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Video Game» Forums » Video Game Related » General Video Gaming

Subject: VGG QOTD 2019 June 17 - How do you rate your games? rss

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Gabe Hawkins
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How do you rate your games? For instance, do you prefer a 1-10 or 1-5 scale? What factors do you tend to consider when making a rating? Does this process remain consistent from game to game or do you rely more on your gut reaction/feeling? Do you rate other forms of media/entertainment in a similar way?
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Gabe Hawkins
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My system for rating games is a weird balance of structured and freeform. I only rate games on a 1-5 star scale, and I don’t give “half star” increments. The level of granularity that comes with a 10 point scale doesn’t mean much to me, personally, so I couldn’t “properly” rate a game on that scale anyway. I can’t tell you what the difference between an 8 and 9 is, let alone how any “.5” increment means anything. That scoring doesn’t work well with my brain, so I stick with a nice, round, 1-5 star system.

Outside of that, however, there’s not much else that’s rigid about how I rate games. I do tend to consider how well the game succeeds in a handful of categories — primarily story, characters, graphics, ambition, and the ever difficult to articulate (for me) “fun factor” — but that’s more to do with how I think about games than being part of any system. When I play a game, I tend to make note of things that stick out as interesting, fun, ambitious, or really well done, along with anything that strikes me as the opposite. I think about how games make me feel; did I find myself looking forward to playing it every day? Was I thinking about it at work? I rarely do any deep analyses of a game unless I feel like there’s something of value in doing so, and I suppose my ultimate score is determined by how much fun I had playing it over anything else. Because ultimately, if a game is fun to play, does anything else really matter that much?

I tend to rate other forms of media — board games, films, music, etc. — more rarely, but they typically follow this way of thinking as well.
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Simon Woodward
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I have a new system I came up with, originally based on the IGN scale. I had a few fixed points that I wanted (Good, Bad, Indifferent) and metaphysical extremes (Blissful, Diabolical). Then I filled in the gaps.

10 - Blissful
9 - Incredible
8 - Excellent
7 - Good
6 - Passable
5 - Indifferent
4 - Lacking
3 - Bad
2 - Painful
1 - Excruciating
0 - Diabolical

https://corp.ign.com/review-practices
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Kevin Brown
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I've given up rating games. There's always some good and some bad. When I talk about games to someone I'll just say how much I liked it or didn't like it, a few things I liked, a few things I didn't like and try and draw some parallels thematically, structurally and mechanically with other games. This is easier on me than numbers. I was all over the place when I was assigning numbers to games.
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Krzysztof Zięba
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I use the full 1-10 scale. For BGG, I basically use their suggested decriptions to help me decide. For VGG, this is roughly how I think:

10 is a perfect game, and I've never given out this rating.

9 is as perfect as you can get for the most part

8 is a very good game, either a timeless classic or a sublime experience the first time around

7 is a good game. It likely has some kinks or problems, but the good outweighs the bad by a large margin

6 is an ok game. I sometimes do not bother to complete games that I rate a 6, because they might not offer enough fun in the time it takes to play them. Generally there's more good than bad in them.

5 has more bad than good, and as such is unlikely to hold my attention for long.

4 had to alienate me early on or start being a pain in the butt at some point and never stopped

3-1 are different shades of awful. I admit that I use these so rarely that I don't have a good idea of how I'd differentiate here. 1's are reserved for games that are utterly beyond saving, and frankly I don't think I've played a game like that in my life.

As time went by, I started using halves to differentiate, mostly between 6-7, 7-8 and 8-9. And then I also started using decimal points other than .5, namely .1 (indicating a game that is slightly better than the rating would suggest, but not quite a .5) and .9 (a game that's close to a higher rating, but something is keeping it back). When you have so many games to compare between, I think it's inevitable that you start splitting hairs like that
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p55carroll
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I only rate games in BGG/VGG, and I try to do it the way it's set up. The only purpose, as far as I can see, is to instantly communicate how much I like a game. Some people don't like to read; they'd rather look at a number. So I try to accommodate them, even though I'd be quite happy to type up endless pages about which games I like and why (just have a look at my ongoing blogs).

The 1 to 10 scale seems a bit much to me, so I think of 7 as "good enough to enjoy" and 10 as "the very best I've ever played." Then I kind of estimate around those points.
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maf man
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rate(noun) of fun
Its a lot less technical here as I try to set a score that would apply to all levels and eras of games. As I first started using vgg I could not justify judging some games vs others; even indirectly such as rating a better looking game better as a newer gen game would.

The more specific I can get the more technical I can get with the rating. Other media I have a better time coming up with a universal scale.
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Simon Lundström
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I've forgotten how I treat the ratings on VGG, but I haven't rated in several years.

But I dislike high granularity, as it tends to mean that the good games gravitate towards the higher spectrum, and you have an immense granularity for the crappy games.

I prefer a rating system of 5 grades, where '1' is everything that is bad. I don't care how bad, as long as you don't like to play it, it's a '1'. '2' is the regular fun game that you can play, but don't think anything special about, but it works. '3' is specifically good games. '4' are amazing games, and '5' are those things that you consider "masterpieces". Masterpieces may have flaws; there's no use to not use one of the numbers.
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Ryan Ahr
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I keep it simple: how much did I enjoy it? I can forgive a lot of flaws (Fallout New Vegas, for instance) if the game is still enjoyable in spite of it. In New Vegas's case it's enjoyable because of the incredible writing for both the dialogue and the lore, though the combat is nothing to sniff at either. So yeah, my ratings system is pretty simple these days.
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Gabe Hawkins
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Zimeon wrote:
I've forgotten how I treat the ratings on VGG, but I haven't rated in several years.

But I dislike high granularity, as it tends to mean that the good games gravitate towards the higher spectrum, and you have an immense granularity for the crappy games.

I prefer a rating system of 5 grades, where '1' is everything that is bad. I don't care how bad, as long as you don't like to play it, it's a '1'. '2' is the regular fun game that you can play, but don't think anything special about, but it works. '3' is specifically good games. '4' are amazing games, and '5' are those things that you consider "masterpieces". Masterpieces may have flaws; there's no use to not use one of the numbers.


That's pretty much how I view it as well.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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I enjoy most of the games in my collection so I rate them pretty high. I think my lowest rating is a 6 out of 10.
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Lord_Kristof wrote:
I use the full 1-10 scale. For BGG, I basically use their suggested decriptions to help me decide. For VGG, this is roughly how I think:

10 is a perfect game, and I've never given out this rating.

9 is as perfect as you can get for the most part

8 is a very good game, either a timeless classic or a sublime experience the first time around

7 is a good game. It likely has some kinks or problems, but the good outweighs the bad by a large margin

6 is an ok game. I sometimes do not bother to complete games that I rate a 6, because they might not offer enough fun in the time it takes to play them. Generally there's more good than bad in them.

5 has more bad than good, and as such is unlikely to hold my attention for long.

4 had to alienate me early on or start being a pain in the butt at some point and never stopped

3-1 are different shades of awful. I admit that I use these so rarely that I don't have a good idea of how I'd differentiate here. 1's are reserved for games that are utterly beyond saving, and frankly I don't think I've played a game like that in my life.

As time went by, I started using halves to differentiate, mostly between 6-7, 7-8 and 8-9. And then I also started using decimal points other than .5, namely .1 (indicating a game that is slightly better than the rating would suggest, but not quite a .5) and .9 (a game that's close to a higher rating, but something is keeping it back). When you have so many games to compare between, I think it's inevitable that you start splitting hairs like that
This is pretty much how I do it. I mean we are using this website, so I use their system. I've yet to break it down smaller than .5 increments, though. I've broken some down in .25 increments on the BGG side.
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Caroline Berg
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I prefer 5 star systems with half-star ratings, but I've yet to see one rating system be universal across all the sites I use (Goodreads has 5 stars, no halves, BGG/RPGG/VGG is 1-10, my library uses a 5 star with halves system...) so I have to improvise.

1 is terrible for me, 10 is I'll play it always and forever, and the other games sort themselves into there. I do use .5 on VGG for some games - often it is I like X more than Y but less than Z so X gets a .5 between what Y and Z are rated. That's about as far as I break it down.

I haven't rated any games 1, because if I've played it at least once, then it is at least good enough for me to try it.
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I use the 1-10 scale, but I also give out half-point ratings.

There are some long, geeky side-discussions to be had about rating scales, but for me the key is that I don't believe the middle of a scale needs to align with an average in the real world. In fact, it would be strange (and analytically suspect) if it did.

As I see it, the middle of the scale, 5, means the game is utterly unremarkable and makes it difficult to decide if I should be playing or not. Most of the time, a 5-rated game is neither actively off-putting nor actively engaging. While it may have good and bad features, what defines it is that nagging feeling of "am I wasting my time?"

I do occasionally run into a game that I would rate below a 5, but it's rare. Theoretically it should be rare, as we would expect: 1.) That someone who has enjoyed playing games for many years will not often select a bad game to begin with, and 2.) The industry should have enough competence to generally, but not entirely, avoid making & releasing bad games.

For me, an 8/10 means "really good, I'm glad this game exists, playing it was rewarding and memorable, I will probably play it again at some point." Anything under an 8 is some degree of disposable. Anything above an 8 progressively indicates an important and landmark title - higher and higher levels of multifaceted excellence and craft. A 9 or a 9.5 is basically "goddamn, this is why I play games." I've given 2-3 10s, but it's virtually unheard of.
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Jeff G
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I'm a 1-10 type of guy. Allows more flexibility, even though I guess it could be a bit of nitpicking between a 6 or 7.
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I pick a number from 1-10 and go with it. It's not something I agonize about.
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p55carroll
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frumpish wrote:
I pick a number from 1-10 and go with it. It's not something I agonize about.

It'd be even less trouble if you just rolled a d10.
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As ratings are inherently subjective, I embrace it and make it all about my own response to a game. I use a 5-point system, mapped onto the 10-pt scale like so:

2: Don’t like it.
4: It’s okay.
6: Like it.
8: Really like it.
10: Love it.
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I use the VGG scale and the attached meaning, because it just makes a lot of sense to me. I use the same system and meanings if I rate movies on imdb for example. My only problem with it is the lack of a 0 value. So I add 0, which for me means that whoever produced the crappy game/book/movie in question made it intentionally awful because there's no way one could make something that bad without actively trying.
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James Lowry
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I use the BGG/RPGG/VGG rating suggestions.

For the first two, it's mostly 1-10 with some half-points. On VGG I'm down to tenth points. I tend to go for things I'll like, so things get crowded in the 6-8 region, and I try to figure out the shadings even though some of it is comparing apples and oranges. Rating a bunch of expansions also promotes the 1/10 point system; 'well, it did improve the game just that bit...'.
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I kind of like the "multiple scale". Used by PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and GameFaqs where you rate multiple areas. Off the top of my head....
Controls
Graphics
Sound
Story/theme
Overall Fun
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