MVP Baseball 2005 includes all 30 official Major League Baseball teams, stadiums, and all 30 unique dynasties, as well as the more than 1,000 individual players that populate their respective teams. A notable exclusion is Barry Bonds, who does not appear in the game due to his withdrawal from the MLBPA's licensing agreement. His "replacement" is a fictional player named Jon Dowd. Dowd bears no resemblance in appearance to Bonds, but his skills mimic those of Bonds. Like its predecessor MVP Baseball 2004, this game does not include Kevin Millar, who does not appear in the game because he is not a member of the MLBPA. His "replacement" is a fictional player named Anthony Friese. The game also includes authentic minor league teams and actual minor league players by including double-A and triple-A-level farm teams. 2005's instalment includes ballclubs from the High Single-A ranks as well, giving each MLB team three levels of minor league farm clubs. 2 legends teams, 63 legendary players, 15 classic stadiums, 5 fantasy parks, and more than 100 retro uniforms round out the list of unlockable features. Rosters are current as of January 12, 2005, and the game included the then-new Washington Nationals, along with their then-temporary home, RFK Stadium. At the time, new rosters could be downloaded to the Xbox and PS2 versions by accessing their online play menus.
MVP Baseball 2005 includes an exhibition mode, a manager's mode, two different franchise modes, a scenario editor, and a handful of baseball-themed practice games. The exhibition mode lets the player quickly set up a game against another team, and both pick a starting pitcher and adjust the line-up, if needed. The manager mode is simulated based on the choices the players make before the opening pitch. The player doesn't actually see the players swing or make plays. Instead, the player picks from a list of managerial choices, and the outcome of each play is printed on-screen in a running box score. The scenario editor lets players adjust 20 different variables—such as the teams involved, inning, count, who's on base, and so on—players can set up every possible scenario that has ever occurred in baseball history.
A minor glitch in Kuiper's commentary is about switch-hitters who are currently batting, claiming the batter hits better from one side, but when looking at the batter's power and/or contact stats, they actually hit better from the other side. For example, although Lance Berkman's power and contact stats are both higher batting left-handed in the game by default, Kuiper will claim that Berkman hits better batting right-handed. Another quirk is that he claims Hack Wilson set the MLB single-season runs scored record with 192 in 1930. However, he actually set the MLB single-season RBIs record with 191 in 1930. The single-A Wilmington Blue Rocks' uniforms are misspelled, with an extra L in "Wilmington".