The Games Of The Year, As Decided By Cold Hard Numbers

The Games Of The Year, As Decided By Cold Hard Numbers

Now that the end of the year is here, everyone is starting to declare their “game of the year” — and Metacritic has now thrown its hat into the ring.

Or, more accurately, ‘everyone’s’ collective hat. Metacritic pools the scores of many different gaming publications, after all. And according to those pooled scores, the top game of 2014 is….Smash Bros. Well, technically. This is the actual list:

But taking off the games that are remakes or remasters — which is what GTA and TLOU are — Smash is the top game of the year, at least when it comes to many review scores. According to the Metacritic numbers, while Smash was the winner, it scored “significantly lower” than the top games in previous years. Edit: That’s their words, not mine — see how it highlights the arbitrary nature of these things? It’s not like there’s a huge difference between these scores.

In 2013, GTA V won with a 97. In 2012, The Walking Dead came out on top with a 95. And in 2011, Batman: Arkham City won the gold with a 96. Smash Bros., by contrast, has a collective 92. Still great, but also in the lower end of the 90’s.

Based on platform, the numbers look a little different. The PS4 had the most top rated games this year, followed by the Xbox One, followed by the Wii U:

Not that that stopped Nintendo from tweeting this the other day:

But, they’re also taking into consideration user scores/setting their own metrics for what constitutes ‘great games’. Of course that metric is the one that gives the Wii U the most points.

Regardless, even though Metacritic isn’t always the most accurate measure of how good a game is — numbers fall short when it comes to discussing the qualities of a game, which is why we don’t use them — and even though Metacritic can be a negative force in the industry, it’s interesting to look at this data, no? If nothing else, it’s a good reminder of just how heavily this year leaned on remasters and remakes.


    • The big problem with that statement is that you are ignoring the new features, new characters, new modes and new mechanics added between the N64 version and this version in addition to new graphics

  • Dark Souls 2 was good but not great (not like the original), and as usual Wolfenstein is nowhere to be fucking seen.

  • Ah, the good old ‘I don’t agree with these results, how can I remove what I don’t like? REMAKES AND REMASTERS. Super Smash Bros Wii U is clearly the game of the year because I love Nintendo and they must win’ doolally.

    If you ignore sales of the PS4, Sony are doing terribly in hardware sales. Look at the pisspoor effort of the Vita. Sony won’t last long.

    If we ignore every month of the current gen except for November 2014, the Xbone is outselling the PS4.

    I can ignore what results I like as well and come up with my own ‘facts’. Good to see you can too Patricia

    • Well, it is true that there are ‘lies, damned lies, and statistics’. You can basically alter your sample to support anything you want to say 🙂

    • Eh, even if GTA came out on Wii U I still wouldn’t be counting it as a “game of 2014”. Just as I wouldn’t count Wind Waker HD as a game of 2013, I already played that game a decade ago.

      Also don’t think that there should be separate entries for each version of the one game on different platforms, that’s dumb too. It’s still the same game.

    • You are… REALLY mad about this.

      Did Nintendo key your car or something? Or did Patricia kick your dog?

    • 80% of the games on that list are indie titles and shovelware.
      Plus they’ve done things like included DLC packs for Mario Kart as separate games.

      These statistics are absolutely worthless as a judge of a console.

      For example Watch_Dogs is in the bottom half of the WiiU list below a tremendous amount of shovelware and indie crap that nobody has ever heard of. So Pure Chess, NES Remix 2 and about 50 other iphone ports and games you’d never buy a console for make it look like there were tons of games better than Watch_Dogs on the WiiU when it was actually about 5 titles.

      I don’t know what ‘Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails‘ is but apparently it’s a WiiU game and it’s a better game than Destiny.

  • “If nothing else, it’s a good reminder of just how heavily this year leaned on remasters and remakes.”

    And sequels too. That list only has Shovel Knight and Velocity 2X as new IPs.

  • I would hardly call metacritic scores ‘cold, hard numbers’. I expected at least total sales numbers or chart performance.

  • So, other than remasters from last year, 2014 was crap? Pretty much confirms what I already knew.

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