MLB The Show 24 Review – Tradition of Excellence

MLB The Show 24 Review

MLB The Show 24 might not be a monstrous leap forward for the franchise, but it still proves to be an excellent representation of baseball. Several baby steps do enhance the overall look and feel of this year’s entry. However, I’m not convinced that every fan of the series will agree that they’re enough to warrant an upgrade from the already stellar MLB The Show 23. As a baseball nerd, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the fresh, little details peppered throughout MLB The Show 24. However, casual players may find themselves fully content with waiting until 2025 for a more substantial improvement.

If you do decide to pull the trigger on MLB The Show 24, the expanded ‘storylines’ mode is a great place to start. Season two of the Negro League’s history is as captivating as ever. Recounting tales from some of baseball’s best – including Hank Aaron and Josh Gibson – continues to entertain and educate in ways that sports games rarely do. The attention to detail is strong, with stadiums, uniforms, player likenesses, and graphics all perfectly capturing the era.

Number 2

It was also a pleasant surprise to discover that baseball icon Derek Jeter received his own storyline to work through. Narrated by Jeter himself, you’ll be able to experience some of the most significant moments of his career. By no means am I a Yankee fan. But I had a blast reliving a handful of highlights from what I believe to be the greatest time in baseball history – the late 90s.

More important than anything, though, is that MLB The Show 24 continues to shine where it counts – on the field. San Diego Studio has once again delivered the finest sports simulation on the market. Animations are crisp and lifelike, working to provide a beautiful recreation of an actual MLB game. Batting stances, swings, dives, catches, throws, and everything else you expect to see during a baseball game are nearly flawless. On occasion, you may notice an odd-looking transition from one action to another.

But overall, MLB The Show 24 looks and feels as good as the series has ever been. Big props to the developers for finally allowing players to flip the ball directly from the glove to a teammate. It’s a small detail but one that greatly adds to immersion.

The Sights and Sounds

MLB The Show 24 doesn’t just look good, either. It sounds phenomenal. As any veteran of the series should expect, San Diego Studio has once again nailed the auditory experience of a baseball game. Balls satisfyingly crack off bats and smack into gloves as authentically as they do on TV. Crowds realistically react to situations with resounding cheers during big moments or pained groans if their team is underperforming. Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton also return to the booth to provide commentary. While you’ll undoubtedly hear lines from last year, enough has been added to prevent “commentary fatigue” in the early stages of the game’s lifecycle. Though, as is always the case, by the time 25 rolls around, I’m sure we’ll all be begging to hear new stuff.

Speaking of new stuff, the popular Diamond Dynasty mode has seen some welcomed improvements. The most important of these is the increased rarity of 99 overall cards. In previous years, it was far too easy to quickly build a team of the highest-rated players. This would leave a significant chunk of cards that never receive any playtime. In MLB The Show 24, cards with overalls in the 80s/low 90s are much more valuable. It’s a change I’ve been dying to see, as Diamond Dynasty games often end up featuring teams with opponents fielding rosters comprised of the exact same players.

You’re a Diamond

I also appreciate the idea behind “cornerstone cards.” At the beginning of each season, players will be offered the choice of a cornerstone player they’ll want to build their team around. Cornerstone cards will likely be your best player, especially in the early months of MLB The Show 24’s release. This new system encourages players to try different squads and unique approaches to the game that they otherwise may not have attempted—an utterly refreshing change of pace.

These changes to Diamond Dynasty are made to ensure longevity. Last year, players suffered a lack of motivation from being dealt overly powerful cards too early. MLB The Show 24 attempts to correct this in intelligent ways. Truthfully, that could be said for the entirety of this year’s game. Small but smart adjustments to its systems, on-field action, and game modes have me excited to play ball once again.

MLB The Show 24 doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Though, it never needed to. The Show has been an outstanding franchise for a long time. If anything, this year simply continues that tradition of excellence. The storylines are entertaining and insightful. Changes to the Diamond Dynasty mode ensure players won’t burn out in the early months of release. Most importantly, gameplay is once again a brilliant simulation of the actual sport. Kudos to San Diego Studio; it’s another homerun.

***A PS5 code was provided for this review***

The Good

  • Storylines
  • Diamond Dynasty updates
  • Fantastic audio

The Bad

  • May not be enough change for returning players
  • Sporadic animation issues
  • RTTS sees no improvment