Metacritic Adds ‘Must-Play’ Label to Highly Reviewed Games

The biggest review aggregation site Metacritic has added a new “Must-Play” designation for games with a score of 90 or higher. Metacritic announced the move on Wednesday, and outlined their reasoning for the addition.

Metacritic’s “Must-Play” designation presides underneath the box-art of games on their pages, or next to the title in lists on the site. To be awarded the designation, a game must have at least 15 professional critic reviews. Metacritic said that it “added a “Must-Play” designation for our highest-scoring games, representing those releases deemed by a consensus of top professional game critics as truly exceptional.” The games section of Metacritic is the only one to have this kind of designation or branding.

So far a handful of titles released in 2018 have qualified for the badge. Among that list of games are titles like Dead Cells, God of War, Monster Hunter: World, and Sonic Mania Plus. While widely regarded as great games, the simplification of a review down to a number has drawn ire in the past. Critics’ disdain for review scores can be seen with more and more publications moving away from scoring their reviews. This slow shift in the industry comes after years of Metascores being determining factors in game sales, developer bonuses, and layoffs at studios.

Metacritic was founded in 1999 and has since been purchased by CBS Interactive. The site scores video games, movies, TV shows, and music on a 100-point weighted scale. Dependent on that score, a color is then used to condense information into one of three colors: green for scores 75 or higher, yellow for scores 50 or higher, and red for scores below 50. The site has come under fire in the past for how it translates review scores into the 100-point scale, especially if a site uses letter-grading that can vary wildly between regions or a 10-point scale like we use here at GameRevolution.