Metacritic Users Pick the Best of 2010

  • Publish Date: January 10, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 35 user comments

Our first annual users poll: The results are in!

Over the past month, 2,591 of you submitted your picks for the best movies, videogames, TV shows, albums, and songs of 2010. We asked you to name your five favorites in each category, and we have assigned a value of 5 points to each first-place vote, 4 points for second place, and so on down to 1 point for each fifth-place vote. The leading point-getters in each category are listed below. We also asked you to name the worst release of the year in each category, and those "winners" are also mentioned below.



Our users' consensus pick for movie of the year -- Inception -- was named on more ballots (by nearly half of all survey respondents) than any other title in any category in our poll. Many users also named The Social Network on their ballots, though that film was only the second-leading point-earner with our users after finishing as the consensus first-place pick with critics.

In fact, there was an overlap of six films between the critics' and users' top 10 choices, with the latter group liking Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, True Grit, Kick-Ass, and Shutter Island more than the professionals did. Films that critics mentioned frequently on their year-end lists but that did not land in our users' top 20 below include imports Carlos, Dogtooth, and Animal Kingdom, dramas Another Year and Blue Valentine, and the documentary Inside Job.

Although there were far fewer votes cast for the worst movie of the year, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender 20 was chosen more than twice as often as any other film to take home the title. Sex and the City 2 27 and Vampires Suck 18 (the year's lowest-scoring film) placed second and third, respectively, among other films selected as 2010's worst.

Best Movie of 2010 as Voted by Metacritic Users
Movie Points
1 Inception 74 4,984
2 The Social Network 95 3,932
3 Toy Story 3 92 2,668
4 Black Swan 79 1,379
5 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World 69 1,045
6 True Grit 80 634
7 Winter's Bone 90 632
8 Kick-Ass 66 614
9 127 Hours 82 489
10 Shutter Island 63 468
11 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I 65 452
12 The King's Speech 88 449
13 The Town 74 446
14 The Kids Are All Right 86 402
15 The Fighter 79 321
16 Exit Through the Gift Shop 85 312
17 A Prophet 90 296
18 How to Train Your Dragon 74 284
19 The Ghost Writer 77 235
20 Let Me In 79 208



In user voting for the year's top videogame, Rockstar Games' open-ended Western adventure Red Dead Redemption narrowly defeated BioWare's space sequel Mass Effect 2, though the latter game will be announced as Metacritic's Xbox 360 Game of the Year when our Best Games of 2010 are revealed later this month.

Despite placing fourth in total points in voting for the best game of the year, Call of Duty: Black Ops also grabbed the most votes for 2010's worst videogame, defeating the second-place Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (a critically reviled release) by more than a 2-1 margin.

Best Videogame of 2010 as Voted by Metacritic Users
Game* Platform(s) Points
1 Red Dead Redemption 95 360 | PS3 2,196
2 Mass Effect 2 94 360 | PC 2,069
3 Super Mario Galaxy 2 97 Wii 1,055
4 Call of Duty: Black Ops 82 360 | PS3 | Wii | PC | DS 887
5 Halo: Reach 91 360 684
6 God of War III 92 PS3 672
7 Heavy Rain 87 PS3 554
8 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood 90 360 | PS3 524
9 Fallout: New Vegas 84 360 | PS3 | PC 388
10 Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 93 PC 364
11 Battlefield: Bad Company 2 87 360 | PS3 | PC 359
12 Donkey Kong Country Returns 87 Wii 239
13 FIFA Soccer 11 78 360 | PS3 | Wii | PC | DS | PSP 220
14 Gran Turismo 5 84 PS3 213
15 LIMBO 90 360 212
16 Alan Wake 83 360 195
17 Civilization V 90 PC 193
18 Rock Band 3 89 360 | PS3 | Wii | DS 190
19 Super Meat Boy 90 360 167
20 Bioshock 2 88 360 | PS3 | PC 161

* If a game has been released on more than one platform, the Metascores displayed are averages of the individual scores

TV shows


Metacritic users were in agreement with professional television critics for the best show of 2010: AMC's Mad Men. In fact, users helped that network complete a trifecta, with newcomer The Walking Dead and returning drama Breaking Bad taking spots two and three in user polling. Modern Family, Community, and 30 Rock were the only sitcoms to crack the users' consensus top 10.

But the 20 highest-polling shows with our users contained many of the same names that appeared in the critics' top 20. Users showed more love for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, South Park, and The Big Bang Theory than the professionals did, while critics championed dramas such as The Good Wife, Rubicon, Justified, and Treme, and miniseries The Pacific, in their place.

The worst television show of 2010? Earning the most mentions from our users was Glee, despite the fact that Fox's musical also scored enough points to finish 10th for the best show of the year. Jersey Shore, Outsourced, Bleep My Dad Says, and Bridalplasty were also in the running for the year's worst show, finishing second through fifth in voting, respectively.

Best Television Show of 2010 as Voted by Metacritic Users
Show Points
1 Mad Men (AMC) 1,559
2 The Walking Dead (AMC) 1,342
3 Breaking Bad (AMC) 1,294
4 Modern Family (ABC) 1,043
5 Community (NBC) 975
6 Lost (ABC) 905
7 Dexter (Showtime) 786
8 Boardwalk Empire (HBO) 727
9 30 Rock (NBC) 670
10 Glee (Fox) 391
11 The Office (NBC) 390
12 Fringe (Fox) 367
13 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) 322
14 Parks and Recreation (NBC) 291
15 The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 282
16 Friday Night Lights (DirecTV/NBC) 230
17 Terriers (FX) 222
18 How I Met Your Mother (CBS) 212
19 South Park (Comedy Central) 206
20 True Blood (HBO) 195



While Kanye West ran away with the voting in music critics' year-end lists for his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, the rapper was edged out in user polling by Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. However, users and critics agreed on the six best albums of 2010, even if they didn't precisely agree on the ordering of those albums.

Eminem's Recovery, Flying Lotus's Cosmogramma, The Tallest Man on Earth's Wild Hunt, and Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More are the only four albums to place in the top 20 with users that did not similarly crack the critics' top 20 list (though the latter album did appear for a time on the critic chart). And albums by Ariel Pink, Caribou, Rick Ross, and Drake, which appeared in the critic top 20, did not fare as well with users (though Caribou's Swim just missed, finishing 21st.)

Justin Bieber's My World 2.0 68 earned the title of worst album of the year by appearing on twice as many user ballots as any other album. Other albums falling behind Bieber in the worst category included The Beginning 47 by Black Eyed Peas and Teenage Dream 52 by Katy Perry.

Best Album of 2010 as Voted by Metacritic Users
Album / Artist Points
1 The Suburbs 87
by Arcade Fire
2 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 93
by Kanye West
3 High Violet 85
by The National
4 This Is Happening 84
by LCD Soundsystem
5 The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III) 91
by Janelle Monae
6 Teen Dream 82
by Beach House
7 Halcyon Digest 86
by Deerhunter
8 Contra 81
by Vampire Weekend
9 The Age of Adz 81
by Sufjan Stevens
10 Plastic Beach 77
by Gorillaz
11 Brothers 82
by The Black Keys
12 Recovery 63
by Eminem
13 Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty 90
by Big Boi
14 Treats 84
by Sleigh Bells
15 Have One on Me 85
by Joanna Newsom
16 Body Talk 87
by Robyn
17 Cosmogramma 85
by Flying Lotus
18 The Monitor 82
by Titus Andronicus
19 Wild Hunt 79
by The Tallest Man on Earth
20 Sigh No More 68
by Mumford & Sons

Of the 15 tracks on the Arcade Fire album (not including the reprise of the title track at the end), a whopping 14 turned up on user ballots for the best song of the year, and four of those scored enough points to place among the 20 highest-scoring songs listed below. But the Canadian indie-rockers were not the only act to appear so frequently on our chart; Kanye West also landed four songs in the top 20, including the second-highest-scoring track overall and three of the top five. Also coming close was LCD Soundsystem, with three songs in the top 20.

However, the title of best song of the year goes to Cee-Lo Green's "Fuck You," possibly the catchiest song ever to feature an obscenity so prominently. The worst song of 2010? "Baby" by Justin Bieber feat. Ludacris topped user voting, with "California Gurls" by Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg and Black Eyed Peas' "The Time (Dirty Bit)" finishing second and third.

Best Song of 2010 as Voted by Metacritic Users
Song / Artist Points
1 "Fuck You" by Cee-Lo Green
from the album The Lady Killer
2 "Runaway" by Kanye West feat. Pusha T
from the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
3 "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" by Arcade Fire
from the album The Suburbs
4 "Power" by Kanye West
from the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
5 "Monster" by Kanye West feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver
from the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
6 "Tightrope" by Janelle Monae
from the album The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III)
7 "Dancing on My Own" by Robyn
from the album Body Talk Pt. 1
8 "The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire
from the album The Suburbs
9 "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem feat. Rihanna
from the album Recovery
10 "Bloodbuzz Ohio" by The National
from the album High Violet
11 "Ready to Start" by Arcade Fire
from the album The Suburbs
12 "Dance Yrself Clean" by LCD Soundsystem
from the album This Is Happening
13 "Shutterbugg" by Big Boi feat. Cutty
from the album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
14 "We Used to Wait" by Arcade Fire
from the album The Suburbs
15 "I Can Change" by LCD Soundsystem
from the album This Is Happening
16 "Tighten Up" by The Black Keys
from the album Brothers
17 "Not Afraid" by Eminem
from the album Recovery
18 "All I Want" by LCD Soundsystem
from the album This Is Happening
19 "All of the Lights" by Kanye West
from the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
20 "On Melancholy Hill" by Gorillaz
from the album Plastic Beach

How did you do?

What do you think of the consensus picks of your fellow users? Let us know in the discussion section below.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (35)

  • Tyler  

    Nice to see Let Me In on the movies list.

  • Matt  

    Wow, there must a lot of Eminem fans on here... A mystery to me how "Love the Way You Lie" can come anywhere near Kanye's "All of the Lights", let alone above it.

    Other than that, no major gripes! Good work all round.

  • Nick  

    My biggest surprise? The strong showing for Scott Pilgrim, absolutely amazing film, best comedy of the year by far and criminally looked over, very very happy to see all support here.

  • lucas  

    uh... my only criticism is that I visit this site several times a day and somehow missed these polls. So make it more clear to people (more advertising for it) cus i would have really liked to participate, i guess there is always next time.

  • Lucas  

    You guys could expand a little on the "worst" choices.
    Also, what world is this right now where Kanye West is first on the critic's polls, while Arcade Fire is the first on the user's poll.

  • Anonymous  

    The movie list is actually quite good and accurate, with the three best and most talked about films of the year in the top 3 spots. Although Toy Story 3 should have been number 1. I find it hilarious that Glee is one of the best shows and the worst show of the year at the same time. Btw Glee is amazing.

  • Psychedelic Soul Foo  

    I agree w/ Lucas. Metacritic should have been more specific with the "worst" list. In fact, they should have made a "worst of 2010" list for all categories. As much as I appreciate Arcade Fire, it's hard to believe that they're no 1. Kanye may be a jerk but he had the best album hands down. Not only that, he had the best record of the year too (Runaway). But people probably chose F--- You since it was incredibly fun, simple, and catchy. Cee-Lo is amazing but Ye totally had 2010 on lockdown. Otherwise, great lists. I especially like the fact that RDR is getting the love it deserves. Mass Effect 2 was great but it was way too referential. RDR kicked ass from start to finish.

  • Picard  


    Do people really think Walking Dead was better than Breaking Bad? I mean really? I quit enjoyed Walking Dead, but it was spotty at best. Inconsistent writing, flat characters. Doesn't deserve to be in the top 10 IMO. I would even argue Breaking Bad was better than Mad Men this season. But I can't complain, as Mad Men is a fantastic show. I just happen to think Breaking Bad's last two seasons have been better than Mad Men's. But when you have two incredible shows vying for the top, again, can't complain.

    Just a bit wtf at Walking Dead being #2.

  • Jason Dietz  

    @PSF & @Lucas: We actually were planning on listing more detailed results for the "worst" votes, but a large number of participants failed to vote in that section, and, as a result, there were no titles receiving more than a handful of votes other than the ones mentioned in the article. Perhaps next year we'll do a separate poll for the worst of the year, so that it doesn't get overlooked.

  • Doug  

    So Glee is like the New York Yankees of TV shows.

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