Baseball season is back and with it comes the flurry of annual baseball games. However, things are pretty grim in 2017 when it comes to licensed baseball games. Series like MLB 2K, MVP Baseball, World Series Baseball, etc. no longer exist and if you aren’t a PS4 owner, it is even harder to find a good baseball game. Here’s what we’re looking at for MLB and baseball games available on the current generation of consoles.
MLB The Show 17 is the best baseball game available and it’s only available on PS4 (sorry PS3 owners). It features former Mariners’ slugger Ken Griffey Jr. on the cover with his iconic backwards cap. The series started way back in 2006 and has come a long way since. This year’s iteration features an RPG-like Road to the Show story called Pave Your Path which gives you the ability to control your career in ways that weren’t possible before.
A retro mode is available for those who long for the ’90s when Griffey Jr. was tearing it up in a Mariners uniform in real life and in video games. There’s an 8-bit pause menu and your stats are shown on screen like the older games. Unfortunately, this isn’t available in the franchise mode. This is definitely the best option for MLB fans looking for a baseball game.
R.B.I. Baseball has the distinction of being the only Major League Baseball licensed game being available on Xbox One after the 2K series folded. Corey Seager is the cover athlete here and the game is available at the budget price of $20 for Xbox One and PS4 and $5 for iOS and Android.
R.B.I. Baseball was originally available for the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1988 before the series folded in 1995. R.B.I. Baseball returned in 2014 as an MLB-licensed property available on every console except Nintendo systems for some reason. The game features real teams, players and stadiums and the gameplay remains similar to its NES roots. However, for those looking for a simulation style game, this isn’t what you’re looking for. This game appeals more to the arcade fans with high scoring games and easy to master controls. Unfortunately, this is all you’re getting on Xbox One so you’ll have to settle for this if you’re looking to scratch your baseball itch.
The above screenshot is from OotP Baseball 16 but it hasn’t changed much since. This game will allow you to take control of a franchise from any year and play from there as the GM and manager. You don’t actually play the games but instead you make the decisions regarding the players, staff and attendance. It’s a really deep game if you’re into that aspect of simulation. It is fully MLB-licensed so you are getting real teams and players.
You are still able to play the games but it operates more as a gamecast where you choose to swing, take pitch, etc. or if you’re pitching, you choose to pitch to, around or walk a player. I’ve lost hours of time playing this game and I’d recommend it to any fans of this type of game. It comes with a steep price tag of $40 on Steam but you can pick up the previous year’s version for $20 and still get just as much fun out of the game.
Super Mega Baseball is an arcade-style baseball game that does not have the MLB license. That may turn many potential players away but there’s still a lot of depth to the game as you can fully customize your players and league. Everything from logos, uniforms, player appearances are available for customization so you can make your game exactly how you want it to be. The game features the “Ego” difficulty setting which is designed to keep you on par with the AI so you don’t crush the opposing team or get blown out every game.
The sequel, Super Mega Baseball 2, is coming this summer for Xbox One, PS4 and PC and will feature more customization options and more visual upgrades.