Although Metacritic is best known for its Metascore system that aggregates review scores from major outlets, it also gives a voice to fans with its user score column. The site's user score policies found themselves in the public eye during 2020 whenThe Last of Us Part IIwas bombarded with negative reviews within minutes of the game's release. The fan response shone a spotlight on the site's user score system, and its policies were changed shortly after; the site nowmakes its users wait over 24 hours before submitting a review, in hopes that players will play the game for themselves before contributing a score.
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The popularity of Metacritic, along with the hundreds of thousands of people who want to voice their opinions about games they have (or haven't) played, means that most AAA games have lower user scores than they perhaps deserve, due to the many unfair 0/10 scores that users give in attempts to drop a game's overall mark. This is best exemplified by the site's 10 highest-rated games (by Metascore), whose user scores average at around 8.2. Consequently, it's not unfair to say that the 10 games on this list benefitted from being lesser-known titles that escaped the scrutiny of mainstream audiences.
To exemplify the previous point,Crystarhas a Metascore of just 67, which isn't even the lowest on this list. That doesn't mean that the users are wrong by any means, as there is plenty to love aboutGemdrops' 2018 game.
The PlayStation 4 and PC action-RPG offers a well-written story that evidently captivated many of its players. The game's weak Metascore is likely due to its combat, which quickly becomes repetitive.
A first-person puzzle game, Pillow Castle'sSuperliminalis very intelligently designed with puzzles that utilize forced perspective and optical illusions.
The game received a Metascore of 74, helped by a complimentary review from Laura Cress of Adventure Gamers who gave the game a score of four and a half stars.Superliminal was nominated for theNAVGTR Awards' accolade of best puzzle game, though it ultimately lost out toUntitled Goose Game.
After Burner Climaxbegins an impressive streak of seven games in a row with a user score of 9.7. SEGA's game was originally released in arcades back in 2006, though it came Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 in 2010, and then iOS and Android devices in 2013.
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Unfortunately, the game is tricky to find today, as it has since been removed from all four stores; though it can still be played on SEGA's online mobile service SEGA Forever.
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitoris an anti-adventure that puts players in the shoes of a janitor who simply needs to clean litter around a sci-fi game-world. The game's aim wasn't to be a janitor version ofEuro Truck SimulatororFarming Simulatorthough, Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor's gameplay is intended to be a metaphor for numerous serious issues such as depression, anxiety, oppressive capitalism.
James Sasha, who was interview by Vice, said the following about the unorthodox game: "We had a goal of making an adventure game with no adventure, it seems like you're supposed to go on this adventure, but everything in the game is trying to keep you stuck in one position, at the bottom of this totem pole, crushed in this capitalist dystopia."
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detectivehas the highest Metascore on this list with an impressive 83. Released by Capcom,Ghost Trick: Phantom Detectivedoes what it says on the tin, putting players in control of a ghost who becomes an unofficial detective as he investigates who killed him.
The game utilizes its unique concept well by giving players various supernatural powers to help them solve the mystery. Shortly after releasing on the Nintendo DS, the game came to iOS devices and received an even higher Metascore at 87.
Developed by Arika and published by Nintendo,Metal Torrentis a vertical scrolling shooter that was released on DSiWare and simply requires players to take down waves of enemies. The game has the lowest Metascore on this list with a mark of just 62, with criticisms being directed towards the game's lack of variety. Unlike most shoot em' ups that take players to a vast range of levels and environments with multiple enemy types,Metal Torrenttakes around 16 minutes to beat, with online leaderboards being implemented to add intrigue and challenge.
The range of critical reviews includes a brutal 25 score from The A.V. Club who said of the game "There are hundreds, if not thousands, of shmups you can play for free on the Internet. Practically all of them are better than Metal Torrent."
The Metroidvania genre had a fairly impressive resurgence in the 2010s, with titles likeHollow KnightandOri and the Will of the Wispsbreathing new life into the genre.
Rochardwas developed by Recoil Games and adds an interesting spin on the classic genre with its science-fiction gameplay mechanics that let players solve puzzles by manipulating gravity.
A 2014 adventure-puzzle game that was released on mobile devices and the Wii U, before coming to PC and Mac a year late;Tengamiimpressed fans and critics with its beautiful art style that was inspired by Japanese pop-up books.
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Sadly the game's puzzles were fairly simplistic and therefore harmed the game's potential, but for those looking for a simplistic, visually impressive adventure, Nyamyam'sTengamiprovides an enjoyable experience.
There's a lot to love aboutZ.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilman's name; not only does it help the game place above all of the other 9.7 entries purely because it starts with the letter Z, but "Darkdeath Evilman" is surely the greatest villain name of all time.
Released exclusively on the PlayStation Portable in 2010,Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilmanis a tactical role-playing game that requires the player to complete numerous dungeons to become strong enough to defeat Darkdeath Evilman.
Considering that a 10.0 score would presumably be a perfect, flawless game,Vanillaware should feel proud that they are just a couple of points away.
GrimGrimoireis a story-driven real-time strategy game that follows a trainee witch whose school is continuously being attacked. The game was a disappointmentcommercially, though it did directly influence Vanillaware's recent adventure-RTS game13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, which has been far more successful.GrimGrimoire's Metascore falls some way short of its eye-wateringuser scorebut is still respectable at 79.
NEXT:Every Battlefield Game, Ranked According To Metacritic
Next 10 Story-Heavy Games To Play If You Love The Witcher Trilogy
A gamer since the age of 3, Jack is knowledgeable about virtually every genre of video game under the sun. He has a soft spot for platformers and collectathons though, and still hasn't given up hope of them making a serious resurgence! Feel free to follow his newly created Twitter account @JackPursey
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