ByNicholas Montegriffo, writer at Creators.co
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Nicholas Montegriffo

Metacritic has released 2017's list of the best video games of all time (according to critical reception, at least).

The features the top rated exclusive games for each platform, so you won't see multi-platform releases on here, which has knocked a few titles from the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series out of the running.

Still, this might just be the closest we can get to the definitive list of the best of all time. Check them out and see if you agree with the critics!

1. Nintendo Switch Top Rated Game: 'The Legend Of Zelda Breath of the Wild'

'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild' [Credit: Nintendo]
'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild' [Credit: Nintendo]
  • Developer: Nintendo EPD
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 2017
  • Metacritic Score: 97

Calling an exclusive is a bit cheeky, as it's also available on Nintendo's Wii U console. But there's no denying that the Breath of the Wild has become THE iconic game for the Nintendo Switch (some more unkind observers might note that it's also the only Switch exclusive of any real note. Apart from Snipperclips).

Check out the trailer for Breath of the Wild and see why it's blowing everyone's mind:

The latest in The Legend of Zelda franchise has also proved to be a critical darling, garnering near unanimous praise. But as we'll find out, it's still not quite considered the best Zelda game of all time.

2. PS4 Top Rated Game: 'The Last of Us Remastered'

'The Last of Us Remastered' [Credit: Sony]
'The Last of Us Remastered' [Credit: Sony]
  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Publisher: Sony
  • Year: 2014
  • Metacritic Score: 95

The Last of Us was a top-rated exclusive for Sony's PS3 and Naughty Dog's remastered game stands the test of time as the best PS4 exclusive released to date. Only Grand Theft Auto V, released for multiple platforms, scores higher for the PS4.

3. Xbox One Top Rated Game: 'Forza Horizon 3'

'Forza Horizon 3' [Credit: Microsoft]
'Forza Horizon 3' [Credit: Microsoft]
  • Developer: Playground Games
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios
  • Year: 2016
  • Metacritic Score: 91

The Xbox One has a ton of great games, but most of its top rated titles aren't exclusive to the console. It falls to Forza Horizon 3, the open world racing title set in Australia, to claim the title of best rated Xbox One exclusive.

4. PC Top Rated Game: 'Half-Life 2'

'Half-Life 2' [Credit: Valve]
'Half-Life 2' [Credit: Valve]
  • Developer: Valve Corporation
  • Publisher: Valve Corporation
  • Year: 2004
  • Metacritic Score: 96

Half-Life 2 has held the title of highest-scoring PC game of all time for a whopping 13 years—appropriate for what is widely considered one of the best games of all time. The original Half-Life's score lingers just a fraction of a point behind its sequel, the success of which heralded an unbroken age of dominance for Valve's digital distribution platform Steam.

5. Nintendo 3DS Top Rated Game: 'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D'

'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D' [Credit: Nintendo]
'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D' [Credit: Nintendo]
  • Developer: Grezzo, Nintendo EAD Tokyo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 2011
  • Metacritic Score: 96

1998's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64 is itself considered a classic, but this enhanced 3D version is considered one of the best remasters ever made. Ocarina of Time 3D gives the beloved game a slick visual makeover and adds mirrored versions of the dungeons and a new boss challenge mode. It even keeps the original's bugs for authenticity.

6. PlayStation Vita Top Rated Game: 'Persona 4 Golden'

'Persona 4 Golden' [Credit: Atlus]
'Persona 4 Golden' [Credit: Atlus]
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Year: 2012
  • Metacritic Score: 93

You might have noticed that many of the current top rated games for each platform so far have been remakes. Remasters give the developers behind an already great game a second pass to perfect them, and in many cases the extra effort pays off.

Persona 4 Golden is a reworked version of the PS2 JRPG Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, for the portable PS Vita. The Vita's superior capabilities allowed Atlus to expand the original game in several areas, including additional story developments and a whole new character.

7. Nintendo Wii U Top Rated Game: 'Super Mario 3D World'

'Super Mario 3D World' [Credit: Nintendo]
'Super Mario 3D World' [Credit: Nintendo]
  • Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo, 1-UP Studio
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 2013
  • Metacritic Score: 93

With Breath of the Wild taking the top slot for the Switch, the honor of flying the flag for the Wii U goes to Super Mario 3D World. This sequel to the 2011 3DS release Super Mario 3D Land is considered one of the best Mario games of all time, combining classic platforming with open-world roaming as well as a fantastic co-op mode.

8. PS3 Top Rated Game: 'Uncharted 2: Among Thieves'

'Uncharted 2: Among Thieves' [Credit: Sony]
'Uncharted 2: Among Thieves' [Credit: Sony]
  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Publisher: Sony
  • Year: 2009
  • Metacritic Score: 96

The Uncharted franchise is one of the strongest on the PS3, and the fourth game recently introduced our favorite treasure hunter to Sony's latest console. Although only the second in the series, Uncharted 2 is still considered by critics to be the best thanks to its elaborate set pieces, character design, storytelling, graphics, technical innovation, and gameplay mechanics.

9. Xbox 360 Top Rated Game: 'Gears of War'

'Gears of War' [Credit: Microsoft]
'Gears of War' [Credit: Microsoft]
  • Developer: Epic Games
  • Publisher: Microsoft
  • Year: 2006
  • Metacritic Score: 94

Epic Games launched the Gears of War franchise in 2006 with this highly memorable Xbox 360 exclusive. Gears of War enjoyed huge commercial and critical success, becoming a killer app for Xbox. The gears keep turning to this day, with Microsoft cranking out four major sequels.

10. Wii Top Rated Game: 'Super Mario Galaxy'

'Super Mario Galaxy' [Credit: Nintendo]
'Super Mario Galaxy' [Credit: Nintendo]
  • Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 2007
  • Metacritic Score: 97

Super Mario Galaxy isn't just the top rated game on the Wii, it's actually the highest-scoring Mario game of all time, narrowly beating its own sequel in aggregate ratings.

11. PSP Top Rated Game: 'God of War: Chains of Olympus'

'God of War: Chains of Olympus' [Credit: Sony]
'God of War: Chains of Olympus' [Credit: Sony]
  • Developer: Ready at Dawn, Santa Monica Studio
  • Publisher: Sony
  • Year: 2008
  • Metacritic Score: 91

The only game in the God of War series to score above 90, Chains of Olympus is also the only PSP game to do the same. This prequel to the original 2005 game was eventually ported to Sony's PSP follow-up, PS Vita, though not as successfully.

12. Nintendo DS Top Rated Game: 'Mario Kart DS'

'Mario Kart DS' [Credit: Nintendo]
'Mario Kart DS' [Credit: Nintendo]
  • Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 1
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 2005
  • Metacritic Score: 91

The highest-scoring exclusive game on Nintendo's dual-screen handheld is this Mario racer, but it's not quite the highest rated Mario Kart of all time. That honor belongs to 2001's Mario Kart Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance.

13. N-Gage Top Rated Game: 'Snakes'

 'Snakes' [Credit: Nokia]
'Snakes' [Credit: Nokia]
  • Developer: IOMO
  • Publisher: Nokia
  • Year: 2005
  • Metacritic Score: 85

Nokia tried their hand at handheld gaming in the new millennium with their somewhat ill-fated N-Gage, an awkward-looking hybrid between gaming platform and early-generation smartphone. Nokia's handheld device proved to be short-lived, with few memorable game releases. Even Snakes, the N-Gage's best game, was only a slightly more advanced version of the free game that came preloaded on every Nokia phone.

14. Xbox Top Rated Game: 'Halo: Combat Evolved'

'Halo: Combat Evolved' [Credit: Microsoft]
'Halo: Combat Evolved' [Credit: Microsoft]
  • Developer: Bungie
  • Publisher: Microsoft
  • Year: 2001
  • Metacritic Score: 97

Halo made its name as the killer app for the Xbox, and the main reason gamers would choose an Xbox over a Sony or Nintendo device back in the day. No subsequent Xbox release has ever scored higher, but it was this smash hit sci-fi shooter that secured Microsoft's place as a major player in the console wars.

15. PS2 Top Rated Game: 'Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty'

 'Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty' [Credit: Konami]
'Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty' [Credit: Konami]
  • Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Year: 2001
  • Metacritic Score: 96

MGS 2: Sons of Liberty isn't quite highest-scoring game released for the PS2—it's just edged out of the top spot by Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3—but it is definitely the best PS2 exclusive. Combining masterfully crafted gameplay with a deep and compelling story, Kojima's masterpiece stands the test of time. 16 years on, it remains the highest-scoring Metal Gear Solid game to date.

16. GameCube Top Rated Game: 'Metroid Prime'

'Metroid Prime' [Credit: Nintendo]
'Metroid Prime' [Credit: Nintendo]
  • Developer: Retro Studios, Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 2002
  • Metacritic Score: 97

Metroid Prime was Samus' big comeback, arriving eight years after Super Metroid for the SNES. The game originally got bashed for switching from traditional 2D platforming to a 3D first-person perspective. But the haters were soon silenced by Metroid Prime's superb gameplay, and it's now considered not only the best game in the Metroid series, but one of the best games ever made.

17. Game Boy Advance Top Rated Game: 'The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past'

'Metroid Prime' [Credit: Nintendo]
'Metroid Prime' [Credit: Nintendo]
  • Developer: Nintendo, Capcom
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 2002
  • Metacritic Score: 95

The highest rated GBA exclusive is another remake, this time of the 1991 SNES classic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Notably, the GBA edition adds multiplayer for the first time in the Zelda franchise, in the form of Four Swords.

18. Dreamcast Top Rated Game: 'SoulCalibur'

'SoulCalibur'  [Credit: Namco]
'SoulCalibur' [Credit: Namco]
  • Developer: Project Soul
  • Publisher: Namco
  • Year: 1999
  • Metacritic Score: 98

SoulCalibur has the honor of being one of just seven games in history (for any platform) to receive a perfect score from both GameSpot and IGN. An arcade classic that made the jump to Sega's sadly underrated and final game console, this tale of swords and souls would go on to spawn a long-running franchise on multiple platforms.

19. Nintendo 64 Top Rated Game: 'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time'

'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time'  [Credit: Nintendo]
'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time' [Credit: Nintendo]
  • Developer: Nintendo EAD
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 1998
  • Metacritic Score: 99

The fifth game in the Legend of Zelda series, and the first to feature 3D graphics, Ocarina of Time is also the only game to ever achieve a score of 99 on Metacritic, officially making it the highest rated video game of all time. Ocarina of Time seems to resurface on each new Nintendo platform (the 3D remake is currently the highest-scoring release on the 3DS), but it was originally an N64 exclusive.

20. PlayStation Top Rated Game: 'Tekken 3'

'Tekken 3' [Credit: Namco]
'Tekken 3' [Credit: Namco]
  • Developer: Namco
  • Publisher: Namco
  • Year: 1998
  • Metacritic Score: 96

Improved graphics and refined movement and jumping mechanics made Tekken 3 the undisputed king of 3D fighters at the time of its release. Although not quite arcade-perfect, it changed the fighting game scene after years of Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat dominance and is still considered one of the best fighters of all time.

21. Sega Saturn Top Rated Game: 'Panzer Dragoon Saga'

'Panzer Dragoon Saga' [Credit: Namco]
'Panzer Dragoon Saga' [Credit: Namco]
  • Developer: Team Andromeda
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Year: 1998
  • Metacritic Score: 92

The Sega Saturn is generally seen as a disappointing follow-up to the wildly popular Genesis, so it's a shame that this caused some of its genuinely great exclusive games to be overlooked. Fully 3D and voice acted, Panzer Dragoon Saga introduced RPG elements to the rail shooter series and garnered critical praise for its great story and gameplay. It was never re-released and is now a rare collector's item.

22. Game Boy Color Top Rated Game: 'Metal Gear: Ghost Babel'

 'Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel' [Credit: Konami]
'Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel' [Credit: Konami]
  • Developer: Konami
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Year: 2000
  • Metacritic Score: 96

Confusingly, the English language release of this game was simply titled Metal Gear Solid. But Ghost Babel is not a port of the 1998 PlayStation game but a separate story set in an alternate continuity seven years after the events of the original Metal Gear. It did a great job of integrating some gameplay elements form the 3D titles into its top-down view, and achieved a perfect 10/10 score on the video game website IGN.

23. Game Boy Top Rated Game: 'The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening'

'The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening' [Credit: Nintendo]
'The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening' [Credit: Nintendo]
  • Developer: Nintendo EAD
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 1993
  • Metacritic Score: 90

The first portable release in the Zelda series is something of an odd one out. Originally intended to be a port of A Link to the Past, it eventually evolved into its own beast. Link's Awakening doesn't take place in Hyrule, nor include any mention of the Triforce or Princess Zelda at all. Despite this it remains a fantastic game.

24. Sega CD Top Rated Game: 'Lunar: Eternal Blue'

'Lunar: Eternal Blue'  [Credit: Working Designs]
'Lunar: Eternal Blue' [Credit: Working Designs]
  • Developer: Game Arts, Studio Alex
  • Publisher: Working Designs
  • Year: 1995
  • Metacritic Score: 91

The Sega CD was an add-on to the Sega Genesis that had its own library of exclusive games. The highest-scoring of those was this sequel to the 1992 JRPG Lunar: The Silver Star, which attracted critical phrase for its memorable characters and impressive cinematics.

25. Super Nintendo (Super NES) Top Rated Game: 'Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island'

'Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island' [Credit: Nintendo]
'Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island' [Credit: Nintendo]
  • Developer: Game Arts, Studio Alex
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 1995
  • Metacritic Score: 96

The competition is tight for the best rated game on Nintendo's popular 16-bit console but Yoshi's Island narrowly beats Super Metroid and Chrono Trigger to the top spot. This charming platformer was an instant classic and did a lot to raise the profile of Yoshi in the Mario universe.

26. Sega Genesis Top Rated Game: 'Ristar'

'Ristar' [Credit: Sega]
'Ristar' [Credit: Sega]
  • Developer: Sonic Team
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Year: 1995
  • Metacritic Score: 89

Much like its great rival the SNES, the 16-bit Sega Genesis had a ton of great exclusives, including the Shinobi, Sonic the Hedgehog and Streets of Rage franchises. But the surprise winner here is Ristar, a side-scrolling platformer from the developers behind the Sonic series, which came first in rankings to beat their more famous creation.

Ristar's star character was based on some of the original concepts for Sonic, but in his own game the team could play around with new ideas without being beholden to the established Sonic format. This innovative platformer was extremely well-regarded by critics, but did not sell well enough to warrant a sequel.

Hail To The King, Baby

[Credit: Nintendo]
[Credit: Nintendo]

If we can take away an MVP from the list here, then by far and away it's Link, whose Legend of Zelda series consistently wows critics, taking 5 of the top spots and claiming the best rated video game of all time.

Link just about beats Nintendo's mascot Mario, who's got four games on the list. Congratulations to our favorite pointy-eared adventurer! Thanks for all the memories. You've earned it.

Have you played any of these top rated games? Do you think they deserve the top spot? Let us know in the comments!


(Source: Metacritic)

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