There is little doubt that game critics have grown a bit stricter this generation. Higher scores aren’t handed out as frequently and freely as they used to- until today, the highest rated games of this generation were all tied at 93. Critics have, like critics in other media, started to use the whole 10 point scale, leading to a tendency of grade deflation.
This is largely a great thing- it means the games that do manage to, for instance, cross the 90 barrier on Metacritic, are exceptionally special, classics that shall stand the test of time. And when a game crosses all barriers and boundaries in a context such as this, you know it is one of the greatest games ever made. And that’s what The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild seems to have done.
As of right now, after 56 reviews, Breath of the Wild is a staggering 98 on Metacritic. This not only makes it the second highest rated game of all time (behind only its own predecessor, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time), it also makes it the highest rated game since 2008’s Grand Theft Auto 4 (which also scored a 98). That means that Breath of the Wild is rated higher than The Last of Us, Uncharted 2, Mass Effect 2, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto 5, Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Witcher 3:Wild Hunt, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne. In other words, it is, according to critics, the best current generation game.
Of course, more reviews are coming in, so theoretically the Metascore could fall to, say, 97. But given how many reviews it has for the score it has, and just how overwhelmingly positive its critical reception so far is, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the odds of that happening are fairly low.
Thanks to our reader Rahul for sending the tip.