The wait for a good tennis game has, at times, felt longer than Roger Federer’s career – but Tennis World Tour 2 on PlayStation 4 offered a glimmer of hope last year. This new Complete Edition for PS5 repackages the original sports simulation and all of its DLC, but incorporates a number of key under-the-hood improvements as well. World-renowned pros like Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova have been added to the roster, as have a suite of animations inspired by real-world stars. Running at 60 frames-per-second in 4K, it looks a lot better as well – although player model close ups can be terrifying.
The game is decent on the court, with its Top Spin 4-inspired timing based rallies. You tap your chosen shot button when you want to swing for a precision shot, and hold it to power it up; releasing the input at the right moment is crucial, as your timing correlates to the positioning and power of your swing. At its best, the sequel captures the flow of real-world tennis, allowing you to push-and-pull your opponent around the court, before finishing them off with a well-placed winner down the line. However, a lack of animations means it’s not always able to reflect your actions, meaning that you’ll snap into position so that the title’s logic can compensate.
The difficulty curve also feels wrong when playing against the AI; there’s a sense of progression in Career Mode where you’ll struggle to initially go deep in competitions, which makes sense, but the computer absolutely batters us consistently when receiving our Max Power serves, crushing first-time backhand returns like they’re nothing – yet it leaves itself open to Break Points all the time. This makes for a frustrating and unrealistic experience, where the server often feels disadvantaged, which isn’t how tennis works.
New arenas, and the addition of international tournaments like the ATP Cup, complement existing events like the French Open making for a much more complete overall tennis experience than before. We’re still not particularly fond of the cards system, which allows you to assemble decks of stat-boosting skills to play at opportune moments, although we understand the title’s intent of capturing those superhuman feats real-world players seem capable of when under the kosh. The vastly improved loading times do massively improve the flow of the release, while the overall image quality makes the many arenas a lot more visually appealing.
You can find out a lot more about the game in our original Tennis World Tour 2 PS4 review, as although this version is more refined, many of the features remain unchanged. There’s undeniably a strong foundation for Nacon and Big Ant to work from here, it just needs to spend more time in the motion capture studio refining the gameplay and presentation. It’s been a long wait for a good tennis game, but we have a legitimate contender to Top Spin 4’s crown at last.