- By Ollie Walden
Ever since the video gaming systems broke onto the scene their has been a demand for great sports video games. Gamers buy them up like candy when they develop a great quality sports game and compete online against each other. Gamers continue to pump mega bucks into the gaming world, year after year, on the best sports games available. Although, I don't claim to be a ultra serious gamer, I do have my favorites when its comes to current and past baseball video games. I'm not going to list any particular order, but I am going to give everyone the names of the top baseball games I have enjoyed through the years so, kick back with me as I go over the top baseball video games of all time.
For anyone that had a SEGA Genesis in the 1990s then you should clearly remember SEGA's World Series Baseball franchise. It was released in 1994 and was one of the first video games to include licensed players and teams. Sure the graphics were cheesy as compared to todays games, but I remember hours and hours of fun game play during that time. SEGA eventually contracted with 2K Games and the series has continued as the Major League Baseball 2K franchise.
Super Nintendo released Ken Griffey Jr's Winning Run in 1996 and it was an immediate hit. It basically had a bunch of no name players and then Ken Griffey Jr. I remember the crowds being dots and the graphics weren't the best, but the stadiums were all unique and had good detail to them. This one cracks the list for most of the old school gamers. I still hear plenty of old school gamers bring this game up when it comes to past baseball video games.
Nintendo's Bases Loaded series is also mentioned a lot when it comes to the best baseball video games of all time. Bases Loaded was released in 1988 and contained a pennant race mode where the user had to post a minimum 75-55 record during the season and the you would have to win a 7 game series against either LA or NY. There weren't any licenses with MLB so, none of the MLB teams names were used in the series. Most team names were common US cities or states.
MLB: The Show franchise designed exclusively for the Playstation systems has to be ranked among the top current baseball video games available. The graphics are great and you will need patience and skill to play as, much like baseball, not every hit is going to go sailing out of the park. It seems they really wanted to test players by making the game a little tougher than some of the other varieties out there on the market.
Finally, I want to mention the game that inspired this article and that is MVPBaseball 2005 published by EA Sports for the nintendo gamecube, ps2 or xbox systems. It has all the MLB teams and best players besides Barry Bonds, who withdrew from the licensing agreement prior to the games release. It had both dynasty and owner modes. Games could be rained out forcing doubleheaders to be played. There were minor league system teams of the respective MLB teams. Owner mode also allowed the players to design their own home ballfield. This game rates right up there with the best of all time baseball video games.
Every gamer has their own personal favorite sports video games. Some still cherish the old, cheesy games of years past and some relish the new, up to date graphics and detailed statistics. Some of you are like me though and like the best of both worlds. The older games that set the stage and the newer ones that have taken the bar that was set before them and run with it. One thing we can all agree on is that baseball sports games have come a long way through the years and we all welcome the future and the changes and excitement that are to come.