Friday, January 3, 2014

Fun with review aggregators: saying goodbye to the seventh generation of video games

The release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this year officially marks the end of the seventh generation of videogames. As Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 ride into the sunset, let's use everyone's favorite review aggregator site and see what the general populace thought were the ten games that best represent the consoles of the last generation. I'm only counting games with at least 20 reviews. We begin with Nintendo's DS, the console to kickstart the generation with its release on November 21, 2004.

Nintendo DS

10. Pokémon: SoulSilver Version

9. Elite Beat Agents

8. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

7. New Super Mario Bros.

6. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

5. Advance Wars: Dual Strike

4. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

3. Mario Kart DS

2. Chrono Trigger

1. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Interesting that with all the Mario filling this list, the best-reviewed game on the Nintendo DS is a Grand Theft Auto game no one played. Seven of the ten games on this list were made by Nintendo. Elite Beat Agents is the only game on this list that's an entirely new intellectual property. Overall, though, this is a great ten games. Fitting for the DS.

Sony PlayStation Portable

10. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

9. Wipeout Pure

8. Tekken: Dark Resurrection

7. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

6. Ridge Racer

5. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

4. Lumines

3. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

2. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable

1. God of War: Chains of Olympus

Probably the weakest library of any console on this list. But if you're into Japanese role-playing games, PSP has you covered. Lumines is the only new intellectual property on this list. Square Enix has two games on this list. Aside from that, there's actually a surprisingly large variety of (overwhelmingly Japanese) developers and publishers on this list.

Microsoft Xbox 360

10. Gears of War

9. Portal 2

8. Red Dead Redemption

7. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

6. BioShock

5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

4. Mass Effect 2

3. Grand Theft Auto V

2. The Orange Box

1. Grand Theft Auto IV

A solid collection. Strange to see a top-ten Xbox list that doesn't include anything with Halo in the name! Overall, open-world games seem to be the defining style of this generation. Gears of War is the only game on this list that isn't available on PlayStation 3 as well, although it's worth noting many multiplatform games ran better on 360 than PS3. Rockstar Games is represented three times, and Valve is represented twice. Eight of the ten games on this list are sequels.

Sony PlayStation 3

10. BioShock

9. Street Fighter IV

8. Portal 2

7. Red Dead Redemption

6. LittleBigPlanet

5. The Last of Us

4. Batman: Arkham City

3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

2. Grand Theft Auto V

1. Grand Theft Auto IV

I guess we've reached the point where console exclusives are the exception, not the rule. Seven of these ten games also appear on Xbox 360. Once again Rockstar Games has three games on this list, and Naughty Dog has two. Seven of the ten games on this list are sequels.

Nintendo Wii

10. Ōkami

9. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition

8. Xenoblade Chronicles

7. Metroid Prime Trilogy

6. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

5. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

4. World of Goo

3. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

2. Super Mario Galaxy 2

1. Super Mario Galaxy

Note: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption would make this list, but it's already included in Metroid Prime Trilogy.

For as much flak as the Wii gets, it has a respectable library here. Seven of the ten are published by Nintendo. Two of the games are remakes of older-generation games. But we all know it's worth it just for Metroid Prime Trilogy, which includes perhaps the finest trilogy of games ever made.

For comparison's sake, let's look at PC games released during the same period of time as these consoles:


10. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

9. BioShock Infinite

8. Minecraft

7. Sid Meier's Civilization IV

6. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

5. Company of Heroes

4. Mass Effect 2

3. BioShock

2. Portal 2

1. The Orange Box

Note: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King would make this list, but it's an expansion pack, not a standalone game.

Naturally, the only three PC exclusives on this list are all strategy games, a genre consoles can't seem to figure out. The rest of the games on this list are multiplatform, but it's worth noting that every single multiplatform game on this list has its origins on PC, not on consoles. Valve is represented twice, as are Irrational Games. Seven of the ten games are sequels.

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