10 Most Overrated Baseball Video Games of All Time

Dan Tylicki@DanTylickiAnalyst IJuly 4, 2012

10 Most Overrated Baseball Video Games of All Time

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    There are baseball video games out there that are iconic and represent just what a video game should be. Then again, there are those that are well-regarded despite having some clear problems with them.

    Whether the game is too slow-paced, has a few major question marks or just lacks a certain charm, baseball games are not the easiest to pull off, and sometimes games that are initially heralded as great aren't in hindsight.

    Here are 10 of the most overrated baseball video games, and of course, keep in mind that overrated does not mean bad; some of the games on this list I'm actually rather fond of.

10. Ken Griffey Jr.'s Winning Run

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    In 1994, Ken Griffey, Jr. Presents Major League Baseball came out for the SNES. It was an instant classic and remains one of the best baseball games of all time, certainly on that system.

    Two years later, Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Winning Run came out, and was given much of the same accolades. While it was a nice game, having played both I can say that the first one has that unique charm that bumps it from a good to a great game.

    Winning Run was a nice game, but people putting both games on the same level aren't seeing the two for what they are. Part of that may have been due to different publishers. Software Creations made the first game while Rare made the second.

9. Base Wars

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    Base Wars is one of those games that is really different from the typical baseball game, and has a nice cult following as a result. Ballplayers are replaced with robots, and it's part sports game, part fighting game.

    While many have this game very highly regarded, there are some irks that cause me to find it overrated. The biggest is the forfeit option if enough robots explode, meaning that one can win the game without even trying on the baseball side of things.

8. MLBPA Baseball

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    MLBPA Baseball was a big deal upon its release, namely for being one of the few games to use player names; most games had to make up player names at the time. On top of that, it focused on being a detail-oriented game while being an arcade-style game.

    Doing both is hard to pull off, and it was still praised anyway, partially due to it being from EA Sports. Despite that, it's really not anything special. It's not as high on the list since it hasn't gotten the rampant praise of others, but it's still a game that maybe should remain forgotten now.

7. 3D Baseball

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    3D Baseball is one of those games that seemed amazing when it came out, but in hindsight it was quite an overrated game. It came out in 1996 for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, and it pushed the 3D effect big time.

    While the commentary was praised and remains the high point, the gameplay and graphics were also highly marked. However, it missed a lot of things that were already part of baseball games at the time, like other modes such as Home Run Derby.

    Suffice to say, yes, the 3D was big at the time, but I was sooner playing Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Winning Run, which came out the same year, and may have had better graphics despite being on the SNES.

6. MLB 2002

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    The MLB series is a classic, and while I wasn't a fan of some of 989 Sports' other work, I played the living daylights out of MLB 2001, and there's no question why it's so highly regarded. The next year, MLB 2002 was also regarded highly.

    Despite the praise, though, just speaking from experience, I found 2001 vastly better than 2002, which saw no improvement in the graphics despite them really not looking very good to begin with. There were also some obvious errors in the game that caused it to lose any charm.

    As an example, the Brewers still play at Milwaukee County Stadium in this game, despite that being demolished before the 2001 season began.

5. RealSports Baseball

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    It's difficult to call an Atari game overrated or underrated, since for its time RealSports Baseball wasn't that bad. In 1982, actually having the diamond and players on the field was a win-win, especially after the embarrassment that was Home Run.

    It got a lot of praise, but recent reviews just note it as average, which is more accurate. It's decent, but Intellivision had a game out around the same time that was much better. And a year later, Baseball came out on the NES, which got worse reviews than this but was a much better game.

4. Major League Baseball

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    To my surprise, there are people out there that actually enjoyed Major League Baseball for the NES, and back in the day it was compared to R.B.I. Baseball, notably on Allgame.

    It's blasphemy to put an LJN title even close to the classic that is R.B.I. Baseball. It wasn't a terrible game, but it's very basic and may have been on par with the original Baseball game despite being released five years later.

3. Tecmo Super Baseball

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    The Tecmo sports series are games that have been considered classics. Tecmo Super Bowl remains the best football game ever, and Tecmo Super NBA Basketball was still solid despite its flaws.

    All three games are highly regarded, but of them Tecmo Super Baseball certainly falls short. It wasn't a bad game, but aside from lacking the charm the other games had, not having MLB teams hurt as well.

2. Bases Loaded

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    Bases Loaded was one of those games that was very highly regarded for its animation and graphics, and many consider it a classic. I never really got the hype, and there's a couple reasons for that.

    First, I hate the quirky behind-the-pitcher angle some baseball games tried in the late 1980s. It made it very difficult to hit the ball and was simply disorienting.

    Computer Gaming World published a review at the time that seemed to be in the clear minority with fans, but I agree with everything it said, from the disorienting angle to not being able to see where outfielders were when the ball was hit.

1. Pete Rose Baseball

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    Pete Rose Baseball, published in 1988 for the Atari 7800, was a big deal for the system. It looked good given Atari's graphics, and there were parts where there were great attention to detail; they even had an infield fly rule.

    Despite this, the game had huge problems that made the game nearly unplayable. They had the silly pitching camera angle Bases Loaded had (Hardball was the only one that seemed to get it to work), and there were even spots where it would glitch if the ball was hit there.

    Those that originally saw it and praised it likely had not gotten to the glaring errors yet.