From Sega Retro

Similarly to Metacritic, Sega Retro attempts to aggregate critical ratings for media, typically awarded by magazines or television shows, to produce an weighted average score between 0 and 100. It is an attempt to quantify the opinions of journalists, and give an indication of the quality of the product.

To achieve this, Sega Retro attempts to convert different review systems into one universal format, which is then used to produce an average. The conversion is designed to reduce bias by attempting to map review systems to a full percentage range, but this is not an exact science and is prone to errors. Below is a description of how scores are calculated.

Also listed are publications and their default review systems. Some publications use different systems depending on context - this is reflected in the calculations, but for technical reasons, not necessarily in the lists below.

Single numeric scales







Percentages (0-100)

Publications which use a 0-100 scale are untouched, because Sega Retro also uses a 0-100 scale.


The likely nonsensical 0-1000 scale was (infamously) operated by ACE. Ratings are just divided by 10.








A-F ranking systems

A-F rankings are converted as described in conversion chart below.

Letter Value
A or A+ 100
A- 91
B+ 83
B 75
B- 67
C+ 58
C 50
C- 42
D+ 33
D 25
D- 16
F+ 8
F or F- 0

German academic system

Some German magazines adpoted the same system as Germany's education system, using a 15-point scale from 1-6. Results are divided by 15 and multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.

Input Value
1+ 100
1 93.333333333333
1- 86.666666666667
2+ 80
2 73.333333333333
2- 66.666666666667
3+ 60
3 53.333333333333
3- 46.666666666667
4+ 40
4 33.333333333333
4- 26.666666666667
5+ 20
5 13.333333333333
5- 6.6666666666667
6 0


A reduced version of the above, without the +s and -s.

Input Value
1 100
2 80
3 60
4 40
5 20
6 0

Multiple scores

Some magazines do not give an overall review score, instead splitting it up into sections or having multiple reviewers voice their opinions. In these cases, Sega Retro converts each score as above, and takes a mean average of the combined results.

2 0-10 values

3 0-10 values

4 0-10 values

5 0-10 values

2 percentage values

3 percentage values

4 percentage values

5 percentage values

Pictoral systems

Computer Gamer

For a couple of years, UK magazine Computer Gamer used what it called the "Eecaans Star Guide" to review games:

Rating Name Value Comment
Black Hole Black Hole 0
White Dwarf White Dwarf 20
Bright Star Bright Star 40
Red Giant Red Giant 60
Nova Nova 80
Supernova Supernova 100
Nebula Nova 50 "Although at first nebulae look bright and interesting they are in fact constructed totally from hot gasses. Beware any game carrying this symbol as you will probably find it disappointing".

This rating, presumably meaning "looks nice, plays badly" cannot be easily quantified, so we have chosen to use a value right in the middle of the scale - 50.


Long-running US magazine GamePro used a picture-based review system. Later issues have it described as an alternative to five (later four) sets of 1-5 scores in a specific order; "graphics", "sound", "gameplay" and "fun factor".

Rating systems from magazines use only the final percentage score given by a publication, even if the magazine ranks individual components of a game such as music or graphics.

Aktueller Software Markt

Reception scores for Aktueller Software Markt are calculated by taking the mean score from the five rankings the magazine gives: Grafik, Sound, Spielablauf, Motivation, and Preis/Leistung. This average is then multiplied by 10 to calculate the final score.

Example: After Burner for the Sega Master System receives scores of Grafik 9, Sound 6, Spielablauf 7, Motivation 8, and Preis/Leistung as 8. These numbers are averaged together to give 7.6, then multiplied into 76, the final score.

Ação Games

Ação Games has four 1-4 (Fraco=1, Regular=2, Bom=3, Ótimo=4) ratings: "Gráfico" (Graphics), "Som" (Sound), "Desafio" (Challenge) and "Diversão" (Fun Factor). Calculate the score by deriving the mean average of the numbers (in other words: sum them, then divide by 4) and multiply the result by 25 (not 20, that would be for five ratings).

CD Consoles

French magazine CD Consoles initially used a system of "stars" divided into five sections; "Créativité", "Jouabilité", "Graphismes", "Son" and "Potentiel". Each section could be awarded a maximum of five stars, giving a possible 25 stars in total. The given score (in stars) should be multiplied by four to get the final score.

Later magazines opted for a pseudo-percentage system instead.

Electronic Gaming Monthly

The very first issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly graded games as "near hit", "hit" and "direct hit". Assuming there was an unused "miss" score, these are taken to mean 50, 75 and 100 percent respectively.

Reception scores for subsequent issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly are calculated by taking the average of the three or four (depending on the era) review scores given by each reviewer and determining the mean average. From there, the decimal is carried from a 10 point system to a 100 point system. After April 2008, review scores switched to an A-F ranking system and should be calculated by the previously mentioned chart, and again, the mean average should be derived for the final score.

Example 1: In the July 1991 issue of EGM, 688 Attack Sub receives scores of 5, 6, 6 and 4. The mean average for these numbers is 5.25. This is carried to a 100-point system and made to 53.
Example 2: In the December 2007 issue of EGM, Sega Rally Revo receives scores of 7.5 from Gord, 7.0 from John and 7.0 from Greg S. These three scores give a mean average of 7.1667. This is rounded to 7.2, then carried to a 100-point system of 72, resulting in the final score given by the magazine for that game listed on the page.
Example 3: In the April 2008 issue of EGM, Sega Superstars Tennis receives scores of B- from Andrew P., C+ from Ray, and C from Joe. These scores are translated to 67, 58, and 50, and then averaged to become 58, the score for the magazine listed on that page.


Reception scores for GamePro are calculated by taking the four 0-5 ranked ratings (Graphics, Sound, Control and Fun Factor), deriving the mean average of the numbers, and multiplying that number by 20. Please note that this method of calculation is different than most websites, which base their meta-ranking off the "Fun Factor" score exclusively.

Example: In the May 1994 issue of GamePro, Asterix and the Great Rescue receives a 4.5 for graphics, 3.0 for sound, 3.0 for control, and 4.0 for fun factor. These numbers are averaged to get 3.625. This is then multiplied by 20 to get 72.5, which is rounded up to 73.

Mega Play

Reception scores for Electronic Gaming Monthly are calculated by taking the average of the four review scores given by each reviewer and determining the mean average. From there, the decimal is carried from a 10 point system to a 100 point system.

Example: In the August 1992 issue of Mega Play, Kid Chameleon receives scores of 7, 7, 8 and 8. The mean average of these numbers is 7.5, which is then converted to 75.

Play Time TV

Unlike its written counterpart, Play Time TV appears to have given equal billing to "Grafik", "Sound" and "Fun", awarding a maxium of three stars each. The number of stars should be counted, divided by 9, then multiplied by 100. Under this system only ten different scores are possible - 0, 11, 22, 33, 44, 56, 67, 78, 89 and 100.

Example: In 1994, the show gave the Sega Master System version of Streets of Rage 2 two stars for grafik, two stars for sound, and two stars for fun. 6 divided by 9 is 0.6 recurring - multiplied by 100 this becomes 66.6 recurring, which is rounded up to a score of 67.