When it comes to review scores, I feel like they can still be helpful in conveying a writer’s thoughts on a game. However, I think the problem with review scores, in general, is that there are multiple ways to interpret them. So with no universally used scoring system, everyone begins to form their own ideas on what score is generally good and what score is generally bad. Lots of sites tend to have an explanation post on what their scores mean in order to help the reader better understand them, which is why I feel the need to type this.
The review system I opted for is a simple 5-star system that represents the author’s overall enjoyment with a game. 1-star being awful or close to unplayable, and 5-stars being awesome. Getting a 5/5 doesn’t particularly mean the game is perfect, it just means the author had a very enjoyable time with the game and feels like the overall quality of the game is near perfect. Simply put, an enjoyable game experience with hardly any problems in quality will most likely net a 5/5 rating. An enjoyable game with a few problems or turn-offs that may draw many people away will get a 3 or 4.
For example, I love the Shenmue games. They are definitely on my list of all-time favorite games. However, I know they are games with their share of problems. So I will probably rate the games a 4/5. If the problems found aren’t exactly too drastic or really taking away much from the overall experience, then a problematic game just might net a 5/5.
Hopefully this isn’t confusing, but I’ll try to chart it out below.
1 – Awful/Nearly unplayable
2 – Bad
3 – Okay
4 – Great
5 – Excellent
*No 0/5 rating, since I feel like zero represents an unfinished game, so there would be no reason really to review an incomplete product.
Simply put, don’t think of the 5/5 rating as being completely perfect. A 5/5 won’t be a rare occurrence or some mystical thing that only happens when certain conditions are met. It just means that the game is very enjoyable with hardly any issues and the author highly encourages everyone to check it out.