The Statistically Best Games Of The Decade (Or Why Stats Sometimes Lie)

With the decade wrapping up, it's inevitable that our minds start to turn to how the past 10 years went. That means thinking about which games were the best, most influential and had the deepest personal impact on us.

I haven't really had a chance to properly sift through my recollections and memories of 10 years' worth of gaming to come to any final conclusion, but I did jump into review-tracking sites Game Rankings and Meta Critic to see what the aggregators said.

While some of the highest reviewed games seem about right for the years, some are just, well, bizarre. Here look for yourself. I created both of these lists searching for highest review scores for the year using the default settings on both sites.

Game Rankings 2000: Metal Gear Solid for the Game Boy Color 2001: Halo: Combat Evolved for the Xbox 2002: Metroid Prime for the GameCube 2003: Grand Theft Auto Double Pack for the Playstation 2 2004: Half-Life 2 for the PC 2005: Resident Evil 4 for the GameCube 2006: Out of the Park Baseball 2007 for the PC (zelda twilight) 2007: Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii 2008: Grand Theft Auto IV for the Playstation 3 2009: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the Playstation 3

Metacritic 2000: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 for the Playstation 2001: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for the Playstation 2 2002: Metroid Prime for the GameCube 2003: Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the GameCube 2004: Half-Life 2 for the PC 2005: Resident Evil 4 for the GameCube 2006: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the GameCube 2007: Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii 2008: Grand Theft Auto IV for the Xbox 360 2009: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the Playstation 3

Obviously not the best way to choose a winner, and it certainly doesn't take into account, or at least properly way, impact and innovation.

Which games do you think should make the list of top 10 of the decade? If you're on Twitter hop on over there and post your own picks using #gamesofthedecade to help trend the topic.


    these list are whack. wind waker for gamecube? wth?
    wheres fallout 3?
    uncharted isnt even a real game inb4 ps3 fanboys

    You've got to be kidding me. Tony Hawk and Out Of The Park Baseball!

    It just goes to show statistics prove nothing.
    70% of all people know that.

      OK Tony Hawk 1/2 get a lot of crap but I remember playing it with my mates every weekend for like 9 months in five hour sittings. At the time it was the very best multiplayer game on the PS1.

    They've forgotten about the masterpiece...Evony online ;)
    Next to GTA:III, I'd say Shadow of the Colossus was my fav game of the decade. TF2 is another.
    Tony Hawk 2 is a good one. I have lots of memories playing that with mates. Great soundtrack too.
    Oh, and CoD:4.

    That's two very weird lists there. I thought San Andreas would be in there somewhere. Hmm. Then again, it goes to show how different these websites are.

    I guess opinions can be very different...

    I am, though, upset about the lack of Majora's Mask. I loved it!

    3 days...

      We have so much in common. Same name, and we both loved Majora's Mask. It was the first game I ever got for my N64, and I remember waiting six months while we got an Expansion Pak shipped from America (they didn't sell them here I don't think), and when I finally got it, I loved the game. All the masks and art design was amazing to me. I didn't even know what the hell I was doing most of the time, but it was still an awesome experience.

      When I get Wii Points, I'm so downloading Majora's Mask on my Wii.

      On the topic of the chart: Not surprised by some entries, some were indeed bizarre (the baseball game? seriously? that, out of all the other shovelware available) but most were accurate imo. Metroid Prime, GTAIV, Super Mario Galaxy. Well done to Uncharted 2 for slipping in so late in the decade.

      But yeah, I would agree MM was my game of the decade and favourite game ever. Fallout 3 and the Metroid Primes, plus the Zelda games come a close second, third and how ever many were released this decade.

      I hope the next one's just as good.

    These lists aren't that whacky at all, I think some of you have forgotten exactly what was happening at the start of the decade.

    The current generation of consoles have only really been going strong over the last 2-3 years. Before that it was dominated by the PS2 and Gamecube, so yes, you are going to see some titles you forgot about, Tony Hawks Pro Skater was MASSIVELY popular. And I think the GTA Double pack is the one that includes GTA III San Andreas and Vice City.

    Apart from "Out of the Park Baseball" (What the hell is that?) none of these surprise me.

      Ah, but according to an article posted like a week ago, Metacritic lists THPS2 as the best game of the decade. You've got to admit, that's a bit o a skewed result.

      Any time you have score aggregators like these, it tends to hide the fact that you have different reviewers examining different games at different times, so comparing their aggregated scores is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, but it doesn't seem like it. Beware the Metacritic...

    for the record out of the park baseball 07 has only 5 reviews, most likely from baseball fans. if you look at the top 10's for each year they tend to make better lists

    The way these scores come about aren't the best way to gauge the quality of a game. Many of these games do belong there but some are just out of place.

    People can be so dumb - a critic doesn't review a particular game to compare it to another in a completely different genre.

    You don't review a Streeth Fighter game and make references to Viva Pinata in your reviews.

    Tony Hawk 2 was one of the greatest sporting games going around and will always be remembered. Everytime i discuss the game or the series with mates who don't even game anymore or never have been big on gaming, they always mention how awesome that game was.

    These are overall statistics, average numbers, which is how Metacritic give games their rankings.

    2007-2009 would be the same on nearly every gaming site. 2001 and 2004 would nearly be the same aswell. Great decade for games, thankgod it ended just before the Motion-control craze that is 2010 and the decade to come.

    Yep, most of the games listed are pretty great games, but it doesn't take into account innovation. A lot of these games are simply refined versions of each other, and while they're fantastic games in their own right, they're not usually games that you would suggest are best of the decade.

    I'm also not sure why people don't like Wind Waker. Sure, the boat was a little annoying, and there were too many fetch quests, but it was a solid game and one that kept me going for ages. I much preferred Wind Waker to Majora's Mask because it allowed for exploration - something I really missed from Majora's Mask. Still a good game, but not as good as OoT or Wind Waker in my opinion.

    List = Fail No TF2

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