Good / So-So / Bad:
|vs. 2009 Avg.||68.8|
Yes, the console's average Metascore was lower last year than the year before, but the news wasn't all bad for Xbox 360 owners. Fewer than 2 out of every 5 games released for the 360 in 2010 received positive reviews from game critics, though that percentage -- 39% -- is actually an improvement over 2009's 35%. Xbox 360 owners once again had a larger number of releases to choose from than owners of other consoles. And the console actually saw the release of nine "great" games (with Metascores of 90 or higher) last year, tops for any platform and an improvement compared to the prior year, when the 360 had just seven great titles.
The best games for the 360, however, were mostly multi-platform releases. The only two platform exclusives to crack the top 10 highest-scoring releases for the console in 2010 were sequel Halo: Reach 91 and minimalist indie Xbox Live Arcade title LIMBO 90. And we are still waiting for a truly great title for Microsoft's new Kinect controller; so far, Dance Central 83 is the platform's best-reviewed motion-controlled game.
|Halo: Reach||LIMBO||Pinball FX 2||Dance Central||Alan Wake|
|1||Mass Effect 2 Xbox 360 Game of the Year||Electronic Arts||96||9.0|
|2||Red Dead Redemption||Rockstar Games||95||8.8|
|3||Pac-Man Championship Edition DX||Namco Bandai||93||8.0|
|4||Rock Band 3||MTV Games||93||7.8|
|5||Super Street Fighter IV||Capcom||91||8.0|
|6||Halo: Reach||Microsoft Game Studios||91||7.5|
|9||Super Meat Boy||Team Meat||90||7.8|
|10||Plants vs. Zombies||PopCap||89||7.9|
|11||Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood||Ubisoft||89||8.4|
|12||NBA 2K11||2K Sports||89||7.5|
|13||BioShock 2||2K Games||88||8.4|
|14||Battlefield: Bad Company 2||EA Games||88||8.8|
|15||Pinball FX 2||Microsoft Game Studios||88||7.9|
|16||NHL 11||Electronic Arts||88||8.0|
|17||FIFA Soccer 11||Electronic Arts||88||7.2|
|18||Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit||Electronic Arts||88||7.2|
|19||Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare Pack||Rockstar Games||87||7.8|
|20||Call of Duty: Black Ops||Activision||87||6.3|
|21||Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam||EA Games||87||7.4|
|22||Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker||Electronic Arts||87||9.2|
|23||Pinball FX 2: Marvel Pinball||Zen Studios||87||8.2|
|24||NCAA Football 11||Electronic Arts||86||7.2|
|25||DJ Hero 2||Activision||86||7.9|
|26||Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction||Ubisoft||85||7.7|
|27||BlazBlue: Continuum Shift||Aksys Games||85||8.8|
|28||Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light||Square Enix||85||8.6|
|29||Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge||LucasArts||85||9.3|
|30||Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx||2K Games||85||8.8|
|... and the worst:|
|234||Dream Chronicles||Hudson Entertainment||36||n/a|
|235||Power Gig: Rise of the SixString||Seven45 Studios||36||1.2|
|236||Dead Space Ignition||Electronic Arts||35||4.5|
|238||Deca Sports Freedom||Hudson Entertainment||27||2.5|
|1||Toy Story 3||9.2|
|2||Mass Effect 2||9.0|
|4||Battlefield: Bad Company 2||8.8|
|Red Dead Redemption||8.8|
|Transformers: War for Cybertron||8.8|
Good / So-So / Bad:
|vs. 2009 Avg.||71.7|
For the second straight year, Sony's PlayStation 3 console had the highest percentage of positively-reviewed games (with Metascores of 75 or higher) of any platform, with 44% in 2010, which actually was slightly ahead of the console's 2009 figure. The PS3 actually had a larger quantity of good games (102) than any other console as well, and its average Metascore -- though down a bit compared to 2009 -- was still comfortably ahead those of the 360 and Wii.
Only one of the PS3's 15 highest-scoring 2010 releases was exclusive to the platform, however, but it was a notable one: God of War III 92, the final chapter in the popular action-adventure saga. The next-best PS3 exclusive was Quantic Dream's unique serial killer story Heavy Rain 87, which proved to be a much bigger hit with critics than it was with gamers, though the game sold well despite some user criticism. Note that you won't find any titles exclusive to the PlayStation Move controller in our high scores list below; Sports Champions 76 is the best-reviewed of a limited bunch so far.
|God of War III||Heavy Rain||Joe Danger||Gran Turismo 5||Hustle Kings|
|1||MLB 10: The Show||9.3|
|4||Battlefield: Bad Company 2||8.6|
|God of War III||8.6|
Good / So-So / Bad:
|vs. 2009 Avg.||65.2|
Say what you will about the Wii, but Nintendo's platform has produced the best-reviewed game of the year in three out of the past five years, including in 2010 with Super Mario Galaxy 2 97. New Wii exclusive titles featuring returning characters Kirby and Donkey Kong also earned high marks from critics last year. In fact, the Wii had more exclusive titles with green Metascores than either of the other consoles.
Yet, despite these successes, the Wii still is far behind the other two consoles in both the number and percentage of quality releases. The percentage of Wii titles with negative reviews actually went up last year vs. 2009, while the percentage of releases with positive reviews basically held steady at under 30%. The Wii had fewer than half the total number of good games than either the PS3 or the 360 last year, and, aside from Super Mario Galaxy 2, the only other "great" release was the latest installment in the Rock Band series. And several highly-anticipated 2010 Wii releases -- including Disney Epic Mickey 72 and Metroid: Other M 79 -- turned out to be major disappointments.
|Super Mario Galaxy 2||Art of Balance||Kirby's Epic Yarn||Donkey Kong Country Returns||Sin and Punishment: Star Successor|
|1||Super Mario Galaxy 2||9.4|
|Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars||9.3|
|4||No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle||9.2|
|5||Monster Hunter Tri||9.0|
More games ...
Continue to the next page for this year's top releases for PC, PSP, and Nintendo DS.