Entirely objective, MLB the Show 21 was the most entertaining sports video game experience of the year. From a pure gameplay standpoint, Diamond Dynasty was solid, offering countless hours of content without taxing the wallet, and Stadium Creator is arguably the best new feature in any sports video game.
All that said, every feature I celebrated could be improved upon, along with a few more that weren’t mentioned in the first paragraph. You can prove that Sony hasn’t offered a real upgrade in visuals and Franchise mode still lags behind a few other series.
Here are the five features every MLB The Show fan should expect when MLB The Show 22 drops this spring.
Step up the visuals
Will this be the year that player models take the next-gen leap that some predicted when the series was brought to PlayStation 5, and now Xbox Series X? As of now, the only sports title that has ever bothered to implement it with a massive increase in visual fidelity is the NBA 2K series.
While a major graphical improvement probably isn’t high on the to-do list of many Show fans, it’s certainly not something the community would fret about.
The return of the departed savior
Will we see the return of the archival stage? Sony ditched the feature for this version of the game, and it’s been a real headache for the game’s die-hard list-making community. It would be great to see this return as The Show was the only sports video game series with this potential.
Add more layers to franchise mode
While EA has been committed to improving the franchise mode experience in the Madden series, Sony has some work to do on that front as well. It looks like they’re starting to move in the right direction with MLB the Show 21, but the changes were mostly cosmetic updates to the menus and screens that were conceptually cool, but not exactly what franchise mode fans were craving.
Plug the holes in the stadium builder
As good as Stadium Creator was with its many options, there were some glaring glitches such as the inability to hold night games in custom stadiums and more. I’m willing to bet it closes many of those gaps because it seems like a good bet that this already powerful feature will see more upgrades.
Another way to play Diamond Dynasty
It wouldn’t be surprising to see a brand new mode introduced in Diamond Dynasty. While the new addition may not completely change how collector mode works, it’s a safe bet that there will be another layer added to this part of the experience.
Stay tuned for the first official release date news as well as pre-order information to go along with the cover athlete announcement.