MLB The Show 24 Review – A fun history lesson

Reviewed March 25, 2024 on PS5


Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S


March 19, 2024


Sony Interactive Entertainment


SIE San Diego Studio

Every year sports games come and go, from every sport imaginable including AFL, NRL, Cricket, Football/Soccer, NBA, NFL, and Golf. But MLB has something these games do not. I celebrated scoring a home run because it felt like an accomplishment. The controls are much the same as a cricket game, simple but effective button presses and directional inputs, but for some reason, getting it all right in MLB The Show 24 just feels better. Perhaps it’s the slight cut away from the batter, before following them for a couple of steps as they toss the bat and find their way around the bases. Whatever it is, I do want to chase that feeling.

There is nothing special about the controls; pick your swing type and attempt to time it correctly, with some directional input as well. For pitching each button is a different pitch type while aiming with the right stick, it’s simple but it’s effective.

This translates well into the gameplay overall. In most game modes you control the whole team, normally one at a time, trying to hit the ball as the batter or strike, catch, or field them out as the fielding team much like a real game of baseball. Fielding is easier to pick up than batting, something that I feel is true to real life. The pitchers felt too accurate, throwing a lot more inside the strike zone than not, which created a lot more pressure to perform better. A nice touch however is that the umpires will sometimes get marginal calls wrong, pitches you can see are inside the strike zone being called balls, and while it can be annoying when it happens to you, adds a slight human element to what can be something too robotic in sports games.

Often while batting I found myself being struck out rather than other modes of dismissal because I was struggling with the timing required to hit the ball. The lack of a training aid to help with the timing is something that is sorely missing. Short of spending hours in practice mode looking for the best time there is no way to find out when is the best time to swing. Compared to other sports games it felt harder to pick up because of it. But that’s what makes getting it right feel so good.

The graphics in the game are nothing out of this world, but for a sports game, they are some of the best I have seen. While I am not familiar with every baseball player in the league, those I do know look like their real-life selves. The one problem with the visuals now is if the ball gets tipped off it suddenly looks out of place. It can be quite jarring seeing the ball look like Play-Doh after it got hit as it rolls along the ground around home plate. While the default batting camera places you inside where the catcher would be, the default fielding cameras are just like a regular broadcast, which adds some familiarity to the presentation of the game. The cutaways to cameras in the stands, and the umpire cameras are a nice way to break up the presentation with different views of the stadium that would not be normally accessible.

The commentary can be not entirely reflective of the player or the game. IIn the career mode, while my player had the third-highest batting average on the team, the commentary suggested that I was not living up to my expectations. However, the commentary was otherwise enjoyable with a lot of unique dialogue and brings the game to life. The ability to have the game’s soundtrack on in the background while playing helped fill in any quiet times without breaking any immersion.

The Road to the Show Career mode in MLB The Show 24 has a lot going for it, an in-depth draft combine, multiple games to show your skills, and being assigned to an AA affiliate team before going on to a triple-A affiliate and finally making the big leagues. The inclusion of a female gender option is great too, and that comes with its own unique story as you and your best friend try to make it to the big leagues together. These modes are the ones I tend to gravitate towards, as often controlling one player instead of the whole team is easier. This mode is more about chasing individual glory, while also chipping in with a couple of team championships. I do like that you have to make your way through the smaller leagues before making it to the big time, showing the progression of the athlete instead of just starting at the top. That real sense of progression makes this career mode stand out from the others. The one thing I do not like about it is the story is not voice-acted, something other career modes like in the NBA 2K games offer.

The Storylines mode comes back to MLB The Show 24 with the Negro Leagues season 2 and another solely focusing on New York Yankees great Derek Jeter. There are four players focused on in season 2 of Negro Leagues, including Josh Gibson who was one of the most imposing hitters in the game, and Toni Stone who was the first woman to play professional baseball regularly. Each storyline takes you through eight or nine matches and teaches you about the player they were. While the challenges are not that hard, usually just to record a hit, or to score a run, the accompanying movies and even the commentary while doing the challenge is informative and a good history lesson. It is the same with Derek Jeter’s Storyline; it focuses on five years of Jeter’s career, from rookie to superstar.

Historic showcases in sports games are my favourite modes to play, and this nails it. If you are like me and not familiar with the Negro Leagues or with Derek Jeter, this mode is more of an interactive movie than it is a game mode, but it does take some of the most important moments in their careers and puts you in their shoes, while also teaching you about who these players were and why they are important in particular. It was entertaining and I was looking for more, it is not often I find myself looking up people’s careers because of a sports game, normally they are just another tool for victory, but here it brought the person to life.

“More sports games could learn from adding affiliated or reserve teams for a more comprehensive experience.”

The Franchise mode lets you control every aspect of your favourite team including their AA and AAA affiliates. This can be modified to your likes, if scouting new talent is not your thing it can be automated, just like every other aspect of the team. This is one of the most fun modes for that classic sports game feel. Take your favourite team to glory again and again. Controlling the affiliate teams adds another layer to the mode, giving players who might not otherwise get playing time a chance to improve. More sports games could learn from adding affiliated or reserve teams for a more comprehensive experience. This is the mode for chasing team glory, at multiple levels which can at times be overwhelming, but having successful reserve teams is a good start to having a successful main team. This mode will probably be a fan favourite, as team glory is more important to many than individual glory. It’s one of the best franchise/team modes I have played, just because it has multiple levels of teams to control, making it feel more real.

Diamond Dynasty makes a return; it is a pretty stock standard card-based build-your-own-team in the vein of EA Sports FC Ultimate Team that you can use in single-player or multiplayer. You can unlock cards of players past and present by just playing or by spending real money to get a premium currency, which can also be earned just by playing. It comes with a small tutorial to teach you how to play the mode which in parts doubles as situation training for the game.

You can play the mode in single player or take it online in multiplayer, just note that the base difficulty in multiplayer is quite high so be prepared to be destroyed if you are not careful. I tend to not gravitate towards these sorts of modes, but being able to play to earn is a big plus, while also being able to buy packs or the players wanted for your team directly is good for those with the money to do so. With this sort of mode becoming more prevalent in sports games it does not do anything out of the ordinary and that’s not a bad thing, it is a well-put-together way to play the game, that is fun and easy to get into.




  • Storylines showcases stories that may not otherwise be known
  • Affiliated teams allow for a more comprehensive experience
  • Being able to play as a female baseballer is a big win for inclusivity


  • Sometimes the baseballs can look out of place
  • The commentary is not always reflective of the gameplay

MLB The Show 24 does not do anything innovative but what it does do is great. Baseball fans will be able to live out their dreams, both as a player and making their favourite team a dynasty. The Storylines mode is a great history lesson focusing on players that would not be showcased otherwise, while new players will find themselves in familiar game modes from other sports games to orient themselves with. While there is nothing particularly new with the game, it is a fun and informative package that is accessible to all, even those without a good knowledge of baseball who want to learn about its early beginnings or its more recent stars. Those who aren’t interested in history have enough other ways to play the game and still get entertainment out of it.