This summer’s crop of baseball video games offers something for everyone.
MLB 14: The Show
Ideal For: The Aspiring Big Leaguer
The Box Score: MLB 14: The Show doesn’t offer a lot of big changes from 2013, partly because it has been the best baseball video game on the planet for years. The most obvious change is the addition of a PS4 version. This next-gen variation plays like its PS3 cousin, but it looks much better due to the increased power of the new console.
Home Run: The crowd-pleasing “Road to the Show” mode is back, in which gamers can custom-make a character and guide him from a rookie showcase through the minors and into his MLB career. If you ever dreamed of playing pro ball, this is the game you want.
Swing and a Miss: Online play is on tap for 2104, but the results are sketchy at best. Lag times are frustrating, and the rest of the online experience leaves much to be desired.
Available on: PS3 and PS4
Out of the Park Baseball 14 and 15
The Box Score: This is the king of stat-based baseball sims. No fancy graphics or animations, but OOTP allows you to own and manage your own big league club. Make all the decisions on and off the field and lead your team to successive World Series victories. If you enjoy baseball’s “game within the game,” OOTP is perfect for you.
Home Run: You can take control of hundreds of historic teams, dating back to 1871. What if the Red Sox never traded Babe Ruth? What if Greg Maddux played his entire career at Wrigley Field? Make those and other things happen and rewrite history.
Swing and a Miss: OOTP lacks an MLB license, so real team names and logos are absent. But you can edit rosters to whatever you want them to be, and player names and numbers are authentic.
Available On: PC, Mac, iOS (2014 version only)
RBI Baseball 14
Ideal For: The Just-For-Fun Gamer
The Box Score: This year, the only baseball you can play on your Xbox is a remake of a Nintendo classic, so don’t expect realistic plays or stats. Instead, RBI Baseball 14 delivers an unabashed arcade experience that trades baseball purity for speedy (and silly) fun. The nostalgia will strike a chord for those who played the original RBI on the SNES.
Home Run: Gameplay is easy. The controls are simple enough for you and your buddies to dive right in for a quick seven-game series. And it’s a scream to launch those dingers. Casual gamers (and old guys who remember the original RBI) will have a blast.
Swing and a Miss: RBI Baseball 14 is not meant to compete with realistic titles like The Show or the now-defunct 2K series, and it might disappoint gamers who expect more realism from their sports titles.
Available On: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, Android