Every (SNES) Baseball Sports Game Reviewed
In today’s review, we’ll be looking at all of the Baseball games released on the Super Nintendo. You’ll find out which of the games are still worth playing today. So before we jump into it, let’s go over the rules for each game release.
The game has to be good at pitching, hitting, fielding and pacing in order to be considered a good game. These are North American releases only, sorry Super Famicom! We’ll be starting in reverse alphabetical order.
Techmo Super Baseball
First is Techmo Super Baseball. Right off the bat, the hitting is simple. You get to pick the type of hit you're looking for before the pitch. I was cranking out home runs on my first playthrough.
Fielding is generally very smooth. A couple negatives, however. Every outfielder throws the ball like a bullet, despite varying defensive ratings. The markers showing where the ball is going to drop was very helpful in catching pop flies.
Pitching was great, you get to select your pitch and see the curve on the ball. The red one outlined is each pitchers specialty pitch. The pacing was great, it’s fast and wasn’t at all putting me to sleep by the end of an inning.
The only real downfall of Tecmo Super Baseball was the graphics, The crowd didn’t even look like it at all. When it comes to baseball games, the gameplay is really what it comes down to. Techmo Super Baseball is a very good choice for a baseball game.
Super R.B.I. Baseball
Next in line is Super R.B.I. Baseball. The pitching was good, you were able to adjust the pitchers position. You can see the way the ball goes over the plate. Pitching was my favorite aspect of Super RBI baseball.
The fielding was a bit too zoomed in when dealing with ground balls. I constantly found myself running past the ball instead of picking up the ball.
The crowd reacting to the game or the way the organ was playing take me out to the ball game was a good touch and really made me feel like I was at the Skydome in Toronto, Canada.
The hitting was insanely difficult to get a decent string of hits in. I kept striking out on a nine inning game! Like watch, swing and a miss, no, damn!
I really wanted Super RBI baseball to be a good game but the lack of hitting and the weird fielding angle didn’t put it over the fence for me (no pun intended).
Super Batter Up
Next on the list is Super Batter Up produced by Namco. Right off the bat (wink wink), you get some NES style visuals. I mean could they do a little bigger on the sprite size and number of colors used? Although that's not what makes a good baseball game.
Making contact on pitches was nice and smooth. It wasn’t cheap in any way. You can move the hitters stance depending on the position of the pitcher. The same way that you can control the way you would pitch on the opposite end of the inning.
The fielding introduced a mechanic where all of the players who were fielding were running in the same direction. I mean look at them running into the wall, get back into position.
This hurt the overall flow of the gameplay for me. If it wasn’t for all of the outfield players running into the wall at the same time, Super Batter Up would check all the boxes.
Super Bases Loaded
Up on deck is Super Bases Loaded. The hitting camera puts you from the perspective behind the pitcher. I initially thought this wouldn’t work well compared to the behind the batter perspective that I’m accustomed to but it turned out to work really well. The pitching was precise. You were able to adjust the pitch by pressing different button combinations before the pitch.
The fielding is set in reverse, where the home base is set at the top of the screen. Once you get used to this, the mechanic works quite well.
The only real downfall of super bases loaded is the graphics. They don’t seem like much of an improvement over an NES baseball game. Like how when batting or pitching was the batters just disappear after a strikeout. Or the lack of in between sprites when throwing a pitch. Overall Super bases loaded had good flow that checks all the boxes.
Super Bases Loaded 2
Now let’s see if Super Bases Loaded 2 can bring to the table. Right off the bat, Super Bases Loaded 2 is a noticeable graphical improvement over the first release.
Jaleco elected to go with the behind the batter view when pitching or hitting. I just couldn’t get past grounding out when at the plate. The pitching didn’t change the camera angle and put you in the perspective behind the plate.
You could still change the angle or speed of the pitch like in the first release just with a different perspective.
The fielding worked well in Super Bases Loaded 2. A pop fly would put the camera angle in an overhead view behind the home plate and grounders would follow the ball closer to the ground. The fielding was easy to pick up. If it wasn’t for the fact that I couldn’t get on base from grounding out or pop flies, Super Bases loaded 2 would have checked all the boxes that the original release did.
Super Bases Loaded 3
Third times a charm right? Super Bases Loaded 3, License to Steal. Super Bases Loaded 3 returns to the behind the pitcher angle when hitting or pitching. The same mechanics are there. You can now select the pitch by pressing one of the buttons on the controller.
You also now have licensed players unlike in the first two releases. So if you take exactly what I liked in the first release and apply it with slight improvements, you’re left with a great baseball game.
Super Baseball Simulator 1.000
Super Baseball Simulator 1000 is at the plate. The game play design is simple. A game can be finished in about 10 minutes or so. The pitching and hitting were relatively simple. I still didn’t like that the outfield players all move in the same direction but I’m willing to put that aside.
As an added bonus, any of the teams in the ultra league have special abilities that you can use during game play. Whether that being run really fast when taking a base, hitting the ball so fast it’s like a rocket ship or a giant bomb explosion in the middle of the field.
This really moved the needle for me and surpassed my expectations of super baseball 1000. So it comes without saying that if you’re looking for something light with an added bonus element of powerups, Super Baseball Simulator 1000 is a good pick up.
Super Baseball 2020
Super Baseball 2020 is up next and this is one of those SNK games with a twist. It’s not a true baseball game but I find that what it brings to the table works well. First off, pitching and hitting are incredibly smooth. Fielding was fairly automated which allowed for the game to be centered around the hitting and pitching.
Where super Baseball 2020 really shines is as you make plays you’ll gain money that let you upgrade your pitcher or hitter’s abilities.
This is indicated by the flashing sprite when on screen. So if you’re looking for something more on the arcade style, Super Baseball 2020 is the one for you.
Sporting News Baseball
Up next is Sporting News Baseball. Now right away, the ball moves way too fast for me. I was having a very tough time making contact and would keep striking out.
The times where I did end up making contact it would be a ground ball and the AI would just get me out. I would stay away from Sporting News Baseball.
Roger Clemens MVP Baseball
Up on Deck is Roger Clemens MVP Baseball. And this one’s an LJN game, uh oh. Staring your Toronto Bears and uh Atlanta Condors? The pitching and hitting were fairly competent.
I just couldn’t get over the insanely confusing camera angles when fielding. On top of that, the computer AI would just score at will on me. So yeah if the computer is just going to hammer you with runs every inning, there’s no way we can count this as a decent baseball game.
Next we have Relief Pitcher. I thought this one was too centered around the pitching gimmick where you have to time your pitch by pressing two inputs. One for the grip and one for the power.
Relief pitcher also struggled with the framerate, The pitcher is running so slow but is animated like he’s running the hundred meter dash. Relief Pitcher struck out real quick in my books.
Nolan Ryan’s Baseball
Now onto Nolan Ryan’s Baseball. This one’s a cartoon animated game.
The pitching and hitting were fine it’s just Another one where the fielders move all at the same time. To couple that, they just can’t throw.
The ball just kind of drops here while the computer scores and there I am chasing the dead ball down. I didn’t have a lot of fun playing Nolan Ryan’s Baseball.
Up next is The EA title in the mix MLBPA Baseball. I had an okay time with the pitching and hitting, it’s the fielding that goes downhill for me.
The camera angle was zoomed in way too close to the fielding player making it almost impossible without staring at the X's on the mini map. Like there’s no way I’m going to be able to catch this.
I also found this glitch where the base runner is just out at home plate standing here. MLBPA baseball, You’re out.
Ken Griffey Jr’s Winning Run
Up on deck is Ken Griffey Jr’s Winning Run. This is the second Ken Griffey Game and boy does it get you hyped up for a baseball game.
You had a great intro and it’s published by Rare. There’s also an insane amount of game modes to keep you interested.
The sprites were good and appeared to have depth to them similar to the Donkey Kong Country games. Pitching and hitting were on point. Fielding was great and overall Winning Run did check all the boxes for me.
Ken Griffey Jr Presents Major League Baseball
Okay stop the presses for Ken Griffey Jr Presents Major League Baseball. I’m sure everyone you know and their grandmother had this game. For good reason, It gets everything right and is easily the best baseball game on the Super Nintendo.
Pitching is extremely smooth, you can move along the plate when either pitching or throwing.
Fielding was extremely straight forward, there were no bad camera angles or bad throwing from the outfielders to ruin the experience.
Even the little extras like chewing the bubble gum or cracking the bat on your knee when striking out really added to the overall feeling of a baseball game. If you could only get a single baseball game, this would be the one to get.
Hardball 3 is up next. The gameplay is extremely slow. I had a difficult time hitting anything.
Without the hitting I just can’t justify recommending any of the other aspects to the game. Steer clear of Hardball III on the SNES.
Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Baseball
Next we have Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Baseball. The intro and graphics were great but that’s about it here. I couldn’t get past the angle of being the bat catcher when hitting or pitching.
It felt like every time I was going to get a strike my monitor would shatter.
Even when you do get a hit, the game would fade to black as if there were loading times on the SNES in order to switch to base running. The ball also comes at you way too fast when you’re fielding giving the outfield players no chance to make a catch. Big Hurt Baseball is a classic big name game gone bad.
Extra Innings is up to the plate. This brought the anime type of graphics to the table. I had a lot of fun playing Extra Innings.
The Pitching and Fielding were great. I can put aside the fielders moving at the same time for extra innings because I was having a blast.
Hitting did take a bit of time to get used to. So yeah out of all the cartoon style baseball games that you just want to pick up and play, extra innings is the game of choice.
ESPN Baseball Tonight
Now let’s see what ESPN Baseball Tonight brings to the table.
Well other than the official teams or the boomer himself Chris Berman not much. First off, the fielding camera angle is laughable.
Let’s just set you behind home plate while the ball goes way into the outfield, have fun. Because I couldn’t chase down the ball fast enough the computer AI was just scoring at will. ESPN Baseball tonight was just a mess to get into.
Cal Ripken JR Baseball
Up next we have Cal Ripken JR Baseball and this one was just average. Fielding was rather easy to do. I did notice low framerate when throwing to bases. Hitting for some reason was awfully difficult.
It’s almost like I could see the ball slowly go over the plate as my bat would go through the ball. Even when I did finally make contact, all I was able to do was ground out.
So if you put me in a corner and made me choose the top 5 SNES Baseball games from this list, they would be in this order:
5 - Super Baseball Simulator 1000
4 - Super Bases loaded 3, License to Steal
3 - Extra Innings
2 - Super Baseball 2020
1 - Ken Griffey Jr Presents Major League Baseball
We're glad you found this article covering all of the baseball games SNES useful. Please let us know on Twitter if you disagree with our choices or would like to have seen other baseball games covered.