10 Best Baseball Video Games

10 Best Baseball Video Games

Baseball is a sport enjoyed by millions all over the world. With generational fanbases, legendary players. and nail-biting tension, it's no surprise that baseball has been adapted into video games many, many times. There are so many different baseball games that narrowing down the best ones is a challenge.

Just like fans of the real-world sport, players are looking for different experiences in their baseball video games. Maybe you just want to smash dingers all day at the touch of a button. Or perhaps you'd prefer a realistic experience. Maybe you'd rather take on the role of manager, wheeling and dealing your way to the championship. No matter what you want, there's a baseball game out there for you.

10 Wii Sports (2006)

While it's a very simplistic take on baseball, Wii Sports capitalized on its place as the pack-in title for the Wii to provide hours of fun to everyone who bought the console. Players of all ages and skill levels could gleefully swing their Wii Remote for the bleachers and watch their custom Mii run the bases, then go for a round of golf, bowling, or tennis before heading back to the ballpark. It may not seem like much now, but when the Wii first launched this little sports game made it feel like the future of the medium.

9 Bottom of the 9th

Bottom of the 9th is the digital version of the tabletop game of the same name. If you're one of the many people who thinks a game of baseball takes too long, give this one a try. The gameplay focuses solely on the final half of the ninth inning in a game. The pitching player needs to strike out their opponents to keep their narrow lead, while the batting player has to anticipate the pitcher's actions and knock out enough runs for a walk-off.

It's a perfect game for when you don't have a lot of time, and the card- and dice-based mechanics offer a neat change of pace from most other sports games. Best of all, the price is unbeatable – it's only 99 cents.

8 Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (1994)

This SNES title featuring Seattle Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr. provided lots of great features for baseball fans of the era; all the Major League teams were playable (including the now-defunct Montreal Expos), and each had its own ballpark. Despite the limitations of the hardware, the game even simulated the conditions at each park.

Players could easily switch between players, throw runners out from the mound, and even control a pitch's velocity mid-flight. Its earworm of a soundtrack and little details like players protesting umpire calls and stopping to play "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch cement it as a piece of 16-bit nostalgia. The one thing the game didn't have was the endorsement of the MLB Players' Association. As such, even though all the teams were represented the only real-world player on the roster was Griffey himself.

7 Baseball Highlights 2045 (2016)

Another faithful port of a tabletop game, Baseball Highlights 2045 has been faithfully adapted for mobile and can be enjoyed on the go. The perfect compromise for your gamer friends who won't have anything to do with "sportsball," this one can be played single-player or online against human opponents. It allows a full game of baseball to be played in half an hour by focusing only on the big plays. Planning your pitches and your lineup – plus anticipating your opponent's moves – provides gameplay compelling enough to make even the staunchest anti-fan forget they're playing a baseball game.

Beyond the gameplay, Baseball Highlights 2045's aesthetic makes it a real treat. Robotic and cybernetic players, some of whom are entirely alien in appearance, give the game a sense of whimsy. To top it all off, the game has a sepia-toned, old-timey look that evokes classic baseball and juxtaposes wonderfully with the futuristic characters.

6 Ultimate Pro Baseball GM (2021)

Games2rk's Ultimate GM series has been a blessing for spreadsheet enthusiasts with a busy schedule. The mobile series puts the user in the shoes of a team General Manager in the sport of their choice. Like its brethren, the franchise's baseball iteration challenges you with setting ticket prices, upgrading the ballpark, and filling your team with talent (or specifically avoiding doing so to stay under the salary cap – no judgment here, it's your game).

You'll need to have confidence in the players you sign, though – while Ultimate Pro Baseball GM does simulate each game, it does so entirely on the virtues of the players' capabilities. All you can do as the General Manager is watch from your luxury suite and hope to deliver on those lofty promises you made the team's owner at the beginning of the season.

5 Super Mega Baseball 3 (2020)

Don't let the cartoony characters and silly names fool you – Super Mega Baseball is a treat to play, particularly in its third incarnation. The franchise prides itself on being deep yet accessible, with reasonably simple controls that allow for as much or as little help as you want on the field. The online leagues allow users to create their own memorable seasons against their friends or against total strangers, and the single-player Ego system lets you set precisely the level of difficulty that's right for you.

The default fictional rosters and team names range from the awesome (Nemesis) to the cringeworthy (Sirloins). That said, the teams are fully customizable so go ahead and create your dream team. The fact that Super Mega Baseball League's rosters feature male and female players together is the icing on the cake.

4 MVP Baseball 2005 (2005)

Considered the best entry in the extinct MVP Baseball series, this Gamecube title was everything you could have wanted in an officially-licensed title. Users had access to full seasons or one-off exhibition games, as well as an owner mode. Better still, there was plenty of customization available, including retro uniforms.

On the field, the game's standout feature was its "Hitter's Eye" mechanic, whereby when the user was at-bat the ball would glow a specific color in the pitcher's hand, indicating what type of pitch they were about to throw. Hilariously, the user could also argue just about any call made by the umpire. Little touches like that make MVP Baseball sorely missed, but it could be argued that MVP walked so MLB The Show could run.

3 Astonishing Baseball 2020 (2020)

Baseball is universal, and a game doesn't need a Major League license to be great. For proof, look no further than the Astonishing Baseball series. While it has all the bookkeeping emblematic of the sports management genre, AB puts a greater emphasis on player development. The result is a delightful treat for players who love emergent narratives. Player personalities and traits are just as important as their on-field stats, and users will need to carefully decide how best to develop each member of their team.

The fictional setting and infinite possibilities allow for plenty of replayability. If you're the kind of sports fan who is just as interested in locker-room drama and players' charitable causes as you are in the current league standings, Astonishing Baseball might be the game for you.

2 MLB The Show 21 (2021)

MLB The Show has been around for fifteen years as Major League Baseball's flagship video game – longer if you count its previous life as the simply-titled MLB series. There will inevitably be countless arguments over which of the franchise's annual titles is actually the best, but running with the premise that every additional entry will bring something new to the table we can say that the most recent version ultimately has the most to offer.

Like its predecessors, MLB The Show 21 has all the Major League's real-world teams, players, and ballparks and permits the user to trade and re-sign them to their hearts content. If you're of a particularly creative bent, the latest MLB The Show allows you to build your own ballpark – a feature not often seen in baseball games but with tons of potential.

1 Out of the Park Baseball 2022 (2021)

Out of the Park Baseball may not be the best-looking game out there. It might not be the most action-packed. It is, however, without question the most in-depth baseball simulator ever created. Taking the helm as manager, GM or both, the user gains full control over the minutiae of running a team and unlike lots of other management sims even has a hand in on-field play by making coaching decisions. WIth real-world stats and limitless customization, Out of the Park is quite simply a stats nerd's dream game, doubly so if they're also a baseball fan.

Just please, please, please – devs, if you're reading this, don't turn the Perfect Game cards into NFTs. You've already got the best baseball video game of all time.

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