Reviewing games can be a tricky task. For one thing there is the audience to consider. Should you explain everything in minute detail as if this was their first game? For example, in the case of Destiny 2 is it fair to assume most people know what they’re getting into? To me, even if a game is the worst thing imaginable I like to not be too vicious. That’s not to say I won’t be critical. If a game is bad I’ll let you know. What I mean is I won’t go so low as to insult the developers’ intelligence, or anything like that. There’s a way to critique games without coming across as a bitter, angry gamer.
That said, we’re all human. We get upset and succumb to being mean sometimes. People actually love seeing a train wreck. It’s fun to be over the top critical sometimes for a laugh. You just have to know where to draw the line. Anyway with that out of the way just know that it’s hard to review stuff. I know, I know. It may not seem difficult, but if you get into the business you’ll learn to look at games in a new light. One thing we can mostly agree on is this. These thirty games are all pretty much perfect, but technically not good enough for an aggregate of 100. Do you agree, or disagree. Let’s analyze the Metacritic facts.
30 God Of War (PS4 94)
The reboot, sequel, whatever of God of War on PS4 is tied with the original game, but for me, this new game is the best in the series. While Kratos is still a grumpy Gus, he is at least trying to be better. It makes for a much more interesting journey than the rest of his endeavors. For many reasons, this will be winning one (if not many) Game of the Year awards from publications at the end of the year.
29 Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3 98)
Every single Grand Theft Auto game is ranked highly. It’s consistently one of the highest rated series in the biz. That said, slightly above all others is GTA IV. Only by one point from GTA V. At the time, it was revolutionary and proved what open-world games could be on the PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware. I think minds have changed since, but maybe that’s just me. Again, no one can discount how big of a hit this was at the time.
28 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3 96)
If you’ve never played one of these this is your jumping on point. While there is a backstory to each game, like the Indiana Jones films, it’s also self-contained. While this is based on the PS3 version, the PS4 collection is the way to go. I can only surmise the score has been lowered because the first and third games have some issues. The game's incredible presentation catapulted cinematic video games to a whole new level.
27 Final Fantasy IX (PS1 94)
It might be hard to believe, but the highest rated Final Fantasy is IX. Well, dating back as far back as the PS1 at least. If this included the Super Nintendo I bet Final Fantasy VI would beat it. That being said, there’s something magical about IX “winning,” since it is a sendoff to the classic setting. The game still looks great on PS1, which is a testament to the console’s power.
26 Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night (PS1 93)
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night can be thanked for helping kickstart the Metroidvania craze. It has a lot worth praising. While I think other Castlevania games do it better (like Dawn of Sorrow), according to Metacritic this is the best and it’s hard to argue against it. There’s something so mesmerizing about the exploration and gameplay loop that five minutes can turn into five hours easily. You can’t go wrong with starting out with Symphony of the Night.
25 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3 92)
Skyrim debuted in 2011. You know a game is good when people are still playing it seven years later and the parent company, Bethesda, is continuing to release new versions of it on a multitude of consoles.
How many times have you happily bought this game?
Technically, the highest rated game in the series is this one, but specifically the Xbox 360 version. In fact, if you go down the list the PS3 version is the sixth one down, but that’s still the first entry for PlayStation. Of course, everythign bogging down that version of the game has been fixed in future PlayStation iterations.
24 Resident Evil 4 (PS2 96)
Just as a clarification, Resident Evil 4 received the same score on GameCube. Also in terms of where the series’ rank on Metacritic, Resident Evil 4 occupies the first three slots with the third being the Wii version. I, uh, don’t know about that. Those that reviewed with motion controls must have been under the influence. That aside, this game is amazing. Remarkably, it still holds up today.
23 Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty (PS2 96)
Sons of Liberty is pretty divisive among the fans. The only real gripe people complain about is Raiden taking over for Snake. In the end, the game is still great, so as much as people were disappointed at first, the tide of frustration has largely settled.
That Tanker level still holds up wonderful — it’s so good! Metal Gear Solid 2 was truly ahead of its time in a lot of ways, and Hideo Kojima managed to keep that going for most of the franchise.
22 Red Dead Redemption (PS3 95)
My actual favorite Grand Theft Auto game is Red Dead Redemption. Yes, it’s not technically part of the franchise, but there’s something so invigorating and gritty about the Wild West.
I’m nervous about the sequel since the original is so beloved in my heart, but whether it holds up to my expectations, or not, I’ll always have this to go back to. (Psst... Please rerelase the original on PS4!)
21 Bloodborne (PS4 92)
While it’s not technically part of the Souls series, it’s close enough and with that said it is the highest rated game in the franchise. It’s like Castlevania meets Dark Souls. Needless to say, everyone is waiting with baited breath for a follow-up, but with Activision publishing From Software's next title, whose to say if we'll ever get a sequel to Bloodborne.
20 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4 92)
Despite its start as a scrappy, niche PC release, The Witcher has become a mega-franchise whose console presence is as impressive as the PC release. With an incredible open-world (and sterling DLC), no one can argue that The Witcher has changed the modern gaming landscape with its position that single-player games are worth paying for. Of course, we're all excited to see what the studio does with Cyberpunk 2077.
19 BioShock (PS3 94)
BioShock Infinite is tied with the original and I was torn which one to highlight on here. I like the story of BioShock Infinite, but there’s something so eerie about that original landscape. So I factored in other platforms into the equation.
Above the PS3 version of BioShock were the PC and Xbox 360 editions, which were tied at 96. So, with that in mind, I had to go with the original game that started it all.
18 Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3 94)
Like my issue with BioShock, I had a hard time deciding between what the best Call of Duty should be listed — both it and its sequel are tied at 94. Of course, Modern Warfare 2 was among the biggest entertainment releases of the era, debuting in 2009 and rocketing the franchsie forward in popularity. It's no surprise to see it listed this high on our list.
17 Mass Effect 2 (PS3 94)
Because I didn’t get an Xbox 360, I couldn’t play Mass Effect until a port of the second game came to the PS3. That was my first experience with the series, which felt like a great place to begin. It’s the dark middle chapter akin to The Empire Strikes Back. That’s right. I went there with that comparison and why shouldn’t I? Forget sequels; let’s just get this ported to the current consoles. Let’s cross our fingers for the Mass Effect trilogy on Switch!
16 The Last Of Us Remastered (PS4 95)
The Last of Us Remastered is tied with the original PS3 version, but since the remaster is a better deal as it includes the Left Behind DLC, I decided to highlight that version.
I still think Uncharted 2 is Naughty Dog’s best game, but dang is The Last of Us beautiful. It may not be as adventurous, but it’s a harrowing tale that put a spin on the zombie genre and worked. Not to mention its breathtaking ending that is among the best in video game history.
15 Street Fighter IV (PS3 94)
The fighting game genre was alive and well during the 16-bit generation all the way through the PS2. Then it sort of went stagnant for a while. It was like the genre dried up. That is until Street Fight IV launched in 2009 and rejuvenated everything just like Street Fighter II did back in the 90s. With its numerous expansions and patches, this is not only considering the best in the series, but one of the finest fighting game ever.
14 Batman: Arkham City (PS3 96)
This is the highest rated in the Arkham video game series and I couldn’t agree more. Batman Arkham Asylum was a great concept; proving licensed based Batman games could be good. This sequel took things further like all number twos should and thankfully it succeeded in nearly every measure. The one thing I was never sold on was the Riddler puzzles. That is one aggravating side quest. I guess that and maybe the way it ends, but overall it’s still awesome.
13 Persona 4 Golden (PS Vita 93)
Here’s another funny Metacritic tie. Persona 5 and Persona 4 Golden are both at 93. While they are both indeed excellent I had to favor the Vita game — it may be a port, but it is a fantastic port of a brilliant game. Persona 4 solidified the franchise as a stylish and charismatic one. Persona 4 tells an epic story in unexpected places, and nails all of its aesthetic choices. It is unequivocally one of the best JRPGs ever made.
12 Journey (PS4 92)
The original PS3 version and this PS4 edition share the same score, and beautiful art direction (the score highlighted here is the PS4 version). It doesn’t matter which game you play because they’re exactly the same. It’s only two hours. Come on. Every gamer needs to play Journey. It’s more than a game. It may be corny to say, but it’s an experience. To say anything about the game would, well, ruin the journey. Ba dum tss! Thanks, you’ve been a great audience.
11 Undertale (PS4 92)
As of now Undertale is available on PS4, PS Vita, and PC. The PC and PS4 version occupy the same rating of 94. Not that weird considering my other entries on this list. Here’s the weird factoid. There’s only one official review for the PS Vita version via Gaming Age. Didn’t anyone play it on there? It’s been over a year now. That’s where I played it (uh, for the second time I should clarify). Like Journey, Undertake is kind of just something you need to experience.
10 Shadow Of The Colossus (PS4 91)
Technically the PS3 version is the highest, but that’s a collection that includes Ico too so I’m not including its score. Also, the PS2 and PS4 version are tied, but due to the improvements, if you have to play this game, make it the PS4 version.
Even a decade later it remains a classic. It's both breathtaking and a *ahem* colossal amount of fun.
9 Flower (PS4 91)
Flower is another strange example where the original platform, PS3, is “inferior” at 87. It’s only off by four points, but it is interesting to note. Here’s another intriguing bit. The PS4 version was averaged only between eleven reviews while the previous platform had a staggering fifty-seven, which I think is the more impressive aggregate. It may not be as groundbreaking as Journey. Still, Flower dared players to try something new.
8 LittleBigPlanet (PS3 95)
The LittleBigPlanet franchise is one example of a series with diminishing returns, according to Metacritic. It’s not quite exact, but the reviews go down in order of release. Again, I say that with an emphasis on almost. I can get behind a lot of the criticism such as the difficulty, floaty controls, and clunky building mechanics. That said, it’s hard not to smile (alone or with friends) when you play. The second game is my favorite just as an FYI.
7 Tekken 3 (PS1 96)
There is only one PS1 fighting game I sunk massive time into and that was Tekken 3. I don’t even know how it got in our house — but it was a delight.
Tekken 3 boasted and impressive roster and —at the time— state of the art graphics. I was a fighting game tour-de-force, and it still holds up surprisingly well today. It's my pleasure to say that the latest Tekken game continues the franchise's superb legacy.
6 Vagrant Story (PS1 92)
It continues to be baffling why Square Enix hasn’t made a Vagrant Story sequel. Technically, it does share a universe with Final Fantasy, as it takes place in Ivalice, but still. There have been plenty of Ivalice sequels, but they’ve all been Final Fantasy related. This was such a good PS1 RPG and while it is confusing mechanically at first, you’ll get used to it over time. At least you can still buy the game easily on PSN. It’s never too late!
5 Portal 2 (PS3 95)
I’m actually a bit surprised by this. I thought the original was reviewed better in terms of its regard, but I guess I was wrong. It’s one of those things where the highs of Portal can never be replicated. That said the sequel is much more fleshed out in terms of mechanics and story. It turned an amazing puzzle game into a harrowing adventure. While it may not have as catchy of an end tune, its finale is beyond this world.
4 Devil May Cry (PS2 94)
Did you know Devil May Cry was a Resident Evil prototype? It’s true! This is far from my favorite in the franchise (which is the DmC reboot that sits at a pitiful 85 on PS3), but it was a revelation at the time. Obviously, the original made a bigger impact than almost any character action game ever — games like God of War, Bayonetta, and Ninja Gaiden (xbox) almost certainly wouldn't exist without the success of the original Devil May Cry.
3 Okami (PS2 93)
Speaking of fresh Capcom ideas on PS2, let’s talk about Okami. While it pains me to say, it’s only gotten a dismal DS sequel and not something full-fledged on the console side. I’m at least happy to see it keep getting re-released so people who missed it the first time on PS2 can give it a shot. Its newest form just arrived on Switch, which might be the best version yet. It's a triumphant Zelda-clone that shouldn't be missed.
2 Soulcalibur II (PS2 92)
The PlayStation version of the Soulcalibur II may not be the best rated of the console iterations (with that honor falling to the GameCube version because of Link’s cameo), but it’s still one heck of a fighter. Soulcalibur II is still remembered fondly — and for good reason! While technically the third game in the franchise, SoulCalibur II was a lot of people's first outing — and it was a remarkably strong one.
1 Chrono Cross (PS1 94)
Out of every entry, I think Chrono Cross would be received the most poorly if re-reviewed today. It was marketed as the sequel to one of the best games of all time, a genuine 100 in my book: Chrono Trigger. It is nothing like its predecessor, but it’s not bad either.
Give us Chrono Break!
I think it got a lot of the praise for the hopeful connection and journalists perhaps saw it through rose tinted glasses because of this fact. It remains a solid PS1 RPG, but a 94 aggregate is a bit too high.