R.B.I. Baseball 21

MLB AM, Raiser Games
Mar 16, 2021 - Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Weak Man

OpenCritic Rating

52

Top Critic Average

33%

Critics Recommend

Shacknews
4 / 10
COGconnected
38 / 100
Pure Nintendo
8 / 10
GameSkinny
3 / 10
Sports Gamers Online
4 / 10
GameSpace
8.5 / 10
Operation Sports
Unscored
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Critic Reviews for R.B.I. Baseball 21

The marketing materials for R.B.I. Baseball 21 makes some bold claims that the end product fails to deliver on. While it does carry the full MLB and players union license, it is a lesser representation of the game of baseball than some of its more-arcadey rivals. It touts features of AAA sports games, yet trips over its own cleats when asked to make a clutch play. The lack of online play will make it a non-starter for many and the aggressively bad animations will disqualify it for anyone hoping for a semi-serious game of baseball. This mess could be cleaned up, but players will need to wait for next year’s outing to find out.

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On the Nintendo Switch, R.B.I. Baseball 21 strikes out, but swinging at least. There were some moves in the right direction for the franchise, rosters appear to update frequently, and the pitching was still pretty fun. However, a lack of polish, depth, and much more than competitors are providing leave R.B.I. Baseball 21 quite a ways behind. Despite the game having its issues, it could serve as a “pass the time” experience on the couch when the TV is being utilized.

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Overall, R.B.I. Baseball 21 has a number of new features that bring it more in line with similar baseball games on the market. I enjoy my time with each new iteration but I do hope that the developers work on more fluid animations and overall 'feel' of the gameplay. It can be frustrating at times seeing players move strangely across the field or feeling like the ball is 'magnetizing' into a defender's glove in an odd manner. Even though there's the occasional stutter when loading between innings or frame rate issues in the home run replays, it has still come a long way since R.B.I. Baseball 17. I've got to give the developers credit for sticking with the series and always aiming to improve each year. If you're looking for an MLB-licensed, arcade-focused baseball game, you won't really find a better option on the Switch.

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For RBI Baseball 21 to launch in such a poor state with MLB The Show going multiplatform is like seeing your favorite team sit on a pile of cash as a division rival forms an all-star team.

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RBI Baseball 21 had a chance to be the best game in the series. But too many shortcomings take away from any improvement the game had over last year, keepin g it a skippable title for many.

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Overall, R.B.I. Baseball 21 is a great game to play solo or with other people, even younger children. It is an easy-to-learn title that brings you real-world rosters so that you can play with the people you love from your chosen team.

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There are plenty of flaws here, and at times those flaws caused frustration. However, the bottom line is there is fun to be had here, whether in franchise mode, exhibition, or online. There is still plenty of room for improvement (like, plenty plenty), but if you're looking for a fun game that can be enjoyed by all, you could do a lot worse than adding RBI Baseball '21 to your rotation this year.

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