Every year, Metacritic publishers a very interesting round-up of the quality of publishers for the year based on the Metascores (which, full disclosure, come from fine reviewers like us) from the games they’ve published. While which publisher is the best can fill up hundreds of pages on a forum, using the statistical data from qualified reviewers makes this one of the more definitive (although still subjective) lists around.
This year comes with a few surprises. The big news is that Nintendo has jumped from number 4 in 2013 to the top spot for 2014. The only publisher with an average Metascore in the green at 76.5, Nintendo’s high rankings comes off the heels of games like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 1 and 2 and other quality titles like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. In fact, one of the only negatively received Nintendo-published games was Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder. After a tumultuous 2013, 2014 was certainly the year when gamers began paying attention to the big N again, turning the Wii U into a serious contender.
In second place was Ubisoft which comes as a bit of a surprise given the Assassin’s Creed Unity debacle. Helping their 74.1 average Metascore were the current-gen ports of Rayman Legends that scored over a 90. Ubisoft’s worst title was the awful exercise game Shape Up.
Nintendo had a huge leg up on fellow console manufactures Sony and Microsoft, which came in fourth and sixth place, respectively.
Activision Blizzard rounded out the list with a 67.1 Metascore, bogged down by Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark.
Check out the full breakdown here.