Lists, lists and more lists … and our platform of the year
Sony’s Playstation 3 console has edged out Microsoft’s once-dominant Xbox 360 to finish on top in Metacritic’s first annual Game Platform Power Rankings.
The Power Rankings combine a variety of factors — all involving the quality and quantity of titles released during the year — to rank the six major gaming platforms. Although Xbox 360 finished with the highest number of positively-reviewed titles (88 games receiving a Metascore of 75 or higher), and though Nintendo’s Wii had the largest total number of releases (a whopping 362, or almost one per day), the PS3 console showed the best overall game quality for the year. Among other factors, five of the 10 highest-scoring games in 2009 (for any platform) were PS3 titles, including the year’s top game: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
Note that sales figures are not included in the platform or game rankings; if they were, the Wii, which is expected to sell almost twice as many titles as PS3 this year, would have a distinct advantage. Instead, the popular Wii platform had a poor year in terms of game quality, with critics liking just 28% of games released for the platform. We’ll report more on the connection between reviews and sales (or, in this case, the lack of such a connection) in January, after final 2009 sales data is released.
Overall, we did not see quite as many blockbuster releases in 2009 as we expected, even though we are now deep into the lifecycles of the current generation of consoles and handhelds. Many of those expected "AAA" titles scheduled for release during the pre-holiday period (October through Thanksgiving weekend) were pushed into the traditionally calm waters of early 2010, avoiding some of this fall’s giants (Modern Warfare 2, Halo 3 ODST) and thus delaying some of the most significant battles in the platform wars.
Below, we list the best-reviewed games for each gaming platform. First, however, let’s take a look at how each platform fared during the past year.
|Platform||# Titles||# Great||Median Metascore||% Good||% Mixed||% Bad|
Sony clearly had a strong year in terms of game quality, with titles for both of its platforms (Playstation 3 and PSP) receiving better reviews on the whole than games for similar platforms. The two Sony platforms also had a fewer percentage of bad releases than any other platforms, so although PS3 and PSP gamers might not have had as many titles to choose from, they were less likely to buy a terrible game. In fact, PS3 owners could choose from some of the top-rated games of the year:
|1||PS3||Uncharted 2: Among Thieves||Action, Adventure||96||9.5|
|2||PS3||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2||First-Person Shooter||94||5.4|
|Users vented their anger about developer Infinity Ward’s decision not to permit dedicated servers for this title by hammering the game on Metacritic.|
|3||PS3||Street Fighter IV||Fighting||94||8.0|
|4||Xbox 360||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2||First-Person Shooter||94||6.0|
|5||Nintendo DS||Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars||Action, Adventure||93||9.0|
|7||Xbox 360||Street Fighter IV||Fighting||93||7.4|
|8||PS3||God of War Collection||Action, Adventure||92||9.5|
|9||Xbox 360||Batman: Arkham Asylum||Action, Adventure||92||8.4|
|10||Xbox 360||Forza Motorsport 3||Racing, Driving||92||8.1|
Which games received the best overall reviews from top game publications during 2009? Let’s check the individual platforms…