MLB The Show 23: review, baseball game release date, Game Pass details - and new features in 2023 edition

MLB The Show is one of the most well-known sports video game franchises, with a devoted following

Being taken out to the ballgame has never been easier, as the newest edition of the MLB The Show video game series slides onto consoles.

With its realistic graphics, updated player stats and thrilling gameplay, get ready to step up to the plate and experience baseball like never before in MLB The Show 23. Fans of the beloved series can expect even more home runs, strikeouts and unforgettable moments that will keep them coming back for more. Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is MLB The Show?

Doing for America’s favourite pastime what the FIFA series does for football, MLB: The Show lets you step out onto a virtual diamond and live out your wildest baseballin’ fantasies. Officially licensed by Major League Baseball, each of the game’s annual releases includes accurate player and team data, stadiums and uniforms, with fully licensed rosters taking on every team from the major leagues.

The game features realistic graphics, detailed player animations, and a variety of gameplay modes, including single-player and multiplayer modes. The series was first introduced in 2006, exclusively for the PlayStation 2 console, and was a critical and commercial success, receiving positive reviews for its graphics, gameplay and attention to detail.

Over the years, the series has expanded to other PlayStation consoles, and came to the Xbox platform for the first time in 2021. In 2022, the series made its debut on Nintendo Switch. It is one of the most popular sports video game franchises, with a dedicated fan base and annual releases that are eagerly anticipated around the world.

In addition to the main series, there have been several spin-off titles, including MLB Front Office Manager and MLB Manager Online, which focus on the management aspects of running a baseball team.

(Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment)(Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment)
(Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

What’s new in 2023?

Each new release of the game has introduced new features, such as improved graphics, new gameplay modes and updated player and team data. But this year’s edition also sees the inclusion of a new Storylines: A New Game Experience mode, which features a mixture of gameplay and narration to deliver a kind of video game-slash-documentary experience.

The debut iteration of this mode features baseball’s Negro Leagues, which were composed primarily of African-American and Latinx players who were excluded from playing in Major League Baseball due to the colour barrier and racial segregation policies.

These leagues provided opportunities for players who were often just as talented as their white counterparts in the major leagues, but were denied the opportunity to showcase their skills at the highest level.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player to break the colour barrier in Major League Baseball, paving the way for other players from the Negro Leagues to join the majors. He’s one of eight influential players rightly getting the long-overdue spotlight they deserve in this year’s new game mode.

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the history of the Negro Leagues, with efforts to recognize and honor the contributions of these players to the game of baseball. In 2020, Major League Baseball officially recognised the statistics and records of the Negro Leagues, adding them to the official record books.

When can I play it?

MLB The Show 23 was released on Tuesday 28 March 2023. The game is available to play on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. For the third consecutive year, MLB The Show 23 is also available to subscribers to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service, which offers unlimited access to a library of over 100 games for a monthly fee.

At the time of writing, the game is available to install right now, so you don’t have to wait for it to go live - it’s ready now! The game is also playable instantly through cloud gaming, meaning you can jump right in without having to wait for a potentially lengthy download to complete.

Is it any good?

At the time of writing, MLB The Show 23 boasts a relatively comofrtable approval rating of 75 on Metacritic, which indicates “generally favorable reviews”.

Dextero’s review says “MLB The Show 23 doesn’t stray too far away from what has made the series successful, and that’s a good thing”, while Twinfinite says the new Storylines mode is “not only beautiful in its retelling and presentation, but necessary in enhancing our knowledge and love of baseball.”