- Total Score - 8.1/108.1/10
MLB The Show 21 provides fans on Xbox and Playstation a fantastic day out in the virtual ball park together. Even if you’re an Aussie, you can appreciate America’s National Past time.
Developer – San Diego Studios
Publisher – Sony Interactive – MLB Advanced Media
Platforms – PS4, PS5, XBOX ONE, XBOX SERIES S|X
MLB The Show was the generations easiest to recommend sports game, and if you were on an Xbox, that has been a bit frustrating. RBI Baseball is fun but it’s aim is at the more casual crowd. EA’s and 2K’s baseball titles were out on Xbox a lifetime ago.
In an unprecedented but wise step, MLB decided they wanted their flagship sports franchise to be multi-platform. San Diego Studios talent and skill, along with a higher budget and an official license have been delivering the best baseball game and series for years, and now the title has released on Xbox as well.
Now right off the bat, I’m not going to fool anybody with my baseball knowledge, real, virtual, or otherwise. I usually approach these games from a casual point of view, and tend to like an arcade style just as much as any sim title.
Now when executed well, a great baseball game can combine the nuances of real ball, but keep it accessible for skill levels like mine. More important, I can’t help but think of lazy Summer afternoons with some baseball on the radio.
The best games can recreate that, and MLB The Show does with ease.
MLB The Show has always brought of plethora of settings tailored to the hardcore or the casuals such as myself. This title is no different, with some really fun and quick hitting modes to try out for those who don’t have time to dig into a full 9 inning spectacle.
MLB the Show features extensive tutorials and for pitching and batting setups, which can really help especially with it’s complicated gameplay.
Outside of the core gameplay and good visuals the series is known for, The Road to the Show franchise mode is easily the star of the show. MLB The Show 21 features an okay character creator, that allows you the room to make some okay looking, or absurd looking hitters in their best. The more interesting customization, is the stadium creator featured on next generation platforms. It’s actually flexible and allows for custom logo’s and much more.
The career mode is solid, and with full cross play and cloud save support it’s easy to pick up and play regardless of location or platform. Building up a player is as fun as it’s always been, but the mode doesn’t seem too different than the last few iterations.
Online has been a bit more hit or miss, no pun intended. The content offering is solid, but right up front you are hit with tons of micro-transaction fluff that has completely taken over the rest of the sports genre. From a virtual marketplace, season pass and daily challenges, MLB The Show 21 front loads a few unfortunate trends that thankfully can be ignored.
Servers have been dicey however, when they are down it prevents a lot of functionality across the game, even if you have no interest in online play.
MLB The Show 21 is continues an excellent tradition forward. While not quite the biggest jump for next gen consoles, they did manage to add features instead of remove them like so many games do during a console transition. Now fans on Xbox and Playstation can experience a fantastic day out in the virtual ball park together.