In light of the hype that surrounded MGSV's perfect rating I feel inclined to voice my opinion about what I think warrants a "10/10" rating in the world of gaming. Before I get into that though I want to explain that I can't recall in my career as a gaming critic ever having scored a game with a perfect numerical rating. I've just never found such a game, and if I were to be 100% honest I'd say that that game does not exist even with today's gaming technology advances in place. There are too many factors to consider when rating a game based on number values as well as particular in-game features that must be evaluated, and unless all those points are flawless then such a perfect score would be invalid. That's why I tend to avoid numerical ratings altogether.
While I've personally been amazed at what Konami has done with MGSV (and speechless at moments) I still cannot bring myself to saying that the game is perfect. It honestly isn't. Despite my urge to critique the knit picking things related to MGSV's build I will refrain from doing so, because I want to keep this article as generic as possible. This isn't only about MGSV. This article is about giving a game a perfect score, and whether or not the game deserves it. It's also about what a perfect game would have to be like to gain such a rating.
When it comes to the coveted, and often times sought after "Perfect 10" rating the critic in question has to take in account all of the vital aspects that would warrant such a rating, and even some of the less important features that might get overlooked due to a lack of a deeper scrutiny. Graphics, the soundtrack, the story, the gameplay, the need for patches, errors, and glitches among other things must be looked at in full. As a gaming journalist my reviews are personally a little more lenient in that respect, but I will mention what needs to be mentioned when disclosing my verdict, and non-numerical suggestion. As I said before my rating system isn't so precise that I'd place a definitive numerical score based on what I've experienced. I simply tell you if the game is worth buying, playing, or renting.
To score a game a "Perfect 10", if you were a journalist willing to go that route you'd have to account for the fluidity, and flawlessness of gameplay, the graphics applied, and the experience as a whole. In the way of gameplay there would (in my opinion) have to be no need for patches whatsoever. There would have to be an absence of day one patches, and further patches after launch. In such a rating the gameplay could have no glitches, errors, or problems that would hinder the gamer from getting the "Perfect 10" experience that was boasted about. Graphics on the other hand are relative. They could be photo-realistic, or pixelated, and still be considered good. However if certain aspects pertaining to the artistic/visual direction of a game's portrayal of anatomy is off, or not as realistic as the rest of the game elements are depicted this could be offsetting to a "Perfect 10" rating. Everything from the environments to the people, and creatures that reside therein must look like they are just as much a part of that reality as everything else in the game. For example, if you were to go balls to the wall for the photo-realistic look, but include some characters that were less visually perfected than other visual elements in the game then the game in question would fail to be perfect under those standards.
Aside from the aesthetics that are visuals, and the elements that are gameplay oriented a critic would also have to take in account the experience as a whole. This includes the nature, or quality of the playthrough, and whether or not that individual encountered anything that would hint at a less than perfected experience. Often times we as gamers encounter game breaking, and non-game breaking glitches that must be fixed by the developer. As such the game with a perfect 10 rating must be entirely void of such instances. The game in question must also have a flawless presentation in the form of storytelling, character development, and balance depending on the genre the game hails from. Storytelling is very important to games like Metal Gear, and unless that story resonates with every gamer on every level it wouldn't warrant a "Perfect 10" score. The same goes for characters that are the main focal point of the gaming experience at hand. Character development is crucial in some games, but not as much in others. This has to be taken in account on a case by case basis. If the game is as story oriented as MGSV then the character development must be wholly complimentary to the story being told. The characters must feel more real, and less like a simple fixture thrown in for sh*ts & giggles. As far as balance is concerned games like MKX, or any other fighting game must have a balance that keeps things fair, especially in the competitive portion of the game. Too often fighting game developers will create an amazing looking game with lots of amazing backstory related features, but the roster in said game will be so unbalanced that the online portion of the game will eventually be left behind by gamers. It will become a virtual ghost town.
There are a lot of unique genres in the gaming industry that each have different features that are not in other genres. As such taking in account that particular genre's unique elements is also crucial in determining it's end rating. This is of course where things get questionable. More so than with the more well known, and generic series/genres. Unlike some mainstream games like MGSV, or Call of Duty some genres are niche (or not widely accepted among the gaming community), and must be viewed as so. In instances like this the rating will mostly apply to gamers who like said genres. You'll have to seek out a gaming journalist whose focus has included such niche titles, and whom you can trust to disclose all information whether good or bad pertaining to said genre. A perfect niche game is likely harder to find due to it's obscure nature than a mainstream game like MGSV would be. You'll, in effect have a sort of acceptance issue with the critique, and rating due to the fact that niche games are not as popular, or sought after as other mainstream games. Regardless of this fact I still don't think there's a perfect niche game out there either. To score a "Perfect 10" in a niche game all of the previously mentioned game elements must be taken in account in accordance with what that particular genre is known for. The graphics, gameplay, and experience as a whole must be flawless. In saying that though one must realize that it's obscure nature will not make it a "Perfect 10" for everyone since not everyone is into that sort of gaming experience. The catch with most niche games is that their elements (usually being of the RPG kind) outnumber those of other mainstream games, and mostly do not impress everyone. As such things like battle systems, character customization options, extra menu offerings, and many other RPG related things must be accounted for. Thus making niche game perfection all the more rare.
Rewinding to a previously made point there's also one huge predominant factor that plays a role in gaming perfection ratings which in turn negates the "Perfect 10" score itself. This factor is that not everyone is going to like the same gaming experience that you are, on a general level. To them it could easily be a "1/10" while you thought it was the best thing you ever played. While this sort of rating system is less technical than the methods of critiquing that I mentioned before to some people it might still hold true. Not everyone is going to pick apart every little detail in a game, and base their rating (numerical, or not) on the game's entire collective experience. With that being said there's still technically no perfect game out there to this day. Whether you're one to rate games on a technical basis according to technical standards, or one to simply judge it on the fun factor the rating systems of games are a blurred line filled with shades of grey. What might be perfect to some may be much less so to others based on their individual rating scales. At the end of the day, you the gamer must pick sides as to who you trust in the gaming industry. You can brave the supposedly shark infested waters yourself, and believe what you find out on your own (which I highly recommend), or you can choose to believe critics like me who have their own visions as to what gaming perfection is. It is up to you!