In the past we never used a rating system with our reviews because often people look at a rating and never bother to read the context. Some people just have in their minds a 75/100 is "bad" and don't ever take into consideration that the reason the score is a 75 is because it had some graphical tearing and was slightly unoriginal, yet maybe the game is still a blast to play. In an attempt to force people to read context, we left out a rating system entirely.
Another issue with rating systems is there are too many different types. What do people relate to best? 1-5? 1-10? 1-100? Stars? Some other arbitrary item? And if you're using 1-5, do you use half points? Why not just use 1-10 then? But what if you have half points within there? It can be very confusing jumping between reviews that use different systems.
Now, avoiding a rating system all together wasn't the best approach, I can admit that. If a review has lots of ups and downs, it can leave the reader confused as to what the final opinion about the game is. A rating helps with context of the article. So, we added one.
We chose stars. And not half stars (how on earth do you get a half of a star anyways?), we are using whole stars, up to 5 and have good reason for it to. Let me break it down.
1 Star - "Don't Bother"
A game that only gets 1 star, isn't worth any ones time to play. This often means it's broken at it's core and it's also not fun. Bad graphics, bad sound, bad controls, buggy gameplay and tasks that feel like chores are what will net a game one star. Hopefully, we never have to play a game that fits in this category, but I know that won't be the case.
2 Stars - "Not So Good"
A 2-star game is a game that isn't as broken as a 1 star game (it might have some bugs here and there, but for the most part works) but just isn't very good or fun. This is probably a controversial rating because there are more than likely people who will enjoy 2 star games, and lots of the time their great time killers (like in the bathroom, or waiting for an elevator), but that doesn't mean they're actually good games.
3 Stars - "A Good Game"
A 3-star rating is what kept us away from a rating system the most. Often people look at 3 stars (or 6/10, or 60/100) and assume it's a bad game, but really, this is an average good game. A game that doesn't go above and beyond, isn't overly original, but is built well, fun to play and provides a good amount of quality content. There may be a flaw here and there, but this is the average score that is needed to qualify what a 2-star game may be missing and what a 4-star game does to go above and beyond.
4 Stars - "Above Average"
A 4-star game is a game that is definitely worth playing. These games are stable, not hampered by bugs and fun from beginning to end. They stand out above all average games as those that are worth talking about and often warrant multiple play throughs or great replayability. Usually, they fall just short of 5-star greatness by maybe one flaw, or they're targetting such a niche crowd that not everyone can enjoy. But if you see a 4-star rating on a game you're interested in, you know it's worth owning.
5 Stars - "Must Play"
A 5-star game is a game everyone must play. They look great, sound great, play great, are fun, are original and push the standard for what game devs should be doing. On top of that they often have great replayability, good amount of content, good value for money and are games we would buy a second time. Now, this next part is important. They are not "perfect" games. What is a perfect game? Who knows! A 5-star rating is directly reflected on the quality of the game, not what it means to be "perfect".
So, from this point forward, 10 Dollar Gaming will officially be applying this rating system to all reviews. You'll start to see stars pop up in the sidebar and on reviews themselves to help you know how we feel about the games we are playing. It's important to remember what the stars mean though! If you ever forget, just stop back here for a refresher.