The results of our second annual user poll are in ...
For the second consecutive year, we asked our users to vote for their favorite movies, videogames, TV shows, albums, and songs of the year. And, over the past month, 1,879 of you did just that. We asked users to list their five favorites of 2011 in each category, and then 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.
For the first time, we also asked users to name the "most overrated" release of the year in each category, and those "winners" are also listed below.
It remains to be seen whether Nicholas Winding Refn's Drive will get any love from Academy voters, though the violent drama is doing fairly well on the awards circuit, and has appeared with regularity on critic top 10 lists. Metacritic users, however, see it as the clear #1 film of the year. Drive was named on 41% of all user ballots cast, and earned over 900 points more than the year's runner-up movie, critic favorite The Tree of Life.
Metacritic users actually agreed with professional critics on many of the year's best films; each group's consensus list of their 10 highest-ranked films shared six titles. Users preferred crowd pleases like the final Harry Potter installment, Midnight in Paris, Bridesmaids, and 50/50 more than critics did, while the professionals showed a greater preference for artier fare like Certified Copy, Take Shelter, The Artist, and the year's best-reviewed film, A Separation. (Admittedly, most of our users probably have not had a chance to even see the latter film; it opened just over a week ago and has yet to reach most cities.) The only two films in the users' consensus top 20 that rarely showed up on critic top 10 lists this year were X-Men: First Class and Source Code.
|2||The Tree of Life 85||1,511|
|3||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 87||1,210|
|5||Midnight in Paris 81||750|
|7||The Descendants 84||589|
|11||Super 8 72||531|
|12||The Artist 89||495|
|13||Rise of the Planet of the Apes 68||481|
|14||X-Men: First Class 65||479|
|15||Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 85||374|
|16||The Muppets 75||329|
|17||The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 71||325|
|18||The Help 62||278|
|19||Source Code 74||262|
|1||The Tree of Life 85||136|
|2||The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 45||93|
|3||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 87||70|
|5||The Artist 89||45|
While Batman: Arkham City narrowly edged out The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by a fraction of a point to take the official title of Metacritic's Game of the Year for 2011, our users preferred Skyrim, and by a wide margin. The latter was named on just over half of the ballots cast for games, while 43% of users listed Arkham City as one of their five favorites.
The latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise, meanwhile, fared relatively poorly with our users, barely cracking the top 10 in the best games list and scoring the most votes for the year's most overrated game.
|1||The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 94||360 PC PS3||2,143|
|2||Batman: Arkham City 94||360 PC PS3||1,588|
|3||Portal 2 95||360 PC PS3||1,351|
|4||Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception 92||PS3||1,095|
|5||Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 93||Wii||782|
|6||Battlefield 3 86||360 PC PS3||426|
|7||Deus Ex: Human Revolution 89||360 PC PS3||332|
|8||Dark Souls 89||360 PS3||301|
|9||L.A. Noire 87||360 PC PS3||290|
|10||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 82||360 PC PS3 Wii||280|
|11||Gears of War 3 91||360||277|
|12||FIFA Soccer 12 85||360 PC PS3 Wii||191|
|14||Saints Row: The Third 84||360 PC PS3||181|
|15||Dead Space 2 89||360 PC PS3||156|
|16||Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings 88||PC||154|
|17||Assassin's Creed: Revelations 81||360 PC PS3||149|
|18||Bastion 87||360 PC||139|
|19||Super Mario 3D Land 90||3DS||131|
|20||Rayman Origins 89||360 PS3 Wii||102|
|1||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3||300|
|2||The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||144|
|4||The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword||24|
|5||Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception||23|
The Metacritic community has spoken, and 2011's top television show was ... Community, though by the tiniest of margins. The NBC comedy—currently on hiatus, though it will return at some point this season—edged out critical favorite Breaking Bad by just two points even though each collected over 3,400 total points. Community, however, appeared on 859 (46%) of all ballots cast in the TV category, while Breaking Bad was named on 822 (44%) of the ballots submitted.
How did the users' overall list compare to the preferences of professional TV critics in their year-end top 10 lists? Critics rated the PBS period drama Downton Abbey, CBS' The Good Wife, and the departed Friday Night Lights more more highly than our users did. Metacritic users, meanwhile, seemed to like Showtime's Dexter and AMC's The Walking Dead more than the professionals. As a group, however, users seemed to share many favorite programs with the critics.
|2||Breaking Bad (AMC)||3,476|
|3||Parks and Recreation (NBC)||1,816|
|4||Game of Thrones (HBO)||1,529|
|6||The Walking Dead (AMC)||1,018|
|8||Boardwalk Empire (HBO)||799|
|9||Modern Family (ABC)||774|
|12||American Horror Story (FX)||394|
|14||How I Met Your Mother (CBS)||313|
|15||It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)||300|
|16||30 Rock (NBC)||293|
|17||The Big Bang Theory (CBS)||275|
|18||Downton Abbey (PBS)||248|
|19||Sons of Anarchy (FX)||223|
|20||New Girl (Fox)||215|
|2||The Big Bang Theory (CBS)||102|
|3||Modern Family (ABC)||65|
|4||The Walking Dead (AMC)||62|
|5||Breaking Bad (AMC)||42|
This year, PJ Harvey's Let England Shake has dominated the music critics' top 10 lists for album of the year, while Tom Waits finished 2011 with the highest-scoring album of the year, Bad As Me. The latter album, however, failed to crack our users' consensus top 20, while PJ Harvey's disc finished third in voting. Metacritic users, it seems, preferred Bon Iver's self-titled release, by an almost two-to-one margin over the next leading point-earner, Adele's massive hit 21.
In addition to the Tom Waits album, other critic favorites that were absent from the users' top 20 included Black Up by Shabazz Palaces, David Comes to Life by Fucked Up, and Smoke Ring for My Halo by Kurt Vile. Metacritic users, meanwhile, seemed to like Radiohead's The King of Limbs and The Black Keys' El Camino more than critics did. However, seven of the users' top 10 picks were also in the critics' consensus top 10.
Fans of NBC's Community made themselves felt in our album voting as well, nearly pushing Camp by Childish Gambino (the recording name of Community star Donald Glover) into the top 20; with 262 points, it just missed, finishing at #21.
|1||Bon Iver 86
by Bon Iver
|3||Let England Shake 86
by PJ Harvey
|4||Helplessness Blues 85
by Fleet Foxes
|5||El Camino 83
by The Black Keys
|6||Watch the Throne 76
by Jay-Z & Kanye West
|7||Hurry Up, We're Dreaming 76
|8||Strange Mercy 85
by St Vincent
|9||The King of Limbs 80
|10||House of Balloons 87
by The Weeknd
|11||w h o k i l l 86
by Florence + The Machine
|14||Take Care 80
by The Roots
|16||James Blake 81
by James Blake
|17||Father, Son, Holy Ghost 79
|18||Born This Way 71
by Lady Gaga
|19||Wasting Light 78
by Foo Fighters
|20||The Whole Love 83
|1||21 76 by Adele||124|
|2||Bon Iver 86 by Bon Iver||84|
|3||Born This Way 71 by Lady Gaga||70|
|4||Watch the Throne 76 by Jay-Z and Kanye West||61|
|5||Let England Shake 86 by PJ Harvey||43|
Yes, despite finishing #2 in points for the best album of 2011, Adele's 21 also topped the list of the year's most overrated albums. Adele is laughing all the way to the bank, though; 21 was the year's best-selling album by a huge margin. She's also the only artist to place two separate songs in our list of the 10 best tracks of 2011, as voted by Metacritic users. One of those songs, "Rolling in the Deep," actually predates 2011 by a month, but since it also appears on her 2011 album, we'll allow it.
Lana Del Rey's "Video Games" (certainly an appropriate enough song to appear on a Metacritic chart) isn't on any album, yet—it comes from her major label debut Born to Die, out later this month—making it the only non-album track to crack our top 10. And the overall #1 song among Metacritic users may seem like a bit of a surprise, since the French electronica outfit M83 is probably the most obscure band to place a song in our top 10. But "Midnight City" has already drawn acclaim around the web, topping lists of the year's best songs at several leading music publications (including Pitchfork and PopMatters).
|1||"Midnight City" by M83
from the album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
|2||"Rolling in the Deep" by Adele
from the album 21
|3||"Holocene" by Bon Iver
from the album Bon Iver
|4||"Someone Like You" by Adele
from the album 21
|5||"Video Games" by Lana Del Rey
from the single "Video Games"
|6||"Ni**as in Paris" by Jay-Z and Kanye West
from the album Watch the Throne
|7||"Lonely Boy" by The Black Keys
from the album El Camino
|8||"Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People
from the album Torches
|9||"Lotus Flower" by Radiohead
from the album The King of Limbs
|10||"Helplessness Blues" by Fleet Foxes
from the album Helplessness Blues
How did you do?
What do you think of the consensus picks of your fellow users? Let us know in the discussion section below, and don't forget to visit our Best of 2011 section for all of our year-end coverage.