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Games: TopSpin 2K25 is the best slice of videogame tennis fun on the market today

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TopSpin 2K25 (Multi, 2K Games)

TENNIS and videogames have been doubles partners since the very beginning, and when William Higinbotham used an oscilloscope for something other than finding commies in 1958, the American boffin created Tennis for Two – the first ever electronic game.

Fourteen years later, Atari was schlepping Pong arcade units into pubs, and the rest, as they say, is history. Despite being the granddaddy of electronic sport, it’s an event that tends to get little attention. And when even American football gets far more console love than tennis (if I wanted to watch a bunch of men get paid millions to kick a ball over a bar, I’d support Manchester United), you have to wonder why the sport of kings has fallen out of videogame favour.

Without football or hockey’s yearly roster and kit changes, it’s harder to flog an annual update. I’m looking at you, FIFA. As a result, there hasn’t been a decent tennis game since TopSpin 4, 13 years ago, leading many to think the series was dead and buried. But with Wimbledon just around the corner, fans have just got served again as the series rises, Lazarus-like, to let armchair ball-whackers wrap their catgut round some fuzzy balls.

All the key stadiums and championships are here, from Wimbledon and Roland-Garros to the US Open, and a 25-strong player roster includes icons from tennis’ past and present such as Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Carlos Alcaraz, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff.

There are notable absences, though, with no Djokovic or Nadal. Perhaps they’ll be flogged as future DLC – it is 2K Games, after all.

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TopSpin 2K25
Roger Federer is among the famous players available in the game

With an intricate yet accessible balance of sim and arcade gameplay, accuracy is determined by a time-honoured meter, power judged by how early you get to the ball and riskier shots performed with perfectly-timed use of the triggers.

It’s not just glorified Pong, though, and with stamina depleting as rallies go on, knackered players are likely to make more mistakes.

Alongside the general exhibition mode, MyCareer is where you’ll spend most of your time, guiding your athlete through a full season, managing stats between tournaments, training with your coach and splashing earnings on gear from the Pro Shop.

TopSpin 2K25
It’s been 13 years since TopSpin 4 (Neil)

Its mo-capped players and 50-plus courts have been lavished with detail, yet while the likes of Justin Timberlake, Drake and Pharrell Williams prop up the soundtrack, there’s no in-game commentary, even though seasoned mic-smith John McEnroe was roped in to voice its training sessions.

Thirteen years is a long time to wait for a new tennis sim, and TopSpin 2K25 will hopefully mark a return to the glory days when Sega was knocking them out on a yearly basis with Virtua Tennis.

Even if they dropped a deuce with the lack of players, TopSpin is a net gain for fans and, by default, the best slice of videogame tennis on the market.

TopSpin 2K25
Sadly, the game does not include any commentary

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