The past few years have been great for Xbox fans, especially thanks to Game Pass, cross-play support and it’s about to get better. The previously PlayStation-exclusive MLB The Show series is making its way to Xbox consoles for the first time, with MLB The Show 21.
While PlayStation players might be already familiar with the controls of the MLB The Show games, Xbox players don’t have that luxury, it’s “a whole new ballgame.”
Before starting any of the game modes, it’s worth taking a look at the Options Explorer. This lets you try out the different interfaces for Baserunning, Hitting, Pitching. And if you really want a casual experience, some include auto options.
MLB The Show 21 has several game modes including, Road To The Show, Diamond Dynasty, March to October and Franchise.
Road To The Show is essentially the game’s career/story mode and offers a single-player experience. You’ll first create your own player using the character creator, which in itself is fairly expensive with the customization it offers. In addition to the customization, the game lets you add Loadouts to your player, which temporarily boosts your skills.
There’s also the option to choose what the announcers will call your created character. You can either choose a regular first and last name or unless your name isn’t included, you can call your player something like “Shark Doughboy”, just for laughs.
You’ll start a the bottom playing for a Minor League and rise up through the ranks as a Major League player for the team of your choosing, or you can let the game decide for you. Along the way to the big leagues, you’ll be given choices to make which can affect your story.
One thing to note is that some of the in-game commentaries get very repetitive. Meaning even if you’re playing a new game in Road To The Show, the commentary is the same each time. They’ll say things like, “up next at-bat is [Shark Doughboy]” or “Swing and a miss for [Shark Doughboy].”
Road To The Show is a great way for new players to get a handle on the feel and controls of the game as they work their way up the baseball ladder.
Diamond Dynasty is where you can create your own fantasy baseball team with famous players from history like Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and more Hall of Famers. This mode lets you play in single-player or online against other players or friends.
March to October basically just lets you play out the season as your favourite team, leaving up to Post-Season in October.
Franchise Mode lets you pick a certain team/franchise as they play out multiple seasons. If you have a next-gen console like the Xbox Series X & S or PS5, you also get access to the Stadium Creator in Franchise Mode.
In addition to some of the main game modes, MLB The Show 21 includes a number of others include one where you can relive classic moments in baseball history.
From a visual standpoint, MLB The Show 21 looked great, from the player models to the details in each of the stadiums. I played the game using my Xbox One X with a TCL 4K Roku TV.
The game is running at 4K resolution at 60fps with HDR.
Overall, MLB The Show 21 is a great baseball game that looks good visually and is fun to play. It’s also great to see Xbox fans finally get to experience the MLB The Show series for themselves.
The game does not support Smart Delivery on Xbox consoles, so if you want to play on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X & S, you’ll need to buy the Current and Next Gen Bundle which is $109.99 CAD.
There’s no free next-gen upgrade for the PlayStation versions, you’ll either need to purchase the PS4 and PS5 versions separately or in the Current and Next Gen Bundle (also known as Jackie Robinson Edition) for $109.99 CAD.
An Xbox One review code of the game was provided ahead of launch by the game’s publisher, PlayStation Studios.
- Looks good visually and runs at 4K 60fps
- Options Explorer is great for new players
- Road To The Show is a lot of fun
- Detailed My Player customization
- The series’ first entry on Xbox consoles
- No free next-gen upgrade
- My Player name customization could be improved
- The game’s soundtrack is very limited
- The in-game commentary gets repetitive quickly