Of course not! You should only play games rated 4 and above. But, only when the highest score it can receive is a 5.
Putting all jesting aside for a moment, I venture to assume that many of you will opt to answer the titled question without ever so much as glancing at the article. And, honestly, that's fine. Often in life, the things that mean the most to us we tend to address with a staunch response driven by emotion. I, for one, love that. Let us try, however, to un-package this question through an objective of a lens as one possibly can.
Should you only play games highly-rated; 4 out of a possible 5, 9 out of possible 10, B+ out of possible A, or a 90 out of a possible 100? Well, if we are to maintain a financially and logically healthy approach, then there aren't too many reasons out there as to why you wouldn't. After all, spending money on games with high scores is perhaps the single most rational way to gamble your dollars and maximize your chances of walking away with a nice reward - that being a satisfying gaming experience.
Now, though the Risk vs. Reward dichotomous gap - or the relationship between gambling money for a positive gaming experience - isn't considered all that large by a great deal of gamers, it is time and fun, and not money, that's at risk for the average gamer - two immeasurable elements that rank high in a gamer's life, in fact. Assuming the gamer who wants a positive gaming experience has the funds needed to purchase a game that'll provide it, then it is safe to assume that most people would ultimately let a high score help influence what game they purchase. Understandably, this likelihood invariably decreases in proportion with how much money the gamer has to spend on these experiences. In other words, the more money a gamer has to gamble with, the more chances they'll take on experimenting with different games regardless of their score.
Now, if we are to assume that the average gamer doesn't have much money to spend on games, then it'll make sense as to why they wouldn't gamble on games with lower scores. But, what is the drawback, and more importantly, are they doing themselves a disservice?
The short answer is yes. I am not needed to convince others why games rated 9 and higher are more than likely great gaming experiences. Conversely though, it is imperative that we all continue to convince each other as to why only relying on highly-rated games to help influence what games we spend our money on doesn't serve us in the end, even if we are broke.
What comes to mind are the recent hot button conversations circling Days Gone and Crackdown 3 - two games that didn't receive the high praise both proponents of the games expected they would.
Crackdown 3 was my personal, most anticipated title of this generation once it was announced. You can imagine my disappointment once the review scores were released. Did I stop there? No. Naturally, I did extensive research which included watching countless gameplay videos and Dev interviews to help maybe persuade me to find some silver-lining in what was slowly becoming my own existential gaming crisis. This is coming from a die-hard Playstation fan. But, alas, no silver-lining emerged. What almost made me purchase an entire Xbox One X made me completely write off Microsoft for this console generation. There were many other minor contributions that led to this decision, but Crackdown 3 was the proverbial nail in the coffin. Did I do myself a disservice by relying on the score or even using it to help influence my decision?
Then there's Days Gone. Once you wad through the loud fanboy bickering that naturally exists when a Sony exclusive doesn't receive the high praise its followers have rightfully come to expect, you start to see a gem faintly shining in the darkness. Now, I haven't played Days Gone; my entire experience of it has been solely based on videos I've watched much similar to Crackdown 3. But, guess what, the reason why I didn't run out and purchase what seems to be a very good Playstation exclusive, was again, because of its score. Did I do myself another disservice?
Now, I anticipate many of the responses to this would be along the lines of "stop letting review scores dictate what games you get," which would only tell me those people didn't read this article. Which is fine, I mean, after all, that's not a bad take-away to hold on to.
My hope, is more or less, to ask a question more so than answer one. When money is a factor. When time is a factor. When your gaming experience is a factor. Just how much is wise to gamble in order to keep the risk small and the reward high?
Here's my answer - you should absolutely not only play games rated high. (Obviously right?) My favorite games of all time are more hated than they are loved and probably all rate below a 9. These include Prototype 1, Crackdown 1, MVC2 etc,. At the same time, when I was buying these games, I had much more disposable income to gamble with - and it paid off.
My assumption is that if you are a member on this site, you've already come to master the balance of measuring review scores, using your own knowledge, and most importantly, using your natural instincts to determine what games are right for you. So, this article, better yet, this letter, is more of a plead to those not on this site, but to the average, uninformed gamer - the casual, almost. And to them and to those with a lot to lose, I say to you, it is a safe bet that your money is well spent on a game rated 9 and above. Just know, the game that'll stick with you forever is more than likely rated 9 and below.
This article was meant to be hundreds if not thousands of words longer. As a writer, my fingers tend to lose control of themselves at times. Maybe, one day soon, I'll piece together the complete version of what this article was originally supposed to be. Nevertheless, please share your thoughts below, I would love to read some of y'all insight on this topic.
*side note* IGN rated the Prince of Persia remake with a 9 and i ran out and bought it and it remains to be, til this day, the worst purchase I've ever made on a high-rated game. Do with that what you will.