2018’s AO Tennis may have been a limp first swing that pinged off the frame and dropped well short of the net, but its second attempt at landing in the service box has been delivered with substantially more power and precision. It’s a better-looking, smoother-playing, and more fully-featured simulation of the sport, one that eradicates the bulk – though not the entirety – of the unforced errors made by its undercooked predecessor. There hasn’t been a transformation this radical in the tennis world since Andre Agassi took off his wig.
Many of these improvements have admittedly come over time; regular post-release patching from developer Big Ant transformed the original AO Tennis from broken mess at launch to a more competent sim some 12 months later, tightening the responsiveness of the controls and adding additional community-focussed features such as a powerful stadium designer. AO Tennis 2 builds upon that restructured foundation, smoothing the on-court experience further with a raft of new player animations and improved ball physics, along with bringing a welcome splash of personality and context to its career mode, a la FIFA’s The Journey.