Just 14 console games and 18 products overall (including PC and handheld titles) achieved an aggregate 90 rating or higher on the site in 2012.
Those figures represent a drop from the 23 titles that met or exceeded the 90 mark in 2011, it says, and the lowest ever since it started publishing year-end reports in 2009.
It said in its 2012 reviews breakdown: "Not even the late arrival of a great new installment in Ubisoft's Far Cry series could make up for the fact that the past 12 months paled in comparison to recent years, at least at the high end of the scale."
TellTale Games' The Walking Dead was awarded Metacritic's overall Game of the Year based with a review Metascore of 95. It was followed by Persona 4 Golden, which held an average of 94.
The PS3 and 360 versions of Mass Effect 3 followed with an average of 93, and thatgamecompany's Journey rounded off the top five with a score of 92.
In its console comparisons the PlayStation 3 held an average Metascore of 70.3 based on 204 games, with the Xbox 360 following at 69.5 based on 243 games and then the Wii/Wii U at 68.3 with 53 games.
The Walking Dead was also the Xbox 360's best-reviewed game, while Mass Effect 3 was the PS3's, Mass Effect 3: Special Edition was the Wii U's, Xenoblade Chronicles was the Wii's and Dishonored was the PC's.
In the portable space, Colors! 3D and Pokemon Black were the best reviewed Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS titles of the year. Persona 4 Golden and Velocity came on top for the PS Vita and PSP.
The PS3's best performing exclusive is listed as Journey, while Trials Evolution proved to be the Xbox 360's finest, and Xenoblade Chronicles represented both the Wii and Wii U.
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