self-proclaimed video games historian. I hope to bring unique & helpful articles as often as I can. We are seeking writers for, Please Contact Us.