Wired's Scores

  • Games
For 214 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 30% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 69% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Spelunky
Lowest review score: 30 Myst
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 214
250 game reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The game's greatest accomplishment is that it is a paradise of escapism, a lavish love letter to immersion. Diving into Skyrim's world feels both thrilling and comforting, like riding a rollercoaster or swimming in the ocean. There is very little padding. There are very few scripted quests that aren't worth experiencing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The truly stunning thing about Persona 4 is that it just doesn't have any glaring flaws. Even though it doesn't stand up to the graphics of the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, the clever art style makes up for that. Those who despise reading large blocks of text in games will be pleasantly surprised by the solid voice-over work applied to almost every conversation.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Spelunky is designed to be played repeatedly, a randomly generated battle of human versus machine. Its goal is to challenge the player in a way that is seemingly impossible, but ultimately surmountable given the proper amount of training and skill. I can't recall another game that achieves that delicate balance as well as Spelunky. Its randomly generated nature and ecosystem of interactive elements challenges your decision-making abilities in a way that's nothing short of awe-inspiring.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The most important change is that most everything feels new. The fights against giant boss creatures at the end of each dungeon don't rely on old ideas. The classic characters are replaced, for the most part, with novel ones. If you already know what's going to happen, is that really capturing the spirit of the original Legend of Zelda, in which we all went in blind? Skyward Sword shows that "a real Zelda game" is about more than certain items or certain gameplay rituals, which in the end is more meaningful than adding better sword controls.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Marvel vs. Capcom 3 can get complex, but it ramps you up with a smooth learning curve. I could feel my skills improving as I discovered more of the game's intricacies.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    On their own, the adventure and puzzle segments of Henry Hatsworth would not be especially interesting videogames. But this experiment succeeds because of how well the two genres play off one another. While certain level elements can feel monotonous, the core experience is sound, delivering controlled chaos into the palms of your achy, sweating hands.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Radiant Historia, Atlus has created the perfect blend of innovation and tradition.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s just a solid, addictive, finely polished game that’s easy enough for newbies and challenging enough for those who remember. Sometimes, they do make ‘em like they used to.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite minor quibbles about its online modes, Order of Ecclesia is a simply stunning handheld game. It ranks as easily the best portable game of the year and could very well qualify as the best Castlevania ever.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    WIRED One of the best games ever, remastered; looks fantastic in 3D; improved controls. / TIRED It's the same game you played 12 years ago and remember exactly how to beat.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even though I often struggled to find meaning within the game's mysterious world, Journey doesn't need to be explained. It's still a fulfilling experience.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dokapon Kingdom's perfectly balanced multiplayer, cool aesthetics and pure addictive fun make it a new high-water mark for party games on the Wii.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Brawl isn't perfect. The single-player mode isn't nearly as polished and fun as the multiplayer. The disc is crammed so full of content that the loading times can get annoying. But it's still without equal -- can you even think of another four-player fighting game?
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Weighed down by bloat though it may be, Batman: Arkham City is still one of the year's finest games, filled with the capacity to surprise even players who've skulked through every inch of its predecessor.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Most notably, the game design is innovative and daring, straddling a precarious line between 2-D and 3-D gameplay to make a game that feels contemporary while retaining the classic Metroid appeal.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Well-balanced, fun turn-based strategy gameplay perfectly suited to mobile devices.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Killzone 2 does walk on mostly well-trodden ground, it does so with a keen attention to style and detail, pushing beyond the gray-and-red color schemes that define its competition while encouraging gamers to put a little bit of thought behind every bullet they hurl.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you enjoy playing first-person shooters with a team of friends or even complete strangers, Left 4 Dead offers an unparalleled social experience. It can be frustrating at times when the team's actions aren't synced, or strategies continually falter, but a bit of practice and, more importantly, communication will transform this zombie massacre into one of the most exciting and addictive gaming experiences ever.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gorgeous re-imagining of the original, lots of gaming for your buck.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A novel and original concept, executed cleanly and with style - in short, the ideal to which videogames should aspire.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Does an excellent job of making you think you can succeed if you try just one more time. That's often not the case, but the game will suck away hours of your life anyway.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Canabalt is my most-played iPad game by far. Its simple, fun concept distills platforming down to its bare essence of running and jumping.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There hasn't been a funnier, more singularly creative videogame since Brütal Legend. And where Double Fine disappointed some with odd game design choices, DeathSpank does nothing but please.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I played World of Goo previously on my PC, but the iPad version's controls are a lot more suited to the game. Stacking goo balls by dragging them with your finger is faster, not to mention more fun.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    3D Land is a grabby borrower of a game - enemies from Mario 3, music from 2006's New Super Mario Bros., gameplay from Galaxy. Eventually it starts borrowing from itself. It's an excellent game because all of these things work so well together; the only thing keeping it from perfection is that it cries out for more innovations to call its own.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There hasn't been a funnier, more singularly creative videogame since Brütal Legend. And where Double Fine disappointed some with odd game design choices, DeathSpank does nothing but please.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The moments when Modern Warfare 2 isn’t good are few and far between. That’s about all you can ask from a hero.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You can beat the entire main story of Fallout: New Vegas in less than 20 hours, but that would be giving the game short shrift. It is really about savoring every little detail and side quest until you've seen everything there is to see.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is the best 2-D platform game I've played in ages. Its level design meets the gold standard set by the 2-D Mario games. Retro Studios can add another feather to its cap.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The first Assassin’s Creed had a bold, brilliant concept; the sequel delivers the execution.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.

In Progress & Unscored

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    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you can master the foreign language of its combat, you’ll find Hyper Light Drifter screaming with life and unfamiliar menace, waiting for you to awaken its technological giants.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It bakes a string of unnerving themes into its gameplay that stand wholly apart from the bevy of shooters it’s competing with.
    • tbd Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It’s a paranoid nightmare vision of my own cell phone, and I can’t look away.
    • 43 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Prospekt doesn’t quite match the brilliance of the official games.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Gameplay and narrative are inextricably intertwined, and ought to reinforce and point toward one another. In Song of the Deep, they feel at odds in a way that’s made even more grating by the loving, attentive eye Insomniac casts on the world it created. These people care about Merryn and her journey, and they do so much to make you care, too. Now they just need to get out of her way.
    • 69 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Yes, it is quite a bit more fun to run down Federation Force‘s hallways and headshot its Space Pirates when you have a group. But a lot of that, it seems to me, is because the game is designed to be much easier when you have a team and very challenging, even inhospitable, to a solo player.
    • 72 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It feels like I stepped through a time warp and am reviewing the original Mirror’s Edge again. It recreates the original game’s strengths—and, more importantly, its fundamental errors—as if no time had passed.
    • 70 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    While Mirror’s Edge Catalyst opens up the city rather than confining you to discrete levels, its design woes feel precisely like the original. The odds of me clearing a mission on the first try were approximately zero. Not because my reflexes weren’t up to snuff—I swear it!—but simply because the missions are so tightly timed, the positioning so precise, that there really isn’t any time to figure out what the plan’s going to be: you simply have to do. And while that may (I can only assume) genuinely recreate the sorts of fast decisions you’d have to make if you were really trying to outrun the cops on foot, it doesn’t make for a game experience that feels fair.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    That’s not to say that Ratchet and Clank is a lifeless cash-in. It’s replete with care and vitality, and it feels like an honest return to a world the creators love. But as a utilization of its own past, it’s dull and safe. A game that so directly recreates a relic of gaming’s past needs to justify its own existence—to use the past in an interesting way, to imbue it with creative vitality. 2016’s Ratchet and Clank doesn’t. Nothing here surprises. Nothing here transforms.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Frankly, I think I might hate The Witness. Even after hours of playtime, I don’t know enough to tell.
    • 86 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Everybody—Nintendo, players—knows that this is a stopgap in a barren release schedule, but if you’re going to have a stopgap, you might as well give an excellent game the graphical overhaul it lost when Nintendo decided to skip over high-definition.
    • 93 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Inside, like the studio’s freshman effort, is again a monochromatic, tense, haunting, side-scrolling puzzle game, but with six years of effort under its belt, Playdead now delivers a masterclass in its form.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    1979 Revolution forges something gripping and personal in the fires of a murky history...Khonsari hopes it does something even more powerful: Define a new genre of games, one his studio will lead.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Firewatch may leave you before you’re ready to be done with it; like Gone Home, Oxenfree et cetera it’s a six-hour experience that you can easily start after lunch and finish before bed. But it’s an emotional gut-punch all the way through, for many reasons, and largely a pleasure to explore and find yourself lost in—mentally, if not geographically. This is your next must-play story, another voyage to a place games don’t often take us.
    • 71 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    For all this, for all of its pretentiousness, for all of its own flaws, No Man’s Sky rightly deserves a place in a modern art museum. Like a home with doors that may never open, begging us to ponder what lies beyond, No Man’s Sky is an unanswerable question, but one I’m glad I asked.
    • 89 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Most games don’t try to break you, don’t ask you to band together and conquer something that seems impossible. Still, Miyazaki says, Dark Souls is made to beaten: “When [we] set the difficulty level… our objective was to make the game possible to accomplish.” It takes time, and it takes effort, but no matter who you are, or how you want to play, Dark Souls wants to see you succeed.
    • 87 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The Witness is a sterile, lifeless videogame. It revels in the idea of knowledge, fascinated by how it’s earned and what it signifies. But it seems uninterested in players and their accomplishments, and with that lack of interest comes a lack of the human touch necessary to make sense of the knowledge it offers...The Witness is like the island on which it takes place: a machine, to the core. Anything within it that seems lifelike is superficial.
    • 73 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The Molasses Flood’s debut is a brilliant tone piece, drawing skillfully on an established well of symbolism and cultural preoccupations that rarely get showcased in games. The Flame in the Flood is a journey toward hope at the end of a long river, a journey worth taking.
    • tbd Metascore
    • Critic Score
    If you enjoy Hell’s Kitchen or Master Chef, having Ramsay’s constant banter in the game really does enhance the experience.
    • 81 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Unravel isn’t a bad videogame. It has some mild charm, and it’s one of the most visually stunning things I’ve seen in a long time. It’s just unremarkable. Which is a pity, because with the clear passion that went into its development, it’s easy to picture it being so much more.
    • 83 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The smartest design choice in Duskers is also the one most likely to put players off, initially: the command-line interface.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The original Doom transcended videogame to become cultural icon, the inspiration for a hundred imitations, ports on virtually every digital medium imaginable including airplanes, and even a terrible movie starring The Rock. The new Doom succeeds by taking that legacy seriously, rendering it as a religion of sorts: the cult of Doom Guy writ through generations. To play is to enact a mass-media ritual, to go where a million other players have gone before you and will go again...The legions of hell should be quaking in their boots: Doom has been reborn.
    • 93 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The lighting, the detail, the mocap and animation of the characters, the delivery of the dialogue are all so near-flawless that I forgot I was watching computer people. It just felt like a movie. The transitions between cinematic scenes and gameplay are seamless. The load times are non-existent (unless you jump around from chapter to chapter or reset from a previous point).
    • 91 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    By attempting to push the cynicism out of competitive gaming, Overwatch is working towards the seemingly impossible. Out of all the internet’s dark places, competitive shooters are among the worst. They’re the home of teabaggers and trolls, brimming with toxicity and vitriol. Blizzard is trying to make a place where people can enjoy themselves and relax without the fear that so often accompanies these types of games. I can’t say yet where it’ll succeed in the long run, but this is the first time I’ve had hope.
    • 76 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Far Cry Primal is best played through subtraction. First thing, go into the options menu and turn off the mini-map. Takkar certainly doesn’t have a map, and using one is distraction that detracts from the beauty and horror of Oros. Ignore the extraneous missions, the ones that rely on formula and filler by, say, having you kill the same two warriors to save the same kidnapped Wenja. Seek out the upgrades you find most useful and skip the rest. Ignore the completion percentages. Take it slow.
    • 82 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I truly believe that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided wants to be a political tentpole videogame. It just won’t let itself. It’s a metonym for big-budget gaming as a whole. These games, after all, are changing. In an increasingly broad and complex marketplace, they’re going to have to. And with those changes, there are going to be teams who want to use their platforms to tell authentically complex stories, to create games that aren’t afraid to believe things...Mankind Divided is a messy and ultimate broken step in that direction. But I sincerely doubt it’ll be the last.
    • 77 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    What saves this radical concept from total disaster is the fact that the live-action segments are well-acted and tightly paced. They look and feel exactly like… well, like a mid-season replacement on the USA Network, if we’re being honest. But the action is just intriguing enough that you won’t mind being asked to watch a 20-minute cut scene before beginning the next level...Once you get over the novelty, Quantum Break shakes out as a mediocre shooter with a lavish budget. It will be remembered for blending game and live-action in a formula that actually kinda worked, not for its gameplay, which feels unambitious, half-baked.
    • 69 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    It sounds confusing. It is confusing. It’s also not optional. This is how you play Star Fox Zero. It’s the shooter equivalent of rubbing your stomach while patting your head and also keeping a hacky-sack in the air with your foot.
    • 74 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    The difference with Star Fox Guard is that, for me at least, it clicked automatically, and I was having a blast from the first moment.
    • 85 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Like its subjects, Blendo Games’ new PC puzzler Quadrilateral Cowboy is unafraid to be messy. It’s a puzzle game that doesn’t feel like one, a narrative game without a single speaking role. Taking place in a William Gibson-esque dreamscape, it puts you in the role of a slick hacker armed with clunky tech.
    • 75 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Hitman, the franchise, has always been known for elaborate assassinations and long missions that flow beautifully from one moment to the next. And it’s wonderful to see the subtitle-free sequel keep to that tradition. This is only the first of several planned episodes, but one with an emotional rollercoaster with enough depth and challenge to last some time.
    • 90 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    I don’t expect to ever beat Stephen’s Sausage Roll, but that won’t stop me from recommending it. Unlike The Witness, which muddled its message with pretentious framing and unfriendly design, Increpare’s latest is smart and welcoming. It’s a loving ode to puzzles and the people who love them. If you check it out, be sure to eat something first.
    • tbd Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Starseed is all over pretty quickly, maybe a couple of hours at best. And I don’t think it’s going to age very well, truth be told—we’re going to expect more complexity out of our VR sojourns, soon enough. But right now, at this moment, if you’re looking for something cool to show you what it’s going to be like to go adventuring in VR, this is a great place to start.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Besides its unique approach to game storyline delivery, which I think will be studied and copied in the future, Oxenfree shows some smart thinking about the relationship between games and players. It’s a unique mix that should make Night School’s future productions ones to watch, and this an auspicious debut.
    • 80 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    After spending a few hours with Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division, one thing I can say with certainty is that it has a powerful sense of drama. For a game based largely around shooting bad guys online with friends, it has a remarkable sense of pacing and mood. It’s dynamic, in the musical sense: loud, tense gunfights, separated by periods of exploring a ruined New York City in overwhelming silence.
    • 84 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Darkest Dungeon is a mean, capricious game. Success is a gambler’s thrill, addictive and illicit. It comes rarely.