Baseball (1983 video game)

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Baseball NES box art.jpg
North American NES boxart
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1
Designer(s)Shigeru Miyamoto[1]
Famicom Disk System
Game Boy
    • JP: December 7, 1983
    • NA: October 18, 1985
    • EU: September 1, 1986
Mode(s)Single-player, two-player

Baseball[a] is a 1983 video game from Nintendo. Being a launch game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the universal appeal of its namesake sport, are said to have made Baseball a key to the system's overall success, and an important piece of Nintendo history.[3]


As in real baseball, the object of the game is to score the most runs. The game supports one player versus a computer opponent, or two players. Each player can select from one of six teams.

Though lacking a license to give official team names,[3] their initials in the game are meant to represent the names of real teams from the Japanese Central League or the American Major League Baseball in their respective regions. In gameplay, the only practical difference between the teams is the uniform colors.[4]


In 1983, the Famicom had only three launch games — soon to be seven, including Baseball. Shigeru Miyamoto said he "personally really wanted there to be a Baseball game", and was "directly in charge of the character design and the game design".[1]

At the 1985 launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System in the Manhattan initial test market, the game was featured prominently among 18 total games. It was demonstrated on a large projector screen, by real Major League Baseball players who played the video game and signed autographs for fans. Because the video game industry was so young and had recently crashed in America, and because the other NES launch games featured fantasy themes that weren't recognizable on sight, the presence of a traditional American pastime was said to be an instantly relatable aid to the system's introductory presentation.[3]


Name Date Platform Notes
vs. Baseball 1984 Arcade Nintendo Vs. Series. Unlike the original, the game features additional graphics and speech.
Baseball 1986 PlayChoice-10 Arcade
Baseball 1989 Game Boy
Baseball 2002 e-Reader Barcoded cards, readable with e-Reader and Game Boy Advance.
Baseball 2002 GameCube Baseball is a bonus NES game in the GameCube game, Animal Crossing.
Baseball 2007 Wii Virtual Console
Baseball 2011 3DS Virtual Console
Baseball 2013 Wii U Virtual Console
Baseball 2018 Nintendo Switch Nintendo Switch Online. The emulator allows the game to be played online.


In Japan, Game Machine listed VS. Baseball on their June 1, 1984 issue as being the most-successful table arcade unit of the year.[5]

In 2007, IGN gave Baseball a 5.5 out of 10, noting its depth of pitching, its two-player support, "its still-intact sense of fun", and its important place in Nintendo's history. The review said that the 1985 test market launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System had "heavily relied upon" Baseball, due to the globally recognizable status of the sport. The review summarized that "the NES came out a winner—thanks, in part, to Baseball".[3]

In 2006, GameSpot gave Baseball a 4.2 out of 10, stating that while it was easy to play, the "bare-bones" replica of the sport "hasn't withstood the test of time."[4]


  1. ^ Japanese: ベースボール Hepburn: Bēsubōru


  1. ^ a b Kohler, Chris. "Miyamoto Spills Donkey Kong's Darkest Secrets, 35 Years Later". Wired. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  2. ^ White, Dave (July 1989). "Electronic Gaming Monthly". Electronic Gaming Monthly (3): 68.
  3. ^ a b c d Thomas, Lucas M. (January 16, 2007). "Baseball VC Review". IGN. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Thomas, Aaron (January 4, 2007). "Baseball Review". GameSpot. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  5. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 237. Amusement Press, Inc. June 1, 1984. p. 29.

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