Finally, the first next gen baseball game. Last years MLB 2k7 was a huge disappointment, since it was a poor port of the XBox version. This year though it looks like 2K Sports has managed to step up to the plate (no pun intended) and bring their A game to the fold. The give us a game that is worth of the next-gen title and doesn’t make you feel like you’re getting ripped off for buying it.

For 2007, 2K Sports managed to pull out all the stops when it comes to options and game modes. Game modes include; Franchise, Season, General Manager and Homerun Derby just to name a few. When using Franchise mode, you’ll have to keep an eye out for your finances, with team news, attendance, ticket prices and fan “buzz” all play a role in the success of your franchise. Each of these elements can affect your teams finances, affecting budgets for future seasons. Online leagues luckily come back this year and are easier to use than ever. Players can join or create leagues as well as enter tournaments at will.

With the next-gen effort it’s obvious that the developers took quite a bit of time getting it right. Each well known player has a distinct and authentic look that adds a dose of reality to the game. From the details in the facial features to how each players wears his uniform, it’s ncie to see the effort put in to make the game as realistic as possible. The environments have also undergone a face lift, with the game actually looking hi-def with lush fields and an atmosphere that leaves you feeling like you’re right there in the stands. The accuracy of each ballpark only enhances the gaming experience. Before each game, you’re taken in and around the ball park to see the sights and sounds as the loading takes place.

During the game, you’ll get to see some outstanding instant replays that give you different camera angles including the home plate camera. The replays resemble those that appear on a live ESPN telecast and do an excellent job of capturing all the action during and after the innings. It feels like you’re actually watching a telecast of the game. Jon Miller and Joe Morgan return as the in-game commentators and they do a great job of calling the action and use situational discussions. You can also hear the fans speak their minds and they do so not just randomly but with specific intent depending on the situations and who is up at the plate.

With the inclusion of online matches and leagues you can be assured that this game will never get old, it’s easy to create or join leagues. Tournaments are also available in case you don’t want to stick around for the long haul of a league’s seasons. Roster updates are available, and can be expected during key parts of the season.

If you’re a baseball fan then you need to play MLB 2K7. It’s an extremely polished game that can live up to the next-gen title. You’ve got a visually beautiful game with solid gameplay. It’s definitely a game every sports fan should pick up.