Reviews and review scoring is one of the most important jobs we have as games journalists. Our job is to provide the best actionable information we can for you, our readers, on the products you will be spending your hard-earned money on. We review games to give you the best info we can as to whether or not the game is worth a look.
Reviews are always subjective. A review is, inherently, an opinion piece. It is the opinion of the writer reviewing the game as to whether that game is ultimately worth the money.
And while we always want the content of the review to speak for itself, we know that many of you out there prefer to know a score. Our logs can show us that a lot of readers simply scroll to the bottom and look at the fast snapshot of our impressions, as my colleague Chris puts it.
To that end, ensuring our review score scale makes sense to both you the reader as well as our writing staff is of utmost importance. While we will always urge you to read the content of the review - after all, it provides so much more information than a single numerical score can offer - we understand the way this industry works.
As always, if you have any questions on our review scoring or process, please feel free to reach out to Joseph at editor @ mmorpg.com
Currently game reviews on MMORPG operate on a 100 point scale - we can use every number from 1.0 - 10.0 in our scoring. It's up to the reviewer to decide where the game they review ends up on the scale itself, and if the content of the review doesn't exactly match up it'll be up to the editorial staff to work with the writer to ensure we are giving the most accurate, clear picture as possible.
As always, game publishers and PR companies will never have a say in our scoring or review process. If a publisher demands that level of access, we will refuse the review and be as open and transparent with you as to why we won't have one on that game.
10 - Masterpiece. This means the game is a masterpiece - it's as close to perfect as it can be. Note that this does not mean it is a perfect game - no perfect game exists. But this game fits in rarified air, and it wouldn't take much for it to be considered perfection.
9 - Amazing. This game is amazing - it's not perfect or as close as a masterpiece, and there are more shortcomings holding it back from being classified as more, but it's still one worth every second of your time.
8 - Great. This is a game you can't wait to tell your friends about. It's achieved greatness, and while it's still got plenty of room to improve and grow, it's still one of the best games around.
7 - Good. This is exactly as it reads - this is a good game. Not bad, not great. It's got its flaws, but there is still something there that can draw you back in for some good old fashioned fun.
6 - Okay. There is something about this game that still can be salvaged. It's got its flaws, and likely something that can be purchased guilt-free on Steam to enjoy every once in a while.
5 - Average. This is a thoroughly average game. It's not particularly good, nor is it spectacularly bad. It just is.
4 - Poor. This is a game that has more flaws than good things going for it - maybe there are bugs that make it hard to get past a certain point, or its framerate in spots make it borderline bad. Either way, it's not one you'll recommend to your friends.
3 - Bad. This is just a bad game. Almost nothing about it is redeemable, making it something you'll quietly return or sweep under the rug and forget you ever played it.
2 - Shoddy. This is one of the worst games you can play. This is a game that isn't fun, and might be downright insulting to the player's time.
1 - Broken. This is a game that just does not work on any level - artistically or technically. This is legit the worst game you could ever play.
Our hardware and technology reviews will operate similarly to our game reviews. Our mission is the same: to provide you the best information we can to help guide your purchasing decisions. The scale remains the same, as do the titles; however, the descriptions of each are slightly different to recognize that hardware is different from any form of software and should be considered independently.
All products are considered for an eye to overall quality, whether it achieves its purpose and how well, its intended audience and pricing, and whether it offers additional features or qualities that add or remove value. That said, product reviews are holistic assessments and take the whole product and its positioning into account.
The role of manufacturers and public relations in hardware reviews is identical to our game reviews. Additionally, we will always disclose when a review sample has been provided or when any form of affiliate links are used, even if they are only embedded for tracking purposes.
If you have any questions on our hardware and technology policies, disagree with a review, or are a vendor with an inquiry, please reach out to Chris at chris @ mmorpg.com
10 - Masterpiece. This is as good as a piece of hardware could possibly be at the moment in its class. It is extraordinary compared to other items on the market currently. (Golden Hardware Award)
9 - Amazing. This is an outstanding product. It may have small shortcomings or something that slightly holds it back, but it's competing for one of the best products in its class. (Golden Hardware Award)
8 - Great. This is a very good product. It may have larger shortcomings but nothing that dramatically drags down the overall experience. It's better than most products in its class.
7 - Good. This product is impressive in most ways but could be better in others. You're not going to have a bad experience overall with it but there may be better options out there.
6 - Okay. This product has a mix of disappointing and decent qualities. Overall, it leaves you wanting more.
5 - Average. This product gets the job done, but doesn't stand out in virtually any way. It leaves you wanting more.
4 - Poor. This product does not perform all of its advertised function at an acceptable level. It also shows immediate signs of weakness in design right out of the box.
3 - Bad. This product is poorly designed and cheaply constructed. It is an option that should be avoided.
2 - Shoddy. Even on its best day, this product fails on a critical level.
1 - Broken. This product is offensively bad for what it's trying to be. It will not fill the role it's designed for and should be avoided at all cost.