Super Mega Baseball 3 review for Switch, PS4, Xbox One

Platform: Switch
Also on: PS4, PC, Xbox One
Publisher: Metalhead Software
Developer: Metalhead Software
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-32
Online: Yes

I?m struck by how similar my reaction to Super Mega Baseball 3 is to my reaction to its predecessor. Once again, I?m not sure I like it quite as much as I liked the first Super Mega Baseball — but also once again, I think it?s probably the best baseball game of the year.

I?ll take those two reactions in order. As far as SMB3 vs the first Super Mega Baseball goes, the newest game is definitely less cartoony. While the players are still oddly proportioned, they don?t have the larger-than-life feeling that defined the first game. The stadiums feel more realistic, too. What?s more, while the first SMB jumped off the screen with its bright colours, this time around the tone is a little more subdued.

That said, Super Mega Baseball 3 is a much deeper game than either of its predecessors. Rather than just allowing you to maintain a team over a short season, you can jump into a pennant race, set up a tournament, or build and maintain a franchise over ten seasons. If the biggest problem with SMB in the past was that they were fun but not very deep, SMB3 remedies that.

It certainly helps, too, that SMB3 doesn?t substantially change the series? gameplay in any way. This series always felt like an homage to the original RBI Baseball games, and that?s continued here. Whether you?re a newcomer who wants an easy pick up & play experience, or a veteran who wants to make the game a challenge, you can find something here worth your while.

And that, in turn, is what makes Super Mega Baseball 3 the best baseball game on offer for 2020. Where MLB The Show is basically just refining its (admittedly very good) formula while it waits around for the next generation, and RBI Baseball chose this year to take a step backwards, SMB3 feels like a substantial improvement over its predecessors — which I already loved without reservation. It?s fun, it?s simple, it?s got about as much depth as you could want in a baseball game. Just about the only thing missing at this point is a create-a-player feature — which, I hope, is in the cards for my presumptive 2023 GOTY, Super Mega Baseball 4.

Metalhead Software provided us with a Super Mega Baseball 3 Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A