Your thoughts on numerical ratings

Ando85

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Apr 27, 2011
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As I grew up buying and playing games I would always read reviews and put a lot of emphasis on the numerical score. If a game got a horrible rating, I probably wouldn't even bother reading the actual review.

However, in recent years this has changed for me and thankfully it did. I've enjoyed countless games with less than stellar number ratings over the past years.

The numbers just seem extremely arbitrary. What made me think of this is trying to decide what I would give my favorite game of all time, Xenogears if I had to give it a number score. No, it isn't a 10. The game is phenomenal yes, but it has some issues and problems. I might give it a 9.0 or maybe a 9.2 if I was feeling generous.

The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time got perfect 10 ratings and I agree with them. Then I realized that despite me scoring a game 10/10 it is still not my favorite game of all time. My favorite scored lower. How is this possible? I believe the reason is because certain elements of Xenogears such as the story are so phenomenal that flaws in the game can be easily overlooked.

The whole system is flawed. Also, if something is rated 10, then something better comes along it just makes the numerical ratings seem off.
 

darth jacen

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Jul 15, 2009
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I think numerical ratings help accessibility for the mass market people are aiming for to see their reviews, however, I dislike using them on the principal that it lowers the number of people reading the review, which has the actual context for the score.
 

CrankyStorming

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Mar 8, 2010
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A review score should never have a higher range than 5. This way, it can range from bad to okay, to decent, to great, to exceptional or what ever words they use. On the scale of 1 to 10, is there honestly a tangeable difference between a 6 and a 7?
 

Dandark

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Sep 2, 2011
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The numerical rating system doesn't really work anymore. Especially since everybody thinks that every game that was somewhat decent needs a 9.
 

SarcasmoPope

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Dec 22, 2010
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Even if you broke down numerical score into multiple segments so that each aspect of the game was accounted for to create an overall score, it would still be based on opinion whether storytelling gets a 7 rather than an 8 etc.

If I wrote a review I would just tell people what the game is without being deliberately biased and letting people decide if it's worth getting.
 

Erttheking

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Apr 23, 2020
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I don't see the big deal, it's THEIR opinion and 10/10 isn't supposed to be "perfect" it's more "Everything I expected this game to do, and the flaws that are there do not detract from it". I swear IGN is turning into the new COD, it's the popular thing just to jump on it and bash away. I find these reveiws to be very helpful and if are is some flaws, it's with the people running the system, not the system itself.
 

everythingbeeps

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Sep 30, 2011
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Numerical reviews are fine if you use reviews correctly: that is, you find one or two publications you trust, ones you find yourself agreeing with more often than not. For instance, I've found that Game Informers reviews generally align with my own feelings about most games. Thus, if they say a certain new game sucks or is good, I feel like I can trust that my own feelings will more likely than not be similar. The actual review "score" is really just a way to quickly grab my attention before I read the review or not. If it's a 9 or 10, I think "wow, I gotta read why this game's so great." If it's a 5 or less, I think "I gotta read why this game's so bad." If it's a 6-8, I probably won't even bother reading the review, because it'll just be "this game is mediocre-okay-pretty good" and the specifics don't interest me as much.
 

Eve Charm

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Aug 10, 2011
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They work fine, it's just the fanboyism and people paying that made the ratings system out of control. If your using the numbers to see if you should run out and buy a game right away without checking it out much, yes go ahead, 8 or more, buy it.

Why they became bad is because a bunch of fanboys decided to use the numbers to say " my game is the best game EVARSSSS and yours sucks" Then it became " 9.75 your games sucks, X got a 10" followed by the similar whining of how the game got lower or anything else but perfect because that game is better then the other.

So numerical reviews, if you should buy a game or not, good
If your trying to say what the best game ever is, wrong, so wrong.
 

StorytellingIsAMust

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Jun 24, 2011
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Since numbers are objective and reviews are subjective, it seems pretty silly to me to represent a conclusion reached in a subjective review with an objective number. I would prefer games to be classified under the headings "rent it", "buy it", or "skip it". It just makes more sense to me.

Of course, people need to actually read the reviews that go along with the numbered ratings to know just what made the game in question deserve the rating that it got in the eyes of the reviewer, but that's a moot point that should be obvious.
 

Fappy

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I hate numerical ratings for games. I feel movie critics practice better discipline with ratings overall, which why I usually find a movie's numerical score far more reliable than that of a video game's. The context of what is and what isn't a good rating is non-existent these days. If its under an 8 it is bad? What?
 

Phlakes

+15 Dagger of Socks
Mar 25, 2010
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9/10 is a game I'll definitely look into.

7/10 is something I might look at if I have previous interest.

5/10 is something I might look at if I already knew I would get it.

Anything below that I'll probably avoid.

And this is something I can do with one quick look at Metacritic, instead of reading through several reviews.

StorytellingIsAMust said:
Since numbers are objective and reviews are subjective
Nope. Have you seen the zero bombers on any site? Those are some pretty subjective numbers.