Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Come game time, stellar graphics - easily the best ever for any tennis game - are center court, along with astutely tuned AI - staunch but never frustrating, always in league with your rank. [Nov 2003, p.107]
  2. Graphically Top Spin is drop dead gorgeous. Fantastic venues, beautiful textures, and nice lighting effects all lend to the “Realism” of the game.
  3. With solid gameplay and well executed online features, it is safe to say Top Spin has supplanted "Virtua Tennis" as the tennis leader and the series will be around for some time.
  4. Top Spin manages to take the crown away from Sega's famed series as it ups the ante with superb graphics, a good career mode and great online play.
  5. Mixes in arcade style gameplay with never before seen realism, topped off with the best graphics and detail in any sport game.
  6. All of the characters are highly detailed and look exactly like their human counterparts. The facial hair on Pete Sampras looks just you could reach out and tug on it.
  7. Though few tennis titles have garnered high praise, Top Spin is hands down the best to date. It’s easy to learn and fun to play.
  8. There is a level of complexity in the gameplay that makes this game challenging for experts, but those same controls can be ignored and even novices can enjoy a single-button return system for casually knocking the ball around.
  9. 93
    Simply put, Top Spin is the best overall tennis game out there. While "Virtua Tennis" and even "Mario Tennis" are great games, Top Spin's added depth, online play, and beautiful graphics make it the tennis game to have, no questions asked.
  10. It is so quickly apparent that the gameplay makes Top Spin as good as it is and so damn addicting.
  11. Top Spin is THE game for tennis fans and even not-so tennis fans like me.
  12. Quite simply, the most well-rounded, feature-rich game of tennis to be found anywhere, on any system.
  13. The best tennis videogame ever made. [Dec/Jan 2004, p.93]
  14. 90
    It joins the ranks of "Winning Eleven" as a title that can be truly decreed master of all it surveys. With the significantly improved gameplay over its peers and additional online elements, it must be considered as an essential purchase.
  15. Nearly perfect. This release from MS Game Studios, despite the glaring lack of competition, is one of the best tennis game you can get.
  16. The great tennis game lineage now has a new addition. It's subtle and complex without losing the pick-up-and-play appeal that all tennis games need. It is, in short, the best tennis game ever made. [Dec 2003, p.100]
  17. The eye candy is wonderful and the physical dynamics are, for the most part, very realistic and - at times - downright amazing.
  18. The animations are perfectly complemented by the pixel perfect shadowing and some truly stunning effects, such as the player leaving marks on the clay courts as they skid across to reach for a shot.
  19. Apart from featuring a slightly dated roster of tennis stars, the only other drawback is the inability to play men against women - alas the Kournikova-Sampras clash will have to wait.
  20. From character creation to stat increasing to picking up sponsors, single-player thrills abound. For multiplayer fans, you can't beat Xbox Live support. [Nov 2003, p.167]
  21. The graphics look great (special nod to nice lighting), and the animation is outstandingly lifelike. [Dec 2003, p.130]
  22. Top Spin's control is wonderfully simple... With an incredibly deep Career mode and online opponents, all that's missing from this glorious package is mixed doubles matches. [Dec 2003, p.228]
  23. Truly a superlative game, offering unparalleled control, fine presentation and plenty of play modes to toy around with.
  24. The control you have over the ball is incredible. It will take some time but if you're used to "Virtua Tennis" you'll have a clue. It's just that the controls add more depth to the game and have a lot of nuance that has never been presented before.
  25. Power and Magic, along with Microsoft, have captured what was great about "Virtua Tennis" and brought it up to a higher degree of greatness. You can't go wrong with this game unless you totally despise tennis games.
  26. A must have for the sports fan, and for anyone who even remotely enjoys the game of Tennis. It is the beat-all-end-all of Tennis games as it stands right now.
  27. The benchmark has been well and truly raised; Top Spin should be your tennis game of choice.
  28. 90
    Simply one of the best tennis games on the market. While it lacks a decent online doubles mode, the game still manages to provide an unbelievably fun arena in which players can engage in online play.
  29. Arguably the best sports game from Microsoft this year. If you were even a remote fan of "Virtua Tennis" you’ll definitely like this game.
  30. 90
    Has its own quirks - you have to be too precise about lining up your player with the ball at arm’s length, so you’ll often miss swings you know you should've drilled. Spins also don’t have as much effect as they should, and the powered-up shots and serves are more challenging than they should be.
  31. Although the career mode was a complete letdown, this still is the best tennis game to come out in this generation of consoles, including the Dreamcast.
  32. 85
    The game's shot variety, graphics, and online capabilities truly take tennis games to a new level. The things that prevent the game from being as perfect as Kournikova's... legs... are the load times and poor implementation of risk and drop shots.
  33. 84
    Top Spin is the best competitive sporting game we have ever played.
  34. Its small flaws are outmatched by its solid gameplay, excellent graphics and nice online support. It’s also as close as you’ll get to Anna without worrying about that pesky restraining order, and that’s gotta count for something.
  35. The game looks and sounds great, plays well, and has a ton of online and offline modes to play.
  36. The best tennis game of this generation, if not ever. A crisp, responsive and consuming sports title where the act of hitting the ball is made so effortless that your focus can be instantly diverted towards thinking about tactics and exploring the subtle depth on offer. [Jan 2004, p.105]
  37. A great tennis sim. It's certainly less fun than "Virtua Tennis" (especially the career mode) and it's damn frustrating at times, but it's still the best representation of strawberries and cream we've ever seen.
  38. A remarkable achievement. Not because of an innovative control system, not thanks to superior visuals, but for one simple, overriding factor; it's fun. So much fun.
  39. A tight-feeling and great-looking game.
  40. 80
    The reflex-driven gameplay is almost hypnotic, and the included options are sure to satisfy most hard-core tennis fans and casual players looking for something new.
  41. It's easily the best tennis game ever produced, but it's marred by lack of long-term playability in single player mode, terrible load times, the lack of mixed matches and the ability to play doubles over XBL without having a second player sitting next to you.
  42. 76
    Top Spin may be a good tennis game, but it really doesn’t improve upon the legend of "Virtua Tennis" enough to really make me want to recommend it wholeheartedly.
  43. 7 / 7 / 6 / 7 - 27 [Vol 814; 23 July 2004]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. ChrisE.
    Sep 11, 2004
    This game is so much fun I can't stop playing it i want to stop but i can its too much fun best game ever EVER!
  2. JakeK.
    Jul 3, 2004
    Great game: the incredibly detailed create player is genius, and the real-life sponsors are a nice touch. It is also just SO fun to pick up and play for hours at a time. Full Review »
  3. Loothor
    May 21, 2004
    This game is the perfect example of why video game reviewers are lame. It would appear to deserve all it's great ratings at first glance. It certainly has great graphics and a wonderful character creation engine, but it is ultimately only really fun as a two player game. The one player mode is devoid of any really interesting goals and the underfunctional training mode is used up in the first hour or so of gameplay, leaving you with nothing to do but play the same repetitive tourneys over and over again. The CPU AI is poor, and is obviously much more situationally driven than character driven. It feels nothing like playing against a real person, and you will generally kick the CPU's ass in straight sets over and over again for the first couple hours of game play and then ultimate switch off between kicking the CPU's ass or getting your ass kicked. Close matches are an extreme rarity. Buy this game if you have a friend to play with, but don't bother if you would be playing solo. Ultimately this game is the best looking tennis game to date, but the gameplay is a weak shadow of the tennis classic -- Virtua Tennis. Full Review »