Geek Review MLB The Show 23

Geek Review: MLB The Show 23

There is always a tendency to regard annualised sports games as derivative affairs, bringing the bare minimum of improvements with an updated roster just to call it a day. There have certainly been games like that, but MLB The Show 23 is anything but that. Sony and San Diego Studio have put in the hard work for this year’s entry, and stepping up to the plate is an amazing offering that boasts plenty to like for any baseball fan.

Geek Review MLB The Show 23

The game comes packed to the rafters with modes that will appeal to any fancy, and the on-field play remains a star attraction that never seems to fade away. Add to that the excellent addition of the Negro Leagues mode, and MLB The Show 23 both honours the past and paves the way to the future in equal measure.

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Beginners can make full use of custom practice to get up to speed with the game, especially when it comes to handling tricky pitches as a batter. Hard work here can pay off immensely during in-game situations, and being able to train like this to cover shortfalls in your game is invaluable.

For players hoping to live out their dreams, Road to the Show remain a great outlet, adding face-scanning and a UI refresh to an already solid mode. The metagame of building your player remains as intoxicating as ever, helped by generous streams of data that make the chase for perfection even more compelling for those that like to dive deep.

If running your own franchise is more the dream, the updated rulebook in MLB The Show 23 will come into play. This means major changes in certain areas, such as finally allowing two-way players to fulfil their roles as both Designated Hitters and Pitchers. Unearthing new talent will also become a more enjoyable affair thanks to the improved scouting and drafting system, even for those that prefer to hand it off to the AI to do the heavy lifting.

There’s also the juggernaut that is Diamond Dynasty, the game’s answer to baseball card collecting made into a video game mode. While the premise remains the same, with players completing various challenges or cashing in in-game Stubs for cards to form the best team, the mode has benefited from several tweaks to the formula. 

For starters, the introduction of sets and seasons sees room for players to lean into a particular set in terms of strategy and planning, and ensuring that variety is the rule rather than the exception. It does require players to constantly refresh their rosters as time goes by, possibly losing high-tier cards in the process, but it is emblematic of a live service environment. 

The addition of new Captain Cards that come with benefits for the entire team should make for more interesting and varied team compositions, while ranked co-op matches become another avenue for players to chase down rewards with a partner in tow. There is simply more reasons to enjoy Diamond Dynasty this time around. 

Geek Review MLB The Show 23

But of course, nothing can truly compare to the headline attraction that is the single-player experience of the Negro Leagues mode in MLB The Show 23. Highlighting the astounding achievements of legends that graced the game from 1920 to 1949 and allowing players to relive the biggest moments, this is one mode that truly deserves all the pomp and circumstance associated with a main event. 

The cherished history is celebrated without reserve, with accompanying videos led by Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick elevating the entire journey. Giving players control of the giants of the game is just the cherry on top of an authentic trip to yesteryear, complete with the era-appropriate look and feel of things. Who knew a history lesson could be that captivating?

And of course, everything runs as it should out on the field of play, with MLB The Show 23 also making sure that the moment-to-moment gameplay remains top of the line. Players of all skill levels can enjoy a wide breadth of control options to find the sweet spot, and for the added challenge, mastering the elusive target on Button Accuracy Throws should be top of the agenda.

It is also worth mentioning just how stunning everything looks and sound in action, be it the stadiums or the trams and players, further blurring the line between reality and video game sports. The sweet melody of big hits and precise catches never gets old. 

Another year, another triumph, the consistency of the team at San Diego Studio continues to amaze, and MLB The Show 23 is a true gem of a baseball game. No matter which mode you find yourself in, there’s something to marvel at, and with the big addition of the Negro Leagues mode, this is one baseball sim that is heavy on the history lessons and may yet make history itself as well. 

MLB The Show 23 is available on the PSN Store for $97.90.



A return to form for a beloved franchise, MLB The Show 23 proves that form is temporary, but class is permanent.

  • Gameplay - 9/10
  • Presentation - 9.5/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 9/10
  • Value - 8.5/10