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Best Metacritic Scores of 2011

At the end of every year one of my great pleasures is sitting down with a spreadsheet and figuring out what the best of the best in gaming was in the previous year.

This year is no exception, but, lo and behold! Metacritic has actually gone and done all my work for me. Why, it’s almost as though they took one of my old templates and used it for their article!

As in previous years, the PS3 had fewer games than the 360 (253 vs. 261), but those games on average scored better. 12 titles getting a 90% average or better and 13 exclusives scoring 75% or higher. I personally would cut that off at 80%, but that’s just me.

The 360 had the most games released in the year and did just a little worse than the PS3 in terms of quality, 9 titles earning 90% or better and 12 exclusive games scoring higher than 75%. The Wii, as usual, fared the worst – only 69 games released during the year and out of those just 2 managed to score higher than 90% and 4 exclusives better than 75%.

You can view the top 30 Xbox and PS3 games here, sadly the Wii list is limited to a top 10 as they didn’t have 30 good games this year.

What’s surprising is the strength of 3rd party multiplatform games. Out of the 30 Xbox 360 and PS3 top 30 lists, 18 games appear on both lists and it was a very, very good year for non exclusive games rated 90+:

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Portal 2
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
  • FIFA Soccer 12
  • Dead Space 2
  • NBA 2K12

By comparison, the 360 only had two exclusive titles breaking the 90+ barrier:

  • Gears of War 3
  • Forza Motorsport 4

On the PS3 side, 8 multiplatform games went 90%+

  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Portal 2
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
  • NBA 2K12
  • FIFA Soccer 12
  • Mass Effect 2

While four exclusive games scored just as highly (one a bundle of PS2 titles):

  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  • The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection
  • LittleBigPlanet 2
  • MLB 11: The Show

Some surprises based on high profile releases: Killzone 3 just barely made the top 30 for the PS3 with a Metacritic average of 84. With an average of 83, Infamous 2 failed to make the cut as well.

In previous years we would expect that the latest Assassin’s Creed game would have made the list for both the 360 and PS3, not so this year, having scored an 80 average on the 360 and an 81 on the PS3 it just wasn’t good enough this time around.

Dark Souls, the sequel to the PS3 exclusive Demon’s Souls, dropped out of the 90+ bracket, scoring an 89 despite being extremely well loved by fans on the Internet.

As for the Wii, other than The Legend of Zelda, Skyward Sword the year saw no notable releases. A fate that is shared by the PSP – which saw no notable releases at all (!), and the 3DS, where the highest rated games are ports of Nintendo 64 games that are almost a decade old.

2012 is looking to shape up better with the release of two new hardware platforms, the Wii U and the PlayStation Vita. Let’s hope the new year rings in with more games and better games and, um, “more better” games!

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