Is this game better than TopSpin that was available for the original xbox? No... it is however a recommended game to have on your list of steam games as I find it's the best tennis game there is on here. I do recommend this game though carefully as some will not like the positioning of the athletes needed to hit the tennis ball. The game can get quite finnicky.
I'll start with the user interface which many of you will go nuts as soon as I say "it uses the windows game for live" app. Once you bypass this (by various methods mentioned on the internet, or if you have flatout ultimate carnage use that to get games for windows live set up prooperly) the interface is actually quite nice. There are different modes to choose from such as multiplayer online as well as local, world tour mode (career where you can create a character), exhibition, and arcade mode. I'm not familiar with other virtua tennis games but this virtual tour mode is pretty decent. Not the greatest, but not the worst either. The plane ticket setup for how many spaces you can move on the world map is interesting. Because of this, you can miss or get to certain training mini game segments which are fun and go away from boring traditional practice, get interviewed, rest up at a hotel, take on a doubles or singles tournament, have an exhibition, or simply land on a blank space. World tour can keep a real tennis fan interested in the game for a while.
The gameplay itself isn't that bad, and the animations are done actually quite nicely. Too bad there weren't more done though. Topspin as I mentioned earlier destroys this game by far when it comes to fun or authentic tennis. I find the varied shots Topspin allows for is a lot more than what's given here. None the less though, lob shots, drop shots, slice shots, and (apparently I don't really notice) top spin shots happen as well. Topspin was notorious for showing actual top spin, I don't quite see it here. This sometimes also feels like a game of pong at times where there feels like there is limited control in where you can pick your corner. The serve is fine but the actual rallying feels a bit limited. I find it's due to the lack of shot types to say the least. Another problem that some gamers may find is that the game is EXTREMELY peculiar in the position of your player in an attempt to hit the ball. Sometimes when moving in diagonal directions I find even when I press a button, my player will simply ignore the command and keep moving.
The graphics are decent and is what's expected from a tennis game. Topspin again takes it here because it had the opportunity for you to contorl cut scenes and handle how your player took a missed point. You were able to press X Y A or B to choose between look mad or get angry and throw your raquet cutscene. Here, the players celebrate sometimes the same and there is no choice like that... no real emotions.
The sounds are decent and music consistently plays in the background making it sound like an arcade game. I turned off the music so it sounds like a real tennis match.
I recommend this game in everyone's library but with extreme caution. There are a lot of people having issues with games for windows live app/installation/login as well as some straight hate this game over previous version.
I did quite the research before I bought this one even though it was on sale.
Rating : 7.4/10