this changes all the time. scoring reviews is way too hard, there's no concrete rubric we adhere to, but we're trying to capture the vibes of our scores with this rubric. please tell us how wrong we are at email@example.com
look. we get it. making games is hard. nothing about the process can be described as easy. with that in mind, games will only receive a rough rating if they are willfully offensive, purposefully unfinished or broken, or otherwise breaking rules of decency. if you have a vision and you execute it without harming others, you're at least okay.
ex: for nate - Hatred, Postal games, games where you can dab
this is the baseline game. this does things when you push buttons, it works decently well, and there's something resembling a story inside. there's a glimmer of hope in these games, if they just had enough time, money, or a team, maybe they'd be more. but they're just... okay.
ex: for nate - most games that sneak onto Steam.
good games do a lot right. they light up that fire inside you when you play them but are consistently stopping themselves from reaching higher as well. glitches. bad game design. too easy at times. but almost there. these are the games you remember fondly but are also left on the chopping block when discussing your all time favorite games. but they're yours and that's enough.
ex: for nate - DBZ Kakarot, all sports games, Deadly Premonition (but it's also a 10)
great games are working on all fronts. they're the product of passion and it shows, they're the games that tear down the barrier between player and game. you lose as many hours of time playing these games as were put into developing them. you return to a great game year after year and are constantly surprised by just how much they have to offer. you're probably nitpicking or kowtowing to the general sentiment by not giving it that coveted GOOD GOOD rating but that hesitation alone keeps it from reaching the stars.
ex: for nate - Monkey Island games, Dreams, Persona 5
transcendent games are good good. these games are almost indescribable. the things they do to your heart, the way they mess with your head, the true examples of artistry in game design. you wouldn't change a single piece of the game inside and you spend years chasing after the high this game gives you. transcendent games change you and are the cornerstone of your gaming preferences. all hail the good good games.
ex: for nate - Final Fantasy 8, Marvel's Spiderman, Celeste