Sections

Metacritic sees fewer great games in 2012

Aggregator reports drop in 90+ review averages as downloadable games prove to be the best-received exclusives

Conventional wisdom says 2012 was a dud commercially, but it wasn't great critically, either. Review aggregator Metacritic this week released its annual recap, finding that 2012 produced a paucity of games with a 90+ review average.

In 2012, 18 console, PC, or handheld games received a 90+ review average,14 of those being console games. In 2011, 32 games surpassed the 90 mark, 23 of them console titles. Metacritic has been compiling year-end reports since 2009, and in that stretch, no year saw fewer top-tier titles released.

The report also provided some perspective on the strength of digitally distributed games. The best-reviewed game of the year was The Walking Dead, a retail compilation of Telltale Games' downloadable episodic adventure series. Digital titles also fared well in the platform-exclusive categories. The top four PlayStation 3 games--Journey, Dyad, The Unfinished Swan, and Retro/Grade--were all downloadable exclusives. On the Xbox 360, digital exclusives Trials Evolution and Fez took the first and second spots, respectively. The 3DS and PlayStation Vita also saw downloadable-only titles rate highly, accounting for two of the top five best-reviewed exclusives on each system.

Latest comments (5)

Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
And I guess Wii U games didn't really help. But that should change next year once they roll out more of their marque titles.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 3 years ago
Maybe it wasn't fewer great games, maybe it was more realistic reviews.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University3 years ago
I'm agreed with Bruce on this one. The huge number of "universal acclaim" reviews have bothered me a little in recent years. Yes, there have been some absolute gems, but surely as an industry expanding, there should be a more diverse array of critical reaction to software? Hopefully this is a sign that's the direction we're going in.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (5)
Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters3 years ago
I disagree. I simply can't think of many great games last year. I can think of plenty from past years.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers3 years ago
I think it's a byproduct of the games that released and a general weariness with this generation of consoles. If it's not higher in 2013 with the games that are planned, I'll be shocked.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.