Back in 2011, Metacritic started doing an annual ranking for video game companies; publishers are categorized according to the number of releases for the year and judged by overall Metacritic scores. Also, sales and user reviews aren't taken into account for the overall rankings, so only reviews from authorised media outlets are counted. Last year Nintendo made the top 5, coming in at number 4; this year it's pulled ahead to the coveted number one spot, seeing off its closest rivals in Ubisoft and Electronic Arts.
For Nintendo, the best rated overall release was, unsurprisingly, Super Smash Bros. For Wii U., while Bravely Default took Best New Original Title (as it was released in early 2014 in North America and wasn't part of an existing series). Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder was Worst Overall Release and the winner of Users' Favourite was a three-way tie between Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, and Mario Kart 8. Nintendo released more unique titles than any other publisher and was the only one to make the 'green' bracket, with an average Metascore of 76.5 just clearing the cutoff.
Metacritic has also released some other sets of data outlining the most popular games along with the best and worst performers on each platform - hit up the link below to read the full breakdown.
What do you think of these results? Were you pleased with Nintendo's output over the last year? Sound off in the comments below.
Very good news!
This year looks to be even better in this regard! Just look at the potential of all their games coming.
Hopefully nintendo will Win 2015 aswell.
Well it's about damn time. The past few years have seen them regularly bested by EA, Ubisoft, and Take Two.
Granted, that's among "major" publishers. They're average is still lower than Telltale, Paradox, and Capcom. Weird that Take Two is considered a mid-level publisher this year. They publish the 2K sports games and GTA.
At least this shows that nintendo still knows how to make good games. Hopefully the trend continues this year.
Seriously Ubisoft and EA came close?
Calling Bravely Default an 'original game' is kinda cheating.
How is it not totally a Final Fantasy title?
Good job Nintendo!
Move over, EA and Ubisoft. Here comes someone who knows how to make good games on a regular basis.
Quality stuff from big N last year. 2015 will be excellent as well. If quality=sales, the WiiU would be flying off the shelves.
I find it odd that Take Two is considered mid-sized considering they were number one last year. Apparently it has to do with the number of games released, so I guess it barely reached the minimum before.
Great news for Nintendo, though.
Well! All I can say as somebody who has now sold his PS4 and XO (I do miss Titanfall however) due to continued disappointing gaming moments and unforgivable issues.... well done Nintendo! Honestly I'm no fan boy, but nothing on PS4 or XO gave me the joy that simply firing up MK8 does. They aren't missed. 😉
Excellent. Well-deserved, as well. Now, if only Nintendo could muster up some sales.
I think it was due to both how well Nintendo did and how poorly everyone has handled the transition to the current gen.
Continuity... thats nintendos thing. Always has with a few bits and misses. Better imo than the quickfire kill and quit by ea and ubisoft among others. Activision and take two arent betrer in my book.
The first year of a new generation is always the roughest. Nintendo really should've come out on top this year as they had a year of time invested in the Wii U by the start.
This year looks like it's going to be pretty incredible for MS and Sony, and if the increasingly hot rumors of Fallout 4 are true... well, FALLOUT 4!
You might want to watch your words in proclaiming Nintendo as somehow better than these companies.
In 2013, EA, Sony, and Microsoft were above Nintendo.
In 2014, Take Two, EA, and Ubisoft were above Nintendo.
Your little opinion that Take Two and Activision aren't "betrer" means nothing when the industry says otherwise. To that point, it's hypocritical to champion Nintendo coming out on top in this analysis when it serves your tastes, but to dismiss the very same analysis and the companies that score higher any other year.
That's like befriending someone because they agreed with you one day, and calling them an enemy for disagreeing with you the next.
You got rid of them before they even reached their prime? What an odd thing to do. You're going to end up buying one of them again later.
I hope Nintendo can keep this up in 2015!
It was good to see credit given where it's due. 2014 was an absolute mess of a year for the game industry, but Nintendo was a bright light in the dark. It'll be interesting to see how they hold up this year, with the industry looking to bring its A-game this time around.
oh wow yay now everything is much much better /sarcasm>
Nobody cares about what some overpaid nerds say about a company or game anymore.
@Quorthon Ha! Very probably.... I had my PS4 since last March and my XO since May. Really I just got sick of the same old experiences, TLOU remastered was lovely, but I soon realised I'd played it to death before.... XO was great for Titanfall but as a huge Halo fan the MCC really annoyed me in it's brokenness. And Halo 4's frame rate was dreadful. My Wii U on the other hand has never disappointed me really. But yeah; no doubt E3 will roll around in May and I'll end up with either again!
Calm down bro they are just expressing their opinion. You like the X1 and PS4 fine, don't act belligerent about it.
Great work, Nintendo! I wonder if I contributed to that in anyway. I just recently got a Metacritic account and was rating Nintendo games pretty highly. Most of the scores I gave them were either a 9 or 10.
I still own my PS4 and Xbox One, but truth is I only play them on rare occasions now it seems. At first I was really excited for them and all the games (don't get me wrong, there are some great games on those systems and some very good ones on the way) but Idk what it is- I'm just not that interested in 3rd party AAA anymore. I think it's the monotony of mature, gritty realism and the common gameplay blueprints. One game just seems to bleed into the next. Now, I did love Dragon Age Inquisition- insta-classic imo, but the honest truth is I'm sucked into Fire Emblem (GBA) on Wii U more than I was EVER sucked into Dragon Age. How messed up is that? I get just as much enjoyment from VC titles as multi-million dollar AAA lol.
Aside from The Witcher 3 and the two Final Fantasy games on the way, there's not much I'm excited for in 2015 for Xbox and PS. As for Batman Arkham Knight, I'm not too hyped- Arkham City was a brilliant masterpiece judging by individual merits, but as a whole the game just lost my interest after a few hours, just like Far Cry 4 did, and Shadow of Mordor, and Wolfenstein, and GTAV, and Assassin's Creed "take your pick", etc...).
Now, I'm of the mind that a console is worth owning for even just one good game a year. So I definitely don't regret buying them, not at all. It's just that for all the games they get, it's ironic I find most of my enjoyment on Wii U and 3DS.
@Lukey64000 Titanfall is on PC, Origin gives you 48 hours for free.
I haven't sold my XO yet, but it's tempting to see if Australian consumer laws allow a full refund considering it has faults that they won't fix.
Ubisoft's number 1 game was Rayman Legends, a game that sold best and rated best on Wii U. Personally I'm not fussed it was made a mulitplat game as otherwise Ubi probably would have made a loss on what I consider probably the best platformer not made by Nintendo.
Ouch, Take Two released just 7 games last year. 7.
@MadAdam81 Speaking of refunds; tried to get one for Halo MCC as bought digitally. Is a broken farce, they said no. Wasn't impressed..... 😒
@Lukey64000 If you are Australian you can point to the Australian law that says they have to fix or replace with a working one or refund. If you are not Austraian you should ask a consumer law expert in your country.
I'm having my own problems with MS at the moment - I got a $20 promotional Xbox credit voucher that had a secret expiry date and they are refusing to replace it. I'm going to have to go through the ACCC I think.
Go Big N! Not surprising considering Nintendo's consistent excellence. Its not often a first party game from them gets below an 8 on Metacritic. Still makes me happy to see them recognized for their efforts!
Nintendo definitely won 2014. Let's hope they continue their greatness this year and for many more.
Nintendo! Nintendo! Nintendo! ;D
I think anyone who criticises Nintendo for relying upon spinning out sequels for revenue has a totally valued point as do critics dismissing each new franchise iteration as a retread of things we've seen before, but Nintendo does two very important things that differentiate them from the likes of EA, Activision and Ubisoft:
1. They don't do annual or even semi-annual franchise entries so they keep their core franchises feeling fresh (you can debate whether spin-offs count as separate)
2. They know what they're doing and rarely have a misstep when it comes to execution - they make a quality game.
So yes, there have been 8 Mario Kart games, but you're only getting one per console and you know it's going to be good. On the way they publish other titles some of which are a bit off-beat for them so it's not like they don't step outside their comfort zone.
Back in the N64 days I had no regard for Nintendo, but after taking the plunge with the Wii and immersing myself in their games even more with the Wii U I've come to appreciate what they do in terms of design and fan service - they know their audience and they give them what they want without cutting corners. They have well and truly made me a fan over the past eight years so my hat's off to them!
I don't really get into the whole 'who's winning' crap that tends to dominate forums. What I took away from reading this, is the interesting fact that Metacritic dropped its amount of games, to qualify as a large publisher. Granted it was only by 1 game, but 1 game could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the publisher. It's something I've been seeing for a while now - that big budget games, with the quality that's become expected, are getting bigger and taking longer to develop. It's a trend I see not only continuing, but also becoming more prevalent. Just look at how many 'big' games were delayed in 2014 into 2015. I don't think those delays will be an isolated incident due to developing for new hardware. I think publishers will adjust the expected time frame of big budget releases.
Interestingly, I saw the remasters of both GTA5 and The Last of Us as a sort of testing ground for both of those developers to see what developing for the PS4XB1 was like, how long it could take, and what the system could handle etc. learning invaluable knowledge for their future heavy hitters. I would put money on there being only be 1 original GTA game this gen, and Naughty Dog having half of their 3 Uncharted's + Last of Us production.
@JaxonH I fell into this boat a while back. I had a 360 for about a year, played all the games I wanted and then eventually got bored with everything. Everything sort of just meshed together in this bizarre super-gritty blahness. By the end, I was playing Fez and Scott Pilgrim, and nothing else.
Sold everything in 2013 and bought a Wii U with the money. I haven't looked back since. Maybe it's just me getting older or what, but I deal with enough depressing realism every day of my life. When I play video games, I want to escape and have some fun. I won't deny that everything else is good, but it's just not for me anymore.
To be fair, Nintendo averages 3~5 games per year with Mario on the cover and they have a clear goal to feature a full-priced and/or physical Zelda-themed game almost every single year, and since 1998, there have only been about 3 years without something of Zelda at retail. They make it easy to do this by porting and remaking Zelda games and having internal "B-teams" churning our portable installments faster than they can do console games.
I took the liberty, or rather errand, of browsing through other sites that covered this very topic and I found that many, and I mean MANY, trolls and fanboils were so butthurt about Metacritic crowning Nintendo the best publisher that their arguments became more redundant than ever, becoming progressively incoherent. All I had to say was this:
You don't get that award by re-releasing titles from the year before. 😋
Such Nintendo dominance... Wow. Really killed Sony and Microsoft there who had dreadful years on their poor consoles. Serious domination. Well done Nintendo!
@Sean_Aaron very true.
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