Hardball 5

Instead of the title screen, I decided to be a little more “creative.”

 

Hardball is a video baseball game that began in the PC world in the late 1980s and made its way to the 16-bit world in the early and mid-90s on Sega Genesis. It began with Hardball!, and later versions added the version numbers II, III, etc.

In 1996, Hardball made its way to the first PlayStation with its 5th installment. Hardball 5 is very similar to 3 with a couple of extra bells and whistles. This version offers a few extra ground rules as well as pitching practice. Hardball 5 also offers 10 different skill levels, trading, free agents, and farm team rosters—not to mention better music.

If you prefer a manage-only type setup, Hardball 5 has that too.

Photos courtesy of 10min Gameplay. Was going to do them myself but they were bad.

 

Creativity and the Stars

For the creative folks, Hardball 5 does not disappoint! You can edit team cities, logos (pain in the ass with a PlayStation controller) player names, and ratings. You can take your team to the majors with a full season, half season or a short season.

Hardball 5 has a MLBPA license, so you have the 1995 greats such as Mike Piazza, Ivan Rodriguez, Craig Biggio, Wade Boggs, Cal Ripken Jr., Ozzie Smith, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Gwinn, the late Kirby Puckett, Sammy Sosa, and Mark Mcguire.

Al Michaels plays the announcer, and unlike Sports Talk Baseball, it’s his real voice and not an annoying computer voice.

 

Overall

Overall, Hardball 5 is practically the same thing as Hardball III and 4, but with the extra bells and whistles. If you go out to the retro games shop and find Hardball III for Genesis at a higher price and you fear that the battery in the game won’t work, Hardball 5 would be a better and cheaper alternative. I bought my copy of Hardball 5 for a whopping $4.

You can download the PC version here for free.

Hardball 5 PsX back

The back of the box, you can see the Blockbuster tag with 9/25/96 on the back. Wow!