GAMINGbible’s Review Scores: A Very Simple Guide To Our Numbers
Hello. You might have noticed that GAMINGbible publishes game reviews these days. It's not something we used to do, but our colleagues at UNILAD Gaming certainly did. And when we merged the teams in the summer, we wanted to continue the brilliant reviews coverage they'd been running.
We've carried over UNILAD Gaming's system of scoring games out of 10 - a fairly common method. No decimal points, just a scale from 1 (being, well, broken) to 10 (meaning video gaming has basically peaked and we can all quit, now). But just so that we're all on the same page, we wanted to be clear on what these scores actually mean.
It's also worth noting that we don't come to this without knowhow and knowledge - the GAMINGbible team numbers eight individuals with decades of experience between them. Staffers here have previously worked full-time at and contributed to the likes of Wired, Edge, Eurogamer, Kotaku, PCGamesN, VICE/Waypoint, the BBC, Nintendo Life, Official PlayStation Magazine, gamesTM and many more. We know what we're talking about when it comes to video games.
And, in case it's not obvious, our reviews are (usually) written by one person. Others in our team may rate a title higher or lower than the reviewer has. That's natural, and it's why you might find pieces here that are more favourable than our scored write-up suggests. We all like games. We love them! And we all have our favourites - even if someone else on the team thinks they're barely above average.
Our scores, then:
This game loads, but beyond that is so fundamentally broken that it cannot be played in any meaningful way.
This game works, sure, but is so offensively bad to us that we'd rather it didn't.
See 2/10 but the game is marginally less offensively bad. Maybe it has nice music or something.
We're getting somewhere - the game's playable from start to finish and not a total trainwreck, but so blighted by shortcomings, be they by design or bugs/glitches, that it dips below what we consider an average experience.
This is it, your average gaming experience. It's fine. It works. You press buttons and things happen. There might be a story to the game that at least makes some sense. What's promised in the pitch actually appears on screen. Some people are going to enjoy it, if the game in question is in their genre of choice. Not irredeemable by any means. Probably worth a rental, if such services exist in 2019.
Oh hey, this is a good game. It's often fun, sometimes a bit broken or, y'know, not-so-much-fun. Most of what it does, it does well - but it's also a lot of what we've seen before. There's no real spark of ingenuity here, nothing to really make this game stand apart from many others like it. If there were bold statements made about the game, it could be that they're not backed up by what's actually come out. The disparate pieces don't quite click together as they should. There's a good chance a bunch of people will still have fun with a game like this, but when the credits roll, will they feel satisfied? The answers are a mixed bag.
Woah, slow down there, video games. You're getting damn decent, now. Here's where extra polish is coming through, where the small details are refined, and the game in question pretty much plays like a dream. Again, it's not the most original thing ever, but it's engrossing, compelling, and when you turn it off at night you're probably still thinking about it the next morning. A 7/10 video game could well be GOTY material in and of the moment, and in the hands of the right person; but when the bigger picture is looked at, it's the kind of title that'll slip down the rankings pretty quickly.
Okay, so now we're really talking about GOTY contenders. Sure, there are some imperfections here, a few things that bug us. But for the most part? This game is hot, and you need it. It's going to deliver all the bang you could ever want for your buck, and some. And yeah, there might be some generic elements at play, but they're not there to the detriment of the whole. Ergo, this game bangs.
This is a rare club. Genre-defining games live here. Games that change how we think about play, how we perceive long-running series, and that lead us down wonderful paths of excitement for what can follow in their wake. These are the trend-setters, not the hype trains. These are the games that don't just get into our head and our hearts, but our blood and guts, too. They're the ones we'll be talking about as essential decades from now. We're talking Breath of the Wild and The Last of Us, Final Fantasy VII and Chrono Trigger, Super Mario 64 and Halo: Combat Evolved. Minecraft, Street Fighter II and The Witcher 3. We can't imagine video games without these video games.
How does one even begin to declare a game perfect? When we know, we'll let you know. What's very clear, however, is that some games in that 9/10 category could well sit here - it all depends on the reviewer in question. Don't expect to see a 10/10 score appear too often on these pages, though, if ever.
Read some of our 2019 video game reviews:
Pokémon Sword & Shield (7/10)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (6/10)
Need For Speed Heat (7/10)
Luigi's Mansion 3 (9/10)
Sayonara Wild Hearts (8/10)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (7/10 campaign, 9/10 multiplayer)
Death Stranding (6/10)
The Outer Worlds (7/10)
The Stretchers (8/10)
Code Vein (7/10)
Concrete Genie (8/10)
Astral Chain (8/10)
Untitled Goose Game (9/10)
Featured Image Credit: Nintendo