Significantly fewer games received an average review score of 90 per cent or above in 2012 than they did in the preceding three years.
That's according to review aggregation site Metacritic, which says that just 18 games (14 of which were on console) achieved the higher score bracket last year. By comparison, 32 games (23 on console) achieved that feat the year before.
In fact, it's the worst industry review performance since Metacritic started compiling annual reports in 2009.
Telltale's The Walking Dead was named as the site's game of the year, receiving the highest average review score – 95 per cent on Xbox 360. The site notes that the number is for the retail version and is only based on nine reviews – none of the five digital releases that comprised the titles scored over 89 per cent.
In fact, The Walking Dead is the lowest scoring Game of the Year since 2003's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on PC, which scored 94 per cent.
Other star performers include Persona 4 Golden (94%), Mass Effect 3 (93%), Journey (92%), Xenoblade Chronicles (92%), Dishonored (PC%), Mark of the Ninja (91%), Borderlands 2 (91%) and Far Cry 3 (91%).
The biggest flops of the year include Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse (39%), Steel Batallion: Heavy Armour (38%), 007 Legends (41%), Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock (39%), Funky Barn (51%) and Tank! Tank! Tank! (45%).