Tengen's R.B.I. Baseball series is a collection of baseball games based on, if not always licensed by, Major League Baseball. The series got its start as a localized version of Namco's Famicom-based baseball series, Pro Yakyuu Family Stadium. The game was originally released in Japan in 1986. In 1987, a US conversion appeared in arcades on Nintendo's NES-based Vs. hardware. In 1988, a version of the original Family Stadium was converted to contain players from the US-based Major League Baseball organization and released by Tengen.R.B.I. Baseball 2 and 3 had a similar gameplay style as Namco's games, but the credits screen proudly touts them as "Designed in Milpitas, CA, U.S.A." The most notable change in the sequels is a switch to a more-realistic graphical style for the players. The franchise would continue to stray from Namco's original blueprint, with versions of the game appearing on the Sega Genesis that bore only a passing resemblance to the original. Meanwhile, Namco continued the Famista series on the Famicom well into the 1990s.
Despite all the updates, the original 1988 release is still considered by most to be the best, and a small pocket of extremely hardcore players continue to play it in leagues to this day. Some players have also taken to modifying dumps of the original NES cart ROMs to include modern players, though the legality of such a maneuver is questionable, at best.
In 2008, the ESRB posted an entry for a new RBI Baseball game for Xbox Live Arcade, listing the developer as Six Degrees Games. An achievement list has since surfaced, but the game has yet to be officially announced.
On January 14, 2014, R.B.I. Baseball 14 was announced to be in development by Major League Baseball's Advanced Media Group. The game is set to be released on "current and next generation consoles and mobile devices" in Spring 2014.