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There's an innate, undeniable satisfaction that comes out of clattering a ball cleanly with MLB 18 stubs a foreign thing -- be it a cricket bat, tennis racket, hockey stick or, naturally, the long, rounded figure of a baseball bat. That'thwack', that feeling of near-weightlessness that accompanies the ideal strike, it triggers something deep in our DNA, something that can be rationalised as simply as the action of scoring runs or points.

MLB The Show has been the premiere baseball game for quite a while now, which feeling of satisfaction has never been recreated more faithfully than it's here. Obviously, whiffing and missing completely is a disheartening experience for all, but even a clipped filthy ball or tame encounter to the turf feels disappointing. But once the centre of the bat connects with the middle of the ball, it is like poetry.

If you've played with a current entry in this series before, you know what to expect. Rather, it is an evolutionary update to a series that's so far ahead of the competition, there is no competition any more. Get out on the field and you are presented with an overwhelming amount of choice in detail and control, but a fresh buy MLB The Show 18 Stubs player to the series and game can pick the basic hitting, pitching and fielding systems and get straight into the action.

Purchase MLB The Show 18 from US

Nevertheless, anyone who's experience of baseball games stretches no further than RBI baseball back in the 1980s may initially struggle with how demanding the hitting could be.

This takes time and practise, but it make those clean strikes all the more satisfying. And when the ball will fly, there are slick controls for driving towards the bases, stealing a few yards, or cautiously loading the foundations and waiting for your big-hitter to do the organization.