Don’t get me wrong: The Show 23 does the job pretty well – but there are alternatives.
MLB The Show 23: The best Switch baseball game?
MLB The Show 23 is arguably the best part of a major annualized sports franchise to be ported to the Switch (although others, in particular FIFA 23, haven’t exactly set a high bar).
The new game modes are cool, the on-field action is overall pretty immersive and it is, of course, the baseball game on Switch to play if you’re desperate to take control of real-life stars.
MLB The Show 23
What I like:
✅ New Storylines mode
✅ Enhanced Diamond Dynasty mode
✅ Slick presentation
However, it’s a fair distance away from being the perfect Nintendo Switch baseball game, and there are some good alternatives on this platform that offer different ways to enjoy America’s handheld pastime.
Let’s start with some of the problems with The Show 23; then we’ll explore some worthy alternatives.
Some of my issues with MLB The Show 23 on Switch
- If you aren’t going to be playing Diamond Dynasty or the new Storylines mode, you may as well just play 22 and save yourself $60, as Road to the Show and Franchise modes are almost no different.
- The baseball Gods are, overall, firmly on the hitters’ side in The Show 23. Yeah, taking the collar isn’t my dream gaming experience either but the hitting is a little arcade-y for anyone seeking realistic sim action.
- This is less of an issue in offline modes but pinpoint pitching in online play is basically a lottery. Even with perfect input, it still might fly into the bleachers.
- Stadium Creator still kinda sucks and it’s a shame that stadiums from previous games can’t be carried over.
- The Switch (never the most powerful console to begin with) is showing its age a little bit and there are fairly regular technical hiccups that ruin the flow.
The best baseball games on Switch (MLB The Show 23 Alternatives)
If you’re looking for an MLB The Show 23 alternative check out the suggestions below. I’ve tried to cover different types of games – retro, arcade, management sim, budget, and more:
Best Switch baseball game for realistic play
Super Mega Baseball 3 might not look like the most realistic baseball game, but the attention to detail is second to none.
Gameplay is, in my opinion, better than MLB The Show 23. It feels responsive and authentic under the cartoon animations (which themselves are much improved on the previous game).
If you’re not precious about playing with real-life teams and players, Super Mega Baseball 3 is the best baseball game on Switch.
I’m not the only one calling for developers Metalhead Software to try their hand at other sports. I think Super Mega Football would sell like hotcakes given there aren’t really any football games on Switch.
Best arcade baseball game on Switch
More than 40 ACA NEOGEO titles are now available on Switch thanks to the hard work of publisher, Hamster.
I prefer SUPER BASEBALL 2020 to the two other options (Baseball Stars Professional and Baseball Stars 2) because it is absolutely nuts.
12 teams each with unique strengths and weaknesses (plus the ability to use special moves) playing in a hi-tech dome.
I think the developers of the original 1991 release will be disappointed with how little baseball had actually changed by 2020 in comparison to this wild take on the near future.
An honorable mention also to VS Baseball, to which all the games in this article owe a debt of gratitude.
Best Switch baseball game for kids
Little League World Series Baseball is a fully licensed baseball experience with real teams, players, and locations.
Kids will have no trouble picking up the controls and will be mastering ‘super abilities’ like slowing down time and player boosts in no time.
There are heaps of customization options: the ability to create custom teams, custom players, and even custom match rules, should keep little ones occupied for hours.
Local multiplayer for up to four players means there’ll be no arguing about who gets to play, either.
Best budget baseball game on Switch
WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros is an absolute no-brainer for any Switch-owning baseball player.
For $1 (yes, it literally only costs a single dollar) it is absolutely incredible value for money. There are plenty of different game modes, including online multiplayer with cross-play.
Real OGs who remember the fully licensed MLB Power Pros 2008 on the Wii should cop this for nostalgia alone.
Desktop Baseball is also worth checking out if you can get it on sale (at the time of writing this article, it’s $2 on the Nintendo Online store. Great pick-up-and-play action.
Best baseball management sim on Switch
To be honest there aren’t many baseball management sims on the Nintendo Switch, so Home Run High is your best bet.
The game allows players to take on the role of a high school baseball coach and lead their team to tournament glory by planning team practices and special drills for individual players.
The 16-bit visuals look great and there’s enough to do to justify the $15 price tag, even if Kairosoft sims on other platforms are much cheaper (Switch tax…).
It can be pretty slow-paced – which suits me down to the ground – but that might not be what everyone is looking for.
Most anticipated Switch baseball game
In early 2023, various gaming news outlets reported on a leak that allegedly confirmed that work is underway on a Mario Baseball title for Nintendo Switch.
Mario spin-off sports titles have been somewhat hit-and-miss in recent years. Super Sluggers was great on the Wii but Mario Strikers: Battle League lacked content, for example.
It’s hard to say whether or not the end product of this rumored development work will be a winner.
The best baseball game on Switch – final thoughts
The best baseball game on Switch is Super Mega Baseball 3, not MLB The Show 23 (if licensed players and teams are not an absolute must-have for you).
Other alternatives include WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros – a great budget baseball game on Switch – and SUPER BASEBALL 2020, which is the best of the three retro arcade options available via the Nintendo Switch online store