Mac Attack's Top Five: Baseball Video Games
Trying something out of the ordinary here. I believe that a decent sized number of writers here on Bleacher Report fit the video game player demographic.
And a good chunk of the Baseball writers on here fit right into that demographic. So what better than to rank the top five baseball video games of all-time?
There were no fancy ranking systems or formulas or anything like to determine rankings.
Next to each number is the game franchise title followed by the publisher.
5. Ken Griffey Jr.'s
Griffey's "Winning Run" was one of the first baseball video games to introduce the low camera angle during batting. That way, the whole field could be seen while batting.
The low camera angle effect is still in use in all or most modern baseball video games today.
But more importantly, "Winning Run" was as fun as the sport it replicates. Easily the best arcade baseball game, ever.
4. World Series Baseball: Sega Sports
Prior to the 1994 strike, baseball video game lacked realism. What World Series Baseball introduced was a sense of realism.
It used eye-popping graphics through the eyes of the catcher, and all the players, teams, and stadiums were real. The animation was a bit choppy, but the experience was aces.
3. Baseball: Nintendo Entertainment
If we are talking graphics, well this game definitely does not win any awards.
BUT! In terms of gameplay, it was (and still is) a winner. Thanks to wicked-fast pitching and sprightly fielding, there was never a lull in the action.
And with a catchy soundtrack and the first official MLB Player's Association license, it's more than worthy to be immortalized in the record books.
It harkens back to those old eight and 16-bit games of our youth.
2. MLB: The Show: Sony Santa Monica
What hasn't been said about this game already? To date it is the most realistic baseball sim out there. Cutting edge game physics are combined with breathtaking graphics.
The ability to create your own soundtrack, reliever entrance, batter walk-up, and custom yells and chants makes it one of a kind. The soundtrack prior to adding your own songs in, is just as good.
Fielders actually look like they are fielding the ball; no more "magic" bounces. Outfielders take direct lines to hit balls. You now practice hitting and stealng bases.
The lack of a "Home Run Derby" mode hurts though. Though if you want to get technical, you could argue that the batting practice mode could be used as a "home run derby" of sorts.
Despite the fact that this game is a Playstation Network exclusive, this game is the pinnacle of sports video games. Realistic. Fun to play. Low learning curve. Worth the $60 for the PS3 version ($30 for PS2 and PSP).
But it doesn't make it No. 1 to me.
1. MVP Baseball 2005: EA Sports
Possibly the greatest baseball video game out there. Developed by EA Sports, the MVP franchise of Major League Baseball video games was the pinnacle of baseball video game play. It had everything.
A Left Fielder for the Giants by the name of "Jon Dowd." A First Baseman/DH for the Red Sox named "Anthony Freese."
Pioneered the "pitch meter" as well as developed the strike zone in baseball video games.
Owner Mode, which allowed players to start at year one as a new owner of a team. You could build your team similar to real-life teams.
Dynasty Mode, where you could start a dynasty with any Major League ballclub and it's minor league affiliations (right down to class-A).
For example: Major League team: Philadelphia Phillies. Minor League affiliations (at the time): AAA- Scranton-Wilkes Barre Red Barons; AA- Reading Phillies; A- Clearwater Threshers
Tons of unlockables. Everything from legendary ballplayers down to retro throwback uniforms and stadiums: including the likes of Forbes Field, Griffith Park, Metropolitian Stadium, Veterans Stadium, Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium, Polo Grounds, and even the ORIGINAL Fenway (circa 1912).
While on the subject of stadiums, you could customize the time of day, wind current/direction, and the mow pattern before starting a game.
The soundtrack of this game however small it was; was ground-breaking.
MVP also included: practice modes, a season mode, and home run derby.
Despite the outdated graphics by today's standard of baseball video games, the graphics and physics for MVP 2005 were revolutionary for that year.
MVP 2005 was also one of the first baseball games to offer "online" services through EA Sports, X-Box Live, and the Sony broadband adapter...
This game gets my number one spot due to it's overall "deepness." I own the game and I am still playing the game, unlocking cool stuff, and advancing my dynasty. The game itself is one of the greatest sports video games ever developed and published. Worth every penny