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Fact or Fiction: MLB The Show 19 Is the Sports Game of the Year

MLB The Show 19

MLB The Show 19

Fact or Fiction: MLB The Show 19 Is the Sports Game of the Year

It’s been an up and down year for sports games, but coming off a wild seven-game World Series, we ask the staff if MLB The Show 19 is sports game of the year.

MLB The Show 19

Raychel Sanner: FACT. MLB The Show didn’t reinvent the wheel so much as continue to refine and perfect the wheel that’s been in constant incremental development for a decade. The game doesn’t have the same cultural following, and honestly that’s probably to a game’s benefit in a lot of ways as mistakes are only exacerbated with more attention. Moments were a fine addition, but I really think where the game and series might see long-term benefits comes from March to October. There’s an accelerated franchise experience other series could stand to copy if they want to. This year, it seems like every title has had its share of problems, but The Show continues to show why a slow but steady process results in the best quality.

MLB The Show 19

Jeff Botkin: FACT. MLB The Show is the only sports title that delivers on the minute details of Major League Baseball. Although the game has not progressed as much in terms of presentation or commentary, the game is the most authentic recreation of a sport that you can find. Playing a game of MLB The Show feels like playing baseball. The physics and timing of every swing and the way the ball reacts are outstanding. Many players in the game have their unique pitching delivery or batting stance. And really, these are just the surface-level details of how deep the gameplay can get. The Show is the sports game of the year for me. Until titles like Madden and FIFA can re-create an identical feel of their sport, MLB The Show will continue to be the game all sports titles are measured against in my mind.

MLB The Show 19 World Series

Elliott Jenkins: FACT, but with a caveat. This MLB season, I have played more MVP Baseball 2005 than MLB The Show 19. Tremendous strides have been made in the 14 years between these two titles, but it remains somewhat astounding to me that I still prefer MVP’s gameplay and pacing to The Show’s in 2019. Even as a perennial The Show purchaser, the more time I spend in MVP’s Owner Mode the more it makes me woefully nostalgic for a time when it felt like significant risks were being taken for new modes. I am similarly fearful of what the financially-motivated card-collecting modes and virtual currency impediments will do to the industry altogether. That being said, I am thrilled and excited to find out how SDS will continue to innovate The Show for 2020, and I maintain that it is this year’s best AAA sports title. I will still pick up The Show 2020 on launch day and likely find myself sinking time into Diamond Dynasty. Nevertheless, I do wonder on some level if it is the Sports Game of the Year on its own merits, or more so because of the other dreadful AAA releases.

TJ Henderson: FACT. I see the rumblings on the forums every so often by those who believe we think too highly of MLB The Show. As a Kansas Jayhawks alumni/fan, I heard something similar as KU continued to win Big 12 Championships — that Kansas was overrated. But more often than not, it’s less that they believe Kansas is secretly bad and more that they wish there was more competition, more parity. And that, I get. The world is more exciting with more variety, more greatness. The truth is simply that MLB The Show has put on a streak of consistency that other titles struggle to maintain. The Show is the only sports game during this console generation that has never made me retire from it before its next release date.

Is it because that studio is unburdened by having to develop multiple sports games? Possibly. Whatever the secret sauce is, they took a sport that is in my opinion one of the most difficult to translate into a fun gaming experience, and did it at a level other developers would love to emulate — and we as gamers would love to see. But nothing lasts forever. Kansas basketball lost the Big 12 regular-season title last season for the first time since 2004. And, quite frankly, the sport was better because of it.

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  1. I 100% agree with the sentiment that this is the best sports game of the year. This game does a tremendous job of translating the feel and nuance of this sport. What's truly wonderful is that you can make this game as arcade or sim as you want - and here is the key - across ALL the modes.
    On top of that, the franchise mode remains the most stable out there....doing a far better job at keeping things stable and balanced than other games (the major 'bug' gripes always coming from people using ill-conceived custom rosters that hyper inflate prospect potentials - sorry kids, that's on you for using them). The other complaint (too "shallow") always coming from people who sim games (bypassing the true meat of the mode - the gameplay)...repeat after me guys, "This is not a text sim...this is not a text sim". The addition of Heidi Watney has been well-needed....her role needs to be massively expanded next year....ideally along with going to a 2-person booth.
    Now, the mode itself does need some added depth in player development and scouting and a little more customization. But, the budget and morale systems are fantastic (simplicity does not mean it lacks depth). The biggest issue is with the base rosters. They need help in properly reflecting player options and player potentials more adequately. This HAS to be a focus for next year.
    RTTS (while not my cup of tea) is pretty deep...though it appears roster management gets a little loopy. Probably the best single player mode out there that doesn't require inordinate sums of money to 'level up'.
    Diamond Dynasty is also fantastic - but flawed. I wrote my detailed thoughts on that in another thread....no point in re-hashing here since most people reading this will just want to use this thread as another opportunity to whine about franchise mode.
    Consistency is a virtue and this series has been consistent for a long while. The competition from other sports games has been very weak as well (with NBA 2k a disaster for franchise mode lovers (as usual); NHL and FIFA flopping badly and Madden regressing badly after a promising launch).
    well a baseball game that has an AI that doesn't handle the ballpen as should be, with dumb decisions cant be a game of the year especially baseball which is the easiest sport to sim, sports games don't deserve any award after this awful year of releases
    Easy vote for me. Game is sublime to play year in year out. I love it. Keep it up SDS.
    Improvements are needed in franchise for sure...no need to rehash. Customization options in franchise (ala 2K My League style) would go a long way with us older and faithful players as we use classic rosters a ton and would love to be able to reconstruct our favorite seasons from years past.
    As always I am greatly looking forward to MLB The Show 20.
    I personally like NBA 2K more but I do understand I’m in the minority. That’s because I don’t play online of play MyPlayer so I don’t experience issues that are so big with it.
    That said, I’d have to agree. The Show as SGOTY.
    THE SHOW for me is a presentation upgrade away from being GOTY.  THE intentional bland commentary desperately needs an upgrade.   THE SHOW's presentation and commentary in todays day and age should be as lively as MLB2k12/13.
    This is a tough one. SGOTY?  While MLB The Show is a good representation of baseball, imo they just haven't pushed the game well enough into this next gen phase.  And with the problems 2k and EA have been having, the vote gets real muddy. All because of the yearly release.
    Sports games are the only genre that have these yearly releases. Because of this, quality and innovation has just not been there. We know WHY they have an annual release, but they don't HAVE to do it. In the end I would probably give my vote to The Show. Sony wins by default which makes it a hollow victory.
    Well, first time I haven't gotten thru the entire year playing. Sails lost the wind around middle of August. I was able to quick manage to the end (didn't make the playoffs, so it's shelved).
    The game play, in my opinion, is awesome....don't touch it, but with so much time spent on $other$ modes I think the core (presentation/announcing/graphics) has just stalled the game. Unfortunately I don't see this changing. We'll see.
    It may be unconventional, but after this year's releases, a site like this would do  a great service to the sports gaming community by announcing that  NO ONE has earned SGOTY this year.
    Fact. but dont count my vote because I'm biased, as baseball is my poison of choice. the only thing that keeps me voting Show every year, deservedly or no, is NCAAF no longer exists.
    So, fact. Baseball (& the Show by default) is king in the Caulfield Castle.
    Caulfield
    Fact. but dont count my vote because I'm biased, as baseball is my poison of choice. the only thing that keeps me voting Show every year, deservedly or no, is NCAAF no longer exists.
    So, fact. Baseball (& the Show by default) is king in the Caulfield Castle.

    The Show will have competition for you in a couple of years, or sooner
    Bartolo Colon
    The Show will have competition for you in a couple of years, or sooner
    I really believe competition is a healthy thing to have, and it will be good for the Show if an NCAAF game forced more creativity in San Diego
    inkcil
    It may be unconventional, but after this year's releases, a site like this would do* a great service to the sports gaming community by announcing that* NO ONE has earned SGOTY this year.

    Perfect 👌 , this is my vote also
    I don’t play other sports games anymore so I can’t compare but if it is better than the others, it does not automatically make it game of the year material imo. This game is like a veteran in the tail end of his contract. There are flashes of greatness but not nearly as good or reliable as he used to be.
    nemesis04
    I don’t play other sports games anymore so I can’t compare but if it is better than the others, it does not automatically make it game of the year material imo. This game is like a veteran in the tail end of his contract. There are flashes of greatness but not nearly as good or reliable as he used to be.
    lol if the Show was a current player, it would be more Albert Pujols. Hoping the PS5 is a rebirth for the Show and it becomes Soto or Acuna.
    nemesis04
    I don’t play other sports games anymore so I can’t compare but if it is better than the others, it does not automatically make it game of the year material imo. This game is like a veteran in the tail end of his contract. There are flashes of greatness but not nearly as good or reliable as he used to be.

    If it ever was a year for you guys to skip SGOTY, this would be it.   There was absolutely no progression in sports games this year.   It would probably be more intriguing to give  a sports games disappointment of the year award.
    Moments concept was excellent this year. The weekly updates to mimic real life events 2nd to none. The only thing to improve in is more offline single player modes in dd. 
    For only one baseball game without competition SDS could have mailed it in yearly like EA/Madden. But the don’t. They keep raising the bar. That’s impressive in today’s video game age. 
    Overall, I'd say I agree with nemesis overall...to me it's still good, just not the standard that it once was.
    Also, are we comparing it to the "20s" or other "19s?" For ME, NBA 2K has been a better experience as a franchise player than MLB for a few years now (obviously meaningless if you're not into basketball though). I just don't see how The Show's franchise gets to where it needs to be, now that March to October is there to pull even more focus. I really don't like how they spent multiple iterations to make franchise more accessible rather than expanding it and then turning around and making a brand new mode for that same base, making franchise feel more back burner than ever. I just don't see the same consistent iterative vision that I once did...feels more reactionary lately and the constant "maybe next year" franchise sentiment is frustrating.
    Anyway, I understand that 2K20 is reportedly a mess (skipped it, as the additions to MyLeague weren't worth the switch, given all the other crap, so I don't know firsthand), so I get why that wouldn't compare favorably. Plus, the grimy monetizing practices of 2K keep getting worse and The Show is still a fundamentally good game with a deservedly respected dev team, so it's easy to see why people would call this GOTY worthy. So, it's a fair enough pick, at least. It's just a shame that the shine has definitely worn off for me.
    SoxFan01605

    Also, are we comparing it to the "20s" or other "19s?"

    Well, baseball games are always identified with the release year (since the season finishes in the same calendar year, unlike the other sports which identifies by the following year)....so comparing MLB 19 to the other 20's is appropriate IMO.
    tril
    THE SHOW for me is a presentation upgrade away from being GOTY. *THE intentional bland commentary desperately needs an upgrade. * THE SHOW's presentation and commentary in todays day and age should be as lively as MLB2k12/13.

    I did agree. But you’re correct. It is indeed time to upgrade the presentation again.
    It’s been good for a long while. Just kinda stale.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    JoshC1977

    On top of that, the franchise mode remains the most stable out there....doing a far better job at keeping things stable and balanced than other games (the major 'bug' gripes always coming from people using ill-conceived custom rosters that hyper inflate prospect potentials - sorry kids, that's on you for using them). The other complaint (too "shallow") always coming from people who sim games (bypassing the true meat of the mode - the gameplay)...repeat after me guys, "This is not a text sim...this is not a text sim". The addition of Heidi Watney has been well-needed....her role needs to be massively expanded next year....ideally along with going to a 2-person booth.
    Now, the mode itself does need some added depth in player development and scouting and a little more customization. But, the budget and morale systems are fantastic (simplicity does not mean it lacks depth). The biggest issue is with the base rosters. They need help in properly reflecting player options and player potentials more adequately. This HAS to be a focus for next year.

    Any franchise mode that can't stand up to 10 seasons of simming with default roster without significant flaws emerging is in need of significant work (and this game doesn't). Doesn't matter if you insist it isn't a "text sim." A player should be able to play 162 games in one season or 10 games in 16 seasons with the rosters feeling realistic either way. The long-term playability of franchise mode is why it's been a sports game mainstay for two decades and counting and why season mode is disappearing.
    The budget system has serious flaws the farther you advance into a franchise, as well.
    I love the game as is, but franchise mode has plenty of significant flaws.
    I would say fact for me. I have played this version more than any in the last 5 years. Game play is definitely great. I think the game could get some quality of life improvements in scouting, commentary, and player progression. But what other game is there carry over saves and the ability to have unlimited years into the future. I have simmed 30 years into the future and started a franchise then. Most other games, that would be the limit (NBA 2k excluded). I will also say that even though there is a lot of hate for it, I have really enjoyed NHL 20, but it doesn't get my vote over The Show because baseball, well it's baseball.
    I agree with with everything nemesis said.
    This game plays a good game of baseball, but lacks in every category where it matters in terms of replay value and not getting bored. Too much focus on DD, RTTS, Moments etc........ They are alienating a fan base (weather they or anyone wants to admit it or not) and it shows.
    This game isn't even close to what it once was and that is unfortunate.
    Fiction for me the whole way through.
    Fiction: I would take the franchise modes from OOTP 20 and NBA 2K before The Shows. No major franchise updates in years now and the presentation is stale.
    Fact or fiction? That's a tough one due to competition being fairly weak.
    To be honest, I don't play NHL or NBA, so I am not sure how good those games are. I will say this...I feel The Show has many legacy issues that they refuse to address, and this is not a good sign moving forward. The on field items seem to take more of a back seat now that they focus more on DD, RTTS, etc.
    Playing the game, I get a bit bored and frustrated when I see the same issues pop up in a 9 inning game. It's lost a bit of its shine and magic for me, but I still play it from time to time to get a baseball fix.
    Time will tell if they can right the ship, but at current course and speed, this may be a non purchase for me next year.
    C
    I don't play any other sports titles, except for Madden on occasion, but since baseball is my true love, I'll always have a baseball game. That being said, my playing time of The Show has dwindled each year and this year was the least I've played the game. Lack of immersion and legacy issues just kill the vibe for me. It'd be too tough for me to say FACT, given the staleness and lack of improvements.
    bravesfan1984
    I don't play any other sports titles, except for Madden on occasion, but since baseball is my true love, I'll always have a baseball game. That being said, my playing time of The Show has dwindled each year and this year was the least I've played the game. Lack of immersion and legacy issues just kill the vibe for me. It'd be too tough for me to say FACT, given the staleness and lack of improvements.

    My sentiments exactly. I normally play a full 162 game season each year but I haven't even started one yet this year after getting it day 1 because I don't see enough change from last year. I just can't imagine having fun anymore in franchise which is a shame.

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