If MVP Baseball 2005 is the last baseball game Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) ever makes, at least it will have gone out with a bang.

After a long run of second-rate baseball games, EA finally came through last year with arguably the best baseball game on the market in MVP Baseball 2004. At the very least, it was the best-selling baseball game, topping 1 million units sold and beating out Sega's ESPN World Series Baseball 2K4 -- without a doubt part of the best baseball series over the past decade.

Earlier this week, EA delivered MVP Baseball 2005 for the Sony (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 2 and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox, with additional features in what should once again be the best-selling baseball game of the year. This time, the game adds to the pitcher-batter confrontation with the new "Hitter's Eye." This feature color-codes the pitches by group, such as breaking balls and fastballs -- much the same way a batter picks up the rotation of a pitch out of the pitcher's hand. Apparently, the prominence of the Hitter's Eye is dependent on the pitcher's capabilities as well.

The new MVP adds 30 single-A minor-league baseball teams, in addition to the 30 AA and 30 AAA minor-league teams included in last year's "Dynasty Mode." Also new is an "Owner's Mode," which, like the Owner's Mode in Madden, lets you set the prices of tickets and concessions. Another new feature is the gamer's ability to create new ballparks.

Last year, Sega's game took a step back and opened the door for EA. While still one of the best baseball games on the market (Sony also has its own PS2-exclusive baseball game), initial indication is that Sega's game for 2005 hasn't quite regained its top form.

It appears as if EA will own the diamond once again this year, but it will probably be the last time. After monopolizing the NFL in November and signingDisney's (NYSE:DIS) ESPN brand away from Sega and partner Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) in December, Take-Two struck back by signing deals that, starting in 2006, will prevent other independent publishers -- namely EA -- from producing baseball games using Major League Baseball teams and players for the next seven years.

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Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns shares of Electronic Arts.