Playing tennis on the computer can be one of the best ways to pass the time. The computer does not always receive the same gaming opportunities as dedicated systems, but for tennis players, there are plenty of options for people to get their fix. In fact, some believe that the computer is the best way to get realistic gameplay in a variety of ways.
These are the four best tennis games currently available on PC. They vary in price a bit, and a couple of them require additional downloads to really maximize the fun and immersion. It might seem complicated for novices, but it is pretty straightforward once a person gets into the game.
1. Top Spin 4
Top Spin 4 has been out for quite a while, but it still makes a list like this for its robust play. The graphics are pretty solid, licensing is amongst the best in tennis video game history, and people are very familiar with how Top Spin plays in general. Nothing that crazy has changed in the series, which helps people jump in and play right away.
The very first Top Spin game did not have that many actual pro players. Top Spin 4 has their biggest roster yet, and includes some throwback players like Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. Some people may not be crazy about picking up a game that is several years old now, but it still plays well and has a somewhat active online presence.
There are people who believe this is the most well-rounded game to date in tennis, especially when also considering the licensing that the company did. Until Top Spin 5 comes out, if it ever does come out, this is the tennis game of choice for many.
- A mix of current and former legends
- Numerous licensed courts
- Solid all-around gameplay
- Several years old
- Online play has dropped off in popularity
2. AO Tennis 2
In the last couple of years, AO Tennis 2 has really stepped up the level of release as far as tennis games are concerned. It is licensed for the Australian Open, but there are real players in the game as well. It falls behind Top Spin as far as realism is concerned on that front, but the graphics are a little bit better, the game does not feel quite as outdated, and there are customization options that can make things look so great.
AO Tennis 2 does a great job of giving the community a lot of different things to work with. Players can create any player they want, or they can download anyone from the community. The same goes for the different courts and stadiums that a person might opt for. There is no telling what might be out there, and it is worth exploring and seeing what stands out.
From a gameplay perspective, it plays well from the baseline, but volleys are a little bit unrealistic. That also makes doubles tough to play if people are going for realism. Some people are willing to look past this and still have a lot of fun with the game. It is a huge step in the right direction, and Big Ant deserves a lot of praise for putting the game out like this, but there is still a little bit of work to do.
- Australian Open presentation is great
- Improved roster from AO Tennis
- Plenty of customization options
- Net play is tough to make realistic
- Could use a bit more real licensing
3. Tennis Elbow 4
If there was ever a game with a bit of an underground following, it is Tennis Elbow. Ever since it was first released, people have been modifying the game as much as possible to add realism. Thanks to many different people involved in the community, there is a way to use every single real player and stadium.
Downloads are very simple and easy to sort out, which is great news for people who do not want to play with generic players. The only thing that keeps people a little hesitant to invest in Tennis Elbow is that it is not as aesthetically pleasing as most other video games out there.
It does look very rudimentary at first glance, but there is a lot of depth to the game that goes along with it. It is definitely not a perfect solution, but it is amazing to see how many hours people have put into making this game great. There are mods available that make the game look and sound like the real thing.
- Easy to download
- Realistic gameplay
- Customization galore
- Graphics are still way behind
- Installing some mods prove to be a challenge
4. Full Ace Tennis Simulator
Much like Tennis Elbow, Full Ace Tennis Simulator is meant to be a highly customized game. By downloading some mods that are readily available on the internet, the game can become so much more realistic with the right players, stadiums, and more. It is not quite as popular as Tennis Elbow, but some people like both games.
Bouncing between both Tennis Elbow and Full Ace Tennis Simulator will give people roughly the same type of feel overall. Both are in many ways in competition with each other, so there are always updates being released by those who put the game together. Not sure which one of the two fits a specific type of game style? Look them both up on YouTube to get a better feel for their custom play.
- Very easy to download and apply mods
- Quality, realistic gameplay
- Looks like an old game with limited graphics
- Not as many mods available as Tennis Elbow
Our Top Pick
People can play Top Spin and AO Tennis 2 on other systems, and it usually ends up being a better experience overall. That means for the computer, the best tennis game is Tennis Elbow.
The level of modification to this game is simply another level, as people can get anything from correct grunts to different languages for umpires. As long as people are willing to look past some of the visual limitations, it is a game that provides high-quality play for hours and hours.
At some point, computer gamers will have their chance to play something with great graphics and this level of customization. For now, Tennis Elbow takes things to another level, and the community has shown that they support everything as much as possible.