With new features, tweaked gameplay, and a lot of pressure to maintain standards - so how good is MLB The Show 20?
Keep reading to find out!
Smooth & easy UI
KEY INFO: If you are new, SIE has your back
Everything about The Show is polished and simple. From the introduction to menu navigation and settings, the game is a fantastic experience that delivers.
If you've never played before then it gives you everything you need to get set up, and if you have then you can skip a lot and get right down into it.
The main menus are barely changed from last year, which is always good.
Last year's gameplay was terrific, and it is once again for MLB The Show 20.
CLEAR LINE OF SIGHT: The new PCI is much-improved
Game presentation is excellent, and stepping up to the plate feels more realistic than any sports game around at the moment.
The new PCI is good and less obtrusive, while the controls remain easy to grasp with plenty of options if you want to change them up. This is important because PCI is more important than ever with MLB The Show 20.
Pitching is similar to last year, which is no bad thing. Delivery to the plate is smooth, with the timings varied enough to create a different feel with each pitcher.
The new extreme catch indicator is obvious, but your interaction with it will be rare, which is good. Not every catch can be a highlight reel diving grab after all.
This is still a slick operation with accurate and predictable gameplay. There are no "that would never happen" moments.
Line drivers straight to fielders are still a frustration, but it keeps your batting average realistic and it creates a skill gap for those that can time swings and direct the PCI with precision.
RACK 'EM UP: Keep the momentum rolling all the way to the playoffs
MLB The Show 20 boasts a variety of deep and engaging game modes. And of course, you can choose to just continue your game saves from last year, which is always a strong option.
Road To The Show has superb customization options that will have you spending a lot of time picking out just the right bat flip for your home run celebrations. Working your way to the Majors is always entertaining and with more minor league ball parks and an improved ratings development system it will be a hit.
Perhaps the best mode is March To October. The quick-hitting mode sims games and drops you into key situations to try and recover the lead or hold on for the win. Momentum builds with wins, but you can quickly ice your team out and go on a downswing too. It's a much quicker route to the playoffs and World Series than Franchise Mode, but that remains a stellar option too.
Franchise Mode comes with minor leagues and relocation
MIX & MATCH: Make your own statement
The core mode, Franchise Mode, is taken to another level this year with the addition of true-to-life minor league rosters and relocation.
If you just want to lead the Tigers to the World Series or add another ring in the Bronx you can, or you can move a team to Edmonton and create a whole new legacy.
The minor leagues means you can develop your favorite prospects, new draft picks, and make quality trades like a true genius GM.
YOU LOOK FAMILIAR: Real minor leaguers create depth to Franchise Mode
These only enhance a very strong mode.
Roster management, scouting, and contracts are all tricky things to balance. You can still set some to be automated and just play the games, but that is what March To October is for!
WALK-OFF: SIE have crushed it
The Show has been a quality game for a while now, and this year is no different.
Gameplay is smooth, the presentation is on point, and the sheer volume of options in controls, game type, and solo customization is off the charts.
All this is without trying out the new mode Showdown within Diamond Dynasty.
It's a triumph. Simplicity and functionality is put over gimmicky play, and it leads to a truly terrific sim game experience.
RealSport rating: 4 stars (out of 5)