I was looking at a list the other day of the best games of all time - I was actually looking for the best "shooters" of all time but this kept redirecting me to FPS games, which was not what I was looking for - when I stumbled upon this list that was featured via Metacritic about how these 20 games are the "best of all time."
I have long kept the opinion that there is a stark difference between critic and user scores for political and back-hander reasons and also because critics are afraid to say anything negative about particular publishers out of fear of retribution and that is the reason why EA and Squaresoft games get really high marks even when they don't deserve them... well by the pro reviewers anyway - the average Joe user doesn't give a damn and this is why in my mind, their opinions mean a lot more to me than the professional, probably paid-off critics.
There are a lot of good titles on their list such as Metroid Prime, Breath of the Wild, and several Mario games of course but a couple of things surprised me about the list. 1) The inclusion of a John Madden Football game and 2) The fact that Tony Hawk Pro Skater has 2 separate titles that made the list.
Don't get the wrong idea, I am not trying to say that Pro Skater 2 and 3 are bad games, I'm not trying to say that at all. Both of these titles were a lot of fun and introduced new elements to the gameplay that made it feel as though it was a different game than the predecessor and not just a cash grab by remaking the previous year's game with slightly updated graphics (I'm looking at you EA Sports!)
I had a lot of fun with all 3 of these as did my friends at the time. I remember trying to get the highest score to beat my pals and think about it ok? This is not something we have done in a long time. High scores have been irrelevant for the most part in gaming since the mid 80's. You play for completion and most games don't even have a score on them. But that was not the case with Tony Hawk. High scores were all of a sudden important again.
These aren't just good games, they are great games... but do they belong on the "best of all time" list? Hell, THPS2 is ranked number 2 of all time with only Ocarina of Time beating it out and we all know that OOT really deserves its spot at the top - what a game!
I have long believed that these rating systems by the "professionals" are rigged and if you were to look at the list you would probably face-palm a bit when you see it. There are zero NES titles on the list at all, Uncharted 2 made the list but there isn't a single Tomb Raider game on it at all even though we all know that the entire Uncharted series is basically Tomb Raider with a dude in the lead role (take that feminists!)
The inclusion of Madden 2001 is a bit intriguing as well because of the fact that while it was a great game, very few people outside of the USA market are even interested in NFL games. It must really irritate a lot of the non USA crowd that Madden made the list, but there isn't a single soccer (football) game on the list at all.
Just like we see on Rotten Tomatoes as far as movies are concerned, I think there is a massive disconnect between critics and actual gamers. If you want proof of this all you have to do is go to the comments section of virtually any game that IGN reviews and see how they get ripped apart in the comments. Some of the comments sections get so vitriolic towards IGN that they deactivate them. I also believe that reviewers are paid off to say nice things about games and this is most evident (for me) in the case of Final Fantasy 7 remake being considered the "Game of the Year" by critics, but has around a 50-60% approval rating by actual gamers.
The critics can't be trusted is what I am trying to say and this list is just another reason to believe that. Who would have thought that "fake news" would extend to gaming? I guess everyone has a price and those critics know that there are certain things that they have to do in order to continue to make money - mostly it appears to be not pissing off the big players in the industry by telling the truth.