After two huge months for games, especially November, December was especially slow, with most new releases coming in the form of downloadable titles. The biggest release by far of the month was Star Wars: The Old Republic, Bioware’s ambitious MMO. Trine 2 also released, along with Mario Kart 7. But what games took home the prize for best or worst of the month? Read on to find out.
*Note: We looked at all the Metacritic scores for console and portable games (excluding Android and iOS) for the previous month and picked the highest- and lowest-rated games for the month based on critic reviews and user ratings.
Best Games of December (Metacritic Rating):
- Pushmo – 3DS – Metascore: 90
- Joe Danger Special Edition – 360 – Metascore: 88
- Star Wars: The Old Republic – PC – Metascore: 87
- Trine 2 – PC, PS3, 360 – Metascore: 86
- Mario Kart 7 – 3DS – Metascore: 85
It might be a bit surprising that a downloadable title for 3DS’s eShop took the top spot this month: Pushmo, a unique puzzler, came in with a score of 90, edging out the other new releases. Joe Danger and Trine 2, also downloadable releases, made the list, with SWTOR and Mario Kart 7 making third- and fifth place, respectively.
Critics have their own opinions, but some people like to judge games based on consumers’ response, so let’s take a look at what they thought.
Best Games of December 2011 (User Ratings):
- Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD – PS3 – Average Score: 9.7
- Pushmo – 3DS – Average Score: 9.1
- Trine 2 – PC, PS3, 360 – Average Score: 8.4
- Mario Kart 7 – 3DS, Joe Danger Special Edition – 360 – Average Score: 7.9
- APB Reloaded – PC – Average Score: 7.4
This month’s critic and user lists match up much more than normal, with four titles from the critic’s list making the user’s list as well. In fact, there might have been more overlap if more critics had reviewed some of the games that made it onto the user’s list, such as APB Reloaded, which, despite its original epic failure, seems to be making a surprising comeback, at least if user scores are any indication of success. Surprisingly absent from this list is SWOTR; apparently, users didn’t enjoy the game as much as critics did.
Now onto the worst games of December 2011.
Worst Games of December 2011 (Metacritic Ratings):
- Fortune Street – Wii – Metascore: 71
- All Zombies Must Die! – 360 – Metascore: 65
- The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Game – PS3/360/3DS – Metascore: 59
- Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights – 3DS – Metascore: 59
- F1 2011 – 3DS – Metascore: 58
Three Nintendo-platform games made the critics’ worst list this month; interesting, because two 3DS games also made the best list. Perhaps not surprisingly, the movie-tie-in Adventures of Tin Tin was generally panned, receiving an average score across platforms of only 59. The Layton-clone Doctor Lautrec also bombed, although this month’s list doesn’t yield too many surprises.
Worst Games of December 2011 (User Ratings):
- Star Wars: The Old Republic – PC – Average Score: 6.1
- FlatOut 3: Chaos & Destruction – PC – Average Score: 5.1
Normally, we like to include the top five best and worst titles, but this month so few new games released and so few critics and users reviewed titles that we could only include two games on this month’s worst user-rated list. Star Wars: The Old Republic has the dishonor of making this short list, with users finding a lot less to enjoy than critics; perhaps partially due to spending more time with the game than the professional reviewers.
2011 was an incredible year for gaming, with a long list of excellent titles. Keep up with Vivid Gamer to see the list of Best/Worst games of 2011 as a whole, and don’t forget to check in next month for the Best and Worst games of January 2012.