It's everything a baseball fan could ask for

All it takes is that first juicy hit - the soaring homer over Fenway Park's storied ``Green Monster'' - to know the latest version of The Show is as good as the rest.

 

MLB: The Show 17
For:
PS4
From: Sony
Rating: (G) ★★★★★

 

The PS4 exclusive, along with the NBA 2K series, has set the standard for sports games in recent years, and (surprise, surprise) the 2017 edition whacks it out of the park again.

As in previous years, the game is built around three core modes.

Diamond Dynasty is The Show's version of the card-collecting Ultimate Team mode seen in Fifa and Madden games.

It's quite deep and offers plenty of challenges for those who prefer to do all their gaming against online opposition, but I've found it to be generally too tough and time-consuming.

Franchise mode is typically expansive and offers all the ins and outs of building and rebuilding a champion team over multiple seasons.

But for me - again - the soul of the game is in the Road to The Show mode. That's where you create a character, join a minor league team, and try to progress to an MLB career, earning experience points through training and playing to level up and become the next Mike Trout.

This year, The Show has introduced a lot of cut scenes with decisions that can really influence the pathway you take to the professional ranks.

It's a thoroughly absorbing, smooth experience that rivals NBA 2K's My Player mode and the new Journey mode in Fifa for the title of the best single-player mode in sports gaming.

On the diamond, The Show is again close to flawless. It looks beautiful, plays like a dream and is generally everything a baseball fan could ask for in a game.

Honestly, it's hard to imagine a sports game getting better than this.


 

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