Video games involving tennis were destined to become instant hits on the Wii due to the motion controls that came with the console. It makes sense that sports games took off in general, and at the top of that list is tennis.
With the way the game is played naturally, the Wii controller makes for a great racquet overall. What are the four best games to release on the console? These are the four everyone should give a try at some point.
1. Wii Sports
Although some might argue this does not deserve to make a list like this, there’s something to be said for availability, as well as playability. Just about everyone who has owned a Wii at some point in their life has played Wii Sports, and tennis is one of the games included.
It’s very easy to learn, and the game is about as simplified as possible. However, it was able to show off a little bit of what the Wii can do for new users when they purchased one.
Players don’t have control over movement, but they have to swing the controller like they would with a normal tennis racquet.
There’s a bit of a limitation on what kind of shots people can pull off, but the good news is that there’s basically no learning process to the game at all. Even someone who never plays video games can step in and be competitive against those who have played all the video games in the world.
To this day, it’s still a party favorite for a lot of casual play. It can get competitive, but it’s meant to be simple and fun at its core. Think of it as a game like Pong, only for the current crop of gamers.
- Easy to learn
- Comes with new consoles (Wii Sports)
- Customizable to a certain degree
- Players can’t move their characters
- Lacks depth
2. Mario Power Tennis
Different versions of Mario Tennis have been around for a while, but people were particularly excited when the first option for the Wii was released. Mario Power Tennis initially found success on the GameCube, but the remix for the Wii turned out to be a hit as well.
Players liked that they could finally use some motion controls, and it instantly felt like a more refined version of Wii Sports tennis. There was still a lot of over-the-top play that tennis purists won’t exactly enjoy, but it brought all the characters over for fans of the series to enjoy.
The game supports up to four players currently, and there is online play as well. The people wanting a step up from what is included with a brand new Wii will get exactly that. It is not a game that will revolutionize the sport, but casual tennis fans are going to love it.
- Fun for all ages
- Brings back all the major characters in Mario
- Power-ups add a good amount of strategy to the game
- Gameplay might be a little too unrealistic for some
- Controls still need a little bit of ironing out
3. Grand Slam Tennis
During the early stages of Wii releases, companies tried to dumb down the graphics a bit compared to the likes of PlayStation and Xbox. This fun version of Grand Slam Tennis resulted, with licensing from top players and then use.
Despite going with a cartoonish look, the gameplay was the most realistic the console had ever seen up to that point. Players had the opportunity to move their characters around and have full control at all times.
Playing with the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and more made it that much more immersive. Of course, the little things such as real venues and even commentary added to the realism. Umpires even called the matches in the correct language based on location.
Online play obviously died down after its initial release, but it was extremely competitive in its heyday. Players had the opportunity to go up against top players from all over the world, and the connection was pretty good all things considered.
It even spawned tournaments locally and online to see the best virtual tennis player swinging the racquet around like they actually play.
Graphically, it will never win any awards, but this is a game that really showed the beauty of leaning on gameplay. Many still say this is the best Wii sports game, not just the best Wii tennis game.
- Licensed pros and venues
- Realistic grunts and characteristics
- Online play was competitive
- Characters look a little too cartoony in the eyes of some
- Net play is a little tough
4. Top Spin 4
Graphics-wise, Top Spin 4 is in a class of its own compared to the other three to make this list. This game looks like actual tennis players, going up against the best of the world. They decided to go with realistic graphics instead of dumbed-down versions.
The pace of play, the shots choices, and more also help make it very realistic. All the actual players have their real sponsored clothing and equipment. In many ways, it plays similarly to the releases on Playstation and Xbox.
Are the controls perfect? Like all more advanced games on the Wii, it is a bit of a mixed bag. It takes time to get everything performing as it should. There is a learning curve to become great at this game with the Wii controller. It is much more difficult to master compared to, say, the more conventional versions.
Still, realism on the Wii for tennis players does not get any better than this. The Top Spin series is always dependable, and the fourth version did not disappoint.
- Most realistic looking tennis game on the Wii
- Good amount of licensed players and venues
- Career mode is in-depth
- Gameplay might be too intricate for casual players
- Lags online too much for some
How The Wii Changed Tennis Video Games Forever
It just makes sense to have motion controls with tennis video games. The Wii made that a reality, and other companies have been chasing that setup as well.
It is a fun sport to play locally or online, especially with an added element of skill involved. Even to this day, many still gravitate towards the Wii for a match or two.
Best tennis games on other platforms: