MLB The Show 23 review (PS5/XSX)

MLB The Show 23 is the latest entry in the long-running baseball simulation franchise, and the 2023 remake on the PlayStation 5 brings a host of improvements and updates to the series – which is no longer a PlayStation exclusive now that it’s available for Xbox and the Nintendo Switch as well. The game’s updated graphics, mechanics, and presentation all help to create an immersive and authentic baseball experience, but does it differ enough from previous versions? Here’s our look at the game, which we played on PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Not having played an MLB The Show game since the 2020 version, this was our first go on the latest generation of consoles. Based on that jump forward, the graphics in MLB The Show 23 have received a significant upgrade on the PlayStation 5, with impressive player models, detailed stadiums, and improved lighting effects. The result is a game that looks and feels more realistic than before, though we wouldn’t say it pushes the envelope as much as other sports franchises (like NBA 2K) do.


One of the standout features of MLB The Show 23 on the PlayStation 5 is its support for the DualSense controller. The haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are used well, giving players a more immersive experience on the field when throwing a pitch, swinging a bat, or making a diving catch. It’s often subtle, but connecting with a ball that’s destined to be a home run instantly feels thrilling.

In terms of gameplay, MLB The Show 23 builds upon the solid foundation of previous games in the series while adding a few new features. The addition of the Negro Leagues is a welcome inclusion, providing players with a deeper appreciation for the history of baseball thanks to its gorgeous documentary-style presentation and insightful clips and story elements that are seamlessly woven into the gameplay.

In addition to the Storylines mode that features the story of the Negro Leagues, MLB The Show 23 also includes a number of other new elements. Franchise mode has been revamped, with new team management options and a more streamlined interface. If you enjoy drafting and scouting players, you’ll appreciate the changes here. Road to the Show mode feels largely unchanged though, turning into a mode that existing fans will love but one that won’t draw anyone else in.


Despite these positives, there are some downsides to MLB The Show 23. Although it’s not aggressively pushed, the in-game baseball card collecting can lead to microtransactions. We also expected to see a bigger push forward after having missed two editions of the series, so if you pick up MLB The Show every year than we imagine the improvements are even more marginal for you.

Having said that, MLB The Show 23 still plays a very refined game of baseball and nothing else really comes close to it. The new story mode is an absolute highlight as well, its documentary-style presentation grabbing us way more than some of the fictional story campaigns we’ve seen in other sports franchises. Looking forward to seeing a lot more of that next year – which the developers have indicated is something we can expect.

Score: 8.0/10

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