Baseball, it’s the United States of America’s national pastime, but kids around the world grew up playing it and turned into adults that made careers out of the sport. Just about everyone has thrown a ball and caught one in a mitt. But we’re not here to talk about real-life sports, we’re here to talk about the video game version. There have been countless baseball games released across the years, from simulators that strive for realism to ones that play fast and loose with the rules. So let’s chat about our favorite baseball video games!
Question: What is your favorite baseball video game?
Baseball Simulator 1.000 - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Slugging Editor
Baseball is at its best when it's a little bit wacky. No offense to the great American pastime itself, because I'm a pretty big baseball fan, but it can sometimes be a little bit boring. Baseball Simulator 1.000, originally developed by Culture Brain, took all of the best elements of the sport and added some spice through special pitches and enhanced batting abilities. Players only got limited uses of these special tricks, so they needed to know when to use them and how to psyche out their opponents who would never know when they were coming.
On a related note, check out that trailer above. Would you believe that Wii U owners in Japan got to experience Baseball Simulator 1.000 on Virtual Console? While that's sad for North American players, those who do want a taste of what the series was all about can take on the perfectly adequate sequel, Super Baseball Simulator 1.000, on Super NES Online right now.
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball - TJ Denzer, Senior Ticket Holder
When Ken Griffey Jr. was on top of the baseball world, it felt like such a wholesome time in the sport. He was a champion that did it the way he did it with natural talent, and before a litany of substance scandals would hit pro baseball in the following years to come. What's more, Griffey's legend brought about a collection of awesome baseball games, my favorite being Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball.
This game both great and silly. The gameplay was awesome, and the soundtrack is one of my favorites on the SNES. However, it seems Griffey was one of the few actual player likeness rights they could get, so the rest of the league is filled with rosters featuring names like J. Digweed, R. Balboa, and H. Schemp. Even funnier was each player's propensity to throw varied hissy fits when striking out; breaking bats, screaming at the umpire, etc. Just an absolute treasure of sports gaming from my childhood.
All-Star Baseball 2000 - Asif Khan, Shacknews CEO/EIC/EIEIO
Iguana Entertainment and Acclaim had gold on their hands with the All-Star Baseball franchise. The baseball franchise truly shined on N64 back in the day. It was real fun playing with the Cleveland team with their stacked lineup.
World Series Baseball - Bill Lavoy, Top Tier Umpire
World Series Baseball released in 1994 for the Sega Genesis is the baseball game that I’ll remember more than any other. When I used to spend summers at my grandmother’s house, we’d go fishing every day, but when evening came and I was inside the house, it was all about World Series Baseball.
Stat tracking wasn’t a thing at that time, so I’d write down all the stats for my players in a notebook, including keeping score. I was addicted to crushing home runs, stealing bases, and living out my baseball fantasy in what was the most amazing sports game I’d ever played at the time. I even recall listening to the radio for hours so that I could record my favorite songs onto a mix tape to play while I played. Wild times, I tell ya.
MLB Slugfest 2006 - Sam Chandler, Looks good in a cap
If I’m playing a sports game, it’s going to be one that is so utterly outrageous. The rules will be ignored, players will be making moves that are illegal, and there will certainly be a gargantuan amount of tomfoolery. For me, MLB Slugfest 2006 represents all of this. It’s got a decent smattering of violence, some hilarious antics, and you’re bound to run into a hilarious glitch that makes the whole experience worthwhile. I’d like to play this sort of baseball in real-life, thanks!
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball - Dennis White Jr., Community Manager
I’m not going to lie, I never really got into a majority of baseball games growing up or in general. This was especially true as a kid growing up in the Michael Jordan era in Chicago. I was all about that NBA Jam, although Sammy Sosa and the Cubs did make things interesting for a little minute. That said, I do distinctly remember having fun with my cousin playing this game in particular and being pretty impressed with how good it looked. The sounds of this game are also ingrained in my brain and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing but perhaps that’s part of what makes this one iconic.
This game emphasized the fun factor in a way that I can think back to pretty fondly and as a kid, I didn’t really care about the fact that Ken Griffey Jr. was the only real life player named in the game. Ken Griffey Jr. was still a big deal back then. Since I don’t have much more to say about that 1994 classic, I also want to give some love to a game that I never played as a kid. The game I’m talking about has gotten some love on my stream and also some good laughs with a few friends in the past. And that game is Ninja Baseball Bat Man. No, it’s not that Batman but it is a pretty fun Beat-em-Up. Look it up!
MLB The Show 23 - Donovan Erskine, Shortstop
I'll be the basic one of the group this week. I loved playing baseball as a kid, but didn't follow the sport much after I stopped playing it in elementary school. The only baseball game I'd put considerable time into was the Wii Sports game mode (which ruled). While I had dabbled in San Diego Studio's MLB The Show series, this year's entry really made me fall in love with the sport again. It's such a competent and immersive sports sim that puts most of its contemporaries to shame. Even with the onslaught of AAA releases this year, I still find time to load the game up and play games in Road To The Show, continuing to pursue my goal of bringing the Orioles another World Series title. MLB The Show 23 also added an awesome Negro Leagues mode, shining the spotlight on several of the Black players that paved the road for the game we have today.
Mario Superstar Baseball / Baseball Tonight - Steve Tyminski, Stevetendo show host, Go Mets!
What is my favorite baseball video game? I am a big fan of the New York Mets so I have played quite a few baseball games in my day. Mario Superstar Baseball showed what the American pastime would look like in the Mushroom Kingdom. My brother and I would play Mario Baseball for hours and get into some heated games (as well as heated arguments) . What was cool about Mario Baseball was that the characters had special moves to make their pitching better if they were on the mound or hitting better if they were up at bat. We need Mario Baseball on the Switch one day.
Another one of my favorite baseball video games was Baseball Tonight on the Super Nintendo. This is another game that my brother and I would play for hours as kids. Baseball Tonight along with National Hockey Night were some of those games that built my childhood. It was always fun to hit a home run or screw around on the bases. You never knew where your opponent was going to throw the next pitch since you could curve the ball pretty much anywhere you wanted. So to answer the question of favorite baseball video game, I have to go with either Mario Superstar Baseball or Baseball Tonight! Go Mets!
There you have it, the Shack staff’s favorite baseball games! Has your own favorite been mentioned, if not, what is it? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: What is your favorite baseball video game?
Baseball Stars 1 without a doubt. Had a blast with that in college.
You could put in fielders to pitch and their 5 pitches would be like 4 Fat Pitch and an Offspeed.
I had one 2nd baseman who had 3 Fat Pitch, Fastball! (with an exclamation point, not just Fastball) and Slider. I was like WTF?
I played a ton of Hardball on the C64. :)
Baseball Stars 1
MLB The Show 21 or 23.
+ to Baseball Stars, but a good modern take was the Bigs, and that really needs a comeback.
Most of the sports games where they switch to an arcade-like experience rather than realism are generally a lot of fun.
Baseball Simulator 1.000 (NES)
RBI baseball or baseball stars
I liked the Mattel handheld electronic baseball
i currently own 2
but don’t know if I have completed a game in either.