To satisfy a particular curiosity of mine, I decided to look into the top rated games of 2013 on Metacritic. The ones you’d expect were accounted for: Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us, and BioShock Infinite.
But there are some surprises on that list. For example, DEVICE 6, Skulls of the Shogun, and Papa Sangre II, all iOS games, made the top ten (that’s the top ten if you don’t count any titles twice, as Metacritic separates games by platform and will count GTA V for PS3 separately from GTA V for Xbox 360). I haven’t played any of those games, so I can’t comment on their quality, but it’s strange to see them so highly praised when they didn’t receive the sort of fanfare of the other titles I’ve mentioned.
But perhaps the biggest surprise is that Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection was one of the highest rated games of the year.
I’m going to point out that this isn’t about sales figures, as that has nothing to do with what Metacritic measures; it’s about the scores that reviewers doled out.
Now, I absolutely adore the Metal Gear games, and I did purchase The Legacy Collection myself, but it’s not even a new game. It’s a collection of old games. In fact, this collection was already released before, though with a couple noticeable missing pieces.
Yes, it’s super cool having all of the Metal Gear Solid games in one package. It comes with a great looking art book and looks amazing on my shelf.
But hundreds of games came out in 2013 — games that seriously pushed the boundaries of the medium — and this re-release of a remake is still one of the highest rated games of the entire year.
It’s a tricky conundrum. The MGS games are genuinely some of the best to grace our consoles, and this was the definitive collection of the series. But where are the other great games? Has gaming really stagnated so much that a re-release can stand among the ten highest rated games of the entire year?
I ask this question because I genuinely don’t have an answer.