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R.B.I. Baseball 21 returns, and looks pretty good!

Leads off March 16, a month before MLB The Show 21 launches

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

R.B.I. Baseball 21 may no longer be the only Major League Baseball-licensed option for Xbox One and Xbox Series X, but it’s still launching — and it comes out March 16, five weeks before Sony San Diego Studio’s MLB The Show 21.

And you know what? It looks pretty good! R.B.I. Baseball, developed by MLB Advanced Media, adopted modern-style pitching and batting cameras (and controls) with last year’s game, taking the series away from the rote, arcade-style view and basic commands. It’s still not necessarily a full “simulation-style” baseball title, but such things communicate that there’s more depth to the franchise than simply porting gameplay from the 1987 NES original into present day.

R.B.I. Baseball 21 will add play-by-play commentary from Fran Charles of MLB Network. (This is actually Charles’ second video game gig; he hosted a virtual highlights show in Madden NFL 10.) Users may also create their own players and insert them into any lineup. And lighting will now change throughout a game to show transitions from an afternoon start to late innings under the lights.

Tim Anderson, the Chicago White Sox shortstop who won his first Silver Slugger award after the 2020 season, is the cover star. R.B.I. Baseball 21 will be sold through online storefronts for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One, with packaged goods available for pre-order from GameStop, Walmart, and Target.