Everyone remembers sitting at home around the 20" boob tube and playing their favorite video games on a Nintendo, Sega, Playstation, NES, XBOX or whatever. Throughout the years the video production teams have come up with some amazing and classic video games depicting baseball at its best. Here is a top 5 countdown of best baseball video games of all time:
#5 Baseball Stars (1989)
Baseball Stars was one of the first sports games to have data memory, therefore players could create a team, configure baseball league & play a season, and the game's memory chip stored cumulative statistics. Baseball Stars was also the first sports game for the NES to have a create a player feature; giving gamers the power to name their players, as well as their teams.Although the game does not use any real Major League Baseball teams, one of the default teams, the American Dreams, included players with names that are based on real (former) baseball players such as "Pete" (Pete Rose), "Hank" (Hank Aaron), "Babe" (Babe Ruth), "Sandie" (Sandy Koufax), "Cy" (Cy Young), "Denny" (Denny McLain), and "Willie" (Willie Mays). In addition, the Japan Robins included a player named "Oh," presumably after Sadaharu Oh of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.The game has a 10-run mercy rule. Thus, if at the end of any inning, one team is up by a total of 10 runs, the game is called in favor of the leading team. In addition to the 10-run mercy rule, there is also a 100-run mercy rule. If at any point in the game one team attains a lead of 100 or more, play is immediately stopped and a winner is declared, even though the inning is not over. For example, if the visiting team scores 100 runs in the top of the first inning, the visiting team will be declared the winner and the home team will not even have the chance to bat. If the game remains tied after 18 innings, the game is over and no winner is declared; all hits and other stats are not saved - as if the game never happened.
Baseball Stars big trump card that sets itself apart from other baseball games is its League Play. In League Play you can be pitted against a set of teams that can be created from scratch or a pre-set number of teams already included in the game. In fact, you can even have friends have their own teams created within the same league and go head-to-head with your own players. Put your girlfriend's name on your best female pitcher and strikeout your friend's ex-roommate.
#4 Backyard Baseball (Gamecube 2003)
The trademark of the Backyard series has always been the cute, cartoony kids with their individual personalities and the accessible gameplay for all ages. Basic rules of the game are present, but are usually modified into a simplistic approach for kids, even with the many options and different difficulty levels available. The same approach has been applied here, with baseball rules based on MLB rules, but modified for easier play. The graphics have been changed to 3D, though, which changes the appearance of the characters slightly upon beginning, kids can choose to play either a pickup game, season play or the home run derby. Pickup games consist of single games that can either be started immediately, or allows players to choose team lineups, team names, difficulty levels, batting order, etc. Pickup games allow one- or two-player modes. Season play basically takes the team through an entire season, keeping up with scores and stats. The home run derby is all about seeing who is the best power hitter around. Who doesnt love the times when you can go into the backyard and play baseball with your friends for hours.
#3 Bases Loaded II: Second Season (Nintendo 1990)
Like its predecessor, Bases Loaded II offers both a single-game mode and a single- player "pennant race" mode. In the "pennant race", a player must first achieve at least a 75-55 record during the regular season, then win a best-of-7 "World Series" against L.A. or N.Y. depending whether you have chosen a team from the Eastern or Western league respectively.
Though some characteristics remained the same between Bases Loaded and Bases Loaded II (e.g. the same fictitious 12-team league returns in this game, with new players. It is worth noting that all of the players on the Washington, D.C. team are named after famous politicians, while all of Los Angeles's players take their names from Hollywood luminaries. In addition, one of Hawaii's pitchers is named Ho.), there are several noteworthy changes. One new feature was the "biorhythm" concept; players in the game had "biorhythms" that could be monitored to ensure optimal performance. Bases Loaded II had a little faster play action then the original game, and the point of view once a ball was hit into play was also different. In Bases Loaded the view was from behind home plate, whereas in Bases Loaded II the view was either from the first-base line if the home team was at bat, or from the third-base line if the visiting team was at bat.
#2 Ken Griffey, Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (Super Nintendo 1994)
The game has a Major League Baseball license but not a Major League Baseball Players Association license, meaning that the game has real stadiums and real teams, but not real players. The imaginary players have the same statistics as their real-world counterparts, and the game comes with a name-changing feature that allows players to change the athletes' names."Imaginary" players in the game are themed with their teammates. Some of the themes include:
-The Philadelphia Phillies feature a Rocky homage in R. Balboa (Darren Daulton) and A. Creed (Dave Hollins). They also have a Philadelphia landmark (L. Bell) and some of the musicians produced by Phil Spector (D. Love, B. Medley), as well as Spector, himself (John Kruk).
-The Los Angeles Dodgers are based on punk rock pioneers from Los Angeles and other areas around California including (Exene Cervenka, John Doe and DJ Bonebrake of X, Poison Ivy and Lux Interior of The Cramps, Jello Biafra and Klaus Flouride of the Dead Kennedys, and Lee Ving of Fear).
-The Boston Red Sox contain members from the show Cheers. Cliff Claven, Norm Peterson, and Sam Malone are all present. Also included are Boston landmarks (B. Common, M. Harvard) and figures from early American history (J. Adams, J. Hancock, A. Hamilton).
The only actual baseball player is (obviously) Ken Griffey, Jr., although the New York Yankees have several player names that are references to past Yankee superstars. Griffey's name is hardwired into the programming and is the only one that cannot be changed.
#1 RBI Baseball (Nintendo 1988)
The game contained 8 teams listed only by city name: Boston, California, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco; their real-life, MLB counterparts were the playoff teams in the 1986 (Boston, California, Houston, New York) and 1987 (Detroit, Minnesota, St. Louis, San Francisco) MLB seasons. The game also boasted two All-Star teams, American League and National League; the two featured established veterans such as George Brett, Dale Murphy and Andre Dawson—none of whom appeared on the other eight teams—and up-and-coming players like Mark McGwire, Andrés Galarraga and José Canseco.Each player has different capabilities in the game; hitters vary in ability to make solid contact, to hit the ball with power, and their base running speed. Vince Coleman is the fastest player in the game; it is very difficult to catch him stealing second base. Pitchers vary in pitching speed, and the amount by which the player can steer the ball left and right during its flight. Pitchers also have varying stamina; as a pitcher gets tired, the ball slows down and is harder to steer. Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens are by far two of the best pitchers in the game. There is no evidence that fielding abilities correspond to individual players.