Tennis is one of the sports that saw a surge in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is attributed to the fact that players are not only 6 feet apart, but 78 feet apart on a regular tennis court. As expected, the buzz led to increased enrollment in training schools and academies. And, in combination with the simultaneous growth of the gaming industry, tennis PC games returned to the fold. That reminds us – there were a few noteworthy releases in the genre at the end of the 20th and the start of the 21st century. Therefore, our list of the best tennis games for PC will include new and notable old titles.
1. Virtua Tennis 4
Although released in 2011, Virtua Tennis 4 still takes the crown when compared to other top tennis games for PC. Besides graphics that still hold up to this day, it has a large number of officially licensed players, including Roddick, Federer, Nadal, Murray, Williams, Djokovic, and Sharapova. The career mode remains outstanding and resembles RPG since you have to manage all aspects of your eventual stardom, including off-court duties. Simultaneously, this encourages replayability, since no two careers will be identical. Moreover, a variety of mini-games are designed to keep your skills sharp by competing in co-op or online multiplayer.
2. AO Tennis 2
AO Tennis 2 was released in January 2020, but the graphics sadly aren’t too far from Virtual Tennis 4. Luckily, the realistic Career Mode saves the day, since you start from the very bottom, and gradually climb through the rankings. At the top, you can fight some of the officially licensed players such as Nadal, Kerber, and Barty. Additionally, the character customization allows tweaking to minutiae, and you can even import official community creations such as players, courts, logos, and scenarios. Moreover, the game has a two-player mode, allowing you to try your hand at doubles.
3. Tennis Elbow 4
Tennis Elbow 4 is a successor to the Tennis Elbow 2013 game, a well-known realistic tennis simulation from 2013. This one features improved graphics and physics of ball travel, strikes, and player movement. The game features 6 difficulty levels and 10 sublevels, 18 different stadiums, 9 court surfaces, and 400+ tournaments. What’s more, 3500+ in-game tennis players will age over 7 decades (from 1973 for men, and 1983 for women), to the year 2042. You can play Tennis Elbow 4 from 7 camera angles, and both solo, split-screen, LAN, and online. Also, besides singles and doubles, you can play 3-person games.
4. Tennis World Tour
Tennis World Tour resembles the three tennis PC games above. But it goes a step further and offers 18 different courts, and each surface affects the playstyle. The well-known Career Mode is present and forces you to focus on all aspects of your vocation, including training, playing tournaments, buying equipment, managing staff, and more. The game has also licensed over 30 well-known players, including Federer, Wawrinka, Kerber. It also used real motion capture technology to make the movement and modern tennis shots look and feel natural.
5. First Person Tennis – The Real Tennis Simulator
First Person Tennis – The Real Tennis Simulator lets you play from the first-person perspective using VR (Virtual Reality) headsets. If you own Vive Tracker, you can even use your real tennis racket! Luckily, the game has a no-VR mode too, allowing you to play using a mouse/keyboard combo or joypad. The game features 13 different tournaments, 7 court surfaces, and a built-in ranking system. Furthermore, there are 4 Camera views, bringing you closer to action than ever before. Finally, you can try split-screen, two-player mode if you get tired of playing alone.
6. Tennis Manager 2021
The premise of Tennis Manager 2021 looks simple but isn’t. You are a manager at a tennis academy, with 5000+ players of various skill levels enrolled in it. You must juggle their attendance at 2000+ tournaments, from Junior to Grand Slam. Furthermore, you need to manage the finance of your academy, and at the right time, expand to include new courts, medical facilities, tennis school centers, and other infrastructure. You can even give interviews, boost your player’s morale with a pep-talk, and even switch from 2D gameplay to coach them on the court in 3D.
7. Full Ace Tennis Simulator
Full Ace Tennis Simulator is one of the leading tennis games for PC thanks to its attention to detail. It was developed by tennis enthusiasts who implemented ball trajectory, fiction, collision, and effects with precision, and simulated real-life physics in a game of tennis. They also invested time into character editor, allowing you to tailor your player’s appearance and abilities, and allow both online and offline play. Full Ace Tennis Simulator is also modding-friendly and built with controllers in mind. It has a Career Mode, like the games above, and features both male/female players and singles/doubles.
8. World of Tennis: Roaring ’20s
World of Tennis: Roaring ’20s is all about the Golden Age of Tennis, since 7 pre-made (but customizable) characters, the courts, the scenery, and the clothing styles reflect the 1920s, known as the Golden Age of Tennis. You can join private tennis clubs and play both limited-access leagues and major, Grand Slam-inspired tournaments. Besides the realistic physics, the game also supports gamepads, touch, swipe, and mouse/keyboard combos. Finally, the game’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) can observe your gameplay, then play as you while you’re away from the PC.
9. Super Tennis Blast
Super Tennis Blast is a tennis cartoon PC game, but don’t let the arcade-style graphics fool you. The game is challenging, largely thanks to World Tour mode. It uses STB points for ranking and features 4 main Grand Blast tournaments, equivalent to real-life Grand Slams. And while you can play solo (singles/doubles), the game also has a local multiplayer and an advanced AI you can play with or against. The Avatar Editor with 400+ premade characters is great, but Super Blast modes, which change the game of tennis in unique ways, are the real highlight.
10. Tennis Kings VR
Tennis Kings VR is, obviously, a tennis game that requires a Virtual Reality headset. It’s ideal for beginners if you ask us. The controls are easy to master, the UI is simple, and you can pick among multiple rackets. Even the formidable AI, which has 5 difficulty levels, won’t remain that way for too long. Granted, this can change when the game leaves Early Access. Although already realistic, the animations, physics, and sounds need polishing, according to some players. Additionally, you can’t play a full match yet, only point after point.
11. Smoots World Cup Tennis
Smoots World Cup Tennis is overpriced but we can’t take away the fact it’s quirky, fun, and the cutest game on the list. The graphics are reminiscent of Mario Tennis Aces, but not the controls. Still, if you don’t own a Nintendo Switch, it’s a worthy replacement. The game features 66 tournaments in the Tennis World Circuit. As usual, you can personalize your character, then play offline, in a local network mode (up to 4 players), or online multiplayer. The game also has bonus mini-games to keep you occupied and your skills sharp.
12. Top Spin 2
Sadly, Top Spin 3 (2008) and Top Spin 4 (2011) were never released on PC. So, we had to look at Top Spin 2 (2006) and found it a valuable replacement for PC gamers if you forgive its mannequin-smooth graphics. You’ll enjoy the fluidity of player movements and the fine-tuning of the ball and shot motions, for sure. The game has jargon-heavy Exhibition and Tournament Modes, and Career Mode, perfect for absolute beginners. The character creation screen boasts many options, there are mini-games, you can play offline and online and even create new tournaments.
13. Tennis Masters Series 2003
Tennis Masters Series 2003 fixes the main issues with Tennis Masters Series 2002. Players are now agile and respond better to commands. The swing bar graphics were added to serving, making the shot more challenging but also more precise. AI saw realistic improvements, too. Instead of being ball-returning masters, bots now make unenforced errors. Unfortunately, there are no officially licensed players. However, you can use Player and Stadium creator to make your own. Also, there are no female players and no multiplayer, but you can play alone, on split-screen, or via LAN.
14. US Open 2002
We’re revisiting an older game because noteworthy tennis games for PC were released in the 2010s except the ones we mentioned. US Open 2002 is held in high regard due to realism – players wipe sweat, jump in place, and inspect rackets while ball boys and line judges remain dynamic. Gamers also praised the game’s strategy elements, sophisticated movements and physics, and the Arcade Mode, which lets you play singles or doubles against increasingly difficult foes. Finally, the Career Mode lets you play 10 seasons against progressively stronger opponents.
15. Dino Galaxy Tennis
Dino Galaxy Tennis follows a dinosaur who wants to win the Galactic Tennis Tournament. But, to get to the grand finals, the reptile must visit 5 planets and win each of their tournaments. On the way, the dinosaur can join special practices (mini-games) which grant special abilities. You can play the game solo or in co-op mode, with or against the other player (1v1 or 2v2). There’s also a Challenge game mode, created solely for setting new records among 1 or 2 players. Uniquely, the game has an opponent that’s cheating and must be eliminated from the competition.
Tired of running laps around the court and want something simple that can be relaxing or extremely competitive? Smackball, a 2D sports game that mixes squash, tennis, and air hockey, is the answer. It even has elements of chess, since you must smack the ball (hence the name) to the other side of the court before the timer reaches zero. There are 5 distinct game modes you can play locally, against AI or one of your friends, or online, against other players. You can personalize the game to your liking with 8 available color palettes, and create or download game modes.
17. Trivia Vault: Tennis Trivia
Trivia Vault: Tennis Trivia won’t let you play tennis or any sport resembling tennis. What a bummer, right? Well, not for tennis connoisseurs and those who want to brush on their knowledge of the sport. You play as a game show contestant, who needs to crack the code to 25 vaults and leave with boatloads of cash. The problem is that each vault requires 10 correct answers, and there are 250 unique trivia questions about tennis. Luckily, there are 3 lifelines to let you skip questions. Plus, there are 3 accomplishment ranks per level, providing great replay value.
18. FILA World Tour Tennis
FILA World Tour Tennis is a 2003 game that focuses on a rag to riches story. You pick one of the 50 pre-made characters, none of which are officially licensed. You start from rank 100 and must compete in individual matches and tournaments to reach number 1. This is very risky, since you’re on a tight budget, and participation prices increase over time. You must also increase your stats, either by purchasing tennis equipment or taking training lessons, which are mini-games on the court. Speaking of courts, there are 24 you have to unlock one by one.
19. Actua Tennis
Actua Tennis was initially released on PlayStation in 1998. Thanks to great feedback, it became one of the tennis PC games the next year. This is largely due to the motion capture technology utilized to make the gameplay immersive, and the commentary, which is often quiet or non-existent in other games. Actua Tennis is an arcade game that lets you play solo, against a bot, which many players found repetitive quickly. Instead, most of the praise was directed toward online gameplay, against players, or with them in doubles. Tim Henman, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, and other familiar faces make an appearance too.
20. Extreme Tennis
Extreme Tennis is a 1999 Windows game that failed to meet the expectation due to budget constraints and, likely, lack of excitement. You start at the Pro Shop, where you pick one of the 8 men and women models, then tennis equipment and clothing. Now the game launches a separate executable to enter the game’s Tourney (Tournament) screen. There are no indicators about the court you’ll play until the game starts, the ball physics often aren’t predictable, and the AI isn’t very advanced. On the positive side, you can play singles or doubles with a mouse and keyboard. Sadly, joystick support is either missing or wishy-washy.