Which number is the best number?

The longer a series is, the more chances it has to score a hit. In the case of one of the longest-running game series ever, the sixth game stood out amongst the rest. Unfortunately, a series as old as King’s Quest also makes the review scores more questionable. Were games in 1984 reviewed the same way they are now? No, they weren’t reviewed at all.

Above: Hey look, it’s King’s Quest VI

The first game we have scores for is King’s Quest II: Romancing the Throne, but the reviews weren’t written in 1985 when the game was released, they were written within the last ten years. A reviewer today has a completely different contextual point-of-view than they would have had if they were in the ‘80s.

But there’s still hope for our experiment. Even a quick review of the series’ history will reveal that the sixth game is widely considered the best. Our numbers might be skewed by time, but that doesn’t necessarily invalidate the final result, because all we want to know is which game is the best in the series. If we were comparing these review scores to other games’, we might have a problem, but since all of the games are relatively old, their review scores are fairly accurate relative to each other.

Winner: SIX

Silent Hill 2 wins here. The game improved on the first in part due to improved technology (PS2, Xbox). Aside from the jump to a new console generation, Silent Hill 2 generally captured the essence of the series’ psychological tension, bizarre semi-sexual monsters. It also dealt with some of the gameplay and camera flaws of the first games.

Above: Silent Hill 2, the most Silent Hill-ey game in the series?

Silent Hill 2 has an average score of 89. The third and fourth games just couldn’t recapture its creepy charm with enough zest to overtake it, scoring 85 and 76 respectively. Silent Hill 4: The Room, for example, was well-liked, but criticized for lacking puzzles of any complexity or boss fights. It is also probable that the series had begun to turn its own story and gameplay elements into clichés.

Winner: TWO

Call of Duty 4 is clearly the winner here. The game became the new standard for quality in shooters, both in terms of single player and multiplayer.  While its predecessors were good, none of them contributed as much to the genre.

Above: The obvious winner

CoD 4 has an average score of 94, and is rivaled only by the first game in the series, which managed an average of 91. Like CoD 4, the first Call of Duty brought a lot of new ammo to the FPS genre, and was praised for the quality the AI controlled squad mates and the intensity of its single-player campaign.

Winner: FOUR

The Metal Gear series is impressively consistent in quality. The winner in this batch is two, but only by a very small margin. The margin is so small, it is questionable if the game is actually of a higher quality than the others in the series, or if its score is simply an indication of the context in which it was reviewed.

Above: Despite its anticipation, MGS 4 wasn’t able to surpass the critical reception of MGS 2

Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 3, and Metal Gear Solid 4 all have average review scores of 94. Metal Gear Solid 2 leads the pack by only two points at 96. Told you it was close.

Ask a bunch of die-hard fans of the series which game is the best, and the answers you receive will probably be heavily varied. Metal Gear Solid is considered by many to be the best PlayStation game ever made. Some consider MGS 3 a great improvement over MGS 2, often citing protagonist Raiden as 2’s biggest flaw. And surely some will say that the current-gen MGS 4 is the pinnacle of the series.

Clearly it’s nearly impossible to determine which MGS game is truly “the best,” but based on our established system, we have to go by the numbers and call it for two.

Winner: TWO


  • mauiboy808 - March 6, 2010 1:35 a.m.

    4 is is my favorite 1&3 sucks but 2 is my 2 favorite
  • cheezyphil - September 6, 2009 5:46 p.m.

    completely unrealistic comparison - considering the inflation in scores because of the "OMG NEXT GEN". Plus, like said, most games haven't gotten past 4 yet. still a good article though.
  • GamesRadarLizzieCuevas - May 21, 2009 11:33 p.m.

    That must mean there's still hope for Halo 4.
  • stuzimuzipuzi - May 20, 2009 3:32 p.m.

    win :|
  • stuzimuzipuzi - May 20, 2009 3:32 p.m.

    four for the wine
  • Spybreak8 - May 20, 2009 10:05 a.m.

    I just realized this today! Four is also the new trend for number of letters for Titles. FEAR, DiRT, GRID, PURE, FUEL, I'm probably missing a few but there are more.
  • YoshiFtJ - May 19, 2009 7:45 p.m.

    I seem to enjoy the second entry in a series the most. Suikoden 2, Mother 2, Resident Evil 2, Star Ocean 2, Silent Hill 2,...
  • SlinkyDink - May 18, 2009 11:52 p.m.

  • breener96 - May 18, 2009 1:20 p.m.

  • Seabread - May 18, 2009 12:25 p.m.

    just wait til they reach 7th iteration in game engines/releases. 7 will be the best number. eg: it's 77.7% certain that track #7 on any album you pick at random will be a stellar track. not necessarily the best but certainly note-worthy.
  • Picnic1 - May 18, 2009 12:05 p.m.

    I think that there is a good case for the number 2 or 3: Monkey Island 2 is many fan fan’s favourites but I adore part 3 (‘Curse of ‘) for its animation and sound whereas 4 had obscure solutions to puzzles and 3D animation that wasn't quite as pleasing as part 3. Sonic 2 and 3 are both good- I prefer Sonic 2 though. I got the feeling that Devil May Cry 3 was now regarded as regarded as the best by many? Silent Hill 3 is more highly regarded by 4 but I suppose that most people regard part 2 as the best- I’m not sure why- all that fog is annoying. I prefer the Gamecube Resident Evil remake (technically still Resident Evil 1) than RE4.
  • RedOutlive10 - May 17, 2009 11:57 p.m.

    It's good to know metacritic scores do not mean jack. Metal Gear Solid 2 was the worst entry of the series, it couldn't give an inch of the excitement the first was able to provide.
  • mishmoigon - May 17, 2009 9:46 p.m.

    I also like fours the best
  • silvereye - May 17, 2009 7:38 p.m.

    If 4 is so great and many franchises have a 4th entry, does this mean were all screwed when a fifth game comes out or another number like 6 or 7 will become the greatsest number?
  • Demonflare - May 17, 2009 5:37 p.m.

    4 should be the limit of games, really...
  • IceManYEA - May 17, 2009 4:27 p.m.

    Street fighter4 does not suck. You Suck.
  • GrantG - May 17, 2009 3:49 p.m.

    street fighter 4 sucked,, because of ggod damn seth.
  • Tasty_Pasta - May 17, 2009 5:36 a.m.

    Before I even started reading, I figured it would be four.
  • dland - May 17, 2009 1:17 a.m.

    That's interesting. I wonder why the 4th edition to a series is the best in many cases? Does it take 4 games for the developers to get a good grip on what makes the series great? Good article! I enjoyed it.
  • adertysohck - May 16, 2009 11:02 p.m.

    I know this is not a series but you should have mentioned Left 4 Dead.

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