TopSpin 2K25 Review – A Strong Return

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    During the heyday of the tennis sim video game genre, Topspin and Virtua Tennis were the best players in the crowded field. However, during the genre’s heyday, offerings have dropped considerably, with both franchises going more than a decade without a new release. TopSpin 2K25 marks the re-emergence of the critically acclaimed series, and although it’s been a while since it hit the court, it’s clear that the franchise hasn’t lost its stroke.

    TopSpin 2K25 faithfully recreates the fast-paced chess game of real-world tennis. Positioning, spin, timing, and angle are critical to your success. For those unfamiliar with these basic tennis principles, 2K25 does an excellent job of onboarding players with the TopSpin Academy, which covers everything from where you should stand to playing different styles. . Even as someone who has played tennis for years, both in real life and in video games, I really enjoyed going through the more advanced lessons to reacquaint myself with the different strategies in the game.

    Once on the court, you’ll learn how important these tactics are. The margin for error is very slim, as the difference between a winner down the baseline and a shot into the net is often a split second on the new timing meter. This meter ensures that you release the stroke button in time when the ball is in the ideal strike position relative to your player. Mastering this is important, as it not only improves the accuracy of your shot, but also your power.

    TopSpin 2K25 is best when you are in constant rallies against an equally matched opponent. Landing a strong serve immediately puts your opponent on the defensive, then trying to take advantage of their poor positioning as they struggle to get back to the point. Takes hold effectively. I also love how different each game feels in action. An aggressive baseline player like Serena Williams presents different challenges than a serve and volleyer like John McEnroe.

    You can hone your skills in one-off exhibition matches, but I spent most of my time in TopSpin 2K25 in MyCareer. Here, you create your own player, with whom you will train and climb the ranks. As you complete challenges and win matches, you level up, which unlocks new features like upgradable coaches, equipped skills, and purchasable houses to eliminate the stamina drain from traveling. . To maintain a high level of play it is important to manage your stamina by resting at times. Pushing yourself too hard can also expose your athlete to injuries that sideline you for months.

    I enjoyed most of my time in MyCareer, but some design decisions ruined the immersion. For example, I neglected the parts of my career goals that were necessary to increase my player’s ranking, so when I was in the top 10 in the world rankings, I had to compete in a Grand Slam. I was unable to because I was still below my ranking. will usually grant. And since repetition is the path to mastery, it’s counterintuitive that repeated training minigames have fewer benefits, especially since the overall mode is a repetitive loop of training, special events, and tournaments. . Additionally, MyCareer highlights the shallow pool of licensed players on offer. Most of my matches were against created characters, even hours deep. 2K has promised free licensed pros in the post-launch phase, but for now, the game lacks a number of top players.

    I’m pleasantly surprised at how non-intrusive using VC is. In the NBA 2K series, VC, which can be earned gradually or purchased with real money, is used to directly improve your player. In TopSpin 2K25, it is mainly used for side upgrades, such as leveling up your armor, moving your house, getting an XP boost, rearranging your attribute distribution, or buying cosmetics. . While I’m still not a fan of the microtransactions that plague the single-player mode – especially since that’s almost certainly why you need to be online to play MyCareer – the same goes for its NBA contemporaries. More delicious.

    If you want to play against real opponents, you can show off your skills (and your created character) in a number of online modes. The World Tour pits your created player against others from around the world in various tournaments and leaderboard challenges, while the 2K Tour takes advantage of a roster of licensed players to face daily challenges. Aside from minor connection hiccups, I had an enjoyable time tackling the challenges presented by other players online. However, the structure of the World Tour means that despite the sport’s best efforts, the match is not there. It’s no fun playing against a created character on more levels than you. Thankfully, these similarities were outliers rather than exceptions in my experience.

    TopSpin 2K25 appropriately brings the beloved franchise back to center court, showing that not only the series still has legs, but the sim tennis genre as a whole. Although its modes are somewhat repetitive and it doesn’t have many high-profile pros at launch, TopSpin 2K25 provides a great package for tennis fans.

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