Before starting I do have to admit that I am a huge tennis fan, so I'm more likely than most to enjoy playing tennis games. Virtua Tennis 2009 is not an ultra-realistic simulation of tennis. It is arcadey, but that's also why it is fun.
Pros: - The controls are simple and easy to learn. Within a game or two almost anyone should be serving and volleying or crushing ground-strokes from anywhere on the court - The World Tour mode was originally way too long, only going up 3 or 4 ranks every tournament even if you won both singles and doubles. However, a patch has since come out that makes it go much faster and makes it more enjoyable. World Tour itself is where most people will spend their time. Ranking up to get on the Pro Tour, and eventually becoming number 1 in the world. There is a fun mix of mini-games and matches and you have to rest now and again to keep your player from getting injured. Also, you unlock new outfits and raquets. One thing I really liked was that raquets actually have stats -Different surfaces actually play differently. So slower bounces on clay and really fast bounces on grass, just like it should be - There is just something about the game, that keeps drawing you back. I'll find myself saying I'll only play one more match and playing 10 more because it is just generally fun.
Cons: -Most of the clothing you unlock is terribly animated. Character customization in general is pretty much a joke because your character always looks bad. - Virtua Tennis 3 had you level up in minigames, but you actually had to work on stuff in the minigames. Wanted to get your backhand better? You had to use your backhand in practice. This has been replaced by Skill Types that are a great idea if they were implemented alongside leveling up different parts of your game, or if they felt significantly different from each other. Sadly, they all feel the same
While I only give it a 6, I will admit this game is hard to put down. It just could have been so much more.
In its first week I forgot I owned any other games. Even got a friend who had no prior interest in tennis hooked on it. It's good fun; might not be the most ultra realistic game out there, but it's still a blast. Yes, the tournament mode is a bit of a grind, but I think the game truly shines for its doubles mode anyway. Just my $0.02.