Nintendo tops Metacritic's 5th Annual game publisher rankings

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Metacritic data has shown that Nintendo titles had the highest average review score in 2014.

Games by the platform holder averaged 76.5 per cent with critics. That placed them ahead of Ubisoft in second (74.1%), EA in third (74.5% - see below for the reasoning behind that positioning), Sony in fourth (72.5%), Square Enix in fifth (71.7%), Microsoft in sixth (68.9%), Bandai Namco in seventh (68%) and Activision Blizzard in eighth (67.1%).

Nintendo's highest scoring release was Super Smash Bros on Wii U (91%), helping it to become the only publisher with a ‘green' average rating – and that's despite the fact that only 56 per cent of its games received positive reviews. Nintendo also released more unique titles – 34 – than any other publisher in the listings.

Note that last year Nintendo ranked fourth in the survey.

Ubisoft claimed second place despite actually gaining a lower average than EA (74.1% versus 74.5%) due to EA's larger percentage of positively reviewed titles and its lack of any 90+% rated titles. Still, Ubisoft maintained its second place finish despite an annual drop of one per cent in its ratings. EA released nine fewer titles in 2014 than it did the year before yet still recorded a lower average review score.

Sony's fourth place finish represented a gain of one place year-on-year, although only 39 per cent of its titles reviewed positively, largely thanks to some middling Vita game reviews. By comparison, only 30 per cent of Microsoft games gained positive scores, with its average score falling by three points, although it held firm in sixth place.

Square Enix's nine point review decline was the biggest among the major publishers while Bandai Namco's 6.3 point increase was the best. Activision, meanwhile, saw the highest percentage of bad games – 24 per cent – among any of the publishers, although that was a big improvement on the previous year's 39 per cent.

Here's the report in full.

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