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Sega has produced the best game available for the PlayStation 3, even taking the lack of online play into account. But the Xbox 360 version is one of the most enjoyable games I have ever played, full stop. I’m sure that there are people out there who will cite the simplicity of the gameplay as a criticism, but I see that as one of VT3’s best attributes. Yes it’s simple to pick up the controller and win a few matches, but if you want to be really good, it takes a lot of practice and expert timing – just like playing tennis in fact.
This review has taken me a lot longer than I would have liked, mainly because I wanted to spend a decent amount of time with both the PS3 and X360 versions of the game. Both myself and Andy have spent many, many hours playing VT3 and almost as long again debating what score VT3 deserved. We were both convinced that a minimum of 9/10 was on the cards, but deep down we both felt that we were looking at the first 10/10 game to ever grace the pages of TR. Ultimately the sheer addictive quality, superb presentation, well implemented career mode and killer multiplayer convinced us that VT3 deserved the very first Editor’s Choice award in the Gaming section!
Arguing about whether a game deserves a nine or ten is a one of life’s more pleasant tasks. Whichever way one goes, it remains that Virtua Tennis 3 is a stunningly well designed sports game. From the finely balanced learning curve, the perfectly realised skills system and the tension filled action – everything about it feels as it should be.
That isn’t to say the game doesn’t have its quirks, the random ‘conversations’ with pro players are an oddity while the music is a typical case of Japanese tastes being lost in translation. But most complaints one can make about the game are trivial in their nature, and do little to dampen enthusiasm for a game that will have you locked away for many an hour.
Online play and party games only add to the value, and it’s always been a series born for truly excellent multiplayer experiences. This, and a superb single player experience, make Virtua Tennis 3 a must own game, and one of the best games I’ve played so far this year.