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Look, it might be March already, but let us just allow ourselves a moment to think back to the game releases of 2021. There were some good ones, that’s for sure - from the stylish shooter Deathloop (our review here) to GAMINGbible’s personal game of the year, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, it was a great year for games, regardless of any of the happenings in the real world.
But which games publisher did the very best? Honestly, that’s probably a matter of personal opinion. However, if you want to get technical about it, and use numbers and stuff, then Metacritic have released their 12th Annual Game Publisher Rankings, and one company has stood out above all the rest. You’ve already read the headline, so no surprise here - it’s Microsoft.
Forza Horizon 5 was one of Microsoft's strongest 2021 titles, and this guy is arguably one of the very best players - check out this flawless racing below.
The ranking works with a points-based system, calculated using the Metacritic scores of each publisher’s 2021’s releases. Basically, the better their games, the better they’re ranked on the list. Simple stuff. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that Microsoft were catapulted into first place, with an average game score of 87.4, thanks to a number of hugely well-received titles.
So, which games helped seal the deal? For a start, they had three which scored 90 or higher - Forza Horizon 5, Psychonauts 2, and Microsoft Flight Simulator (the Xbox Series X version specifically). Obviously, they also had a whole load of other amazing titles which didn’t quite reach the dizzying heights of a 90+ Metacritic score, including Halo Infinite, with its humble (but still very good, obviously) score of 87.
Metacritic notes that this is the very first time in the 12 years that they’ve been running this ranking that a company has scored an average above 85, so it’s fair to say that their victory was very well deserved. The runner-up was Sony Interactive Entertainment - so, PlayStation then - but honestly, it wasn’t even close, as they had an average score of 81.3. Still impressive, but not nearly enough to take down the leaner, greener competition.
As for the rest of the list, EA has managed to make a massive comeback from the 2020 rankings. Last year, it was revealed that they hadn’t even managed to make the top 20; but this time, they’ve broken into the top 10, sitting comfortably in ninth.
Obviously, it’s way too early to judge who this year’s winner could be, but there’s no doubt that Sony is off to a flying start with the likes of Horizon Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7. We’ll just have to see how the rest of the year goes.
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