The Best Baseball Games for Android

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images

The 2016 MLB season is sure to bring plenty of surprises and thrilling moments to go along with the ups and downs of the daily nature of the game. Baseball isn't a sport that you get excited about a big theatrical spectacle once a week; it's a part of your life. Thankfully, if just watching the sport isn't enough for you, there​ are several great games to play and enjoy on Android for your baseball fix.

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MLB Manager 2016

MLB Manager 2016
Out of the Park Developments

One of the more fun parts of baseball for some fans is not necessarily playing a representation of the actual game itself, but managing a franchise. Being the manager, constructing lineups and using pitchers in a way that hopefully leads to a win. Or helping to construct the roster, making trades, signing free agents, and promoting prospects when ready. That's a huge part of the appeal for many baseball fans, and Out of the Park Developments has provided one of the leading baseball simulations for baseball fans on PC for years now, with the eponymous Out of the Park. In recent years, OOTP has brought the game to mobile, starting with iOS versions known as iOOTP. The games have had real player names, but no real team names and logos for a while now. However, that changed in 2015, when OOTP got the MLB and MLBPA licenses, officially making their games legitimate, and rechristening the series on mobile as MLB Manager. 

While the series doesn't quite have the depth of features that are in the desktop version, if you're just diving in here, you're not going to realize anything is missing. You can manage the action on a pitch-by-pitch basis, or simulate on a season by season rate. You can tell pitchers to pitch around batters, command batters to lay down bunts, warm up pitchers, and you're at the mercy of the game's simulation engine, but you have a lot you can do. And as the general manager, you have to manage players' emotions, make trades as necessary, sign players, and draft prospects. While modern baseball games like MLB The Show have given more and more options, the complexity of the simulation engine, even scaled down for mobile, is absolutely apparent. You can start with 2016 rosters, invent a fictional league, or play historical leagues, all your choice. You have so many options, it's mind-boggling. For the cerebral baseball fan, this remains an absolute must-play.

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RBI Baseball 16

RBI Baseball 16 Android
MLB Advanced Media

MLB Advanced Media revived the classic RBI Baseball franchise a couple years ago, making a 3D game that was very faithful to the classic gameplay while updating the look and features for modern MLB. The game is still a matter of taste as to whether you enjoy it for its very simplified take on baseball. For example, all pitchers have a fastball, a slower pitch that can be used as a splitter or slider, and a devastating, knuckling, drop ball. And the hitting controls are still about moving around in the box, holding down or up to influence a fly ball or ground ball on contact. Real pitching repertoires and hitters that look like they do in real life are not to be found here. Prince Fielder has literally never been skinnier than he is in this game.

However, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and this game does a great job at keeping the RBI Baseball memory alive. It's easy enough to pick up and play for anyone. And the game is getting to be a better, more cohesive product on a yearly basis. Heck, this is the first year that the game has actually released at the same time as the console versions. The visuals are improving, all the stadiums represent their real-world equivalents, and the game generally just feels like it's gotten a sheen of polish that takes it from being a fun diversion to something worth coming back to as an entertaining baseball game.

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Super Mega Baseball

Super Mega Baseball
Metalhead Software

A true simulation like MLB The Show isn't coming to mobile unless Sony includes it as part of their mobile release plans. But Super Mega Baseball doesn't need an MLB license to be fun. It lies somewhere between RBI Baseball and The Show in terms of being arcade or simulation, while still being an excellent game, and well-regarded in both this Extra Innings and its original incarnation

It definitely feels like a simpler take on baseball, but without stripping away anything t. You have 8 different pitches per pitcher to use, and there's a variety of windups that each pitcher has. The pitch throwing and selection works quite well, though if you have a vibrating controller it works better as you can feel when you're on the edge of the strike zone in local multiplayer. You can do simple swings or a unique power-based timing swing that requires some practice but is really clever. It's a game that strikes the balance quite well between being simple and accessible while having depth.

The game also takes advantage of its fantasy scenario. The teams have women players and designs that are exaggerated and entertaining. The feel and look of the game are grounded yet heightened, striking that perfect balance that permeates this game. It's one of the best baseball games ever, and you ought to play it. Only catch: you need a Shield TV to play it right now. Hopefully, it comes to all Android devices, or even just all Android devices while requiring controllers because everyone ought to play this amazing baseball game.