I wrote some criticism about Metacritic scores in a previous blog post. To add a bit to it, I would like to share something I stumbled across:
The "Metascore" (which is the aggregate of scores given by critics) is on a scale from 0 to 100.
The "User Score" (which is the ratings given by users of the website) is on a scale from 0 to 10, which effectively means that the game gets a "Metascore" of 4 from the users, while it got 42 from critics. An order of magnitude of difference.
There is something seriously wrong and flawed in this entire system.
Ok, maybe we could give them the benefit of the doubt? Perhaps the natural scale used by the average critic doesn't conform to the scale used by users? Perhaps critics are on average more lenient, so that eg. an abysmally bad game that gets a user score closer to zero still gets a metascore of something like 40? Perhaps the scores agree more on the higher end of the scales?
With some games they do. For example:
Those are pretty much in agreement. So perhaps there's something to that idea?
Well, let's take a different example:
Yes, there's definitely something wrong with Metacritic. It's useless.