Skip to main content

Do you still read reviews before buying a game? GamesRadar readers share their thoughts

Last week, Xbox VP Mike Ybarra landed himself in some hot water after suggesting that watching streamers was the 'modern' way to decide whether you should buy a game like Anthem, conveniently side-stepping the raft of mixed reviews that accompanied Anthem's release, which currently has a rating of 60% on review-aggregation site Metacritic. As questionable as Ybarra's tweet was, it got us thinking... how do GamesRadar's readers decide whether a game is worth buying or not? Who do you consult for advice and information on the latest releases? And are streamers really the future - or indeed, the present - of modern reviews, as Ybarra seems to be suggesting? 

Inspired, we put out a tweet of our own, asking for some insight into your decision making process when it comes to purchasing video games. Suffice to say, you replied en masse, and the responses were as illuminating as they were diverse. We've collated some of the best answers below, so take a look, and thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute.

Yes, reviews are still important

It's pleasing to hear that, for many, the good ol' written game review is still a source of valuable information in the lead up to a new release. There's no reason they can't still exist alongside the likes of YouTube and streaming, either, as many of you point out, and - at the very least - they're a space for everyone to voice their own opinion online, regardless of how much you disagree with the review in question. 

The horse's mouth

They may be inherently positive, but sometimes the best way to learn everything about a new game in one go is by listening to the developers themselves, either through dev diaries, promotional material, or raw gameplay demos. It seems like some of you will also consider the developer's own history in your choices as a customer. For example, if Rockstar is releasing a new game, there's an assumed level of production quality, given the publisher's pedigree.

There's something about streamers...

There's no doubt that streaming is many people's go-to source for video game coverage, and you can see why. Instead of - bear with us - written words describing the experience of playing a video game, why not just watch someone playing it in live time? Isn't that the best way to know whether you yourself will like it?... 

But there's still an element of distrust

So streaming offers a great source of information, but the recent controversy surrounding sponsored Anthem streams and YouTube reviews shows there's still a scepticism surrounding their authority when it comes to swaying public opinion. That's left many to avoid streams altogether, or simply consume them as entertainment, rather than hard and fast determinants of the decision making process. 

Regardless of how you decide which games to buy, why not stay tuned to GamesRadar+ for the latest coverage on all the new games of 2019 and beyond? 

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!