Which platform has the best games?

Fan boys all over the Internet are claiming that their platform is the best one and that their platform has the best games. I recently read this rather inconclusive article on a Norwegian  gaming site and I decided to put these claims to the test myself.

It is impossible to test whether a game is better than another game in an objective way. So the best way to do this is to base the comparison on as many subjective reviews as possible. I went over to Metacritics and extracted the data for the PC, PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360. Since the 360 was released in 2005, I will only include the years 2005-2008. The total number of titles is found in the table below.

2005 2006 2007 2008 Total
PC 234 244 219 204 901
PS3 22 103 158 283
Wii 33 124 210 367
Xbox 360 33 106 192 224 555
Total 267 405 638 796 2106

We see that the PC has consistently had over 200 games per year but that both the 360 and the Wii have catched up, the PS3 is lagging a bit behind when it comes to the number of games per year. However, quantity is as we see below not necessarily quality.

All games

The PS3 has the highest average game score for any of the platforms, the PC and 360 are not that far behind while the Wii is struggeling quite a log way behind the others. The high number of games for the Wii did not do it any good when it comes to the average game score.

2005 2006 2007 2008 Total
PC 69,3 66,8 67,7 67,6 67,8
PS3 71,4 71,9 69,8 70,7
Wii 63,4 60,1 61,8 61,4
Xbox 360 74,8 69,6 67,2 66,3 67,7
Total 69,9 67,5 66,7 66,1 67,1

The scores above are found through calculating the average of all the game scores for all the games on the individual platforms. This includes both platform exclusives and cross platform games. The average game score does not count much for most people. Few have time to play all the around 200 games a year per platform anyway. The most important thing to me is the number of good, great and in particular outstanding games on the platform I have. If the platform has a lot of outstanding games why would I care if it has some crappy ones as well?

Range Platform 2005 2006 2007 2008 Total
Good PC 70 59 51 49 229
PS3 6 30 35 71
Wii 10 21 34 65
Xbox 360 15 22 48 47 132
Good Total 85 97 150 165 497
Great PC 45 48 36 43 172
PS3 7 29 42 78
Wii 2 7 25 34
Xbox 360 9 28 33 41 111
Great Total 54 85 105 151 395
Outstanding PC 6 5 10 4 25
PS3 3 6 9
Wii 1 3 4 8
Xbox 360 3 8 8 19
Outstanding Total 6 9 24 22 61
Total 145 191 279 338 953

As we see in the table above, the PC and the 360 has the highest number of good games (game score 70-79). The number of great games (80-89) is a tie between the 360, PC and the PS3, while the PC and the 360 is perhaps slighly in front of the PS3 for the humber of outstanding games (>89). The Wii is again struggeling behind the others by a significant margin. The PC, 360 and the PS3 provided its users with about 50 great or outstanding games in 2008 and this should be enough for anyone.

Platform Exclusive

Then we are down to the platform exclusive games to really see which has the best games, just for itself. The number of exlusive games for each platform are listed below and we see that the PC has had the highest number of exclusive games all years but 2008. The Wii had in 2008 more than 150 exclusive games. The PS3 on the other hand has had quite few exclusive games so far.

2005 2006 2007 2008 Total
PC 222 202 153 134 711
PS3 12 32 48 92
Wii 21 85 154 260
Xbox 360 22 55 96 98 271
Total 244 290 366 434 1334

We see similar results for the average scores as we did when counting cross platform games as well. The PS3 has the highest average score but we must have in mind that it had less hand half of the exclusive games the other platforms had. The difference between the PS3 and the 360 is however somewhat larger now.

2005 2006 2007 2008 Total
PC 68,7 65,7 66,7 66,6 67
PS3 66,3 71,8 72,5 71,4
Wii 64,3 59,2 60,7 60,5
Xbox 360 73,4 65,2 63,8 62,7 64,4
Total 69,2 65,6 64,6 64,3 65,5

When looking at the number of good, great, and outstanding games one could argue that the PC has the highest variety of platform exclusive games, while the PS3 has the lowest number of good and outstanding games. The lack of truly outstanding exclusives on the PS3 could perhaps explain why it has sold a bit lower than expected (by Sony).

Platform 2005 2006 2007 2008 Total
Good PC 66 48 33 33 180
PS3 1 11 12 24
Wii 8 15 25 48
Xbox 360 10 10 20 18 58
Good Total 76 67 79 88 310
Great PC 39 34 24 24 121
PS3 3 8 16 27
Wii 1 5 16 22
Xbox 360 4 8 11 11 34
Great Total 43 46 48 67 204
Outstanding PC 6 4 7 2 19
PS3 2 2
Wii 1 3 2 6
Xbox 360 3 4 7
Outstanding Total 6 5 13 10 34
Total 125 118 140 165 548

Conclusions

The total number of good, great, and outstanding games for each platform

The total number of good, great, and outstanding games for each platform between 2005 to 2008

The total number of exclusive good, great, and outstanding games on each platform

The total number of exclusive good, great, and outstanding games on each platform between 2005 to 2008

The PS3 has the highest average score for its games. This is however mainly caused by the lack of crappy games for the platform. The Wii on the other hand seems to have plenty of those crappy games. The 360 and the PC have the higheste number of good, great, and outstanding exclusive and cross platform games. Nevertheless, regardless of which platform you have or decide to pick up it will have plenty of good games. It will however be interesting to see how 2009 turns out as the PS3 is really starting to get up to pace with some strong exclusives like Killzone 2, Gran Turismo 5, God of War 3, Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2 and so on.





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