Sampras Tennis 96

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Sampras Tennis 96
Sampras Tennis 96 Coverart.png
Cover art
Developer(s) Codemasters
Publisher(s) Codemasters
Series Pete Sampras
Platform(s) Sega Mega Drive
  • EU: 1995
Genre(s) Sports (Tennis)
Mode(s) Players: 1-4
Third-person perspective

Sampras Tennis 96 is a 1995 tennis video game developed by Codemasters. It is the sequel to Pete Sampras Tennis. Like its predecessor, it was one of the few titles released on the J-Cart format, which provided two additional controller ports for multiplayer games. The game was followed by Pete Sampras Tennis '97, which was released for the PlayStation and personal computers.


It was Endorsed by Pete Sampras, one of the best-known tennis players of the late 20th century. The game is pretty standard tennis sim fare. It features a first-person behind-the-back view of the court with player's choice of multiple male or female players and pick of several different styles of play - including head-to-head and mixed doubles.


The Europe-only sequel to Pete Sampras Tennis, Sampras Tennis 96 includes new features, such as a reworked graphics engine with parallax scrolling, new shots and aftertouch controls, with an Indoor court joining the previously available grass, clay and hard courts.

Changes to the game go well beyond the graphics - now the ball reacts differently in each court and it's harder to control the direction of the ball, meaning the powerful forehands that could win a game in minutes of the first game are much harder to pull. Services now must be perfectly weighted in both power, direction and timing, facing the risk of hitting the net or going off bounds, with a speedometer showing how fast the best serves went. All these are controlled using the three buttons of the gamepad and the d-pad, with the A button for lobbing the ball, B to make passing shots and C to dive for a direction. By combining the B and A or C buttons it's possible to add top/back or full spin to the ball, with the Y axis changing the power and the X axis the direction.

The large roster of Pete Sampras Tennis was replaced by only eight players: Pete Sampras himself, Sam Nimitz (German, powerful player best suited for hard courts), Marie Guyennot(French, accurate and fast around the court), Minori Hurosawa (Japanese, fast and agile all around), Dino Turnetti (Italian, with an aggressive style of play), Wanda Tucker (American, all around), Esperanza Delgado (Spanish, powerful serve and volleying abilities) and Richard Potter (English, rookie all-arounder). There are three game modes to square things up - Challenge (single match, pairs or doubles on any court), Tournament ("Party mode" for up to eight players) and World Tour (single player mode, where the player squares against seven computer players, with the option to play singles or doubles. There's a Pro mode which extend the match to three sets and increase the difficulty setting by enhancing computer player AI and allowing them to perform spin shots).

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