The best tennis games ever: arcade, simulation and management

The best tennis games ever: arcade, simulation and management

The best tennis games ever

Art imitates reality and the world of video games does not stray too far from this concept. The most famous sports of the modern world are regularly reproduced in videogame form, starting with the evergreen football, but also passing through basketball and baseball, without forgetting American football. Although not at the same level as the previous ones, we also find tennis, which has inspired developers in various ways since the beginning of the history of video games. Tennis games can be realistic or arcade, but all that matters is that the ball goes over the net and scores, so here are the best tennis games ever!

Top Spin

Top Spin 4 Let's start with one of the best known series in the history of tennis games: Top Spin. At the time there seemed to be little room for "other" tennis games but the newcomer on the Xbox platform managed to amaze everyone with a more elaborate and realistic gameplay, licenses for all players and a higher level graphics than what was seen up to that moment. The series will prove generous in implementing new features and features in the gameplay, think for example of the energy (stamina) of the players who lose physical shape as they progress in the match, or the support for 3D graphics and accessories of movement in the last chapter for PlayStation 3. Top Spin is the title that has been able to awaken our dormant passion for tennis games in the last generation, has been able to reinvent a game that seemed to have little to say by now, managing to create a successful brand which will remain in the history of video games.

Top Spin 4 is the newest chapter and is available on Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3.

Virtua Tennis

Virtua Tennis 4 Impossible to talk about the best tennis games without mentioning one of the most loved and played titles ever. Yes, we are talking about SEGA's Virtua Tennis which for many years has inflamed arcades all over the world, and which with the arrival of Dreamcast has entered all homes from the front door thanks to the splendid conversions for the "dreams". Compared to Top Spin, Virtua Tennis has always maintained a more arcade game setting, with characters performing any type of stroke simply through the use of two buttons. This depth of gameplay, very easy to learn but difficult to master at best, made it a transversal game suitable for all types of players, from the smallest to those with more experience. And while it didn't have an extraordinary amount of options, in multiplayer it was practically eternal, so much so that it is still found in many arcades scattered around the world. The videogame industry has never been so fascinated by tennis, and with it the general public, fascinated by graphics never seen before.

Virtua Tennis 4 is the most recent chapter for consoles and was released on PC, PS Vita, PS3, Xbox 360.


Pong: a great classic For the more "experienced" players, it all started with Pong: even if in actually (in the idea of ​​course) it was a ping pong game, in effect it is possible to consider it a distant ancestor of tennis games. The very simple graphics represent two players arranged on both sides of the field, divided in turn by a central net and a ball that was exchanged from one side to the other. Pong was able to establish itself on the general public thanks to an arcade version and considerably lower costs than in the past, representing an absolute starting point for the entire videogame market. Its peculiarity was represented precisely by the technique with which the image was generated: not through pixels but with an alteration of the scan line of the kinescope with logic and analog components, hence its graphic characteristic in black and white.

Pong can be played online (also in co-op) at

Tennis for Two

Tennis for Two: the hardware was the game and the game was the harware If you think Pong is the first real game of tennis (or ping pong, that's the area), well, you are wrong. In fact, before Atari's work, Tennis for Two arrived. In 1958, William Higinbotham devised a game to be exhibited and tested freely at Brookhaven National Laboratory using a Donner Model 30 analog computer that was able to simulate trajectories with wind resistance. The game was controlled by two specially created aluminum controllers. As you can see from the image, the oscilloscope shows a side view tennis court and a ball through simple lines. With a knob you can give a direction to the ball and with a button you can hit it to send it over the net. It is considered the first video game created for pure entertainment and not for academic research or commercial promotion.

Tennis for Two has been dismantled and the original version is no longer available. A copy (not identical) was created in 1997.

Wii Sports Tennis

Wii Sports Tennis: a favorite of the public How not to mention the tennis game contained within the Wii Sports for Nintendo Wii. A title that has enchanted a generation and made grandparents, parents, grandchildren, dogs and cats play. We can argue endlessly about the intrinsic quality of the game and the fact that probably other games (Super Tennis, Advantage Tennis, Grand Slam for example) have been much more satisfying and fun for us "hardcore" players. However, we cannot ignore the fact that Wii Sports tennis has influenced the entire gaming industry for at least a decade, sold tens of millions of consoles thanks to it and made Nintendo known more than ever. The use of remote controls as real extensions of the body has been able to give the genre an innovation like it hasn't been seen for too long. Although in recent times the craving for movement at all costs seems to have almost vanished into thin air, Wii Sports remains a milestone in the video game industry for importance, diffusion and transversality.

Wii Sport is available on Nintendo Wii .

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow 2013 Let's talk about a game well known to the PC community but a little less mainstream than the previous ones: Tennis Elbow by Mana Games, a very small reality of independent developers located in France, it has a large group of enthusiasts who move on the border between the game and its extremely varied and articulated mods. Tennis Elbow (literally: tennis elbow) manages to thrill immediately thanks to its ultra realistic gameplay that impeccably simulates not only the physics of the ball, but also all the various implications on the hit related to body posture and timing. The game adapts to virtually any PC thanks to requirements that are anything but pretentious: the graphics side, therefore, is pleasant but not impressive. Several chapters of this wonderful tennis game have come out over time, we obviously recommend the last one and then try to install the main mods that are found wandering the web that make it one of the best tennis games available.

Tennis Elbow 4 is out in June 2021 on PC, in the meantime you can play Tennis Elbow 2013 on PC.

Mario Power Tennis

Mario Power Tennis: certainly not simulation L The Big N's plumber is best known for his platforming adventures, but over the years he has taken several breaks to relax. The Mushroom kingdom, after all, is not constantly in danger. Mario has dedicated himself to several sports but, speaking precisely of tennis games, one of the best is certainly Mario Power Tennis for GameCube. So let's not talk about the Nintendo Wii version, plagued by an absolutely improvable control system. Unlike many other tennis games, Mario Power Tennis does not offer a realistic playing style and allows us to approach the court with unique characters. This is an absolutely fun game for all ages.

Mario Power Tennis is available on GameCube.

Stick Tennis

Stick Tennis: Simple and accessible If you are into looking for mobile tennis games, one of our top recommendations is Stick Tennis. This is not a simulation title, but more of a fast gaming experience with simplified controls. The game is mostly based on timing and not on player positioning. Just swipe your finger to the right, left or down to perform various types of shots, while the player runs across the field automatically. The graphic style is very simple, but it is appropriate to the type of experience: it is above all very readable, the only priority for a title of this type.

Stick Tennis is available for free on iPhone and Android mobile.

Virtua Tennis Challenge

Virtua Tennis Challenge If you want a mobile tennis game, but don't want to give up a more realistic graphic style, a great choice is Virtua Tennis Challenge. The famous saga has in fact also arrived on smartphones and offers arcade gameplay, but more structured than the aforementioned Stick Tennis. We will have to control our character with a virtual stick and perform the various types of strokes via dedicated virtual keys. The level of challenge is significant, but never exaggerated. There are also various types of fields and characters to choose from. It's free, but you have to be prepared for some too many publicity.

Virtua Tennis Challenge is available on iPhone and Android mobile.

Tennis Club Story

Tennis Sport Club: managerial mobile Who said the best tennis games are just action games? In fact, with Tennis Club Story you can also test yourself with a management game, developed by the well-known Kairosoft. In this mobile game we will have to manage our tennis team, complete minigames, train athletes, organize activities for fans, sign agreements with sponsors and define the best tactics to win during a match, even changing in real time. The graphic style in pixel art is also of excellent workmanship and offers an easy-to-use interface, even for those unfamiliar with managerial games.

Tennis Club Story is available for a fee on iPhone and Android mobile.

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