Top Ten Baseball Video Games
RBI Baseball - OCP Fav and Chris Getz' Walk-Up Music
First off, this is not necessarily a list of the most realistic, deepest simulation, or best graphics. Certainly, games of today would destroy their previous generation counterparts in those categories. Top ten lists are about opinions, and although I'm satisfied this list is a good one, it represents my opinions alone. This list is about the impact these games had on me when I was playing them, and the utility I got out of them at the time. Enclosed are my favorites with a couple of highlights about each game and why I loved them so much.
10. Color Baseball (RadioShack Tandy TRS-80)
I was probably about 8 or 9, and I think this was the first computer (if you could call it that) my family ever owned. It had some cool games, none better than Color Baseball. The TRS-80 had a one button joystick, and I remember it was the first game I saw where you could create the lineups. The only problem was they couldn't be saved, so you had to create them every time you turned on the game. I must have created the 1986 Mets 200 times. That's probably why I'll always have that team memorized including batting order.
9. MLB The Show 2009 (Playstation 2)
Remember, this is not about game play, realism, or graphics so much as it's about impact. This game was great, however. It was the first game I recall that featured a My Player mode where you could be one guy simulating just your at bats and fielding plays. Home run derby was great as well. I never made the jump to PS3, so I lost out on future "Shows."
8. MLB 2K10 (Xbox 360)
This might be the best graphics game I've ever owned. Great simulation and season modes. Definitely all around incredible game. I just haven't played it quite enough to crack the pantheon of my absolute favorites. It's also harder to really get into a game when there's a new version each year.
7. Major League Baseball (NES)
I believe this was the first console baseball game I ever owned. It had player numbers instead of names due to the MLBPA not endorsing the game. It was pretty easy to figure out who was who using the player number and stats. The game play wasn't that great (poor man's RBI), but as an 11 year old kid, it was cool to know I was playing with Roger Clemens or Doc Gooden (even if just their number)
6. Bases Loaded 2 (NES)
I liked this one because it was the first game I remember that you could throw real curve balls. It wasn't licensed by MLB or MLBPA, so no real players. Instead they were made up of famous people's last names. I loved the game play in this one, especially the pitching.
5. Triple Play 97 (Playstation 1)
The first of the incredible graphics games with outstanding interstitials and cutaway scenes. This was the first game that was more simulation than arcade baseball. You felt like you were there almost with very realistic graphics. Played this one a lot in college.
4. Hardball 3 (Sega Genesis)
This game was the first I had that really utilized in-depth statistics. It would track everything on your team. Also had Al Michaels doing play-by-play.
3. MVP Baseball 2004 (Playstation 2, Albert Pujols on cover)
I may have played this game the most of any baseball game I've ever owned. What I loved about this game were the legends. You could unlock different Hall of Fame legends and then use them on your season team. I had Jose Reyes and David Wright along with Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams. It also had a neat feature that let you manage the game at bat by at bat. Game play was so fluid, it was just an awesome baseball game.
2. RBI Baseball (NES)
If you had a Nintendo, chances are you had one of the games in this series. RBI is a classic and utilized real player names unlike Major League Baseball. It had resonating sound effects and music that I still recall exactly. There's a Youtube video where someone recreated the end of Game 6 of the 86 World Series using RBI baseball. Super fun game, even today with emulators on computers. You could probably get most Nintendo games on a plug in zip drive nowadays. RBI was only outdone by...
1. Baseball Stars (NES)
This game was light years ahead of its time. It didn't have real players, or even their numbers, but it was the first to introduce being a general manager. You earned money for every win, and could use that money to buy players or pay them more to increase their stats. The game play was arcade-like, but very fluid and realistic. Plus, it kept your stats from game to game over the course of a season. Game play combined with an ahead of its time managerial mode makes this the best baseball game I've ever owned.
Are there any out there that you loved playing as a kid or even today?