Sega Sports Tennis w/ Venus & Serena Williams for Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
Originally released on the Dreamcast under the Virtua moniker, Sega have reigned in the franchise, bringing it in line with their other sports brands. An upgrade of the Dreamcast Tennis 2K2 title, the PS2 version, dubbed Sega Sports Tennis, sports added features and extras. A roster of 16 professionals (both men and women) are available for selection, including such high-profile players as Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Ai Sugiyama, Patrick Rafter, Tim Henman, and Thomas Enqvist. Exhibition, Tournament, and World Tour modes are provided, allowing players to partake in singles, doubles, or even mixed doubles competition customized to their liking. Using a combination of directional pad and face button presses, players can determine the angle of any number of shots, including top-spin, slice, lob, smash, and drop shots. Up to four players can partake in a once-off Exhibition match or a single tour-style tournament, replete with cash prizes. The World Tour offers the bulk of play, giving the player the opportunity to create a male and female tennis star who then join the tour with the lowest possible ranking and no money in the bank. By participating in the 28 tour events (which take place across a standard calendar year) and training in one of eight mini-game events, players can increase in rank and ability with the ultimate goal of becoming the best player in the world. Additionally, money earned from tournaments can be used to purchase new equipment and outfits for your player. When a mini-game -- which test various facets of your game, such as stroke, serve, volley, and footwork -- is completed, your virtual avatar's abilities are shown, along with any increases in level he or she might have gained from the workout. Though players are basically free to choose which events they participate in, certain tournaments are only open to higher ranked players, and doubles matches can only be entered once you've hired a doubles partner. While on tour, players will compete on a variety of court surfaces, including grass, clay, hardcourt, and indoor courts, all of which uniquely affect the pace and bounce of the ball.