There’s nothing in the world like baseball. The game’s sights, sounds, and smells create something unique and beloved. Baseball is a unique experience and a sporting tradition in the United States. While the smells aren’t a thing yet in video gaming, there is a way to experience the rest of baseball anytime and anywhere. MLB The Show is the only baseball game franchise out there and has been for almost a decade. This year’s edition, MLB The Show 23, has updated rosters and uniforms, and a few reasons it’s a must-buy.
MLB The Show 23 released in March of 2023 on Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, and PS4. The game isn’t on PC yet, but neither was last year’s edition. MLB The Show from San Diego Studios has released an edition every year since 2006. Sure, you can skip a year and still get a pretty great baseball experience playing with outdated rosters and stats, but sometimes that doesn’t cut it. MLB The Show 23 has added a few new updates that make the game worth trying, no matter your experience.
This year the game has gone above and beyond to push the boundaries in multiple directions. The Negro Leagues is a mode long overdue in the world of gaming and sports entertainment in general. It adds something even a non-baseball fan can be captivated and touched by. Face Scan allows players to put themselves where they’ve never been in baseball gaming. It’s an easy and precise way to get into the game and experience the sport like never before. This detail adds to an already impressive system of play and customization. The Road to the Show is still going strong. The updates to authenticity, rules, and little details make the game seem fresher than ever. This mode which has long been a part of the franchise, now feels a little more personal, with more possibilities to control your destiny. Let’s dive into these features that set MLB 23 apart.
Top 3 Reasons to Buy MLB The Show 23
- Face Scan
- The Negro Leagues
- The Road to the Show
Customization has been a big part of sports gaming for many years. Creating a player can take as much work and time as playing an entire game, if not longer. In the end, you have a customized player that looks as much like a celebrity, relative, or yourself as possible using the preset customizations. In MLB The Show games, the created player is the avatar in The Road to the Show, which is the “career mode” campaign. This campaign is where players will likely spend much of their time playing as it’s a journey from the bottom to the top in the baseball world. This time around, though, the customization is on another level.
You can put your face in the game for the first time in baseball gaming. Face Scan is the new method of customizing your create a player to look exactly like you or anyone else you can get a selfie of with your phone. The Face Scan takes a selfie and uploads the image into the game, making it the base for creating a player. You’ll need a mobile device to take the selfie and the MLB The Show Companion App to do this. While the app is free, it only works as a companion to MLB The Show 23.
Adding yourself to the game only takes a few minutes and a single photo. Once you’ve taken a selfie of yourself or whoever and uploaded it into the game, you can customize it further. After you upload your selfie, you can still edit everything except the head shape. You can also retake the selfie if you don’t like how yours looks in the game. Face Scan-created players are available in Road to the Show, Diamond Dynasty, and other modes where create-a-players can play.
The Negro Leagues
The Negro Leagues is the outstanding feature of MLB The Show 23. It’s another new edition that makes the game a must-buy. It’s an interactive baseball history lesson that’s new for baseball gaming. The Negro Leagues is a mode that focuses on eight players’ stories. It allows you to learn and play through some of the most significant moments of the players’ careers. While these players may not be household names, their stories are important to baseball and African American history.
The players in this mode include:
- Satchel Paige
- Rube Foster
- Buck O’Neil
- John Donaldson
- Jackie Robinson
- Hilton Smith
- Hank Thompson
- Martin Dihigo
The Negro Leagues mode focuses on these players from the leagues that ran alongside Major League Baseball from 1920-1948. Bob Kendrick, the Negro Leagues Museum president is the narrator for each player’s story. The documentary aspect of this mode tells of the players’ triumphs amidst the prejudice of the time, providing eye-opening insight into both. Highly detailed uniforms and stunning crowd imagery from the era make for an accurate and engaging trip to the past. This mode allows for unique play as often overlooked players in a time when baseball was different. Sports fans, historians, and those interested in African American history will all enjoy this new experience that takes a step in the right direction.
The Road to the Show
The bottom line is that no other baseball simulation is on the same level as MLB The Show 23. It’s the most up-to-date version of a baseball game and has features and options aplenty. While popping in for a game or participating in the “card collecting” of the Diamond Dynasty feels like baseball, nothing is quite like The Road to the Show experience. The Road to the Show may be the best overall career mode in all sports gaming.
Road to the Show is the primary campaign in the MLB The Show franchise and has been a staple since its inception in 2006. It allows players to use their created player and travel the long road from a new athlete in minor league baseball to a chance at playing for a major league team. This mode is immersive and time-consuming. You can play every game of every season and slowly build your resume and skills until you reach the top. This journey can take months leading to a victory so satisfying you may feel like you really are going up to the majors and your favorite team.
A lot goes into being successful and navigating your way up The Road to the Show. Playing games instead of simulating them means more time playing but more positive outcomes. In between games, you should participate in suggested practice activities and drills that improve your attributes before moving on to the next game. There are strategic details to account for, like equipment choices, choosing the right skills according to position, and even making the right batting stance. While it may seem overwhelming, these pieces you can control make the game exciting and the success at the end worthwhile.
The Final Pitch
MLB The Show has long done its best and succeeded at making the most authentic baseball simulation experience. The game includes cut scenes, commentary, in-stadium backgrounds, and even camera angles that make the game feel authentic. In the same way, there’s nothing like baseball; there’s nothing like MLB The Show. It’s a competitive and loving tribute to the sport. Even players still playing the previous year’s version will agree this is the baseball game, and without it, there’d be a hole.
Enhancing the reality of the game makes for a more authentic experience that touches on some of the modern standards of baseball. The updated rules make it so that umpires check the pitcher’s hands after innings. The updated audio includes accurate sounds when the ball hits the bat in different areas and even when players slide into a base. Even the sport’s modern spirit is present as teams’ victory dances appear in this game version.
MLB The Show 23 is a must-buy for fans of the sport or sports gaming who have yet to play previous versions. It’s got everything that the older and still-going-strong editions have but adds a lot more to make an even better and more up-to-date version for 2023. For those who’ve played previous games, this one may surprise you if you give it time and explore the impressive nuances added in.