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For me, the best baseball game I ever played was Basewars - it didn't require me to figure out the endless, seemingly random factors like RBIs and batting averages (though those stats were available in game), or include a cast of thousands of vaguely recognizable names.

No, they'd refined major league baseball into the two most important parts of the experience: baseball and gladitorial combat. Oh, there were imbalances in the weapons, the huge amount of time it would take to input all the teams and rosters in a full custom league, the easiness of getting home runs with a fully upgraded batter...

But when it came to insane, crazy fun with my brothers, that was the game to play. We could load up our league, and then go at it for hours and hours between all our fictitious teams' rivalries and infighting.

In this way, I thought it was the best baseball game in the same way that Rock n Roll Racing was the best racing game - by taking the gameplay over the top, by giving players every chance to make a comeback, they made a game that transcended its content.

Of course, I also just like watching robots fight, which might influence my opinion.


Ahh, baseball. A game that is near and dear to my heart. Having been taught the game at the age of 3 by my father and playing video game versions of it since the Atari 2600, I think that console baseball comes down to two factors in whether it is good or bad. And no, graphics isn't one of them. Without a doubt, the single thing that can ruin a baseball game faster than anything else is the realism of the hitting. I've played games where the only way to score runs is through home runs. If all ground balls seem the same, and all the line drives seem the same, and all the HRs seem the same, you'll be so sick of it after an hour. The second feature that can ruin a game (and only slightly less important than the hits) is the pitching interface. You need to feel like you have some power over the computer's batter. Whether nibbling at the corners with a slider or busting a high inside heater topping 95mph for a called 3rd strike, control and a sense of being able to best the computers AI is key. A game where the computer nails every strike and never chases a ball out of the zone will kill a game in oh, say 2 hours, compared the fatal hitting flaw's 1. So how does this all relate? In the games I've personally played, World Series Baseball 98 for the Sega Saturn is absolutely the finest console baseball I've ever played. While I can't personally vouch for it, apparently World Series Baseball 2K3 for PS2 or XBox continues the strong tradition that faltered during the Sega Dreamcast days. I certainly hope you pick a good game because a good interpretation on the console will have you yelling at your runner as he is sliding headfirst into home, trying to beat the throw.

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