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Sports Game of the Year in 2020: MLB The Show 20

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game of the year 2020

Sports Game of the Year in 2020: MLB The Show 20

This year, the staff voting was tough to get a handle on because a lot of good games came out, but no one specific game blew everyone away. The same seemed to hold true with the community vote as the voting was rather spread out. However, pluralities won out in both the staff and community vote, and thus, MLB The Show 20 is the 2020 Sports Game of the Year.

We also had staff votes for Super Mega Baseball 3, PGA Tour 2K21, Tony Hawk, and OOTP. My personal top three was Tony Hawk, Super Mega Baseball 3, and MLB The Show 20. I’m happy that Tony Hawk did win an award this year, but I do think calling out PGA Tour 2K21 here is also worthwhile because it didn’t really come up much in our awards discussion. There’s some community outreach issues with PGA 2K this year, but its gameplay is still top notch, and playing in an Online Society with a bunch of friends really is hard to beat at times.

mlb the show 21 predictions

OOTP is just ol’ reliable, and in that same way so is MLB The Show 20. I think you just have more people who play The Show vs. OOTP, and that helps when combined with the overall diversity found in The Show. Again, The Show is just consistent across the board. Its career mode is not the best. Its franchise mode is not the best. Its online leagues are not the best. However, each of those elements is not terrible either, and when you take those elements and combine them with the fact that the series probably has the best gameplay and the best card-collecting mode, and its enough to keep it in the brains of the most people as deserving the GOTY.

Without fail, I play The Show more than any other title year after year. Its DD mode has had its hooks in me for about three years now, and the custom rosters mean I always have some sort of single-player franchise going. On top of that, online leagues — while bare — did keep me interested in that part of the game for a couple months as well. I’m in an NBA 2K21 online league right now, and while there is a lot more to do there, we don’t end up using a lot of the features because they’re either broken or not worth the hassle. We just want to play games against each other, have good stat tracking, and hopefully have an offseason or two that does not break the league.

team affinity stage 2 moments example

In other words, I think The Show is closer than not to having an online franchise mode that ends up working just fine because, at the end of the day, we play in these leagues first off for competition against like-minded people. I’m having a blast in our 2K league not because the franchise mode is great, but because head-to-head games are really friggin’ good on next-gen 2K when you play against someone else who wants to play a remotely “sim” style.

Community Vote – Sports Game Of The Year In 2020

  1. MLB The Show 20 (33 percent)
  2. NBA 2K21 (22 percent)
  3. Super Mega Baseball 3
  4. PGA Tour 2K21
  5. eFootball PES 2021 Season Update
  6. Football Manager 21
  7. Out of the Park Baseball 21
  8. NHL 21

When looking at the community vote, I think what stands out is that gameplay overall is still king. If you have a great franchise mode/career mode component to top it off, that’s great as well, but seeing this list it’s really what I would say a group of the best gameplay you can find in the top five. 2K, for all its faults, is still really good in many different modes. Super Mega Baseball 3 has its gameplay formula down cold. PGA Tour 2K21 is built on enjoyable round-to-round golf. And PES’ gameplay is good enough to keep people satisficed with a budget update during its transition to next gen.

pga-tour-2k21-v10

Then you get two untouchable management sims, and then NHL 21 is probably a little underrated at this point because it was a solid year for that franchise.

Overall, I think community-driven content with MLB The Show 20 is just hard to beat when the gameplay is still so good. I’ll still see complaints about franchise mode, or no true online franchise mode, or “comeback code” AI, but the point is the game is infinitely replayable in many respects when factoring in community content. The amount of mileage you can get out of custom rosters is massive, and when coupled with carryover saves between iterations of the game, it’s hard to find another game that checks those same boxes.

When you put all of that together, I get why the community has also selected MLB The Show 20 as the 2020 Game of the Year — an award SDS has now won in back-to-back years.

All 2020 Awards

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  1. Madden must be rolling over in his grave, didn't even register in the voting. MLB the Show 20 was easily my favorite sports title of 2020. tip of the cap to the Studio, they got this certain game of base down cold
    I’m seriously running out of gameplay improvements and that says a lot. I would love:
    -a more cat and mouse game for pickoffs
    -bring back fielding difficulty options seperste from what diffeculty you have the rest om
    -more intuitive baserunning controls if this is possible for a baseball game, the devs probably have thoughs about this for a million times.
    A few things that stand-out to me: 
    1. Great to see an indie, or whatever MetalHead is considered to be, game finish on the podium! The sports game genre is lacking quality "little guy" or "mid-major" titles that can provide an element of fun that AAA sports games have been lacking for quite some time now.
    2. PES finishing high is also a great sign! It's clearly the better game for offline players who want to play a more methodical game of football. Their ball physics are still incredible and their edit mode is a creationists dream.
    3. NHL being the only EA game receiving votes is not surprising to me. I still find NHL to be frustrating as a diehard hockey fan like football players and soccer/football players would find their respective games, but I also think NHL is the closest to the real thing with the correct sliders when comparing FIFA and Madden. FIFA feels like the 90's MLS. It's kind of soccer/football, but it doesn't really want to be true soccer/football. It wants to be the "call of Duty" of soccer which is fine for online players I assume who fant to do 100 step overs and show off their twitch skills, but it makes it rather hard to turn a game with that approach into a sim. Everything is just way too fast and perfect for me. Madden struggles from the same thing NHL does but at a greater extent imo + it has a much more revered and modern game to be compared too which further fuels the the community's fire. Like I've said before on these forums, I think NHL Hitz Pro is the gold standard for sim hockey and that would leave 99% of people laughing as 99% of those people played 2002 and/or 2003 and never touched or even heard of Hitz Pro which was the only 5-on-5 game of the series. Madden will always have to fight the pop culture icon that is NFL 2k5 which still does many things Madden doesn't. I don't see madden winning any of these awards until some drastic core improvements happen, as even a casual football fan like me can watch a Madden "pocket" form and find it rather sad compared to my experiences with APF 2k8. I think both Madden and FIFA are really not in great places atm, and not to say NHL is in a great place, but I think if that game had the resources Madden and FIFA had, they'd be miles ahead just based off the current direction of all three titles. 
    4. Good to Great gameplay + a customizable offline experience is present in the podium. The Show is more rigid than it's competitors, but it's still a top-3 experience for customization in AAA titles which is easily good enough when paired with even good gameplay. 2k still has the deepest mode in sport's game history, and SMB3 is the franchise mode of the year winner which shows the community 100% backs their offering as well. I hope we games focus a lot more on letting the user's create their own offline "worlds" and experiences in sports games, because that's where the magic truly happens imo. 
    I need to understand how this game continues to win Sports Game of The Year on these forums. When basic mechanics in the games instructional menu do not work try a pic off play as a short stop! The controls have been listed incorrectly for years!
    One  basic key examples. The first not being able to cover the bag on a non-scripted play and make a tag as a SS in the games most popular mode RTS or any other base for that matter! 
    Very basic fundamental baseball fielding mechanic. And should be included when you are trying to replicate a baseball game simulation. Allowing the CPU to jog into second base you have all seen this and know it is true. 
    Please understand this is not a frustration comment just a reference to one of many basic functionality mechanics which can be listed that should be implemented in a baseball game simulation. So if basic key gameplay mechanic fundaments are not represented in this game. Then what do we have?
    Been playing since 13 so I know the game extremely well and the progress it has made over the years. While MLB The Show does somethings very well. Baseball is more than hitting home runs and nice graphics!
    Caulfield
    Madden must be rolling over in his grave, didn't even register in the voting. MLB the Show 20 was easily my favorite sports title of 2020. tip of the cap to the Studio, they got this certain game of base down cold

    John Madden isnt dead. lol
    The fact this game was "Sports Game of the Year" is proof this was a bad year for sports games.
    The reviewer said it best - "The Show is just consistent across the board. Its career mode is not the best. Its franchise mode is not the best. Its online leagues are not the best. However, each of those elements is not terrible either,..."
    This game TO ME hss been nothing but a roster and stadium update for 2 years now.. Tired of hearing "1,000s of new animations and ball physics" every year. Is it too much to ask for dynamic suspensions, injuries, proper contracts and budgeting, player contract asks based on Agent, etc. ANYTHING besides animations and ball physics.
    Game is a glorified Madden living off hype at this point. Good game but ultimately nothing spectacular...
    PS - make DH a position for the player. That way the player will always slot in at DH unless they are better defenders than the person who is started in their secondary position. Tired of seeing Nelson Cruz on the field. AI starting positions and lineups need to be adjusted. Maybe base that on coach too. But I'm sure that type of customization will require more effort than allowable or possible..
    MLBTS gets it done every year because they do the one thing that other sports games don't do well - they make a very strong effort to truly capture the essence of the sport on the field. Now, baseball is probably the easiest sport to capture well because it is far less reliant on a series of complex AI interactions like those you see in other team sports. But man...does it do it well. The heart of baseball is the duel between hitter and pitcher and The Show captures it brilliantly.
    From a mode perspective - each one in the game is competent (or better). I think the review really hit the nail on the head here. RTTS seems solid (though it is not my thing so I can't speak to it much) and I've provided my thoughts on DD in a different thread (but I will say it is the one card mode that you don't ever need to spend money on while still having a boatload of fun). Franchise? Well, let's talk about it....
    I personally feel the franchise mode gets a lot of undeserved flak. It provides a TON of information to the user, but it does so in a very elegant manner. Scouting "seems" shallow, but IMO, it captures the uncertainty in the baseball drafting process...having scouts with varying skills, having to discover prospects, and ultimately having to make uncertain choices that can blow up in your face. The offseason is done incredibly well; capturing a lot of the complexity of baseball's process. Player "abilities" via Quirks are the least obtrusive of any sports game out there but they do have an impact. Player progression also does a nice job of blending in-game outcomes with natural age-based progression/regression while including a dynamic player potential rating (which too can be impacted by performance). And I can wax poetic for a long time about how well the in-game presentation elements tie into things going on throughout franchise mode). Many of these items are areas other sports games lag horribly behind in capturing well. When using a good roster (sadly, the vast majority of user created rosters are not), leaguewide progression is done very well and keeps a very stable environment over many years in franchise. The only major area where I think the mode isn't great (excluding the need for larger rosters - which IS important) is with its lack of a system for teaching players new positions and pitchers new pitches....two key hallmarks of real baseball player development.
    The majority of complaints about the mode are, in my opinion, window dressing stuff like a true relocation mode, extra stat tracking and so on. And this is stuff that doesn't fundamentally change how well the mode works (we've seen that with NBA 2k - lots of extras, crap functionality/stability). That said though; this is a mode that is, IMO, best when the user plays the majority (if not all) of the games - that's where the stories come from, that's the depth, that's the immersion. For folks who like to simulate a lot of games, this is going to make the mode feel far more shallow than it really is and if you use some of the more popular rosters, it looks more broken than it really is.
    All in all, this game is a complete package...
    Still2REal
    The fact this game was "Sports Game of the Year" is proof this was a bad year for sports games.
    The reviewer said it best - "The Show is just consistent across the board. Its career mode is not the best. Its franchise mode is not the best. Its online leagues are not the best. However, each of those elements is not terrible either,..."
    This game TO ME hss been nothing but a roster and stadium update for 2 years now.. Tired of hearing "1,000s of new animations and ball physics" every year. Is it too much to ask for dynamic suspensions, injuries, proper contracts and budgeting, player contract asks based on Agent, etc. ANYTHING besides animations and ball physics.
    Game is a glorified Madden living off hype at this point. Good game but ultimately nothing spectacular...
    PS - make DH a position for the player. That way the player will always slot in at DH unless they are better defenders than the person who is started in their secondary position. Tired of seeing Nelson Cruz on the field. AI starting positions and lineups need to be adjusted. Maybe base that on coach too. But I'm sure that type of customization will require more effort than allowable or possible..

    Madden isn't a good game at this point. It certainly doesn't represent the NFL to the standard you are talking about here. And by the same standard, I think you are penalizing MLBtS.
    Lots of things could be better and improved upon, in terms of being a can't miss/must buy title. But that's not the standard it is measured by.
    In fairness, I think it is easier to encapsulate baseballs product into a game, but that also doesn't capture the vast/limitless resources EA has at its disposal.
    Respect to 2k, which I haven't played since the early days of the UBR; MLBtS is the best representation of its respective sport. Over the course of the PS4 lifecycle, no sports title has made consistent strides the way SDS has. And 20 is easily the best release in this history of this game.
    JoshC1977
    MLBTS gets it done every year because they do the one thing that other sports games don't do well - they make a very strong effort to truly capture the essence of the sport on the field. Now, baseball is probably the easiest sport to capture well because it is far less reliant on a series of complex AI interactions like those you see in other team sports. But man...does it do it well. The heart of baseball is the duel between hitter and pitcher and The Show captures it brilliantly.
    From a mode perspective - each one in the game is competent (or better). I think the review really hit the nail on the head here. RTTS seems solid (though it is not my thing so I can't speak to it much) and I've provided my thoughts on DD in a different thread (but I will say it is the one card mode that you don't ever need to spend money on while still having a boatload of fun). Franchise? Well, let's talk about it....
    I personally feel the franchise mode gets a lot of undeserved flak. It provides a TON of information to the user, but it does so in a very elegant manner. Scouting "seems" shallow, but IMO, it captures the uncertainty in the baseball drafting process...having scouts with varying skills, having to discover prospects, and ultimately having to make uncertain choices that can blow up in your face. The offseason is done incredibly well; capturing a lot of the complexity of baseball's process. Player "abilities" via Quirks are the least obtrusive of any sports game out there but they do have an impact. Player progression also does a nice job of blending in-game outcomes with natural age-based progression/regression while including a dynamic player potential rating (which too can be impacted by performance). And I can wax poetic for a long time about how well the in-game presentation elements tie into things going on throughout franchise mode). Many of these items are areas other sports games lag horribly behind in capturing well. When using a good roster (sadly, the vast majority of user created rosters are not), leaguewide progression is done very well and keeps a very stable environment over many years in franchise. The only major area where I think the mode isn't great (excluding the need for larger rosters - which IS important) is with its lack of a system for teaching players new positions and pitchers new pitches....two key hallmarks of real baseball player development.
    The majority of complaints about the mode are, in my opinion, window dressing stuff like a true relocation mode, extra stat tracking and so on. And this is stuff that doesn't fundamentally change how well the mode works (we've seen that with NBA 2k - lots of extras, crap functionality/stability). That said though; this is a mode that is, IMO, best when the user plays the majority (if not all) of the games - that's where the stories come from, that's the depth, that's the immersion. For folks who like to simulate a lot of games, this is going to make the mode feel far more shallow than it really is and if you use some of the more popular rosters, it looks more broken than it really is.
    All in all, this game is a complete package...

    Nail hit on the proverbial head.

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