- Original release year: 1999
- Consoles: Arcade, Dreamcast
Remember in the 80s and 90s how everyone would dream of playing arcade perfect ports in the living room on game consoles and companies would promise they would finally deliver, but they never did? Remember how Sega aimed to do it with the Sega Saturn and just couldn’t quite do it (unless it was a 2D fighter. The Saturn kicked ass at those)? Remember then when the Dreamcast was coming out and Sega promised this time they would release arcade perfect ports, only they actually went one better and instead released games that vastly surpassed the quality of the arcade originals? Yeah, that was an awesome time. Virtua Tennis was one of those games.
Before Virtua Tennis, I don’t think I could have ever said I really loved a tennis game. I mean, sure, there were tennis games that were enjoyable or reasonable fun, but none were really phenomenal gaming experiences. Virtua Tennis changed that. What made Sega’s attempt at the sport better than previous tennis titles, was what made all their arcade titles so good. They made sure that it was not only easy for anyone to get into (thanks to an accessible control set up), but also that it was an absolute blast to play, either by yourself or with friends. It truly was addictive and had great longevity thanks to the inclusion of a deep career mode, called the World Tour mode.
Virtua Tennis also looked amazing. It actually looked like a real life tennis match whenever you played. The back and forth action is amazing, even today. There’s so much to do and unlock too. There’s mini games to play, challenges to do and you can unlock all sorts of wacky costumes and rackets.
There’s been loads of Virtua Tennis games (Virtua Tennis 2 was pretty cool, because it added female tennis players to the mix), but none quite had the impact the first game had.