- 1Up 12Down 3Feb 22 2005“ If there's one game that probably stands above the rest as the standard bearer for baseball games, MVP Baseball 2005 is it.
The game ranked slightly lower with critics than 2004, but if you ask any fan, then they know how great that game was. Everything seemed to flow perfectly, and franchise had both dynasty mode and owner mode, allowing players to play the game however they liked. „
- 2Up 7Down 4Jan 01 1996“ After providing the SNES with one of its best baseball games, Ken Griffey, Jr., combined with the help of Rare, made another of the best games in Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Winning Run.
It was one of those types of games that was tough enough yet easy enough to pick up. Much of what made its predecessor great was brought up, and much was fine-tuned to make it another great baseball game. „
- 3Up 7Down 4Jan 01 1989“ Something about the NES made it the ideal platform to create great baseball games, as they gave us another one in late 1989 by the name of Baseball Stars.
The gameplay itself was simply nice, but what set it apart was its simulation and create modes. It was the first game to let you create your own team and player, something games even 10 years later struggled with, and it could simulate an entire season, a staple of gaming nowadays. „
- 4Up 7Down 4“ For all the console games we've seen over the years, computer baseball games have remained rare in comparison, especially in the MMO market. That's where MLB Dugout Heroes comes in.
The game was heralded for being accessible, if a bit tactical, and most importantly, entertaining. The MMO aspect has since ended, but I can easily see another game like that pop up in the future, so long as it balances the realism and entertainment. „
- 5Up 7Down 5Aug 25 2008“ Mario first made his foray into the world of sports with Mario Golf and Mario Tennis, two of the most fun sports games I've played. Does Mario Super Strikers hold up to those two, or Mario Superstar Baseball for that matter?
The game just takes a break from real life, and puts a little fantasy in Baseball. Typical „
- 6Up 7Down 5Oct 25 1991“ In the future, the game of baseball will be played using robots, and monetary figures will be granted depending on what plays are made. At least, that's what Super Baseball 2020 tells us.
The game went out of its way to be incredibly different, so naturally, there are those who either love it or hate it. The powering up option was big here, and that part is a big piece of a later series. „
- 7Up 2Down 0
Backyard Baseball 2001
- 8Up 7Down 6Jun 01 1991“ How can a game that combines cyborgs and baseball be bad? As long as it combines the two properly and keeps the soul of both intact, it can't be.
That's what Base Wars did in 1991, near the end of the NES's life. It took the controversial calls of typical games (bang-bang plays) and turned them into fights, making this as much an action game as a sports game. „
- 9Up 6Down 5“ Frank Thomas was one of the few, alongside Ken Griffey, Jr., to get on the cover of his own baseball game. While it didn't have the well-rounded excellence Griffey's had, it had its own great stuff going for it.
The main part of the game was the clutch scenarios, where you had to achieve certain tasks, such as keeping a no-hitter alive or rallying back from a deficit. „
- 10Up 6Down 5Jan 01 2005“ Baseball is America's pastime, and Mario is the biggest figure in the world of video games. Surely, combining the two would create a great game.
Sure enough, that's what happened with Mario Superstar Baseball. There is a challenge mode rather than any sort of season or franchise, but that disappointment is kept to a minimum thanks to how fun the game is. Then again, Mario is always able to boost the fun „
- 11Up 6Down 5“ Like the NES games, a lot of the baseball games released for the SNES had their own niche additions to separate themselves from the pack. Nowhere was this more clear than with Relief Pitcher.
It was a very simple game in a scenario style where you actually came into games late as the reliever. It lacked replay value, but I have to give credit for going in an entirely different direction than what typical games were doing. „
- 12Up 5Down 4“ Interestingly enough, one of the NES's last grasps in the baseball circuit was probably one of the weakest baseball games on the system, even though it was still better than what Atari brought out.
Bo Jackson Baseball had nice graphics, especially given that it was an 8-bit game, but the gameplay and options were average enough (one of the many games with fictional characters) that it would be most likely to start off a top 25 list rather than be ranked high. „
- 13Up 6Down 6
The Bigs 2“ As with the first installment of the game, The Bigs took the arcade feel that we remember from earlier games and ran with it, making a great game.
The sequel built on that, allowing players to hit huge grand slams, and it added in a legend mode as well. The series proved that it doesn't always have to be about hyper-realism. „
- 14Up 4Down 4Jan 01 1997“ There's a lot of baseball games out there that many people can just pick up right away, but what about a young sibling or cousin who isn't quite ready to delve into that yet? For them, there's Backyard Baseball.
The series takes sandlot kids and combines them with young versions of great current players to give the game a simple sandlot feel, compete with occasional power-ups. It's a bit on the easy side, but a nice game to just pick up. „
- 15Up 5Down 6Jan 01 1987
- 16Up 4Down 6Jan 01 1992“ If I had to pick one baseball game in the 1990s that I played nonstop and that I put personally above all others (not necessarily the best, objectively), it would be this gem, Sports Talk Baseball.
It helps that it was the first console baseball game to have play-by-play commentary. It wasn't customizable, but with all 26 teams and players, it was great to be able to actually play as the guys on the diamond, which we saw little of in the early 1990s. „
- 17Up 3Down 5Jan 01 1991“ While most games at the time were striving to be as realistic as possible despite any limitations, Extra Innings tossed that out of the window, instead going for a cartoony feel and the sheer fun value.
It worked out, as the game was one that could be picked up nearly immediately by a newcomer, and factored in things such as wind into the game. Having a create-a-team and player mode is helpful as well, especially since there's no excuse not to have one when fictional teams and characters are used. „
- 18Up 2Down 5Jan 01 1999“ Now we move on to the 3D systems in the late 1990s, where baseball would naturally thrive. After all, the greatness found in earlier baseball games could certainly translate over, right?
The Triple Play series proved that it could. The games were released on the original Playstation between 1997 and 2001, and at the height of its run, the series was very highly regarded, showing that EA knew how to make baseball games. „
- 19Up 2Down 5Mar 09 2004“ After a successful production in 2003, EA Sports upped the ante with MVP Baseball 2004. The game was the first to actually license minor league teams to go along with the major league teams and players.
Everything was refined from the previous year, and with improved controls, it was regarded as the best game in the class of 2004. Of course, EA was not done quite yet. „
- 20Up 3Down 7Jun 27 2007“ It's great to have a nice simulation and franchise mode when playing by yourself, but with friends, sometimes the best baseball games are the ones where you can just clobber the ball with the game having an arcade feel to it.
The Bigs is that game. Developed by 2K Sports, it's almost like a street version of baseball, or like MLB Slugfest without being ridiculous. This, combined with the rookie challenge and home run derby additions, make this an exciting game, as it remains authentic despite the arcade overtones. „
- 21Up 3Down 7“ Perhaps the only baseball series to jump from a console to a computer, VR Baseball was a series that was slow to start. The first game in 1997 really wasn't any good, and it was clunky compared to others at the time.
Then again, the Playstation was rather new at the time, and after the move to PC, the game improved. There's no pitching/batting interface, which either added to the realism or was painfully annoying, but it did give the game a different feel. „
- 22Up 2Down 6Jan 01 1983“ In 1983, every company with a game system seemed to try to make a baseball game, or at least three did. Intellivision's foray into baseball was titled Intellivision World Series Baseball, no relation to a later game on the list.
There's not much out of the ordinary to mention with this game, with perhaps the exception of the camera angle, as it's probably the strangest of any baseball game on the list. „
- 23Up 2Down 7
MLB Slugfest 20-03Aug 26 2002“ What do you get when you combine baseball, NFL Blitz and a dash of arcade play? You get MLB Slugfest, a game unlike most that have appeared in video game history.
The game took a street approach, and went so far as to include in-game fights. They take away from the game, but at the end of the day, the arcade styling of the game made it fun to pick up every once in a while. „
- 24Up 1Down 6May 01 1994“ What makes ESPN Baseball Tonight stand out is mostly the fact that ESPN got behind it, so people such as Chris Berman make appearances, and it even had some in-game advertising with Little Caesars.
The game itself was only average, and the lack of player names did not exactly help. A lot of great baseball games came out in 1994, most of which were better options than this. „
- 25Up 3Down 9Nov 19 2006“ Wii Sports is what helped put the Wii on the map, and it's only natural the top-selling game would make it on this list. Yes, it has nothing to do with MLB, but the baseball game in Wii Sports is very fluid, and it's hard to get any more realistic using a controller.
1st Game of Wii „
- 26Up 0Down 6“ In 1978, we got our first real taste of baseball video games. Atari came out with Home Run, and the Magnavox Odyssey 2 came out with Baseball!
While I'm sure Home Run was more frequently played, Baseball! was definitely superior. You could shift the outfield, the pixels actually looked like people and the game was played realistically with a ball-strike count and nine innings.
Of course, things have changed over the years, but for the time it was a great game. „
- 27Up 1Down 9“ In its second foray into baseball games, Atari made a few improvement, adding an actual discernible diamond and a full nine players on defense who could move independently.
However, with a bevy of glitches, including just a handful of different places a ball could be hit and balls thrown over the first baseman's head at a hilariously high rate, the gameplay improvement was minimal.
So while the graphics were better and it looked more like a baseball game, it still left a lot to be desired, to say the least. „
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