While terrible movies can often fend off poor reviews and release to gangbusters box office results, gamers tend to be a far more conscientious bunch where money is concerned, because of course, games generally cost much more than a trip to the cinema.
As such, critical reception to a game is far more important, to the extent that many publishers will dole out financial bonuses to developers if their new game scores over, say, 85 on Metacritic. That magic aggregate number means a lot, to the extent that many gamers won't even touch a game below 80.
Like any year in gaming, 2017 served up its share of surprise hits, shock flops and, perhaps most frustratingly of all, middling disappointments, reflected in these Metacritic scores just about nobody saw coming. Awesome franchises fell from grace, others rose from the embers, and some games just did...OK?
Nobody was surprised that the likes of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey made critics go giddy, nor that something like Troll and I was a critical punching bag, but as we get to thinking how 2018's biggest games will fare with the gaming press, these are big critical shocks that undeniably caught everyone off-guard.
Note: Metacritic scores are taken from the most-reviewed version of the game unless specified...