2015 has been a painful year for Nintendo fans. While we have had some major hits, such as Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, overall, Nintendo’s lineup has been fairly lackluster. Just looking at recent reviews, titles such as Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, and Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash have fallen flat, generally getting poor to mixed reviews. In fact, Nintendo’s average score per game has fallen to its lowest point in a decade!
If we’re only looking at the quantity of games that have received a Metacritic score, Nintendo is scraping by with its second smallest lineup in ten years, releasing a total of 27 titles. This barely beats out 2008, which saw 25 total games receive scores on Metacritic. Having a small lineup isn’t itself an indicator of average quality, however. Of these 27 titles, Nintendo has received an average critic rating of 69.8, compared to the next highest year, which has an average of 72.77 across 35 titles. This score was calculated by adding the average critic score for each game that has one, then dividing by the total number of games with scores.
There isn’t any hope for Nintendo to bring this average up either. There are two games on Nintendo’s lineup that have yet to receive a Metacritic score, with those being
Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon and Xenoblade Chronicles X. Even if by some unlikely chance both of these games get a 100, the new average would be sitting at a 71.97, still less than the next highest year.
So how does this number stack up against Microsoft and Sony? Unfortunately, Nintendo doesn’t hold a candle to their scores. Sony is currently sitting at a 76.06 across 16 games, while Microsoft holds an 80.82 across 11 titles. While this doesn’t look great, what’s important to remember is that we have to determine the quality of games for ourselves. These numbers are strictly based on the average critic score for each game. Often, there is a decent discrepancy between different critics, and even between critics and gamers, so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how good/poor a game is.
Have Nintendo games declined in quality this year, or do the critics have it wrong? Let us know what you think in the comments below!