Like a lot of annual sport releases, MLB The Show 24 hasn’t revolutionised its core gameplay loop over the last year. Of course, with last year’s entry really hitting a, uh-hum, ‘home run’ with its satisfying mechanics and variety of games modes, it makes sense to see more of the same this time around – albeit with some improvements here and there. I’m no baseball aficionado, but after having a blast with its predecessor, I’ve been more than happy to dive in and see if MLB The Show 24 is worth playing.

Check out some screenshots down below:

I said the same thing last year, but the gameplay of MLB The Show 24 is a ton of fun and offers an authentic take on the sport. Batting is satisfying and gives players plenty of depth to make hits with accuracy, pitching has been refined to offer additional ways to land those strikes, whilst fielding has seen additional animations and throws included to make for a more realistic experience than before. There are plenty of intuitive systems in place to ensure each role you play on the pitch is authentically captured, but in a satisfying way that emits the magic of the sport perfectly. San Diego Studio have really mastered their craft over the years, with the mechanics of MLB The Show 24 arguably trumping any other sports game out there. And whilst there haven’t been any significant improvements to the gameplay, it gets the most important thing right: it’s a blast to play.

When it comes to the game modes on offer, MLB The Show 24 sees the return of the Storylines mode that once again puts a focus on the Negro Leagues, with players re-living pivotal moments with set players across their playing career (which is once again narrated by Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick and given a documentary-style presentation). At launch, players will get to experience the stories of Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Hank Aaraon, and, for the first time in the series, a female debutant in Toni Stone. Again, it stands out as one of the best modes in the game, with it capturing the history of the sport in an engrossing and wonderfully presented fashion. With new players coming in over the next few months, I’m excited to experience more of their stories.

“MLB The Show 24 covers all bases and has made some improvement to ensure there’s added quality to go along with the consistency, and whilst it doesn’t have as many BIG changes made when compared to last year’s release, it’s hard to complain when it delivers such a complete and enjoyable baseball experience.”

Players will also get to play through the career of the New York Yankees’ hall of famer Derek Jeter in the Storylines mode. Much like the Negro Leagues, this will be expanded upon with further updates throughout the year, so there’s an incentive to come back and experience more of his glittering career. However, I can’t help but to feel that it would’ve been nicer if it was all included in one package – the Negros League offers additional players to play as so the experience feels fresh each time, but stop-starting through the career of Derek Jeter with each update doesn’t feel as streamlined in design. It’s more of a personal peeve and the mode itself is a treat to play through, so it’s hard to complain too much.

Then there is the Road to the Show mode, which sees players creating their own player and leading them to the grand stage of MLB super stardom. Again, it’s the most exciting mode in the game and it’s a treat to live out that baseball dream, but it’s hard not to be a little bit disappointed – whilst it has been fleshed out when compared to last year’s entry, it still doesn’t offer a lot of depth and felt a bit too predictable with its storytelling. The fact that it now allows you to create female players to lead on their baseball journey does feel like a big step in the right direction, and hey, it still offers an improvement over last year’s effort… I just wanted more from it, especially since other sport titles have nailed their efforts with similar modes in the past.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Diamond Dynasty also makes a return, with players collecting baseball cards consisting of current superstars and legends of the sport as they build up the perfect team. This team can then be used to face off against AI teams or even be taken online to compete against the Diamond Dynasty efforts of other players, which is probably the most satisfying form of competitive play in the game. Admittedly, I haven’t spent a lot of time with the mode so far this year, but with plenty of cards available to players at the start of the mode, it’s easy enough to get the ball rolling with a competitive team. When you do get a pack with a superstar player in, though? It’s REALLY satisfying, and after spending TONS of hours in the mode last year, I expect the addiction to kick right back in.

Franchise also makes a return and allows players to run their own team, you can create your own stadiums to add that personal (and often outright bizarre) touch to each match, there are more real-life players and stadiums than before, whilst the presentation is slicker than ever – all the way from the UI to the players themselves (I’ll never get over how great the hair physics are in the series). MLB The Show 24 covers all bases and has made some improvement to ensure there’s added quality to go along with the consistency, and whilst it doesn’t have as many BIG changes made when compared to last year’s release, it’s hard to complain when it delivers such a complete and enjoyable baseball experience.

MLB The Show 24 Review

MLB The Show 24 delivers another exciting sporting experience that offers excellent baseball action and plenty of game modes to get stuck into. Whilst the core gameplay mechanics themselves haven’t really changed, the Storylines mode that further explores both the Negro League and the career of Derek Jeter, the revamped Road to the Show that now features female players, the ever-addictive Diamond Dynasty that sees you building up an even stronger card collection with all-new players, and the improved visuals all ensure that there’s plenty on offer to make this year’s release feel special.

Developer: San Diego Studio
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment, MLB Advanced Media
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC