Out of the Park Baseball 11 REVIEW

Out of the Park Baseball 11 Review (PC)

Despite playing basically the same song over and over again, AC/DC remains one of the most popular rock bands ever. It would have been easy for Out of the Park Baseball to take an AC/DC-type career path, adding token features here and there and simply riding the wave of its past success with each subsequent new release.

Thankfully, unlike AC/DC, the OOTP developers remain hungry and do not continue to repeat the same exact formula with each release.

OOTP 11 is no exception. The latest version of the acclaimed baseball text sim features a revamped fielding engine, improvements to historical play and several other enhancements that collectively add up to another stellar and highly addictive game.


OOTP 11 is a text sim, which means you do not manually control what happens on the field by pressing buttons and maneuvering a joystick. Instead, you take full control of a historical, modern-day or fictional baseball franchise the same way a general manager would. This includes managing rosters, setting up your minor leagues, hiring coaches and scouts, drafting and signing free agents and trying to build your team into a consistent championship contender.

The best thing about OOTP is the ability to customize the game how you want to play it. You can toggle almost any feature or aspect of the game so it works like you want it to work, or you can just turn a feature off entirely. You can also format your league in a way that fits with your own perfect baseball universe. All of this can be daunting for new players, but OOTP 11's smooth interface, easy to navigate menus and strong tech support help newcomers catch on quickly.



If customization is not your thing, OOTP 11 plays great out of the box. You can choose to manually play out your team’s games, or you can sim through large chunks of time to quickly play multiple seasons. Either way, OOTP 11 produces realistic results and keeps track of several traditional and sabermetric statistics to help better evaluate your team.

The core gameplay and AI of OOTP 11 remains as strong as ever. Unless you manually tweak the settings or player ratings, you are not going to see unrealistic stats, numerous mind-boggling trades or players on your team mysteriously being released. The game ships with real rosters and teams, as well as a historical database of past players and teams. Logos, pictures and stadiums can also be easily imported using third-party mods.

A fielding engine was recoded for OOTP 11, which makes defense more important than ever. I found myself spending extra time researching a player's defensive ratings -- like zone rating and defensive efficiency -- to try and build a winner. The changes seem to have taken effect. Like in real-life, putting together a team of good defenders and ground-ball type pitchers yielded positive results on the field.

Other New Features

Players interested in history should also be pleased with the improved historical player-rating system, and the ability to compare the results of your OOTP 11 historical season with the corresponding real-life season. To be honest, I was a little worried when I first heard about the comparison feature -- part of what makes OOTP so appealing is its realism while still maintaining enough randomness to allow players with mediocre ratings to turn into big-time players once in a while. I was worried that OOTP 11 would take the game into more of a strict historical replay direction, focusing more on mimicking real-life results instead of maintaining a delicate real-life/random balance.

Thankfully, that is not the case. The comparison screen turns out to be just another valuable tool that can be used to enhance the OOTP experience. Players looking for more true-to-life single-season replays will be happy with the maximize-ratings-for-current-season option.

Drafting has always been more of a chore than fun for me in OOTP. Prospects in OOTP 11 now have bonus demands, which might make you think twice about drafting that five-tool stud if he is demanding an outrageous signing bonus. You can also negotiate contracts with players you draft. The draft enhancements help further pull you into the draft and make it less of a chore -- at least for the first couple of rounds.

Two other new features that proved useful were the mass-select tool and the player-comparison tool. The mass-select tool allows you to complete transactions involving multiple players with a single mouse click (very handy for demoting groups of players during spring training). The comparison tool allows you to compare two players side by side from any era. You can also generate a list of comparable players if you are tired of looking at just stats and ratings.


Presentational Elements

As a text sim, OOTP 11 should not be judged against console titles like The Show or 2K in the graphics department. Instead, the focus should be on the game’s menus, presentation and navigability. OOTP 11 shines in all of these areas. You can get to wherever you need to go in the game with minimal mouse clicking and searching. You can easily sort and search for players by stats, ratings or name. Each screen also offers all the information you need to know in an easy to read and accessible format.

OOTP has consistently made strides to improve its presentational elements. One thing that might enhance the experience even more is some sort of graphical element. Baseball Mogul offers a graphical presentation while playing out games and, in my opinion, it works well. And since OOTP already does so much so well, I think the developers could successfully add graphics as well. Besides, like everything else in OOTP, you could always choose not to use it.

Final Thoughts

I would classify myself as a contrarian (some may use other more colorful terms). I am very hard to impress, especially when it comes to music, movies and games. OOTP 11 really impressed me. I have been playing OOTP for over 10 years and OOTP 11 is the best version yet.

I am certain a lot of people will agree with my sentiments, so I tried hard to find major flaws to cite in my review -- that is what contrarians do. However, flaws were few and far between. If I was looking for something to complain about, it would be this: OOTP has grown into a monster. There are so many options and so much to do, sometimes you find yourself tinkering instead of actually playing the darn game. In addition, some people will of course find fault with the usual stuff like player ratings, trade logic and other areas where there will never be unanimous approval. Oh, and there seemed to be a few too many bench-clearing brawls resulting in suspensions for my taste.

Either way, if you are looking to completely immerse yourself in a game, OOTP is for you. However, be careful. Once you get hooked, your significant other will likely file for divorce, household chores will go unfinished and you may never leave the house again.

On the Field: Whether playing out games or simming, the core gameplay of OOTP 11 is even better than in previous versions. The new fielding engine makes it known that the game takes defense seriously, giving you another option to build your team into a winner.

Graphics: The menus and presentation are excellent. However, it might be time to try and incorporate some graphics.

Sound: There are some sounds when playing out games, but they are annoying. Turn them off.

Entertainment Value: Be prepared to dive into the deep end of the pool. OOTP 11 will likely get you hooked and lead to hundreds of hours of entertainment.

Learning Curve: There is a steep learning curve, but most screens are fairly self-explanatory, and the tech support is strong on the game’s forums.

Online: There are several online leagues that use OOTP. You just have to search them out.

Score: 9.5 (Instant Classic)

OOTP will be released on April 12 for customers who pre-ordered and April 14 for everyone else. To learn more, visit www.ootpdevelopments.com.

Out of the Park Baseball 11 Score
New fielding engine.
Draft improvements.
The usual core gameplay and AI.
Steep learning curve.
Can be overwhelming.
Time for graphics?
out of 10
Member Comments
# 1 malachijohn666 @ 04/12/10 02:26 PM
well written. I too love ootp! Can't wait to get home and get my pre-order installed!
# 2 bluewave @ 04/12/10 03:12 PM
Excellent review. Looking forward to buying my copy later this month!
# 3 budsticky @ 04/12/10 04:01 PM
Between this game filling my desire for incredible depth and realism and The Show satisfying my needs for a graphical representation of the sport that is mostly realistic this will be a great summer for my baseball gaming. Now if we could somehow marry the two...that would be something!
# 4 Greene_Flash03 @ 04/12/10 06:31 PM
This is going to be my first year playing OOTP. I'm really excited! I played OOTP X, I fell inlove with it. Can't wait!
# 5 orion523 @ 04/12/10 11:27 PM
OOTP 11 is without a doubt the most accurate simulation of baseball available anywhere, if you're a hardcore baseball guy, YOU NEED THIS GAME
# 6 CowboyJayhawk @ 04/13/10 12:05 AM
Thanks and very good review! I am still slightly miffed that refining a great product is rewarded in this review while penalized in the MLB '10 The Show review. Either way, they were written by different writers and I will enjoy both games regardless!
# 7 lgkeeper @ 04/13/10 06:03 AM
Very good review - and an outstanding game. I've been playing OOTP for about 7 years now and I love this version so far....so much more to dive into though.
# 8 Cryolemon @ 04/13/10 07:08 AM
OOTP is always good, and this year is no exception, Markus and the crew do a fantastic job for a small company.

On the issue of graphics, I think it will happen eventually, maybe it will only be like the old Football Manager 2D engine, but that would be cool.
# 9 Tycobbler @ 04/13/10 07:11 AM
Excellent read, i couldn't agree more !
# 10 Matt Diesel @ 04/13/10 12:20 PM
Good review. With the mod packs the game is even better.

For a more true MLB experience, I suggest you guys add the all in one MLB mod. You can add this from within the game.

  • Over 1,300 FaceGen-generated images for current MLB players. FaceGen image faces change based on player mood, age over time, and change uniforms and ballcaps when they switch teams (credit: Historical FaceGen Project Team)
  • Over 20,000 player photos, that cover almost every player in the database who doesn't have a FaceGen, including historical players
  • Real MLB and MiLB team and league logos
  • Day and night ballpark images, captured from MLB2k10 (credit: desertfox07)
  • Custom ballcaps and jerseys for each team

Installation Instructions - All Leagues
This mod has been made available through PadresFan's servers and OOTP's in-game add-ons functionality, so downloading and installing it should be a snap!
  1. Load OOTP and load any saved game/start a new one. (it doesn't matter which one, you just have to be in a game to get to the Add-ons Central)
  2. Navigate to OOTP Menu >> Add-ons Central.
  3. Click on Reload Add-Ons List. You should now see PadresFan's server and some add-ons in the list.
  4. Click on the Download button next to H.F.P. 2010 MLB All-in-One (all leagues).
  5. Wait for the download to complete. The mod is over 200 MB in size, so it may take a few minutes. Don't worry if it looks like it's not doing anything - it is!
  6. When it is complete, click the Install button.
  7. When that is done, return to the OOTP Main screen, and click on New 2010 Major League Game. That's it! Your new game should have all of the above!
# 11 CujoMatty @ 04/14/10 04:13 AM
I think alot more people on here are getting into it. I had and would never have had heard of it if it wasn't for OS. I picked up ootp x about 2 months ago and am so addicted. I wonder if people shy away from it because it doesn't have MLB liscence and they don't have a clue what mods are or how they work. I'm fairly computer illeterate but there are so many helpfull ppl on the ootp site that applying the mods was actually quite simple and painless. Now I have a fully functioning MLB league that passes tons of hours. I also like the fact that you don't need much of a computer to run it. Nowadays I can't seem to keep up with technology luckily with ootp I don't need too. Well worth 40 bucks I'll be picking this game up every year.
# 12 Juiceman @ 04/14/10 10:24 AM
I play OOTP, but never have done a league before. I'd consider an OS league if others were interested. I don't have the time to run the league, but I'd definitely consider being a team owner. My newborn has kept me from digging into 11 yet, but in comparison to 10 it seems good so far. I like the layout and the all in one mod pack was simple.

One note on the all in one mod pack: you for some reason have to start a league AFTER you install the pack or all the logos, etc will not be there. So, 1) create a league - doesn't matter the options since this will be a dummy league 2) download and install the all in one mod pack and 3) start a NEW league and this will be your league now and you'll have everything from the mod pack working. If you just stick in that first dummy created league the logos will not always load and it just doesn't work right. Hope this makes sense.
# 13 umd @ 04/14/10 02:35 PM
This is a great game - I'm really enjoying it, so much so that I will probably hold off on buying The Show until this summer.

Thanks for the heads up on the mod-pack. I love how easy it is to find and install the mods.

As for an "OS League", there is an OOTP league that has a large amount of OSers and ex-OSers. It is called Brewers League Baseball and is currently running it's seasons as an OOTPX league. I'm guessing they will convert to 11 in due time.

The website is here:


There's also a FOF league called the OSFL and a Bowl Bound League called the NCFA.
# 14 Matt Diesel @ 04/14/10 03:14 PM
I tried to get an OS league together last year, but I had to go away unexpectedly for work and never followed through. I am down for trying a league this year and can help run and organize it. I have a server so there will be no problems with hosting the league files and whatnot. I guess we can try again.
# 15 Adam Czech @ 04/14/10 03:34 PM
I don't have time to run a league, but I'd be up for joining, as long as I get dibs on the Twins
# 16 daz @ 04/14/10 04:57 PM
I actually returned to the game after about a five year break. It's really a lot of fun. So many different aspect to explore. The FaceGen mod mentioned up above is the bomb too.
# 17 Whitesox @ 04/14/10 05:48 PM
This is my first year purchasing and playing the full version of OOTP, loving it.

I'd also be really into an online league, someone should make a thread.
# 18 budsticky @ 04/14/10 05:57 PM
I'd totally be down for a league if it's run by a good and reliable commish. Unfortunately I don't have time to be a commish, but I'll be a very active player.

My vote would actually be for a fictional league with a complete initial draft. This makes it more important to scout and build a team. With a league that mirrors MLB it will be just like real life..whoever gets the powerhouse teams will have the advantage right away.
# 19 ksig24 @ 04/15/10 12:04 AM
Question for you guys. Is there a way that you can make text files of the rosters that the game has including its minor leagues? I saw that it has current 2010 rosters as well as full minors. Is this true?
# 20 Matt Diesel @ 04/15/10 11:03 AM
ksig24, there are options to export the database if that is what you are asking. did you need someone to do that for you? I know there is sql and csv xml and even spreadsheet, but I should be able to convert it to text if you wanted.

I vote for fictional as well with an inaugural draft. after all the real mlb dudes retire, people start losing interest in real leagues. fictional leagues go on for years.

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