Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (SNES)
The best baseball game ever invented. The games were short enough to where it didn’t seem like a chore, yet it had all the small things that make baseball great, including well designed ballparks and outfielders running into walls. The players were designed nicely in a cartoonist manner, and almost like caricatures they contained all the stereotypical characteristics of many baseball players during this era. The only real name given to a player in the game was Ken Griffey Jr. himself. Despite this it is pretty clear that the players were designed after their real life counterparts but given fake names because of licensing issues. This does not take away from the fun factor of the game, and for some it can actually add to it. The home runs are launched, and the robbed home runs are a thrill to control. The only con of the game is that playing small ball is near impossible. The defensive players travel almost ten times the speed of the base runners, so they can just run them down in a steal or bunt situation. After technical advancements in all sports games, many may label this game unrealistic, but for what it was, it was an absolute blast to play and to this day can rival any current generation baseball game.
MVP Baseball 2005 (XBOX/PS2)
Was MVP 05 the last good console baseball game? This is a debate amongst many in the baseball gaming world, and especially fans of the Microsoft Xbox consoles who witnessed EA Sports lose its right to produce MLB licensed video games, in addition to the fact that they are unable to play “MLB the show” which is an exclusive Sony title. MVP had it all. The ballparks were great, they had the MLBPA license which allowed not only real rosters, but they had a free agent pool filled with real free agents such as Rey Ordonez. In addition to this they had all three minor league affiliates, classes A through AAA and their respective team names and schedules. You could actually play a full season of AAA ball if you so chose. The minor league rosters were not exact because they are unable to input players who have never been on a 40 man roster. MVP’s main strength was probably its fielding, the meter system was a joy to use, and diving plays and throws to first were very realistic. The batting was great too, when facing a friend or the computer you would often have to guess a pitch just to have a chance at hitting it, sort of like real baseball. The only cons of this game are the lack of walks, whether playing one or two player, and the difficulty of trading players in the Dynasty mode.
World Series Baseball 98 (Sega Saturn)
A console that was for the most part considered a failure contained a hidden gem of a baseball game called World Series Baseball 98. The controls were nearly flawless in this game, to go along with an intuitive batting screen that had the option of guessing the pitch location. The MLBPA license added real rosters, and the season mode was one of the best. Playing against the computer in this game is more fun then usual because they actually walk opposing batters at times, and stealing bases is the way it should be, difficult but possible. The main con of this game was the inability to trade players in the season mode.
Major League Baseball featuring Ken Griffey Jr. (N64)
The second best Griffey game around, (some would disagree) but it has some great qualities regardless. A more realistic version of the original Griffey baseball game for the SNES, and full MLBPA licensed rosters created a fun experience for gamers. The season mode was outstanding. There was an option to have a 2 player season which was a great feature. Base running was done well, as was the batting screen. The biggest cons with this game were a perceived issue with fielding, along with some of the camera views. Overall however this is a great game.