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video game review websitesVideo game reviews are big business. There are entire websites out there whose whole purpose is nothing but reviewing video games. On top of that, there is a whole subset of websites who only take the scores from those various video game review websites and aggregate them into an average. Unless you have a particular loyalty to a certain review site, I think this is the best way to find out the competency of a game because you are getting a wider cross-section of the gaming media as a whole, and not just the informed opinion of one person.

I think video game reviews are far more important than a review of any other entertainment category. This is simply because video games cost a lot more than a movie or a CD. When you are trying to decide if something is worth $60 of your hard-earned money, then you had better make sure you do the research. This way you will know if the game is something that will work for you. That is why you absolutely must refer to these aggregators before you take the plunge on your next video game purchase.

GameRankings

GameRankings is the review aggregator I have been personally using for as long as I can remember. I can’t remember the last time I have gone out to the store to buy a video game that I did not pull up game rankings first to see what the average review score was across the board.

video game review websites

When you first visit GameRankings you are greeted with a box telling you what games are currently hot, and what games were most recently released. There are also links across the top for the various platforms, so if you only have one console, you don’t have to see reviews for all the games you cannot play anyway. There is also a search feature, which is what you will probably use the most. Type in the name of any game, and it will give you the average review score across all major game review publications.

video game reviews

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Possibly my favorite feature of GameRankings are their All Time Best and All Time Worst pages. It’s fun to take a look back in time and see what the best games were for a particular platform, or across all platforms. You can tweak the results by platform, year, genre and what letter the game starts with. This allows you to really fine tune the results you want to see.

MetaCritic

MetaCritic is one of the most popular review aggregators for movies, but they are no slouch in the video game department either. They are similar to GameRankings in that they take review scores from various sites and average them out. They have a much different layout; they focus more on being aesthetically pleasing than GameRankings.

What I really like about MetaCritic is that they have embraced the iPhone as a gaming platform much more than other sites. They feature a full suite of iPhone reviews that they aggregate. Even though iPhone games are cheap and aren’t a major purchasing decision that a console game is, it is still nice to know what is worth looking at and what isn’t from more than one perspective.

video game reviews

Since MetaCritic features movie, TV and music reviews, you can get all review needs taken care of in one place.

3. ReviewTrax

ReviewTrax is a little different from its counterparts because it isn’t as concerned with numbers, but more of a general reception for a game. They rank games based on a Poor to Excellent scale. I think this is a cool approach, because it allows you to just focus on whether the game is good.

video game reviews

You don’t have over analyse and think “well this game got a 92.4 and liked it, but this new one I am looking at got a 91.6, so is worth it?” With this site you can simply look and say “Okay this is excellent, I should play this game.”

video game review websites

ReviewTrax also feature iPhone game reviews, although not as many as MetaCritic.

This is a site I was not as familiar with as the other two when I started my research, but after messing with it for a while, I am going to add it to my video game bookmarks and use it regularly.

Conclusion

Before you buy a video game you should always refer to at least one of these three websites. $60 is no small investment, and you want to make sure you are getting a product that is worth it. By checking these review aggregators you are able to get a good idea of how the game review community feels about a particular product, and you can make a more informed decision.

Have you ever been burned with a bad video game? Perhaps you purchased Superman 64 and felt that you did not get your money’s worth. Let us know in the comments; I would love to hear some video game horror stories.

Image Credit: Jeroen van Oostrom

  1. Thetwitt
    August 31, 2016 at 6:13 am

    This is a good site

  2. Inti Righi
    June 9, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Metacritic? Dave please gtfo. A gamer.

  3. Guest
    February 19, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I'm sorry but I don't rely on IGN Gamespot and above all else not f@cking Kotaku!! The only site that I have found that even remotely creditable is Game Informer! Places like Metacritic need to die off! I've never believed in relying on someone else's opinion! The only way to know if a game is good is to play it yourself! Plain and simple! I've a played games that were "mediocre" from Critics that were great games! Anyone that buys to much into reviews is not really into playing games for fun. They're into the hype or hate the game gets based on popularity . People need to think for themselves!

  4. Dorothylisa
    November 2, 2011 at 6:39 am

    hmm i Would like to recommend a free game app for iPad called FLY SMASHER,http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fly-smasher-hd/id471897622?mt=8

  5. Anonymous
    August 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Personally I perfer, IGN for most of my gaming news, and Kotaku sometimes. I used to be a fan of Shacknews, but I hate their new layout.

  6. BeaverusIV
    August 25, 2011 at 1:43 am

    I prefer sites like Kotaku & GameSpot who give you their good and bad points so you can decide (for me a lot of 'bad' points are reasons I buy games like grinding and difficulty).

  7. Dave LeClair
    August 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I love vg chartz! Best site to find out successful a game is sales wise. Best way to use the "this is game is better because it outsold the game you like" argument with your friends.

  8. fancy pants
    August 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    gamespot.com && ign.com

    • Dave LeClair
      August 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      Gamespot and IGN are great, but they are not review aggregation sites. They write their own reviews and post them, whereas the sites focused on in this article are sites that average review scores from sites like IGN and Gamespot.   

  9. James Bruce
    August 23, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Personally, I'd recommend my own http://ipadboardgames.org for trustworthy and ubiassed ipad board game reviews!

    • Aibek
      August 23, 2011 at 9:47 am

      second that

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