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GINX TV > Reviews > TopSpin 2K25

TopSpin 2K25 Preview: Set Up For Match Point

A new force for tennis gaming that serves up more than just nostalgia.
TopSpin 2K25 Preview: Set Up For Match Point

While tennis courts aren’t somewhere I typically frequent, especially not in the center of Paris, I can think of no better place to try out an upcoming sporting title. Spread across two floors of a quaint Parisian bar, nestled to the side of two tennis courts, were stations of PlayStations all primed to show off 2K’s latest offering. I’m referring to the return of TopSpin which, after 13 years, is set to launch a brand new entry, this time fully under 2K’s brand as TopSpin 2K25

Developed by Hangar13, best known for Mafia III, TopSpin 2K25 fills a noticeable gap for one of the world’s most beloved sports in the gaming market. For TopSpin fans specifically, TopSpin 2K25 could be everything they’ve missed and more. 

Back To Basics

Step into the proving grounds. (Picture: 2K)

I had roughly an hour to test out some of TopSpin 2K25’s upcoming features, including its training tutorials (lovingly dubbed TopSpin Academy) narrated by tennis legend John McEnroe, and a few Exhibition Matches in both Singles and Doubles. If you’re new to TopSpin (and heck, even if you’re not — it’s been 13 years) the tutorials are worth checking over. One thing that quickly becomes apparent is just how much timing will play a part in your matches, and these tutorials give you a good idea of what to expect. When returning shots, for example, you’ll hold down the respective button until a meter hits a small green bar, after which you’ll let go of the button to hit the ball. It’s easier said than done, as the timing for filling the meter depends on the skill of the server. But, even if you miss the green bar you’ll still hit the ball — just with less momentum. 

But you’ll learn all of this through the tutorials, which will get you acquainted with the general basics, such as serving, positioning, and directing your shots. As you complete them, more advanced training will be unlocked so you can take your skills to the next level. But, for those that just want to get stuck in, the initial batch of tutorials will serve you just fine.

Exhibition Matches are where the meat of the game begins to emerge, and where tennis fans will really start to reveal their passion. You’ll get to choose which famous location you’d like your match to take place, and on which type of court surface (grass, clay etc.). If you’re playing Singles, you’ll be able to pick the difficulty of your AI opponent. In Doubles, you’ll be able to choose the difficulty of all non-player controlled players. Now, I found Doubles to be the most difficult, but maybe that was down to my opponents. I chose to play as Serena Williams with a Doubles partner of Emma Raducanu, against married legendaries Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi. At normal difficulty, they sent my amateur skills back to TopSpin Academy. I found it tough to play in the front position, and my AI partner wasn’t doing much to compensate. I can see where playing friends in this instance would have yielded some better results. 

Take It To The Grand Slam

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My toxic trait is thinking I could return even one serve from Carlos Alcaraz. (Picture: 2K)

While TopSpin 2K25 will no doubt be the video game tennis fans have been crying out for, in its preview state there were some aspects which felt a little undercooked. For a game that immortalizes sporting legends, some of the character models looked unpolished in certain instances. Not quite “drawing Serena Williams from memory” unpolished, but if you’re hoping for the same level of detail as NBA 2K24 you might be a little disappointed. Faces and expressions seem a little wooden for the current generation of tech, and it does take something away from the realism of the courts and locales, which are worth looking at, such as Wimbledon or Indian Wells. The camera pans around to catch the emotional response of the crowd, only what you’re met with is a sea of lifeless eyes. In TopSpin’s defense, that’s how the crowd probably would look if they were watching me play actual tennis.

But all of this is minor when it’s the gameplay that leads the charge in these sporting titles and, while it took some getting used to, I managed to surprise myself with how quickly I picked up the controls. Not to brag, but defeating Roger Federer three-love across three sets may have secured my path to Wimbledon. 

65f02b3782c6c-TopSpin 2K25 Roger Federer.jpg
And what, Federer? (Picture: 2K)

This was in a Singles Exhibition Match, however, but there were plenty of modes that weren’t available to try out during the preview. The most notable, and one fans will be eager to dive in, is MyPLAYER — 2K’s staple across their sports portfolio. It’s promised that players will be able to create, customize, and grow their own tennis professional, earn new coaches, and even secure branding sponsorships. I can see why this wasn’t included in the preview. It’s like Hangar 13 knew I’d spend the entire hour in character creation.

What became clear from my brief preview is that TopSpin is certainly back. Those with fond memories of TopSpin 4 will finally have that gap for a “good” tennis game filled after years of drought, now with the added benefit of MyPLAYER. And while 2K continues to widen their breadth of sporting titles to the joy of fans, it remains to be seen whether TopSpin 2K25 will reach the same heights of NBA 2K. 

TopSpin 2K25 is set to release on April 26, 2024. Pre-orders are now available across PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC via Steam.