Every GameSpot 10/10 Review Score
The gaming essentials.
It isn't often that we give 10/10 review scores on GameSpot. Since the site was founded in 1996, only 15 games have earned that rank. But to achieve a 10/10, a game needs to be essential, and it needs to have something so meaningful to offer us that it simply cannot be ignored. Regardless, a 10/10 review score is always determined by the personal opinion of its respective writer and always reflects as such. So without further ado, here is a list of all the games that we've scored with a 10/10! For more details on the review process and what a 10/10 means at GameSpot, check out our in-depth Q&A below. [UPDATE: We've re-published this story today, November 4 2019, to include Disco Elysium.]
What makes a game a 10, and has that definition changed over the years? Does a 10 mean it's "perfect"?
A 10 does not mean a game is perfect, but it does mean that it's a game we believe everyone should play. In my opinion, no game can be considered perfect. That means you may see a game getting a 10 despite having issues. It also means that games without obvious flaws may be scored below 10.
On the rare occasion when we publish a 10 review, that is our way of saying that no matter you preference for genre, developer, setting, or console, you owe it to yourself to find a way to play the game in question.
A review is obviously just one person's opinion, so how do you deal with conflicting thoughts on a game, both for high and low scores? What if someone else on GameSpot thinks a game deserves a much higher (or lower) score?
It's true that every review is an individual's take on a game, and sure enough, the many individuals within GameSpot often have differing opinions on the same game. This is something we accept, and we welcome diversity of opinion at the end of the day.
GameSpot's editorial team peer-reviews each other's work during the review process. This is not to determine whether we all agree on a score, but it allows us to ensure that the text we publish backs up the score that's issued. That means that there are reviews published where I may not agree with the editor's opinion, but I am otherwise confident enough in their argumentation to put my stamp on the review despite my own preferences.
When the time comes that a score fails to align with the text as submitted, we will work together with the author to determine if they were able to effectively convey their thoughts relative to the score, and vice versa. I always encourage our writers to put their words down first and determine the score after the fact.
You talk a lot with publishers, developers, and PR, so how do you make sure that reviews remain unbiased by those relationships?
Yes, talking to people who represent the games we cover is a part of my job, but I always try to limit these conversations and interactions to the discussion of review code availability and embargo coordination. You may occasionally find me joking around with a game developer on social media, but maintaining the sanctity of our reviews process and standards is something I take very seriously.
When the time comes to assign a review, I almost never give an assignment to somebody who has extensive experience previewing the game in question. This is to ensure that our review is based on the final product alone, and not colored by previous impressions or interactions. Everyone on GameSpot is onboard with this policy, and everyone who reviews games for us maintains open communication to ensure that we aren't surprised by any potential conflicts.
What are the plans for GameSpot's reviews in the coming year? Any big changes in store?
I'm constantly thinking about how we can improve GameSpot's reviews. This can be on the ground level, in terms of the quality of the writing we publish, but I also want to adjust our review policies as trends emerge and the industry adapts. That means that we are working on a means to review early access games with a score, to provide more formal insight, in a traditional format, for games that may take years to come out but are already available for purchase.
Most recently, we've enabled scores on reviews in progress--our term for a review that is near final, often used when a game arrives in our hands very close to launch, or when we determine that a game's online modes need to be tested in public, post-launch conditions. In the case where we are simply waiting to confirm something such as online stability, our review will be labelled as a review in progress, but will be assigned a score that is subject to change until further testing.
Other than that, we are simply working as hard as we can to deliver the most informative and well-argued reviews on a daily basis. That will never change.
Do you have more questions about reviews on GameSpot? Leave us a comment below, or use the site's messaging system to contact us directly!
"Disco Elysium is a mad, sprawling detective story where the real case you've got to crack isn't who killed the man strung up on a tree in the middle of town--though that in itself, replete with dozens of unexpected yet intertwined mysteries and wild excursions into the ridiculous, is engrossing enough to sustain the game. Rather, it’s an investigation of ideas, of the way we think, of power and privilege, and of how all of us are shaped, with varying degrees of autonomy, by the society we find ourselves in." Read the full review.
Super Mario Odyssey
"Super Mario Odyssey displays a clear understanding of what makes Mario tick, and is neck and neck for top billing among its esteemed predecessors. It surprises you with not just inventive mechanics, of which there are many, but with expertly tuned level design and moments of charismatic wit. It is comfortable in absurdity and wields this attitude to cut through the limitations of its otherwise straightforward structure and keep you smiling all along the way." Read the full review.
Divinity: Original Sin II
"From lonely farmhouses through pitched battles with gods in far-flung dimensions, Divinity: Original Sin II is one of the most captivating role-playing games ever made. Its immaculately conceived and emotion-wrought fantasy world, topped by brilliant tactical combat, make it one of the finest games of the year thus far, and it has to be regarded as an instant classic in the pantheon of RPG greats." Read the full review
Review date: September 26, 2017 | Brett Todd
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
"No matter how gorgeous its environments are, how clever its enemies are, and how tricky its puzzles get, the fact that Breath of the Wild continues to surprise you with newfound rules and possibilities after dozens of hours is by far its most valuable quality. It's a game that allows you to feel gradually more and more empowered yet simultaneously manages to retain a sense of challenge and mystery--which, together, creates a steady, consistent feeling of gratification throughout the entire experience. Breath of the Wild is a defining moment for The Legend of Zelda series, and the most impressive game Nintendo has ever created." Read the full review
Review date: March 2, 2017 | Peter Brown
"Uncharted 4's gameplay pushes the narrative forward, the narrative feeds off its gameplay, and every detail coalesces to create something bigger. Uncharted 4 bounces between set pieces and personal moments with such grace, with such skill and poise and affection for its characters, that you don't mind when the guns stop firing, and the smoke clears, and Nathan gets a moment to breathe." Read the full review.
Review date: May 5, 2016 | Mike Mahardy
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
"Every fan of Metal Gear has their favorite game in the series. For some, it's the unique gameplay quirks, memorable set pieces, or specific plot points that dictate their adoration for one game over another. When defining the best Metal Gear game, things get trickier, but with The Phantom Pain, that problem is finally resolved. There has never been a game in the series with such depth to its gameplay, or so much volume in content." Read the full review.
Review Date: August 23, 2015 | Peter Brown
"If you are returning to Journey, a higher resolution and a higher frame rate are your ostensible rewards for returning--a return that doesn't cost you anything if you already own the game on the PlayStation 3. But Journey's real rewards aren't so pedestrian. Journey offers you comfort. It gives you companionship in a lovely but forsaken world. It gives you reason to dream even when facing loss." Read the full review.
Review Date: July 23, 2015 | Kevin VanOrd
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
"Where The Witcher 2 sputtered to a halt, The Witcher 3 is always in a crescendo, crafting battle scenarios that constantly one-up the last, until you reach the explosive finale and recover in the glow of the game's quiet denouement. But while the grand clashes are captivating, it is the moments between conflicts, when you drink with the local clans and bask in a trobairitz's song, that are truly inspiring." Read the full review.
Review date: May 12, 2015 | Kevin VanOrd
"Bayonetta 2 is a masterclass in pure, unadulterated action-game design, where its insane eye-popping visuals meld effortlessly with some of the sharpest, most joyful combat to have ever graced a video game. " Read the full review.
Review date: October 13, 2014 | Mark Walton
Super Mario Galaxy 2
"Super Mario Galaxy 2 is simply an outstanding game. It never rests on its laurels for a second, constantly presenting new objectives and mechanics to push you to never before seen places." Read the full review.
Review date: May 21, 2010 | Tom Mc Shea
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
"For anyone who appreciates games that rise above the simple act of pushing a few buttons and pulling a few triggers, Metal Gear Solid 4 is a stimulating ride that you won't soon forget. You'll want to see what happens next, yet when its long campaign draws to a close, you'll wish it would continue. That's not just because it's a well-told tale, but because that tale is woven through a thoroughly impressive game that tops its predecessors." Read the full review.
Review date: June 13, 2008 | Kevin VanOrd
Grand Theft Auto IV
"In case you haven't guessed already, Grand Theft Auto IV is a game that you simply have to play. The single-player game, which you can still play long after you complete the story, is the series' best by far, and the multiplayer features are good enough that you'll likely have no problem finding people to play with for many months to come. The minor flaws that you'll experience are no more difficult to overlook than those in previous GTA games, and they're greatly outnumbered by the features that will impress and surprise you anytime you think you've already seen everything that the game has to offer. " Read the full review.
Review date: April 28, 2008 | Justin Calvert
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
"Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 strikes a perfect balance between new and old and renders the two previous entries in the series almost completely obsolete in the process." Read the full review.
Review date: October 29, 2001 | Jeff Gerstmann
"Fortunately for series fans, Chrono Trigger's dream team doesn't have a monopoly on RPG innovation. As with the first SNES title, everything in Chrono Cross "clicks" in a way most games wish they could imitate. The different parts combine into an instant RPG classic." Read the full review.
Review date: January 6, 2000 | Andrew Vestal
Soul Calibur (Dreamcast)
"Yes, it is a fighting game, a genre with a fairly limited scope, but insofar as fighting games go, Soul Calibur is mind-numbing perfection. Namco has taken the best and made it considerably better. The level at which the company has done so is practically unprecedented. Think state of the art. Absolutely brilliant in all aspects, as far as games of this type go, Soul Calibur is the undisputed king of the hill. It is essential in any gamer's collection." Read the full review.
Review date: August 9, 1999 | James Mielke
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
"In a way, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a textbook example of retro done right. It manages to combine small aspects from all the previous Zelda games, giving you the same Zelda feel but in an entirely new way. Even in its huge, fiercely 3D world, the game retains a truly classic feel. This is a sequel at its finest, expanding on previous themes and bringing plenty of new stuff to the table." Read the full review.
Review Date: November 23, 1998 | Jeff Gerstmann