I rely on user reviews. In combination with Gamespot's official reviews, they offer a more complete picture of the quality of a game. For older games, it's all there is. Gamespot has, by far, the largest database of user reviews of any website. I really wish Gamefaqs had it.
Because on Gamefaqs, you can sort games by average user review and platform. So if I want to find, for example, the best XBOX games by user review, it's a simple search, and you get a list from highest to lowest. You know how I would do that on Gamespot? You have to actually look at every single XBOX game. I'd sort by platform and letter of the alphabet, then go through all the As, all the Bs, etc.
I've been asking Gamespot for years to make their search engine more user-friendly and to allow for user-review sorts. I'm not the only one. Nothing was ever done. I assume it's because forcing people to click on every single game creates more user traffic, and thus more ad revenue, but I really don't know. I had high hopes for the site redesign.
So what does the redesign offer? Infinitely worse conditions. Now, you can filter by platform, then put the games in alphabetical or chronological order, or in Gamespot review order. But still no user review option. Worse, despite there seeming to be an option to jump to games starting with a given letter, it doesn't actually work. When I filter by platform, then try to filter by first letter, it jumps back to all the games in the database. So, for example, if I'm looking through all Playstation games, which are on 183 pages, and end my search after 78 pages, the next time I resume my search, rather than jump to the letter of the alphabet I'm on (which you used to be able to do), I've got to click over to the 78th page all over again. And you can only jump pages two at a time - there's no way to just jump to the 78th page, which is ridiculous.
WORSE OF ALL, and I'm going to keep screaming about this until it's fixed, they've aggregated user reviews for multi-platform games, with no option to see what reviews go with what version. So if I'm looking at a multiplatform XBOX game with a user score of 8.3, I have no idea what it's telling me. Is it really a game that got a user review score of 8.3? Or is it a great XBOX game that got a user review score of 9.1, but had a crappy Gameboy Advance port that got a user review score of 5.2, which brought the whole average down to 8.3? There's no way to know, making the whole user review average completely useless.
The whole thing frustrates the hell out of me. It seems like the redesign utterly ignores improvements that would actually improve the utility of the site in favor of cosmetic improvements that either don't do anything useful or make things worse.