The Nintendo franchises that never went below 80 on Metacritic

Nintendo is one of the most influential companies in video game history and remains among the most beloved today. It’s for a variety of reasons, one of the main ones being the number of great franchises they’ve introduced to the world and how they’ve developed some of the best games ever made using those properties.


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But even with Nintendo’s reputation, it’s hard for franchises with lots of entries to have a good reception, regardless of the release. On Metacritic, the majority of Nintendo franchises have had games that fell below 80. However, that hasn’t been the case for a select few.

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7/7 clubhouse games

Nintendo is known for creating great party experiences for people who love to play with others. One franchise that has seen sporadic releases is clubhouse gameswith only two games getting a decent score on Metacritic.

The first release was on the Nintendo DS, which featured 42 different minigames and had a Metacritic score of 83. After a few DSi releases, the proper sequel to the original clubhouse games came to the Nintendo Switch with Clubhouse Games: 51 World Classicswhich has a Metascore of 82.

6/7 wave race

Racing games are also no stranger to Nintendo consoles. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, one of the company’s best racing franchises was wave race. There have been three releases from this franchise, but only two have Metacritic scores. Indeed, the first entry was published in 1992 before the distribution of Metacritic scores.

Wave Race 64 has the higher score of the two entries, currently at 92. It was considered a huge feat for graphical fidelity at the time, and is considered influential for later arcade racing titles. The other entry, Wave Race: Blue Storm for the GameCube, is on the line with a score of 80.

5/7 rhythm heaven

Following the release of its first entry exclusively in Japan, rhythm heaven debuted in the United States in 2009 on the Nintendo DS. This title was well received by critics, which led to two more titles on the Nintendo Wii and 3DS. The craziest part is that all three games got the exact same Metacritic score of 83.

The original title had players holding the Nintendo DS vertically and playing mostly with the stylus. Rhythm Heaven Fever on the Wii would take advantage of the capabilities of the Wii Remote, while Rhythm Heaven Megamix used more traditional controls to put players in silly rhythmic situations.

4/7 Pushmo

People may think that a franchise that was only released digitally might not have been well received, but Intelligent Systems’ Pushmo is a reminder that even games exclusively on the Nintendo eShop can be a lot of fun.

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The first two entries in this puzzle experience were among the highest rated, with Pushmo seated at 90 and its continuation Crash Mo not far behind at 86. Both of these games were exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS. Another 3DS exclusive, Stretchmoonly got an 83, while the only Wii U title in the franchise, Pushmo worldscored an 80.

3/7 Splatoon

Among the most recent franchises to get the love of critical audiences, Splatoon has consistently earned strong Metacritic scores since its original release in 2015. The third-person shooter has also been a huge commercial success for Nintendo, with the latest entry having already sold 3.45 million copies in Japan in just three days. after its launch.

the original Splatoon debuted on the Wii U and received a Metacritic score of 81. Splaton 2 didn’t come out until two years later, a few months after the Nintendo Switch launched, earning a score of 83 on Metacritic. To finish, Splaton 3 was released five years later on Switch and also received an 83.

2/7 Advanced Wars

While the series is a spin-off from a larger franchise, Advanced Wars always proved to be a critical hit. Across four games rated on Metacritic, the average score is 89. The turn-based strategy collection began with Advanced Wars on Game Boy Advance, receiving a 92.

Its sequel was released two years later, titled Advance Wars 2: Rise of the Black Holewhich scored an 89. Following a similar pattern, Advance Wars: Double Strike was the first Nintendo DS entry and scored a 90, while its sequel, Advance Wars: Days of Ruinscored an 86.

1/7 Xenoblade Chronicles

Although it may not be as important in the West, Xenoblade Chronicles has become one of the most beloved JRPG franchises created by Nintendo. The six games, which include four main titles and two expansion titles, have received over 80 on Metacritic since the series launched on the Nintendo Wii in 2010.

the original Xenoblade Chronicles the game scored a 92 on Metacritic, with its Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch getting an 89. The lowest main score goes to Xenoblade Chronicles 2which had an 83, and an expansion title which scored an 80. The last entry, Xenoblade Chronicles 3scored an 89 on Metacritic.

MORE: Games with 90+ on Metacritic that never got sequels

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