Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hours and Hours of fun

I have been the proud owner of many gaming consoles since my youth, and I can't count the number of baseball games I've owned or played. I honestly can't think of a game I'd rather be playing with one of my fellow gamers than a wicked awesome baseball game on whatever console may be plugged-in. In homage to the Chris Coolio's and Mark Meenahan's of the world, I've compiled this list of the greatest baseball games I've played spanning the past two decades. You can argue the list if you like, but that won't get you anywhere as you are wrong.

#10 - Nintendo Baseball (1983)

This only makes my list as it was really the first baseball game (outside the awful Atari one) I can remember playing. To be honest, the gameplay was pretty bad. The look was classic, but the player movements are slow and utterly choppy. Way too much of the fielding is computer controlled and more than once my right fielder threw out the guy running to first on what would normally be a hit. But come on, it's the original.

#9 - Tony LaRussa Baseball (PC Version - 1991)

This game is the only PC version of a baseball game I've really ever played for an extended period of time. It had graphics ahead of it's time, and a real fantasy draft with all the big league players, which you couldn't find anywhere else at that time. It also had old-timer players and stadiums which seemed amazing at the time. I could play as the 1927 Yankees at the Polo Grounds against the 1969 Mets. It was fun, though using the keyboard or some lame PC controller quickly ended most of the fun.

#8 - Tommy Lasorda Baseball (Sega Genesis - 1989)

Tommy was the first baseball game made for the Genesis console and made the graphics for Nintendo baseball games seem childish. It had a good arcade quality to it which you couldn't find often on home console games. I remember something cool was that after you hit a home run, all your teammates were waiting to give you high-fives. You could play a whole season, which was new, but you constantly had to jot down superlong passwords. Whatever, it seemed badass at the time.

#7 - Sports Talk Baseball (Sega Genesis - 1992)

"Infield back, Infield in, Infield Normal........."

#6 - Bases Loaded (Nintendo - 1988)

This game helped usher in a new generation of baseball video games, plain and simple. It had smooth clean graphics, easy controls and wicked gameplay. The behind-the-pitcher view and the scrolling, which are standard in most games now, was pretty impressive in 1988. They're weren't any MLB teams or players, but you could start a brawl if you threw too many bean balls.

#5 - World Series Baseball (Sega Genesis - 1994)

The most realistic baseball game of it's time, and maybe ever. All the players were real, as were their statistics and the stadiums. There were a ton of options including batting practice, home run derby's and battery backed up seasons. The innovative catchers view gave the batter a great view of the stikezone. There were a few other cool firsts, like the vendors yelling in the crowd and an innovative scoreboard that was better than most. The greatest thing about this was the JAYS were the best team in the game, having just won their second straight World Series title. Amazing.

#4 - MVP Baseball 2004 (Playstation 2 - 2003)

It has everything a gamer could want in a game. Dynasty Mode, the draft, the trades, the graphics and so on and so on. Subsequent versions aren't on the list though they are equally badass. If you have a PS2 or PS3, just buy it every year.
(Ed. Note: 2K Sports was granted exclusive third party rights to the MLB license in 2005, forcing EA Sports to retool & rename the game MVP 06 NCAA baseball)

#3 - RBI Baseball (Nintendo - 1988)

Oh Tengen, God bless you for the tri-screen shot you provided us in the original RBI baseball, which spawned over 18,000 subsequent versions. Hey, what can you say it was the first game I played that actually had real players and teams. And when you're 10 years old, that's more important than the actual game.

#2 - Baseball Stars (Nintendo - 1989)

I remember this game being real fun, which is why it's #2. When I think of the best baseball games I've ever played, inevitably I always think of this one. There weren't real players or teams (in fact there was a team of girls) but the gameplay was amazing, the fielding wasn't difficult, and you had to assign salaries to your players as you won more games and your team got better. It was the first baseball game I ever played where you actually had to build your own team, based on how good your were at it. That was a first for me, which is probably why I remember it so well.

#1 - MLB Baseball 1998 (Sony Playstation 1997 - Sony Interactive)

Are you kidding's why:
The programmers using their own names to fill the expansion teams rosters
Mark Meenahan's 600ft plus dingers, every single time
Chris Coolio throwing 150mph fastballs and jumping around like Pascual Perez
Sliding through first, the fence and beyond.....reset
Sacrifice pause
Jumbo Video
Green Day Dookie Case
290 dollars in late fees

The Lobe

Need I go on?

If you must argue, leave the last one out. You can't win there.


  1. Sacrifice pause is my favorite thing in the whole world.

  2. i love your blog man, check my sports blog out and we could exchange links.

    i've gotta say rbi baseball rulled man. good topic!!

  3. Not a huge sports fanatic, just randomly checking out blogs on the Google group, and if you're interested in baseball games, if you haven't yet, I suggest checking out the Wii. The core of the baseball game in Wii Sports is a bit simplified, but it's a lot of fun, and the system's got a few other baseball games with actual motion controls now, and more coming in the future. The motion controls definitely add a lot to the experience.

  4. I would put the XBox / PS2's MVP Baseball series as the best. Tons of features and modes...Great game control...and best of all HR Derby. There's just nothing like crackin a few beers then pittin two people against each other in HR Derby.

    I was very disappointed when the series stopped. MVP NCAA ? No thanks.

  5. The swingstick are fully customizable stadiums are nice additions, but don't make up for losing the MLB teams.

  6. i worked on mvp 2005 at EA in Vancouver. It was hands down the best game I ever worked on there. To this date it's the only game that I worked on that I can still play. I don't understand why they had to pull that exclusivity bullshit with the NFL but I can't blame Take2 for doing the same thing. Since the game got canned, every year my friend and I go through the painstaking process of updating the teams via trades and creating new players to keep the game as current as possible. Fuck I"m a nerd.

  7. oh ya, Little League for the NES needs to be on that list in some capacity if not just as an honorable mention.

  8. hahaha, I've never played little league, but it sounds cool. MVP really was is the total package, I do have to agree.


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