Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. As the parity of sports games increases (almost all games have the same game modes and similar solid graphics), the difference comes in the A.I., and this is the one area where ESPN truly shines. This is my pick for the strongest PS2 baseball game on the market for this 2004 season.
  2. 88
    The exclusive first-person-perspective mode is an interesting gimmick, but the online play is what separates this from the minors. [May 2004]
  3. It’s pretty clear that "MVP 2004" is the overall winner this year, but this one comes dangerously close to being this year’s favorite baseball title.
  4. Sega opted to stick with what worked last year but made a few minor tweaks and additions here and there. So, like last year, this is a great game. However, it's one that the other games have had time to catch up to and, in some areas, surpass.
  5. Despite a few technical problems and terrible game modes, ESPN MLB manages to deliver a very solid game of baseball that any fan of the sport should enjoy.
  6. ESPN's game gives you a nice ground-level view of the action, while its Confidence Meter rises and falls depending on your on-field performance. [16 Apr 2004, p.L2T 19]
  7. A very, very good game. The only real issue I have with the game overall is that it feels too much like last year’s title. For some that may be a good thing. I just don’t believe the term; if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
  8. ESPN may lack the innovations and overall polish of "MVP," but it's otherwise a serious contender. [May 2004, p.90]]
  9. 80
    The gameplay is certainly realistic, but overall, the physics of how the ball moves feel a bit floaty at times. In the final analysis, ESPN MLB trails after "MVP Baseball" and "MLB 2005," making it a good choice for those who aren't satisfied with those league leaders. [Apr 2004, p.89]
  10. Without solid pitching and batting interfaces, you can't help become disenchanted by this title's play. I applaud Blue Shift's decision to innovate, but the formula still needs a lot of work. [Apr 2004, p.92]
  11. 75
    Another innovation with questionable value is the onscreen confidence meter. A cool idea to make the game seem more realistic, it just doesn't seem to work all that well.
  12. I really can't imagine why Blue Shift would go three steps back in the graphics and sound department.
  13. ESPN MLB isn't a bad game at all, but is functionally a step backwards from last year's game and just can't quite keep up with "MVP."
  14. A solid overall game, but it doesn't feel like it every really gelled. [May 2004, p.36]
  15. And the first-person baseball feature? Don't even think about it. [May 2004, p.85]
  16. I like the fielding. It's the best for baserunning. But where's the crowd noise? [May 2004, p.99]

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