With its exhilarating and authentically strategic action, TopSpin 2K25 marks a fantastic return for the beloved tennis series.

Check out some screenshots down below:

The core mechanics of TopSpin 2K25’s gameplay are simple in design, but will take some getting used to before players can master them. Everything revolves around the timing-meter, with a small bar appearing above the player when they press a button to hit the ball – release the button when the marker hits the green area to deliver a good shot, but do it too early or late and it’ll be less effective or go wayward. Different buttons on the controller represent varied shot types too, whether that’s with a lobbed shot, a drop shot, a slice shot, or a simple return, with each offering a different approach to take that might give you an advantage depending on your opponent’s position. Of course, positional play is just as important for you, so you’ll want to make sure you control the court effectively and put yourself in both good defensive and offensive positions if you want to maintain momentum in each rally.

What makes things interesting is the fact that the timing-meter changes up accordingly with the shot that you’re trying to take. If it’s a simple return and you find yourself in a good position, the meter will move slowly and give you plenty of time to hit it with accuracy. On the flipside, if you’re rushing to a return from an awkward position, it’ll be less forgiving and demand perfect precision. It can be tricky to get to grips with early on, but it’s fair and adds an air of realism to each rally where players will have to be smart and perceptive about their position and shot choice.

Another interesting aspect of play comes with the rally energy meter, which essentially acts as a stamina system that either depletes or fills between points depending on the actions took on each rally. If you managed to win an easy-going point where you maintained steady control of the court, you’re likely to build up your rally energy. Alternatively, if an opponent just won a point against you and had you running all over the court, it’ll go down. It applies to both your offensive and defensive actions on the court, so you’ll have to plan out your shots efficiently if you don’t want to find yourself completely drained of energy.

“It captures the intensity of the sport perfectly, and whilst you can pull through matches by being ‘good’ at using the timing bar, the players who will find the most success are those who put themselves in the best positions across the court.”

I’ll admit, it took a good hour or so for everything to click for me, but when it did, I quickly found myself hooked into TopSpin 2K25’s meticulous gameplay loop. There’s something so satisfying about nailing those perfect shots and seeing your opponent run ragged across the court to try and keep up with you, whilst surviving through a devastating rally in order to get the point is equally tantalising. It captures the intensity of the sport perfectly, and whilst you can pull through matches by being ‘good’ at using the timing bar, the players who will find the most success are those who put themselves in the best positions across the court – especially when it comes to maintaining your rally energy.

And if all of this sounds a bit intimidating to you? There’s a thorough tutorial to go through that explains the mechanics of the game to get you started. It’s worth bearing in mind that learning things like when to play certain shots, how best to position yourself on the court to outwit your opponent, or how to use the court surface to your advantage will come naturally through gameplay, so even those completely unfamiliar with the sport will find themselves smarter after sticking some time into TopSpin 2K25. It all comes together to make for some brilliant tennis action, with the game capturing the intensity of the sport perfectly. When I’ve played the likes of Virtua Tennis in the past, I got to a point where it became easy to score every point and barely concede any along the way, but TopSpin 2K25 gets the perfect balance of difficulty in its mechanics and gameplay to ensure every match feels competitive, authentic, and, most importantly, fun.

Of course, whilst it’s wonderful that TopSpin 2K25 offers some thrilling tennis action, it also brings with it an engaging career mode in MyCAREER to keep players invested. This mode sees you making your own pro player, taking them through a tennis academy (which is narrated by none other than John McEnroe), and then go on a journey to tennis super stardom. This means balancing out your schedule across training, events, and tournaments, with objectives to complete that’ll help your player increase in skill and stature. You’re even able to hire coaches to help develop your players or customise your appearance to boost stats, whilst there’s a stamina management system in place that’ll see your player wear down if they partake in too many events with minimal rest in-between. It’s the mode that I’ve spent most of my time playing so far and I’ve really enjoyed it. Sure, progress can feel a little bit slow at times, but with plenty of events to get stuck into and the satisfaction of seeing yourself build up the rankings, it feels like an authentic and enjoyable take on the career of a tennis player.

Check out some screenshots down below:

For those interested in multiplayer action, TopSpin 2K25 offers two options: World Tour and 2K Tour. World Tour sees you taking your created player online to compete against other players, with Tournament Points earned through your success that sees you rise up the leaderboard. On the other hand, 2K Tour puts you in control of the various real-life pros offered in the game, with players winning matches and completing daily objectives in order to climb the leaderboard. Admittedly, I haven’t spent a lot of time with multiplayer yet, but what I have experienced has been lag-free and fun – the players I faced off against were a LOT better than I am though, so there might be some discrepancies in player skill matching at the moment.

It’s also worth noting that you’ll earn Season Points across the multiple game modes, which can be used to level up the Centre Court Pass (the game’s equivalent of a season pass). This is made up of a variety of cosmetic items for your character, in-game currency, additional skins for pro players, and so forth, with both free and premium items available – obviously, the best items are the premium options that require a paid Centre Court Pass, but it’s optional. Honestly? I’ve never cared about apparel much in a tennis game so the Centre Court Pass didn’t do a whole lot for me, but I’m sure it’ll appeal to some players. And hey, it’s the only way you’ll be able to unlock Andrea Agassi with hair, so there is that…

If I was going to critique anything about TopSpin 2K25, it’d be the roster of playable characters. Whilst there are a variety of fan favourites, legends, and rising stars available, there are only two playable characters in both the ATP and WTA top ten. In fairness, this is commonplace in tennis games (and it has been confirmed that additional players will be coming) but it would be nice to play as more of the stars that are currently making their way to the finals of the majors.

TopSpin 2K25 Review

TopSpin 2K25 offers an exhilarating tennis experience that’ll keep players on their toes with its authentic and strategic action. The core mechanics demand a blend of good timing, strategic planning, and clever positional play to add to the authenticity of the experience, with the game easily standing out as one of the more realistic tennis experiences I’ve seen in a video game. It’s wonderfully executed to make for a really fun experience, whilst the package is complemented by a decent selection of game modes that’ll keep both solo and multiplayer fans invested for a long, long time.

Developer: Hangar 13
Publisher: 2K Games
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
Website: https://topspin.2k.com/2k25/