Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 47
  2. Negative: 1 out of 47
  1. A more realistic tennis sim you will not find anywhere. Top Spin 3 brings proper simulation to the sport. The arcadey fun play is gone and a serious sporting challenge has emerged from this series to mark it out from the other tennis games available.
  2. All of this boils down to gameplay that is slower-paced, more realistic, and lightyears more satisfying than "Top Spin 2's" or anything with "Virtua" in its name. [June 2008, p.74]
  3. A revolution. The controls alone render the competition obsolete. [Aug 2008, p.82]
  4. A superb sports title that manages to be both accessible and deep. [Aug 2008, p.80]
  5. Top Spin 3 is much more realistic than the previous games of the series, mostly because of the new control mechanics. It takes more than just slapping the ball around to beat the versatile AI. However, to succeed one does not have to use the whole shot variety, which takes some depth out of the game. [Sept 2008]
  6. It doesn't reinvent the genre or bring anything amazingly new to the community, but as Tiger Woods has done for golf titles, Top Spin does for tennis.
  7. Reinforcing its clear contrast with other tennis games, Top Spin 3 is not a title for the simply curious. The gameplay is difficult and complex, but as soon as you get over the learning curve, you gain access to one of the most rewarding and realistic tennis experiences to date. And if you take in account the different game modes, all the real tennis fans will simply love it. [Aug 2008]
  8. A fast paced, fluid tennis simulation. The steep learning curve will put off those wanting a quick, arcade tennis bash, but if you take the time to learn the game it is a rewarding, fun experience.
  9. Revamped risk shots pay dividends. Revamped character movements backfire.
  10. The only thing that would make this game more authentic is Strawberries and Cream and perhaps Cliff Richard singing when it rains.
  11. Yes, the often exhausting depth might prove to be off-putting for those who prefer the more intuitive Virtua Tennis, but that's precisely part of Top Spin 3's more simulation-minded appeal. With fantastic online play and an obsessive career mode to dive into, it's the thinking man's tennis title.
  12. A lot of work has gone into this title to make it challenging, rewarding and a lot of fun for the casual player (if a bit tough in places).
  13. 2K Sports has done Top Spin 3 a great service with a lot of the improvements that the game has gotten.
  14. Superb tennis sim, but where's Wimbledon? [July 2008, p.85]
  15. Top Spin 3 is by far the best tennis sim on the market, but there's still plenty of room for improvement.
  16. It's just finally captured the skill and fortitude that comes with playing a real game of tennis, an achievement we sense it's always been working towards. [Issue#34, p.90]
  17. The realistic look is one we like. You just want to keep on playing.
  18. Probably the most realistic tennis sim ever created. Whether or not you’ll have any fun playing it is a matter of how willing you are to dedicate some time to mastering the game’s nuances and surprising level of depth.
  19. Concerning the gameplay, the Wii version can’t play in the same league as its next gen colleagues. On next gen the game is definitely brilliant.
  20. Top Spin 3 is a great tennis game, offering a deep challenge for diehard fans and one of the closest experiences to playing a grand slam.
  21. While the controls will take a while to get adjusted to, once you get used to them you will find depth and a challenging game that will last for months on end.
  22. 80
    On the one hand the new gameplay mechanics have been implemented really well, but on the other we just can't believe the team still hasn't got the risk/power shots right. Still, don't let that stop you giving this a try.
  23. When it all boils down to it, Top Spin 3 is a simulation game that will be perfect for many tennis fans, but will be extremely frustrating for the casual pick up and play gamers.
  24. When all's said and done, Top Spin 3 is very much the best simulation tennis game out there, though it’s not like there's much competition in that corner of the tennis market.
  25. 78
    It’s in the emotional aspect of the sport that TS3 loses steam. There’s so much more to the present-day brand of tennis than what is represented here.
  26. With more responsive movement controls and a better transition game Top Spin 3 could have been king of the court, but for now it will have to settle for being tagged as a promising but flawed prospect.
  27. Just as in the real sport, it will take you some time, practice, and patience to succeed in Top Spin 3
  28. I approached Top Spin 3 with open expectations and walked away rather impressed.
  29. This game will frustrate a lot of people before they've even made it through the tutorials and the season mode is fairly light too. Worth a play but only if you have the patience to practice, practice and practice some more.
  30. I've enjoyed playing Top Spin 3, but I fear that many first time players won't get to grips with the non accessible control system.
  31. 75
    Top Spin 3 is a decent game with an incredible learning curve. Anyone who has the patience to stick with it will enjoy the game, but anyone who is just a casual fan of tennis games will be put off by the steep learning curve.
  32. 75
    Overall, Top Spin 3 does a great job approximating the real talent it takes to play tennis at a competitive level.
  33. Top Spin 3 looks great and offers a deep game for anyone willing to dig into it and learn it. But the incredibly steep expectations at the beginning of the learning experience won't be worth it to those looking for a quick game of video tennis. This is not a pick-up-and-play game.
  34. If you liked the previous Top Spin games, or if you wish to study the grand, majestic sport of professional tennis, then you should definitely buy Top Spin 3. But if you want to play tennis, the game, then you should probably go snag a copy of Virtua Tennis 3 (or even Sega Superstars Tennis) on the cheap right now.
  35. The changes to Top Spin 3 are only good for hardcore tennis fans. For most gamers, the new animation-dependent learning curve will replace the fun gameplay elements with literal gameplay mechanics.
  36. The lack of notable stars, the flat atmosphere, and the by-the-numbers career mode are disappointments. Yet, for better or worse, it's the control scheme that ultimately defines Top Spin 3. Once acclimated, you'll find that it brings you closer to the on-court action than any tennis game before it, but it’s also unforgiving.
  37. Virtua Tennis fans need not apply; this is tennis done more accurately...for better or worse. The game may not serve up an ace, but it makes for a solid set.
  38. Upsets the balance between fun and realism maintained by its immediate predecessor. [Aug 2008, p.108]
  39. Top Spin 3 isn’t your friend, it’s not going to hold your hand and take you through the motions.
  40. This is definitely not a tennis game you'll master in an afternoon, but once you've invested enough time to come to grips with the gameplay you'll be awarded with a great tennis experience. A nice career mode and an equally nice online mode makes this a great package for all those interested in the genre. If you want an arcade experience, Virtua Tennis is more you cup of tee. If you want a more challenging experience, this is for you.
  41. 70
    The learning curve is steep, but those who enjoy a challenge might just end up embracing the greater level of realistic gameplay that only Top Spin 3 can offer.
  42. Top Spin 3 is actually one of the better tennis games I have played in some time, however its ridiculously weak tutorial system will completely put off the potential gamers before they even have the chance to see the same kind of admiration I have.
  43. 58
    It's a bit of an awkward comparison, but I see shades of "Ninja Gaiden" here: It's unassailably gratifying when the mechanics finally click and you start slicing and volleying your way to victory, but at the same time, it's prohibitive to folks who don't want to spend hours in the school of hard knocks, pursuing what should be a relatively uncomplicated act of learning the game's basic rules and logic.
  44. Again, I’m just a casual tennis player and not a sim-enthusiast, but as a game, a tennis game, Top Spin 3 is one of the worst I’ve played. Sorry 2K…better luck next year.
  45. We dig the Career and Tournament modes, and the ability to create your player from the ground up and play online tournaments is cool, but Top Spin 3's inaccessible and sloppy controls killed our high expectations.
  46. 40
    Though it has numerous pros, courts, and options - including a player creation section that would make World Of Warcraft jealous - and looks as good as Wimbledon on NBC, it is ultimately undone by the most obvious of gaming mistakes: bad controls.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. JobA
    Dec 27, 2008
    5
    I'm telling you...I played and played and this game is terrible.Read my review on Top Spin 2, I gave it a 9.6,cause it was great.This game tries to be to real which makes it slow and complicated.That does not make it real by the way to all you reviewers.If you ever watched tennis or played it,it is fast and intense.I am really disappointed with this title cause I love tennis and have been a fan since I played tennis on the Atari.This title deserves a 5 and nothing more. Full Review »
  2. Aug 29, 2013
    6
    When a video game series becomes less accessible and more difficult to master than the actual sport it was based on, something has gone horribly awry. I might rather stick with the actual sport, or better yet, the indisputably more fun and superior looking Virtua Tennis series. (This game looks almost as terrible as it plays.) Full Review »
  3. Apr 22, 2012
    10
    I'm very mad at myself because I already reviewed this game and gave it a 5.It's genious passed by me because I didn't give it the"die hard"kind of look at like I should of.If you play for less than 2 hours then you will not see the true brilliance in this game.Learn the controls because they give you true satisfaction for every point you earn.Look,EA is now using the same sort of controls in there latest title,grand slam tennis 2 but there control scheme doesn't match this game and they were made 4 years apart.I think 2K made a perfect pacing with what a tennis game should be,with this game.I think Top Spin 4 is a better game as a whole package but this games controls are spot on too.You can pick this game up for under $10 now and it's well worth a lot more.Don't waste your time with EA's game cause you will regret it.There game is like a shiny version of tennis for the Atari back in the day.This game has an awesome single player game that you'll play 5 years from now.Great job 2K!9.5 Full Review »