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Nintendo Switch

When it comes to critical and commercial success, sometimes in the world of interactive entertainment there are huge discrepancies that are at odds with each other. But, for Nintendo that discrepancy didn't seem to exist throughout 2018, as the company managed to not only sell a boatload of software, but it also had some of the greatest games of 2018, according to the critics.

Metacritic did a retrospective for 2018, detailing the best rated games, the highest rated exclusives, and the companies that had the most consistent averages amongst them all. Almost to no one's surprise, Nintendo came out on top.

This was mostly due to the volume of high-rated games being ported to the Switch, and not necessarily due to the amount of new exclusives launched for the console or because it had the highest rated game on any platform of the year. As noted by Metacritic...

[...] there were over 100 more games (with enough reviews to calculate a Metascore) released for the Switch in 2018 than for any other platform. And, even with that higher volume, the Switch had the highest percentage of positively reviewed releases---not just the largest total of good games. Nearly 44% of Switch releases had green Metascores (reflecting approval from professional critics), compared to about 41% for Xbox One and less than 37% for PS4.

So, the Nintendo Switch edged out the competition by having more games released throughout the year that averaged higher ratings than its nearest competitors.

The top rated games for the Switch in 2018 included Undertale, which scored a 93, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which scored a 92 along with Celeste and Bayonetta 2.

While Nintendo may have taken home the crown for having more games that scored an average of 90 or higher throughout 2018, the PS4 and Xbox One actually beat out the Switch by having the highest rated games of the year. In particular, Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2 topped out 2018 as the highest-rated game on Metacritic, scoring a 97 out of 100 on both the Xbox One and the PS4.

Red Dead Redemption 2 was followed closely by God of War on the PS4, which managed to hit a 94 out of 100, along with the Xbox One version of Celeste managed a 94. For the Xbox the third-best rated game on the list was Forza Horizon 4, sitting at a 92 out of 100. It also managed to take home a win at the 2018 Game Awards for the best sports game of the year.

For Sony the third-best rated game on the list was Larian Studios' Divinity: Original Sin II, which might be a surprise to some gamers considering that Marvel's Spider-Man was the far more talked about game for the platform, but it only managed an 87 out of 100.

But, at the end of the day it was Nintendo that took home the most spots out of the top 24 best rated games of the year. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 both managed seven out of the 24 spots, while Nintendo dominated with nine spots. There was one lone entry in the middle of the list for PC, which went to Into The Breach. But overall, Nintendo was the critics' choice for 2018.