Inspired by Edge Online’s study I gathered data comparing Metacritic scores across the current three consoles: PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 to compare the number of games lauded and loathed by critics.
Games are arranged into four groups. “Great” is defined as a game with an aggregate review score of 85 or greater. “Good” is for games that fall between 84 and 70. “Mixed” games include titles with differing opinions and average reviews. Scores in the range of 69-50 are classified as “mixed”. Finally, games with a score lower than 49 are considered “awful” with generally unfavorable reviews.
This study includes all games, retail releases and downloadable titles, rated by Metacritic to date.
As seen in the above graph, the Xbox 360 has the highest number of games in the “great” and “good” categories. However, the Xbox 360 also has the greatest number of total games. The next graph takes this factor in consideration.
Let’s look at the data a different way to analyze the spectrum of a console’s library. Since the number of games on each console varies this graph looks at the percent of titles (i.e. number of games in a category divided by total games) that fall into each category. In this case if you were to pick a random game from the PlayStation 3’s library there is a 60% chance critics would be rank it “good” or higher.
The Nintendo DS and PSP have been on the market longer than any of the consoles, but few handheld games fall into the “great” category. The majority of the games, nearly half of all released titles, are in the mixed category. Compared to today’s console games this is a significant margin. Are critics too demanding on handheld games?
For a frame of reference, this set of graphs depict last generation’s consoles using the same comparison rules. The PlayStation 2 has triple the number of Gamecube games and nearly double the amount of Xbox titles. Unfortunately, not all of the software is up to par. The PS2 has the smallest percentage of games in the “great” category, but there are over 150 of them which is significantly more than any of the other consoles.