The Best Baseball Video Games of All Time
Baseball, America’s favorite pastime, and what better way to celebrate such a sport and one nation’s love for it than taking a look back at the best of its video games over the years?
In reality, MLB isn’t the only form of baseball, but that is where the money and the merchandise are so that is what most of the games are based on. But that’s not the case for our first example.
While it might not be your typical, traditional baseball sim, the version put forward in 2007’s Wii Sports remains an all-time classic.
Also, because it came included with each purchase of the game-changing Nintendo Wii, almost everyone got to have a play on it, even gran! The baseball game in Wii Sports had the most basic of controls — you pitched and batted.
The art of the game was to time your swing of the bat, or in this case, the Wii’s MotionPlus Controller, in time to hit a home run or knock it out of the park. As for the bowling, you did have some license to try and throw some curveballs, threw balls or splitters, but that, too, was mainly a case of mimicking a throw with the controller, and we all loved it. You didn’t even control the fielding.
Another Nintendo cartoony take on baseball is Mario Superstar Baseball. Our favorite Italian plumber has already tried his gloved hands at other sports such as soccer, golf, various Olympics, Sports Mix and, most recently, tennis, so it was only a matter of time before he took a swing at a baseball.
In usual Mario style, you compete against several other teams, each led by Mario heroes and villains, ultimately reaching a playoff against Bowser. The gameplay itself worked quite well, and you could feel the time and effort that the developers put into the game.
MLB Slugfest was another trip into the weird world of games’ developers as, in 2004, they produced a title where you could play a baseball game featuring an entire team of Sub-Zeros or Scorpions, you know, from Mortal Kombat.
But here’s the thing: it worked and breathed fresh air into the sports game genre. You could even play as teams consisting of dolphins, eagles and rodeo clowns, among others. Plus, throw in an MLB license, and you not only have the first MLB game to come with a T-rating but also, a unique baseball game.
One year prior to this, Backyard Baseball was released, and while it wasn’t your typical baseball game, it was magnificent, allowing you to power-up both pitchers and batters.
What this meant is that batters could lie down a Crazy Bunt; meaning the ball would bounce around erratically or bypass the fielders altogether by going underground for an all-too-easy home run. For pitchers, it meant that they were now able to throw a fireball that was super-fast or a freeze ball that stopped in mid-air on its way to the batter.
Lastly, there is the widely considered to be the best baseball game of all time, MVP Baseball 2005, which burst at the seams with extras.
Featuring one of the most extensive lists of teams ever seen in such games, the only sports games simulations that come close is the FIFA series in soccer, the level of detail included in this classic was excellent, even coming with a Franchise mode.
MVP Baseball 2005 has lived on for over a decade thanks to a dedicated fan base that has helped it to cement itself in the video game hall of fame.