TopSpin 2K25 review

by on April 24, 2024
Release Date

April 23, 2024


It’s been a long time since TopSpin appeared on consoles, and we’ve finally got the king of the court back. The series has always been known for its solid gameplay, and playing on PS5 shows off how far it’s come while offering plenty of nuanced control with a racket. There’s not a ton of modes to get stuck into, but Hangar 13 has made sure that when you’re on the court, be it grass or clay, there’s no greater feeling. Get ready to learn and grow as a rookie before playing the greats on the biggest stage in TopSpin 2K25.

Fortunately for me, I was able to visit the 2K offices a few weeks ago to get a taste of how it plays. I was impressed by how much effort had gone into the small and subtle controls that helped you get an advantage on your opponent. For new and returning players, there’s a lot to learn in terms of player positioning, shot types, and aiming. The TopSpin Academy offers a fantastic tutorial where you’ll start to learn the basics with John McEnroe before getting to grips with shot types, body movement, serving, and more.

When you strip tennis down to the fundamentals, all you’re doing is hitting a ball over a net, but there’s so many things you need to think about, like factoring your stamina and when to play power shots or opt for control and whether to spread yourself across the baseline or attack the net. Every choice you make feels impactful, and you’re constantly reading where your player is, and where they’re going. You’ve got a variety of shots to play, ranging from slicing the ball across the court to the standard groundstroke.

Holding the shot button in and connecting at the right moment offers a powerful shot in the direction you choose, but for precision, a tap will see the ball land in a much better place. Pressing too soon and you’ll likely miss your landing spot or hit it out of bounds. There’s a small window to learn, and this is what tripped me up the most in the opening few hours. Thankfully, you get used to this, and hitting those perfect shots and watching the opponent completely misstep is a beautiful thing to witness.

Close to the net, TopSpin 2K25 becomes challenging, but the risk can be worth it if you know when to strike. Drop shots can catch the opponent off guard, and when they get too close to the net themselves, a well-placed lob can win you a point. There are so many combinations when playing, and everyone plays differently meaning no two matches ever feel the same. With the training earned from McEnroe and just getting out there and practicing, the whole process can be one of the most satisfying in sports simulations.

While there’s an Exhibition mode for you to play as various tennis stars past and present, it doesn’t do much else other than allow you to step into the shoes of icons like Pete Sampras and Serena Williams. The real meat of TopSpin 2K25 is MyCAREER, where you create your player and guide them to greatness. It isn’t a story-heavy mode, but that’s honestly a great thing as I often struggle to enjoy them in the likes of the NBA 2K series. Nope, you simply build your player and do your best to lead them to greatness.

Every month you train, compete in special events, then participate in a tournament. XP is earned from all of these events, and there are objectives to complete that will help you grow from rookie to pro. Training is simple enough, and the special events are fun as you have to implement your skill into matches with players, both needing a victory, but also needing to complete whatever skill-based challenge you’ve taken on. When it comes to the tournaments, TopSpin 2K25 is at its finest, and I felt the pressure every time I competed for a trophy.

Your fitness is something you have to manage constantly between tournaments. Travelling around the world depletes it, as does participating in too much; too often. If you don’t rest when your stamina gets too low, you can risk injury. They start off small, but can develop and leave you out of action for months at a time if not managed correctly. You can unlock houses around the world which helps to alleviate the pressures of travelling, and coaches can be hired to offer chances to improve XP and your player as a whole.

It’s a great mode filled with smaller decisions, and I loved the simplicity of it as it allows you to enjoy the game without all the background noise. Visually, TopSpin 2K25 is strong, especially in the designs of the stadiums. Some of the player animations are a bit off. My player’s hair kept disappearing on top making him look like a monk, and my only option was to wear a baseball cap as it was so off-putting. There are a few visual glitches but nothing to ruin your time with it, and it’s something that can be easily patched down the line.

The replays are excellent, as you can view every play after it’s happened with a simple press of a button. The presentation is nice, although some of the audio sounds out of place when coming through the controller. One of the best things TopSpin 2K25 does is restrict the flow of VC to not feel like you require it to be any good. Currency to earn new equipment comes at a steady pace, and you’ll also earn new items simply by playing.

TopSpin 2K25 might feel a bit bare bones when it comes to modes, but the gameplay is sublime, offering plenty of ways to earn vital points from all over the court while feeling in complete control. Mistakes are punished by the AI, but it just forces you to play better and to learn how to attack every eventuality. Apart from a few animations, it looks wonderful, and the MyCAREER is a straightforward yet satisfying way to enjoy the great work Hangar 13 has put into making it a fantastic sports sim.


Excellent gameplay
MyCAREER is simple yet fun
Gorgeous arenas


Light on modes
Some animations are off

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

TopSpin 2K25 is light on modes, but the gameplay is excellent, leading to tense and exciting matches against the world's very best.