TopSpin 2K25 Review | PlayStation 5

TopSpin 2K25 will satisfy the needs of those who have been yearning for a tennis simulation.

By Rayan, Posted 26 Apr 2024

Sports simulations are now an integral part of the video game industry, and there are franchises like NBA 2K or WWE 2K that release yearly versions of their series with minor improvements; while they are always the same features to discuss. When it comes to Tennis, however, it's heavily influenced by that title but goes much beyond.

After a very long wait, the Tennis simulation finally makes an exciting comeback in TopSpin 2K25. As expected, it makes a spectacular come back building upon and surpassing the achievements of TopSpin 4. What we have here is a solid sports game that excels where it ought to: in terms of how fun it is to play. There has been a stylish comeback, and both longtime fans of the sport and newcomers to the genre have been eagerly waiting for its release.

TopSpin 2K25, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female, Tennis Player, Athlete, Blonde

Having been absent for an excessive amount of time, the name Top Spin has at long last made its glorious return, much to the delight of those who are passionate about Virtua Tennis. The last time we saw TopSpin was thirteen years ago when the PlayStation 3 era was still in existence. Therefore, it is very exciting to see that Hangar 13 and 2K Games have decided to bring TopSpin 2K25 to the next-gen consoles.

Two TopSpin sequels, developed by PAM's new publisher Take 2, fell short of the original's awe-inspiring magic, but they were still great tennis games that may have suffered a bit from the days of limited development and, most importantly, compatible with multiple platforms. The show took a hiatus before making a triumphant return in 2011 under new leadership. By developing the fourth iteration, which is widely regarded as the finest to this day, 2K Sports was able to reinvigorate the series.

Not too long ago, Torus Games' Matchpoint - Tennis Championships and Big Ant Studios' AO Tennis 2. The latest installment in 2K's tennis franchise was released all the way back in 2006. 2K25 isn't only a sequel, but rather a reimagining of the series, with a new developer at the helm: Hangar 13, known for Mafia 3. If you're familiar with The Show MLB and Madden NFL, you'll notice that TopSpin2k25 takes a somewhat more understated approach than its competitors in other sports.

Rather than being an extravagant celebration, it serves as a memorial. There are only 24 current or former athletes on the roster, so even those of you who are familiar with the international circuit or who have ever been curious about the rankings are likely to miss a few names. featuring some of the most illustrious figures from the history of grand slam tennis, both past and present.

TopSpin 2K25, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Tennis Legends, Athlete

For those who have played previous entries in the series, the gameplay will feel very familiar; yet, this is by no means a complaint, considering how novel a tennis game can be. A great tutorial is included, in which John McEnroe serves as your coach and walks you through the fundamentals. The gameplay is similar to that of previous games in that it is simple to learn yet challenging to master.

The new stroke mechanic is the focal point of the game. It also features an accuracy indicator that is comparable to the one found in the NBA 2K series, although thankfully it is more forgiving. Although the face buttons do several kinds of strokes, players can have more control over them by combining timing with the duration of button presses. 

The five various shot types can be activated by pressing different face buttons on the controller; the timing and placement of button hits dictate the force and precision of the shots, and therefore real skill is determined by court positioning. Both your positioning and the exact moment of impact are crucial.

When the strike button reaches the green running bar, you let go of it. With practice, this becomes second nature, and those who are already adept at the sport will have a good idea of when to release their grip. Power shots, which are more difficult to hit but also less precise, can be used while serving. Altering your triggers is also an option; the choice is ultimately up to you. The left stick is also useful for running and aiming, which works well; nevertheless, the mechanics can be awkward at times, as the game frequently retains the most improbable balls.

TopSpin 2K25, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female, Tennis Player, Athlete, Clay

A control shot, triggered by tapping the button, isn't very powerful but improves your odds of striking the ball near the lines. A power shot, activated by holding the button down until the power gauge fills, limits the angles you can shoot from but amplifies the impact significantly.

The left stick determines the targeted location where the ball will hit and it can be quite tricky to move the stick in the heat of the match when your focus lies mostly on hitting the ball with proper timing. And then comes the stamina bar which plays a vital role in how fast the meter will move and how your player reacts to opponents' shots. I've had a really difficult time adjusting the placement of the ball right where I wanted it to when the stamina meter was empty. 

The effectiveness of the hit is determined by this in conjunction with the precision of the gauge. This approach is excellent because it allows you to learn the ropes fast without requiring you to strike flawless shots on each attempt; the speed of the gauge, however, varies according to the intricacy of the stroke. Everything is perfectly functional and makes perfect sense. The pace at which the gauge fills up is directly correlated to how realistically reduced your odds of hitting an unorthodox shot in a hurry compared to when you're standing behind the baseline, where you typically have more time for preparing your shot.

With the exception of the usual showcase matches and the lengthy tutorial, MyCareer is the primary single-player mode. In MyPlayer, you can design a unique player avatar before you even step foot on the court. You'll have a sufficient number of alternative options to choose from, and there are a lot of choices to buy and unlock different pieces of equipment and clothing. In order to progress through the ranks, you can compete in tournaments with their custom-made player, gaining skill points along the way.

TopSpin 2K25, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female, Tennis Player, Athlete

Top Spin 4's unrealistically long rallies were one of the game's less-than-welcome features; to improve this, Hangar 13 came up with a clever new mechanic: giving our opponent an overwhelming response to their baseline attacks will reduce our defenses, making us more vulnerable to unforced mistakes. And there's a solid amount of off-court strategy, too, as you'll need to employ coaches to improve your gameplay and keep an eye on your stamina when traveling to other international events.

A large number of stages may be unlocked for use in various game types, and there are also minigames that can help you refine your skills. If you're a lone player looking for a challenge, this is it. The game is fun at first, but it gets tough when you compete against tennis greats at championships like Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

In MyCareer, there are three typical options that shuffle in each month as you progress, Training, Special Events, and tournaments. Training and Special Events are categorized as Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Tires, and depending on your current level you can take part in them. Hire Tire gives more XP and VC, but comes with more difficult opposition. You can also unlock lots of rewards by winning these special events. Additionally, this is accompanied by the TopSpin Academy, which is a collection of lessons that include the legendary tennis player John McEnroe.

These tutorials offer detailed objectives that are designed to assist players who are either new to the sport or already have some experience with it. But when it comes down to leveling up your character, slow advancement mechanisms are a major factor that contributes to the monotony of playing match after match and tournament after tournament. Gaining experience and money moves at a snail's pace, making it tough to level up, buy residences and other perks, and recruit helpful support workers. 

TopSpin 2K25, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Tennis Player, Athlete

The MyCareer mode, though, falls short of expectations. Month after month, you're actually following the exact same order, and eventually, that becomes problematic. Even the fact that there are various "Tiers" of difficulties is boring. Changing up the gameplay and the environment is the only way to keep things interesting.

You can fly to several tournament venues, but doing so will drain your energy and require recharging at a later time. The gameplay, though, is what really holds the game together, as the content is really lacking. It has to be noted that the gameplay is incredibly user-friendly and simple to get the hang of. When you first start playing at the regular level, you won't face any difficulty. The key to success in the game is timing.

But MyCareer being the only highlight in TopSpin 2K25, it could've been a lot of interesting. Such as playing as an existing player, practicing or playing against special players, or being able to earn XP in many different ways. Right now grinding for XP is really monotonous and very very slow. After 2 days of playing and winning almost all the matches I've played, I managed to reach level 8 only, and during the competitions, I'm facing players who are level 25, which feels really unjust. You could, however, buy the XP boost from the in-game store with VC, but this will take a big toll on your earnings if you also want to buy nice gear for your player.

Aside from MyCareer, the game offers its required live service content in the form of the Centre Court Pass. This pass is comprised of a series of six seasons, each of which comes with free and premium levels of unlockables. They also include the normal daily and weekly activities that you would anticipate from a system of this kind.

TopSpin 2K25, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female, Tennis Player, Athlete, Blonde

You can organize matches that would never happen in real life, like Steffi Graf vs. Serena Williams, or experience classic confrontations, like Sampras vs. Agassi, with a handful of the most famous people in history in attendance at a genuine meeting of generations. Playing random matches is a lot of fun because it allows you to choose from some of the most known stages in the world, including licensed courts from the most important events on the circuit. 

This allows you to avoid the commitment of continuing to compete in championships that go on for extended periods. You acquire the game's virtual cash in this mode as well as in the other modes, and we can use this currency to buy new haircuts and apparel items. We can use it to recruit new coaches, for instance. For collectors, there's the Center Court season pass, which grants access to additional virtual currency, postures, and items as you level up.

Accomplishing certain objectives in other modes grants you this level boost, which is separate from the MyCareer mode's level boost. Some challenges are daily, some are weekly, and some are repeated. The season system comes into play here; to get these benefits, you may either pay actual money for the season pass or buy the game in a special edition.

There is always a lot of complexity involved when discussing the length of time that a competition lasts because it is mostly dependent on the amount of time that you are willing to devote. The idea for TopSpin 2K25 is also aimed at providing hundreds of hours of thrilling court encounters, much like in previous years. In the MyCareer mode, it will take you a few hundred hours to get your player to the top of the ranking.

TopSpin 2K25, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female, Tennis Player, Athlete, JP Morgan

Furthermore, we have a variety of online game types where we may compete against other players to demonstrate that we are the best. In these modes, we can see where we are in relation to other players and in-game celebrities, which motivates us to keep improving so we may reach the top. You can also participate in these concurrently with the official tournaments.

With the release of TopSpin 2K25, the roster features 25 real-life tennis stars. Among them are both active players and tennis greats from yesteryear, including Steffi Graff, Pete Sampras, and Andre Agassi. While it does feature some contemporary greats like Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz, it does not feature an exhaustive roster of all players. With the addition of more player likenesses planned for the future, it will serve as a good blend of the past and present, making it a fantastic starting point.

There's something off about the roster and the graphics, which are sadly out of date. Among the tennis greats in attendance are the likes of Federer, Serena Williams, Steffi Graf, Sampras, Agassi, and McEnroe, as is customary, as well as some of the most influential winners on the ATP and WTA circuits. But the top ten and top twenty are severely lacking in key players like Djokovic, Nadal, Sinner, Zverev, and a slew of others who may—and we stress this again—be recruited later, and likely at a cost. Obviously, these are only speculations, but the launch roster is still not that exciting.

Naturally, TopSpin 2K25 isn't the simplest tennis game to master. Nevertheless, it is simple to dive into a couple of practice matches, as previously said. Even playing on Normal difficulty against AI opponents requires a lot of patience because their shots are very accurate and will force you to constantly run. Hard and Very Hard difficulties are probably meant when you've reached out the highest level practicing this game and it's really not easy to win matches unless you're paying proper attention to every shot and perfectly time every shot meter. The timing of your strike on the shot becomes an important part of the play.

TopSpin 2K25, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female, Tennis Player, Athlete, Legs

If you miss the time of our shots, the ball will easily find its way into our opponent's half of the field, where it will be centrally located and at the perfect height for a quick and decisive response, giving them a better chance to counterattack. Conversely, if we hit with the correct timing and energy, we can affect our opponents' resistance—which is good news for us and bad news for them.

Regardless, you can adjust the difficulty to your liking with multiple sliders. Alternatively, we can shift the camera's perspective to be lower and farther back, which makes things feel more realistic but also makes things more challenging due to our reduced range of view. The recommended starting point is to use the higher-level default camera.

Unfortunately, the visuals aren't the finest we've seen, and there are some noticeable differences between the licensed player images and the actual players. On the other hand, unique animations, gameplay styles, and movement mechanics related to each player are much improved. The supplementary clay-sliding motions that show TopSpin 2K25 pay close attention to detail—which is evident when you hit the barrier.

In some shots, the frame makes its sound when the racket hits the floor following a lowball recovery. There is neither a voice-over nor a commentary, with the exception of a MyCareer podcast that continues to run whenever you are on a menu. Since there is no voiceover, the sound design is limited to the shots, and the crowd's responses, which try to mimic the usual sighs of the athletes.


As far as its playability is concerned, TopSpin 2K25 excels really well; yet, there is still a great deal of content and work that needs to be done in the months to come. There are no technical glitches that might stop you from having a fun experience; yet, the struggle for leveling up your character becomes way too grindy and exhausting very quickly.

TopSpin 2K25 surely has the potential to serve as a solid basis for future releases that can build upon the gameplay mechanism that is satisfying to the player. Although the gameplay of TopSpin 2K25 has been painstakingly created to appeal to tennis enthusiasts, the game's lack of content may disappoint quite a few players. Nonetheless, TopSpin 2K25 will satisfy the needs of those who have been yearning for a tennis simulation.


Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

TopSpin 2K25


Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher(s): 2K Games
Developer(s): Hangar 13
Genres: Sports
Themes: Tennis, Simulation
Release Date: 2024-04-23

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