Metacritic's annual game publisher rankings have just been published, giving us an insight into how all of the major game publishers performed (on average) in 2022 based on critic reviews.
For the second year in a row, Nintendo missed a top-ten spot. The Big N placed 12th out of 45 companies — a small jump from last year's 14th place — and its average review score is also up from 76.0 to 78.6. Sony topped 2022's rankings, publishing 10 games and scoring an impressive average of 85.6
Nintendo's highest-scoring game of 2022 was Xenoblade Chronicles 3, with an average review score of 89. Two other high scorers were Bayonetta 3, which netted an average of 86, and Splatoon 3, with an average of 83.
Unfortunately, Nintendo's placement may have been let down by disappointing averages from Pokémon Scarlet & Violet (which is the lowest-rated mainline Pokémon game on Metacritic at 72), Nintendo Switch Sports (also averaging 72) and Mario Strikers: Battle League (with an average of 73).
You can find a breakdown of the scoring system over on Metacritic, along with a more detailed rundown of the rankings. In the meantime, here's the full list:
||Red Art Games
||Plug In Digital
||Arc System Works
||No More Robots|
Do the results surprise you? Let us know your thoughts on Metacritic's annual rankings in the comments.
I don't even care with the ranking system.
Ranking system is not a guarantee of a worthy game to play.
It depends on the games and the audiences.
I personally only looking for kids games so I really depend on games by Outright Games, Microids, Team 17 for a lot of upcoming kids games.
They like Sony and SEGA more than Nintendo, begun this console war has...
They published some excellent games last year, especially Xenoblade which is a masterpiece, but also some absolute garbage in Pokemon Scarlet/Violet and Mario Strikers.
I do think it hasn't been a great year for Nintendo this year. Xenoblade was obviously high quality but it didn't click for me this time. and I've only JUST got back into playing the Switch properly after a long hiatus - spurred on by Metroid Prime Remastered, and the new Mario Kart tracks.
Also, FYI, slight typo in the article calling Pokemon Pokemin
Not surprising at all.
Not that I care as always enjoying MK8 and MP remake.
But it does show as I’ve said on here for the last two years. Nintendo in house AAA studios have been to quiet and not up to scratch and probably working on Switch 2 games for release mainly over probably the last three years at least and also their overall studios have nowhere near the numbers of say Sony or Activision etc.
...and Kirby and the Forgotten Land sits at 85 on MC.
Nintendo front loads their system lifecycles despite what they say about supporting their hardware. That said, it is nice we are getting two Zelda’s on Switch, that’s decent
Nintendo focusses on a baseline quality, and some absolute gems in between, but they've always had more of a tendence for quantity instead of quality for their handheld devices. Nintendo published 13 games last year (remember, Nintendo also publishes games such as Live a Live and Triangle Strategy). And for 2023 there are already 10 games set in stone that Nintendo publishes (with games such as Minecraft Legends, Disney Illusion Island and Rain Code).
It's a shame that sometimes a technical or incomplete stinker gets through their nets, such as Pokemon Scarlet / Violet and apparently Mario Strikers (haven't played that one). That's a new thing as far as I can remember. I applaud Nintendo and Microsoft/Bethesda for delaying Zelda and Starfield again with a couple of months for some extra polish.
Sony currently only publishes two or three games a year, and those usually are of an incredible quality.
Wow. Sad. Not for Nintendo, but because Sony gets top spot simply for games like Ragnarok which is just another by the numbers AAA cinematic game.
No wonder, with flops like Mario Strikers, Switch Sports and Pokemon.
This year will be better for sure. For now, no Nintendo game is below 80, Metroid Prime is 95, I don't think Advance Wars and Baten Kaitos will be lower, and Zelda TotK and Pikmin 4 will score pretty high too.
I think their more detailed discussion around why #12 makes a lot of sense especially looking at the competition. I feel like Nintendo got more into theme parks and movies lately though I am counting on new Zelda to knock it out of the park.
@BenAV Yeah, it was a mixed year to be fair. Some great stuff. Kirby and Xenoblade knocked it out of the park. As much as myself and my girlfriend enjoyed the experience of playing through Pokemon there was absolutely no excuse for releasing it in that state and while I loved Three Hopes that also, in some ways, feels unfinished...
@frabbit you haven't heard of the pokemon/pikmin crossover?
Still my top publisher but Nintendo might be losing the mainstream gaze again.
Switch Sports and Mario Strikers both play wonderfully. The criticisms regarding "lack of content" and Nintendo releasing "unfinished games," which seemed to be the main problems cited for both, were comically overblown and more akin to a dog pile than reasoned critiques of the merits of the games.
To each their own, though.
@BenAV Scarlet and Violet are fantastic games though.. underneath some truly horrible bugs.
The story, characters and especially just the gameplay itself was just so much fun. just a shame Gamefreak didn’t have the guts to delay the games so they could polish it more.. but then,
Most developers are like that these days 😒
Still miles better than the 3DS games, even with the glitches
How did Sega get that high??
Not surprising when they keep releasing half finished products to meet certain sales peak deadlines.
Oh no how will they recover
Up two places from 2021, little steps.
The most interesting thing here is that Microsoft were number 1 in 2021, but failed to release 5 games in 2022 so didn't make the list.
This doesn’t mean anything to me.
@Duncanballs don't they publish all the Persona games?
Metric is the rotten tomato’s of gaming don’t Trish their opinion
Trust* … typo but it won’t let me type that shot of message
Nintendo was the best publisher last year, imo. Two fantastic Pokémon titles, Xenoblade 3, Kirby, Splatoon, etc. What an incredible lineup.
I take this list with a huge grain of salt. I mean, Activision was placed at #3. Did they pay for positioning?
@Friendly There may be some physical deals or something, but Nintendo is not publishing Disney Illusion Island or Minecraft Legends. When Nintendo is the sole responsible for the publishing, they add the info at the eShop page. Just check DC Super Hero Girls or Daemon X Machina. Its written "Publisher: Nintendo"
Let's be honest, with the quality of the current reviews and metacritic, this ranking is as relevant as the Oscars. Seeing who took places 2 - 5 is enough proof
Glad I jumped ship to Sony last tear, their line-up has been incredible, while Nintendo keeps dissapointing over and over.
Today Sega beat Nintendo 🤘
@Otoemetry That might be it. I'm never sure with SEGA. I can't think that any of their 1st party offerings developed by them contributed to this placing
Well, can't say i care about metacritic. Whatever. Sony is the number 1 but Returnal is still the only PS5 title that i would like to play... Maybe Ragnarok too.
@dBackLash what would be your comparison between the two game wise?
Did Microsoft not publish anything this year? They came first last year.
@Duncanballs It's bait dude.
Basically last year they published only great titles (Xeno, Kirby, Arceus, Triangle, Splatoon, Bayo, LiveaLive...). The only 3 exception are Scarlet/Violet (that are broken), Mario Strikers (that is a GOOD game, only withouth enough contents) and Switch Sports (good too, but people and reviewer thought it would have been the new Wii Sport Resort instead of the new Wii Sport).
Is anyone concerned by this? Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey are already out, those were the bangers as far as the general population is concerned. The next Zelda and the next Mario will be the next time we see more Nintendo representation on lists like this. Not that they matter.
When I Blizzard rank the 3rd, I know that this ranking means little.
The best you can say here it that there are some stats and then we have made a league based on such stats.
Still baffles me how people can keep on playing Sony's endless stream of Last of Us clones.
This list is silly because it's like comparing apples to oranges, but Nintendo could've worked to release a few of their games in better states at launch, for sure.
This ranking is a joke, not because Nintendo isn't under the top ten but seeing the first 5 places gives it away that you can't take it serious.
Lol, who cares. This is actually influenced by many fake reviews by ‘Sony-‘ and other ‘anti-Nintendo’ fanboys. Or am I wrong?
@MythTgr I'm in a fishing mood 😀
@Vexx234 say you haven’t played god of war without saying you haven’t played god of war. Fun fact the console wars are over and Ragnarok is a masterpiece. This doesn’t have to be a competition between fanbases when both companies are ridiculously successful and keep putting out high quality masterpieces
Don't worry. Zelda is coming, but is a sequel reusing most of Breath of the Wild yet it still took 6 years to come out. It may most likely still be a masterpiece, of course, I'd just like a fresh new entry afterwards like in the past (that hopefully won't take 10 years).
A new Mario is probably not even on the map until the next generation, which is very sad ...and it better not just be a sequel to Odyssey.
@SadBuscuit lol what? The only Sony release from last year that remotely resembles a “The Last of Us” clone is their (unnecessary) remake of “The Last of Us.”
Regardless of whether you like them or not, “God of War,” “Horizon,” and “Gran Turismo” are, uh… not much like the Naughty Dog game, thematically or gameplay wise.
How the heck did Activision get third…?
I've read how they scored it, but it still doesn't make any sense to me. I can't see how they've tallied up some of the scored games - Bandai Namco for example says 50 scored products - but I can only see around 40 titles in 2022 with scores. It also seems heavily biased towards games that got reviews on multiple platforms. A mediocre game getting lots of reviews on multiple platforms would pulls the average down it seems, while the opposite is true for something like Persona5 which reviewed well on every platform and pulls the average up.
@Eagly God Of war, released in 2005. A hack in slash game about a Spartan Warrior who promised to serve Ares in exchange to help him win a battle. Betrayed, he was tricked into killing is own family.
God Of War 2 saw Kratos take the place of Ares as the new God of War.
GOW 2 was followed up by two psp spin off games.
A third which was on mobile phones.
God War 3 came out 2010 which pushed the limits of the ps3. It was Kratos final battle against Zeus. It featured Kratos bringiing down the greek gods.
Last game in the ps3 system was a spin off called Ascension which was just an okay game that many critics agreed was a slight downgrade.
I was 15 when the series started and played each entry until the soft reboot. I find the reboot boring. Sue me. The combat is repetitive, the rpg elements felt tacked on, and it's story boring.
Same feeling for the sequel. You enjoyed it? Good. Alot of people did too? Great. I didn't, and stand by my comment. Your rant about console wars when I never implied it was contest between Nintendo or Sony is strange.
All things considered, placing 12th out of 45 is nothing to sneeze at. I also don’t think this list says anything significant about the state of gaming, so I’m surprised by all the torches and pitchforks in the comment section.
Maybe my awareness outside the Nintendosphere has slipped in the last few years, but I don't even know what some of the top ten publishers make. The only one I recognize as putting out consistently high quality games lately is Capcom.
@the_beaver Baten Kaitos is not published by Nintendo.
The rating system is a bit arbitrary; a lot of the points come from passing arbitrary scores. Nintendo had 3 games just below the magical 75% threshold (including MK8 DLC at 74% ) and xenoblade at 89%, just below the magical number 90%. If those 4 games had been rounded up, Nintendo would be at around rank 3. Meanwhile, some companies got ranked higher overall partially based on mobile games since the standards for mobile are simply lower and some mobile games get 75% even if Switch ports of the same games wouldn't be close.
@Vexx234 you said it’s sad Nintendo lost to sony seems like you were pitting the 2 against each other it’s fine you don’t like Ragnarok that dosen't make the game bad.
For those that care... Nintendo will comfortably rank in the top 10 next year.
For those that don't care... Nintendo rank close to the top on the money ranking, which is the one that really matters right now as its the key to unlocking more great games in the future.
How the hell did Activision Blizzard end up in such a high spot when they released Diablo Immortal last year?
@Anachronism A lot of them publish games of indie studios.
Focus Entertainment published games such as Atomic hearts, A Plague Tale Requiem, Evil West and Annapurna Interactive published games such as Stray, Neon White, and Solar Ash.
@fenlix I know most of the indie-style publishers pretty well. I'd have a harder time telling you what Take Two and Activision Blizzard have been up to lately.
well maybe Nintendo should stop releasing low-effort shovelware sports games and maybe actually put some care into the production of Pokemon games
Its immensely (sadly) hilarious to me that Xbox doesn't even make enough games to make it onto this list. The amount of mismanagement is crazy
These days Sony's titles are the gaming equivalent of oscar bait, so it's no surprise seeing them in 1st place
Well, The Quarry averages in the low 70's on there, and I've enjoyed that game more than anything I've touched in the past few years, in terms of "modern 3d games". Review scores aren't everything....but, good for those who got it, I guess.
Will be number one this year with Tears of the Kingdom!
With reviews, it is hard to know if the game is being evaluated, the genre is being evaluated, the publisher is being evaluated, or the platform is being evaluated.
People still care about Metacritic? It’s a melting pot of number scores with arbitrary standards per reviewer that doesn’t help the gamer at all besides the impulse buyers that sees “92? Damn GoTY” and proceeds to buy the game without any prior research.
This system is also an inherit disadvantage to publishers that can pump out a bunch of games as opposed to publishers that can only pump out a little because one high ranked game benefits from a smaller game pool when calculating averages
@Mando44646 Well maybe Sony should release a decent library of games by now for PS5. It’s 2 years already and it’s still mostly a PS4 machine and they are already talks about a Pro lol,
Could not care less. This seems like just more fuel for the fire of people arguing about the best games makers.
Scroll down, no ubisoft. Scroll further down, still no ubisoft. Scroll to near the bottom, there's ubisoft. Good. Ubisoft management abuses workers. ***** ubisoft.
I imagine that Nintendo was so upset, they cried all the way to the bank.
A lot of these comments read like Nintendo fanboys that are blinded by their love for the company. Nintendo still releases some great stuff this year, but also released some not-so great stuff. That’s fine. Nintendo will probably have a far higher spot on this list next year with TotK
I don't like this metric. I think they should simply count the # of great games a publisher made that year. Maybe "85" games get 1 point, "90" gets 2 points and "95" gets 3 points.
If you did that, Nintendo would have 3 "Great" games published last year:
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
That would place Nintendo among the very best publishers of the year. Outside the top 5 is a joke, let alone top 10.
For example, if you're looking at movie directors, would it make sense to say "Sure James Cameron made Aliens, Terminator 1 & 2, Titanic, Avatar 1&2, The Abyss, True Lies...but let's not forget that he also made Piranha Part Two: The Spawning..."
Who cares! We remember the hits and the losers are lost to the dustbin of history.
Didn’t Sony release GT7 last year? Where they left the micro transactions out until AFTER the reviews were in?
Does metacritic take that into consideration? Because the micro transactions in that game are really really overboard.
Also, seeing activision in third feels like someone messed up somewhere
Scarlet & Violet were unfairly rated poorly at launch.
Literally 90% of the issues were solved with a Day 1 patch, and these titles are the most fun I've had with Pokémon for decades.
This is kinda like the GameStop / GameInformer mentality that is weirdly anti-Nintendo. A lot of the critic community just don't take Nintendo seriously because they're playing a different game than SONY and Microsoft.
To be fair Nintendo has had some missteps recently, had pokemon not shipped and remained in its current state (performance-wise) Nintendo would easily be top ten.
@Alpha008 I was also confused by Activision at #3. I am also not sure how Metacritic counts games. I am looking at their own list at https://www.metacritic.com/company/activision and I only see 3 games and a WoW expansion listed (CoD Warzone 2, CoD MW2, and Overwatch 2).
I really don't understand why the article claims Activision released 10 games in 22
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