In the Game: Lack of New Features Aside, “MLB The Show 2023” is Still Baseball’s Best

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As someone who has played every version of MLB The Show since its initial release, I can confidently say that the 2023 edition is the best yet. Developed by San Diego Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, this baseball sim has always been the gold standard for baseball games, and this year’s edition is no exception.

MLB The Show 2023 boasts a range of game modes, each offering a unique experience. Road to the Show mode is still my favourite, though, and I spent most of my time there – creating my own player and guiding them through the minor and major leagues. The addition of personality traits and quirks adds a level of depth to your player that is welcomed. It’s also great to see that the developers have added more cut scenes and interactions between your player and teammates as it helps to keep you immersed in the story.

Franchise mode is also enjoyable, and it’s a great way to test your managerial skills. The addition of new scouting reports and player development options makes it easier to build a successful team from the ground up. The AI for opposing teams is also pretty challenging, which makes winning a championship satisfying.

The newest feature added to MLB The Show is called Storylines: The Negro Leagues, which honours the pioneering Black athletes who ushered in The Negro National League.

Play as the iconic Jackie Robinson. Image via

Per Storylines mode provides players with short, single-player scenarios, each with an objective to complete, like getting at least two hits with Jackie Robinson or earning four runs with Hank Thompson. It’s labelled as the franchise’s first “season” of storylines, indicating that more additional baseball heroes could be added in the future.

This crown jewel in MLB The Show 23 comes from a partnership between San Diego Studio and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Bob Kendrick, the museum’s president, works to preserve and share the legacy and undeniable impact of the sport’s greatest legends from the Negro Leagues. Led by Hall of Famer Andrew “Rube” Foster in 1880, Black baseball players created the first of these leagues to combat segregation and Jim Crow laws that made it near-impossible to play professionally.

This new mode includes eight chapters, each focused on a special player from the Negro Leagues. They’re all carefully curated with brief historical insights from Kendrick and engaging original artwork that tell a deeper story of breaking racial barriers. After completing a chapter, each of the players featured in Storylines becomes available for use in the fantasy, dream-team mode Diamond Dynasty. The eight legends featured in Storylines include Leroy “Satchel” Paige, Hilton Smith, Andrew “Rube” Foster, Hank Thompson, Jordan “Buck” O’Neil, Jackie Robinson, John Donaldson, and Martin Dihigo.

Image via Playstation Blog

Diamond Dynasty is another mode that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It allows you to build your own team and compete against other players online. The online component is particularly enjoyable, as it adds a level of competition and excitement that is unmatched in the other modes. Building your own team and competing against other players online is a lot of fun, and adding new legends and current players makes it even more exciting. You’ve also got the ability to customize your own uniforms and ballpark, which is a nice touch.

One of the shining features in MLB The Show 2023 is, and has always been, the graphics. I played it on the Playstation 5 and the attention to detail is incredible, from the player models to the stadiums themselves. Sony Santa Monica have done an amazing job of capturing the essence of each ballpark, making it feel like you’re really there. The animations look smoother and more realistic than ever before and the lighting and weather effects are also impressive, making for a truly immersive experience. Whether it’s diving catches in the outfield or the way a pitcher’s arm moves during a windup, everything looks and feels completely authentic.

One of the only downsides to MLB The Show 2023 is that the updates are becoming less noticeable with each passing year. While the graphics and animations are clearly industry-leading, the changes to the game play are more subtle. That being said, there are a few improvements worth noting. For example, the pitching mechanics have been refined to make it easier to hit your spots. The hitting mechanics have also been improved, with a new “Perfect Perfect” system that rewards players who make perfectly timed swings with the best possible hitting outcome.

Image via

In terms of game play, MLB The Show 2023 is the most realistic baseball simulation there is. The attention to detail is incredible, and the game’s mechanics are finely tuned to make every at-bat, pitch, and defensive play feel great. The addition of new hitting and pitching mechanics adds another layer of strategy to the game. The online component is also robust, allowing you to compete against other players from around the world.

Overall, MLB The Show 2023 is a must-play for baseball fans and sports gamers alike. The game play is as polished as ever, and the variety of game modes ensures that there is something for everyone. The graphics are truly breathtaking, and the attention to detail is impressive. While the lack of major new features is a minor disappointment, it doesn’t take away from the fact that MLB The Show 2023 is the best version of the game yet. I highly recommend picking it up, whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan or just looking for a fun and engaging sports game.

Have you played it? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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