How could anyone ever come up with a list of the best World Series games ever played? There are well over 100 years of World Series history and at least four games every year, so there are a lot of games to consider. One would also have to look at the most entertaining MLB postseason games and the greatest playoff performances to find the best games.
But that’s exactly what we did. We scoured the record books and the videotape looking for the best World Series games of all time. Some were compelling or surprising, some were just entertaining, and some included some of the greatest playoff performances ever witnessed. But they all stood out some way.
Best World Series games
Unfortunately, we had to limit it to the 10 best World Series games of all time. Frankly, there were plenty of other games that could have easily made the list. If you have any complaints, just keep that in mind.
However, here is our list of the 10 best World Series games in baseball history.
10. Game 7, 1997 World Series
Compared to the games on the rest of our list, this game often gets lost in the shuffle. But there aren’t many Game 7s that go to 11 innings.
Keep in mind that the Marlins had to scratch out a run in the bottom of the ninth against Cleveland closer Jose Mesa just to force extra innings.
After keeping Cleveland from scoring in the 10th and 11th, the Marlins loaded the bases in the bottom of the 11th. Edgar Renteria delivered the game-winning hit with Craig Counsell jumping on the plate with the winning run, giving the expansion Marlins a World Series title in just their fifth season of existence.
9. Game 6, 1977 World Series
Naturally, this game gets mentioned because of one of the greatest playoff performances of all time.
After hitting a home run in his final at-bat in Game 5, Reggie Jackson proceeded to hit three home runs in Game 6.
Technically, he hit four home runs on four consecutive swings across those two games. Even more impressive, Jackson’s three home runs in Game 6 came off three different pitchers, including knuckleballer Charlie Hough, leading the Yankees to an 8-4 win in the series-clinching game.
8. Game 7, 1960 World Series
The game itself was memorable for being a Game 7, but the only thing that anybody remembers is Bill Mazeroski hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth.
To date, it remains the only walk-off home run in Game 7 of a World Series.
Of course, the game before wasn’t half bad. The Pirates led 4-0 after two innings, but the Yankees seized control with four runs in the sixth inning. They built on that lead, only for Pittsburgh to score five runs in the bottom of the eighth. Two more runs from the Yankees in the top of the ninth tied the game 9-9, ultimately setting up Mazeroski to his hit walk-off homer.
7. Game 5, 1956 World Series
There are only so many World Series games that can top a perfect game. Don Larsen of the Yankees pulled off the only no-hitter and perfect game in World Series history.
It was an utterly masterful performance by Larsen, who only needed 97 pitches and only allowed one batter to reach a three-ball count, and that happened in the first inning. It was magical and pure perfection from Larsen on the biggest stage possible.
6. Game 7, 2016 World Series
As if Game 7 of the World Series didn’t have enough drama, tension, and intrigue, this game had a rain delay after the ninth inning with the game tied.
There was also the little matter of the Cubs trying to break their epic championship drought. In a game that went back and forth all night, the Cubs were close to winning it all until a Rajai Davis home run highlighted a three-run eighth inning for Cleveland to help force extra innings.
Ultimately, the Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 10th, only to give up one run and put the tying run on base in the bottom of the inning. That forced a two-out pitching change with Mike Montgomery recording the final out and getting the save as the Cubs finally won a championship.
5. Game 6, 1993 World Series
If we’re being honest, Toronto’s 15-14 Game 4 win over the Phillies nearly made our list. But Joe Carter’s walk-off home run to end the series makes this one of the all-time classics.
Keep in mind that the Blue Jays scored three runs in the first inning to take an early lead, only for the Phillies to take a 6-5 lead after scoring five runs in the seventh. It looked like Philly would live to see a Game 7 with Mitch Williams on the mound to close it out. But with two runners on base, Carter smacked a home run that just barely made it over the wall for just the second walk-off home run to end a World Series.
4. Game 7, 1991 World Series
Game 6 could have almost made this list too thanks to Kirby Puckett’s walk-off home run to force a Game 7.
That allowed the Twins to send Jack Morris to the mound in Game 7 to deliver one of the greatest playoff performances of all time. Morris shut out the Braves for 10 innings until the Twins finally scored on a single by Gene Larkin in the bottom of the 10th to win the World Series with one of the best games ever played.
3. Game 6, 1975 World Series
There haven’t been many World Series home runs like the one Carlton Fisk hit in this game, which is why this game stands out among the best World Series games of all time.
But even before that, the Red Sox needed to tie the game by scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Boston also loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t push the winning run across. That sent the game into extra innings, which were obviously filled with tension for the Fenway faithful until Fisk saved the game with his home run that barely stayed fair with Fisk willing the ball to stay fair with his arms. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, they still lost Game 7, keeping the curve alive for another 29 years.
2. Game 6, 2011 World Series
With a 7-4 lead after seven innings, the Rangers were almost counting their chickens before they hatched. Even after St. Louis got a run back in the eighth, Texas was just three outs away. But a David Freese triple tied the game in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings and keep the Cardinals alive.
But the drama didn’t end there.
The Rangers scored two runs in the top of the 10th to retake the lead, only for St. Louis to match them in the bottom of the 10th. In the 11th, Freese came up again and ended things with a walk-off home run, forcing a Game 7 that the Cardinals eventually won with Freese earning World Series MVP honors.
1. Game 6, 1986 World Series
How can any World Series game top this one?
The Red Sox were so close to winning the World Series that the Shea Stadium scoreboard mistakenly flashed a message of congratulations before the game was over.
But that’s why you play all 27 outs.
Actually, you have to play all 30 outs because this game went to 10 innings with the Red Sox scoring two runs in the top half of the inning and quickly retiring the first two batters in the bottom of the inning. But Gary Carter singled, Kevin Mitchell singled, and Ray Knight singled.
The Mets then tied the game on a wild pitch before Mookie Wilson’s roller to first base that got behind Bill Buckner, sending Knight home with the winning run. If you didn’t know, you might think the ending of this game was straight out of the movies because it was that improbably, yet it happened.