On April 20, MLB The Show 21 came to Xbox for the first time in over 15 years. When it comes to sports games, The Show is absolutely a refreshing experience, especially for players on Xbox.
The Show offers several engaging modes including a career-styled Road to The Show in which you are able to make your own player and climb through the Minor Leagues to have your chance in the Majors. It’s also a nice idea that you can either choose which team you would like to play for or leave it up to a draft. Despite being a single-player game mode, Road to The Show is one of the best experiences any sports game of today has to offer.
Another fan favorite is Diamond Dynasty, in which you are able to create your own team using current or past players. Often modes like these are dominated by players who choose to spend money to get the best players, however, MLB The Show has made it very easy for more casual, free-to-play gamers to earn cards to compete with those most easily attainable by spending money.
Within Diamond Dynasty, there is never a lack of things to do. If you are looking for a more competitive head-to-head match-up, you can play the Ranked Seasons mode, where you are given a rating based on your record, determining both your division and your competition. For those looking for a more relaxing experience against lesser skilled players, they can choose to play in the Casual playlist. They will be matched with any other people also in the Casual game mode and won’t be given a rating based on their skill or record. For anyone looking for a shorter game, or who doesn’t want to spend time building their team, they can play Battle Royale. Battle Royale begins with a draft where you pick players of a set skill range. This eliminates the possibility of matching up with someone with a much better team of your own. You will then play people online in short, three-inning games. The end goal is to tally as many wins as possible before either winning 12 times or losing 3. There are rewards along the way and a special prize for players who are able to win the 12 games with 0 losses.
Outside of the online scene, there are still a plethora of things to do. A few offline modes include Play Now, March to October, and Home Run Derby (which you can also play online). All of these incredible options are reinforced by great gameplay.
The gameplay itself, unfortunately, comes with a learning curve, however, once you understand all of the controls you’ll realize how good the game really is. The one main problem with MLB The Show is that many features are often hidden deep within the menus of the game, and can definitely be difficult for new players to discover. Despite this one factor, MLB The Show is one of the best experiences you can get from a sports game and absolutely worth trying if you are a baseball fan.
3.5 out of 4 stars