Looking at the winners and even the nominees announced during our Best of 2012 Awards, it's easy to see that the year turned out to be a little... lacking. And unfortunately, according to Metacritic, so were the metascores.
2012 had the least number of "great" games released since 2009 when they first started doing year-end analysis. "Great" meaning the game received a 90 or higher metascore. Consequently, this also probably means that many developers didn't receive their fabled 90 or above metascore bonuses. Bummer.
Of the 18 games getting 90 or above (14 of them console games), the highest-rated game was Telltale Games' The Walking Dead for Xbox 360. Not to be confused with the five episodic digital releases, which Metacritic points out never achieved the elusive 90+ status on any singular episode.
By comparison, 2011 had 32 games total receiving a 90 or higher, with 23 of them being console games.
The platform average in 2012 is nothing to be proud of, either. The PS3 saw a 70.3 average out of 204 games. The Xbox 360 came in with slightly less at a 69.5 out of 243 games (Kinect games definitely hurt the average, I'm sure). While the Wii/Wii U averaged a 68.3 out of an embarrassing 53 games. I almost wish they split the Wii and Wii U numbers, just to see how each system fared individually.
The beginning of 2013 is already looking strong in terms of blockbuster releases, but beyond Q1 and maybe a part of Q2, there doesn't seem to be much in the pipeline to outshine a lacklustre 2012. And that can only mean one thing: time for new consoles.