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Metacritic's Top Films, Shows, Games of 2012

By Garth Franklin Monday December 31st 2012 12:06AM
Metacritic's Top Films, Shows, Games of 2012

With all the year's films now out in U.S. theaters, Metacritic.com has revealed what films and TV shows were the best of the year based on the aggregate scores of the top critics.

I've divided the lists into three sections - films, TV shows and major console games - specifically PS3 & 360. Check out the scores below:

Best Films
This list does NOT include old film re-releases such as "Wake in Fright" and "A Man Vanishes". Films also have to have AT LEAST ten reviews to be considered, which is why high scoring works like "Almayer's Folly," "The Gatekeepers" and "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" are not included.

  1. "Zero Dark Thirty" - 95/100
  2. "Amour" - 92/100
  3. "This Is Not a Film" - 90/100
  4. "Barbara" - 88/100
  5. "Elena," "How to Survive a Plague," "The Kid with a Bike" - 87/100
  6. "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Lincoln," "The Master" - 86/100
  7. "Holy Motors," "Looper," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Oslo August 31st," - 84/100
  8. "The Day He Arrives," "The Flat," "Monsieur Lazhar,""Side by Side" - 83/100
  9. "The Deep Blue Sea," "Footnote," "Marley," "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" - 82/100
  10. "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," "Django Unchained," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Skyfall" - 81/100

There's also a tally of the movies most frequently mentioned by individual film critics in their year-end Top Ten lists. On that front the best films this year are:

  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. The Master
  3. Moonrise Kingdom
  4. Lincoln
  5. Holy Motors
  6. Amour
  7. Argo
  8. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  9. Silver Linings Playbook
  10. This Is Not a Film

Not far behind were "Django Unchained," "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia," "Looper," "Life of Pi," "The Deep Blue Sea," "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Avengers," "Skyfall," "Magic Mike," "The Grey," "Cosmopolis" and "The Loneliest Planet."

Best TV Series

The reviews for shows on the site are often for the first few episodes of a season, and so aren't as reliable overall as the film scores.

  1. "Breaking Bad: Season 5" - 99/100
  2. "Homeland: Season 2" - 96/100
  3. "Louie: Season 3" - 94/100
  4. "Sherlock: Season 2" - 91/100
  5. "Frozen Planet: Season 1" - 90/100
  6. "Justified: Season 3" - 89/100
  7. "Game of Thrones: Season 2," "Mad Men: Season 5" - 88/100
  8. "Girls: Season 1," "Southland: Season 4" - 87/100
  9. "The Good Wife: Season 4" - 86/100
  10. "Absolutely Fabulous: Season 6" - 85/100

There's also a tally of the TV shows most frequently mentioned by individual TV critics in their year-end Top Ten lists, which I think is actually a more reliable indicator. On that front the best shows on TV right now are:

  1. Breaking Bad (AMC)
  2. Mad Men (AMC)
  3. Homeland (Showtime)
  4. Louie (FX)
  5. Girls (HBO)
  6. Parks and Recreation (NBC)
  7. Game of Thrones (HBO)
  8. The Walking Dead (AMC)
  9. Parenthood (NBC)
  10. Sherlock (PBS)

Not far behind were "30 Rock," "Justified," "Boardwalk Empire," "The Good Wife," "Downton Abbey," "Nashville," "Luck," "American Horror Story: Asylum," "Happy Endings" and "Community".

Best PS3 & 360 Video Games
Scoring for games on the site is something of a mess as episodic releases, DLC add-on packs and iOS games are often given their own scores. To keep the list reasonable, I'm sticking to full game releases only on both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 - no DLC add-ons, no re-releases (ala "Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition," "Ratchet & Clank Collection"), and no single episodes of larger games.

Playstation 3

  1. "Mass Effect 3" - 95/100
  2. "Journey" - 92/100
  3. "Borderlands 2," "Far Cry 3" - 91/100
  4. "NBA 2K13" - 90/100
  5. "Dishonored," "XCOM: Enemy Unknown" - 89/100
  6. "FIFA Soccer 13," "The Walking Dead" - 88/100
  7. "Mass Effect 1," "Max Payne 3," "MLB 12 The Show" - 87/100
  8. "Assassin's Creed III," "Persona 4 Arena," "Sine Mora, "UFC Undisputed 3" - 86/100
  9. "Darksiders II," "Need for Speed: Most Wanted - A Criterion Game," "NHL 13," "Sound Shapes" - 84/100
  10. "Call of Duty: Black Ops II," "Dyad," "Hitman Absolution," "LEGO Lord of the Rings," "Madden NFL 13," "Sleeping Dogs" - 83/100

XBox 360

  1. "The Walking Dead" - 95/100
  2. "Mass Effect 3" - 93/100
  3. "Far Cry 3," "FIFA Soccer 13," "Mark of the Ninja," "Trials Evolution," "XCOM: Enemy Unknown" - 90/100
  4. "Borderlands 2," "Fez" - 89/100
  5. "Dishonored," "The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings," "NBA 2K13" - 88/100
  6. "Halo 4," "Spelunky" - 87/100
  7. "Dance Central 3," "Max Payne 3" - 86/100
  8. "Forza Horizons," "UFC Undisputed" - 85/100
  9. "Assassin's Creed III," "F1 2012," "Need for Speed: Most Wanted - A Criterion Game" - 84/100
  10. "Call of Duty: Black Ops II," "Darksiders II," "Dust: An Elysian Tail," "NHL 13," "Persona 4 Arena," "Sine Morea," "Street Fighter X Tekken," "Tekken Tag Tournament 2" - 83/100

Speaking of games, IGN cobbled together a superbly animated video announcing their video game of the year for 2012. The animation also shows all their previous year winners since the turn of the millennium, all of which are great games in their own right:

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