Replace the 5-star Rating System


I think, it’s enough to have 4 stars:

  1. bad - you just didn’t like it
  2. nothing really special
  3. good - the one you could recommend to others
  4. great - one of your favorites

Because when you claim the game as “bad”, it doesn’t really matter, how bad it was - mostly or completely.



For me it just means almost every single game gets the same exact score, bar a few exceptional games. 100s of different games all with the same exact score kind of devalues the scoring for me.

Either way each person will prefer a different method of scoring and organizing their games. I was just wondering if Peter had considered having an option to choose a half star scale, for those who really want to, while leaving the default as it is.



If we wanted to change the rating system what would the change be addressing or trying to do? I like a five star system OK. For me, the only real utility in doing anything with this stuff is to find something or keep track of it. Maybe a star system could be used for ‘discovery’ of content among users but i’m somewhat skeptical of it being that useful. If we had a 10 star system or a 100 star system. What would i be looking at with that expanded tiering?

Here’s how i use the 5 stars and why 5 stars works for how i use it. I have a tendency to give a lot of 3 star ratings to maybe 65-80% of stuff it feels like. Is that bad? Hmm. Most games I feel are mediocre plain and simple! More stars/depth wouldnt do much to change my habit. I’d give it a 5/10 or 50/100. I certainyl can’t look at my collection and filter things and compare games that are 49s and 51s. (if i’m looking for stuff in the 60s range i’m going to be missing things or vote things unfairly anyway)

5 stars are for the best games that i want to stick out. (So that’s basically a ‘favorites’ button for me.) And they dont get it easy from me. I also give 1 stars to games i wont touch with a ten foot pole and want to remember to stay away (And warn others?) Likewise few things really are so bad there is nothing good about it. Fours and two are hard and tend to be loose in my mind becuase generally if i’m thinking it it it’s a 2 star its because there is some weird feeling of ‘i didnt enjoy it myself but thought it was okay’ or something like that. Fours are games i tend to love but have technical issues or something, had higher expectations/overhype, OR they are just mediocre games that hit it right for me/i just tend to like too much :smiley: Reviews work better than stellar debris. I really think the stars could be condesnse down to three stars the way i use it lol. 3 4 5 and an option to make something dissapear (a black hole button?)

Adding ratings to subcats like graphics, gameplay, sound, design, seems more trouble than it’s really worth (i dont see myself doing all that but hey i’d look at someone’s SNES shelf who did and sort it that way!) It would be interesting to look at SNES games that the community gave 5 stars to graphcs in, sound etc. I’d be curious to look at it, but I dont think i’d particpate.

If we really wanted to do something like a subcat star system for the intent of content discovery maybe make some append where every user could ‘vote’ on some quality of a game for ‘best aspect of it’ from various categories. The games that actually have an edge in some respect would say that on the main page. (‘Grouvee thinks Chrono Trigger has strong quality in Graphics’ This doesnt mean it has five star graphics but it means it is a game where grouvee users who vote its best quality is the graphics, are in the majority amongst other categories (basically a poll) It would be interesting to participate in and look at, especially if everyone gets one vote per title) it woudl also be kept semi-simple.

off topic: 120 star rating system would be ideal. with an option to let users get stars themselves for writing reviews or recruiting members to the site. there could also be powerups and combo breakers. come on! shoryuken!



That’s mostly how it goes for me and most games end up with a 3 star rating, but for me it annoys me a little bit having so many games with the same rating. I have gotten somewhat used to the 5 star system given how long I have been on this site and have had to deal with it, and I like it a lot more than initially. Still giving people more options is almost never a bad thing.

And I like the idea, of different ratings for different categories for content discovery. Some categories like: soundtrack, graphics, asthetic, fun-factor, story, etc. would really allow for a great way to discover new games in a category you like. The more I think about it the more it sounds like a brilliant idea. Why hasn’t this been done somewhere before?



I thought I’d chime in and say that I also prefer a simple rating system. I’d probably be content with a three star system myself, but the five star system works as well. I really like the tooltips for the ratings as well, because then I can simply try saying the phrases “I liked it”, “mostly didn’t like it” and so on and see what feels most right.

I am not sure if I can agree with that. From a UI point of view that is definitely not that black and white, it is very easy to boggle down something with too many knobs and dials. On top of that, ask anyone writing a somewhat large application, the additional cost of maintaining a bunch of rarely used features quite often adds more stress to the developer than it adds value to its users, and slows down development in general.

When it comes to ratings I find it harder to use the more options I have. It happens way too often with me that I feel like I have to go through my entire library in these database services because I have rated things inconsistently (i.e. by giving thing X a .5 higher score than Y even though I actually like Y better when I think about it later). With fewer ratings to choose from, I am less likely to have these inconsistencies, and I generally feel better about it all. That’s me though, not saying it’s like that for everyone.

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I have considered that actually. I’d thought about making a “private” rating and a “public” rating for a while. The private rating would have been whatever scale you wanted, and the public would be what our scale now is. I just thought it took away from the simplicity of the site too much.

I actually kind of like this aspect of the 5 star scale. I didn’t want people to think too hard about it. A 6 and a 7 on a 10 point scale are the same thing to me. You might have been in a better mood because of something that happened at work when you played the game you gave a 7 than when you played the game you gave a 6. They probably deserve roughly the same score. That’s how I like to think about it anyway.

I always kind of point at the top 250 list on Grouvee (Top 250 games on Grouvee) as a little bit of validation that the rating system is working. Final Fantasy VI is the top rated Final Fantasy game, and that is the correct answer :slight_smile:. In all seriousness, I think the games that people feel the most strongly about are at the top of that list.

This is an interesting idea. I think it would overcomplicate things on a site like this, but I like the thought. There’s a site out there called that people give two ratings on a movie, critical quality and rewatchability. It’s a cool way to rate movies, but I don’t know how something like that would work on Grouvee.


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I like the 5 stars system. The like/dislike of sites like Steam or, maybe, Netflix, are wonders for them, but at least for me it wouldn’t work. I want to be able to see not only which games I have enjoyed, but also which games I have enjoyed a lot, or the most, etc. At Steam, Netflix, the issue is really about two things, whether you buy the game/product or not, hence the like/dislike charm.



Believe it or not. I AM Himuton, the OP. Going by my new ID, I still have some concern about the 5-star Rating System.

With all due respect, I’m ill with the text description when the mouse pointer hovers over each star rating. Peter has stressed he’d loved it, even the typo for 1-star Rating (Didn’t Like It All) which is missing the word “at”.

Here is Cinemayward’s way of putting Star Ratings: Movie Rating System - cinemayward

Impressed by the minimalistic “one-word” approach, may I ask Peter to consider changing the Star Rating description as follows?

★★★★★ Favorite
★★★★☆ Great
★★★☆☆ Good
★★☆☆☆ Disappointing
★☆☆☆☆ Enraging



It’s an interesting idea. These types of things are difficult because they are highly subjective, and rating a game is highly personal. For example I would have trouble with the two and one star categories if labeled disappointing and enraging. Both seem highly situational. For example most games that I rate one or two stars will fit into the categories of didn’t like it at all and mostly didn’t like it. While there are various reasons I will feel those two ways, the description didn’t like generally applies. Disappointing and Enraging would fit my experience with games I disliked less frequently. For a game to be disappointing I need to have a prior expectation. But plenty of games I’ve played and disliked don’t fit into the category of something I had high hopes for going into. Thus “disappointing” may apply some of the time, but not all of the time. This also applies to Enraging. Few games, even games I thoroughly did not enjoy, were enraging experiences. So it would be hard for me to picture scenarios where I would label a game as such.

None of that is to say that your choice of descriptors is wrong. Rather it’s to point out the fact that selecting language to quickly distill an experience into a single word signifier is a difficult proposition. The reason being that each of us differs so greatly from each other that no one system will work for everyone. My take on the existing star descriptions is that they are just as apt as any other set of words because we lack a single way to describe the meaning of one through five stars. And as the person designing the site, @peter simply needed to pick and stick with one. It becomes a matter of recognizing that, given no one system is perfect, you have to settle knowing full well that some people will agree and others will not. That’s not to say that it is permanently fixed in place. Rather, it’s just a recognition that this choice is one made between a rock and a hard place. There is no easy answer, and no right answer. There is simply just a lot of compromise.

As for the lack of the word at, I suppose I can’t fault you for your feeling on that, lol.



Too add to what @bmo just said, that rating would be also problematic for me at the high end of the spectrum. Many games I would rate 5 stars are not “favourites” by any stretch, but just games that are very good, don’t have any big flaw and enjoyed a lot.

The wording in the site as it stands for me is next to perfect (I would give it 4 starts (?)). It’s very similar to the way psychology questionnaires are made, which is a pretty solid leg to stand on.

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My two cents:

★★☆☆☆ Disappointing
(Bad but playable)

★☆☆☆☆ Enraging
(Bad and unplayable)

  • Work against the player.

Cannot launch
Game breaking glitches
Unfair AI

Prime example: Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X 2 (PC). I want my money back.

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Addiction makes the discrimination between 4-Star and 5-Star.

★★★★★ Favorite
(Great + Addiction)

★★★★☆ Great
(Great, period.)



Fair enough. But I’ll admit that there are plenty of games I’d award one star that I dislike but are perfectly playable. This is the nature of my general problem with rating systems. What constitutes a single star to one person can be very different than to another. Which is why I say no system will fit everyone. What works for one fails for another, and vice versa.

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Yeah, I agree. In fact, I think everybody’s meaning for each of the stars will be different, and may even change with each game. For instance, the “addiction” factor mentioned above. I consider most of the games I have given 5-stars to, not addictive.

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I actually really like the 5-stars-system or any numerical rating system. I don’t care what one games’ rating is. I only care about my ratings, the system give me a neat way to sort it out a bit better and to find stuff easily according to my arbitrary enjoyment level that i arbitrarily put on a game with my arbitrary meaning of the number. It’s okay.



I’m coming back to request having the infamous typo fixed: One-Star DESCR (description) “did not like it all”. To better align it with Two-Star DESCR “mostly didn’t like it”, it should become “didn’t like it at all”.

By the way, I discovered an old thread on the Gamespot forum against the inflated 10-Point Rating Scale but for the 5-Star Rating Scale. Quite a few users have worthwhile ideas about Stars.

Quote Gamespot User “drekula2” on Stars:

★☆☆☆☆ = bad (not recommended at all) - why do we need 4 spots on the 10 scale to say the same thing?

★★☆☆☆ = mediocre (recommended in exceptional circumstances)

★★★☆☆ = good (recommended for the fans or on sale)

★★★★☆ = great (recommended)

★★★★★ = excellent (strongly recommended)

On the other hand, my take on Stars:

★☆☆☆☆ = hated it

★★☆☆☆ = disliked it

★★★☆☆ = mixed feelings

★★★★☆ = liked it

★★★★★ = loved it

Nevertheless, I’m still believing in [:+1: Liked / :-1: Disliked Rating] after careful thought. It may worth experimenting on ALONGSIDE ★★★★★, instead of taking it place.

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yes. One thing I dont want with 10 stars is the dillemma of which side of the even-numbered spectrum does it fall upon. mostly good 6 or mostly bad 5. in theory there is more granularity but i find myself being inconsistent enough with a 5 star system (i have rescored things) so i know i wouldnt get any benefit out of it. I just care about it for sorting my shelves using filter->view. :slight_smile:

But… i like the idea of subcats somewhat…

I could vote a game:
5 for graphics
4 for sound
2 for gameplay
1 for story
3 for overall design/other
add it up divide by total cateogires and you get a whopping three. bump up or down any one of those elements by 1 point and you get .2 increments, (which i certainly wouldnt be able to judge manually)

This is how old magazines like nintendo power and gamepro worked (also five star systems) IIRC

could be somewhat nice to see that (especially if we can see how people tend to score titles) but site is fine for my sorting as is.

grouvee secret prototype star system (currently in beta):

1 did not like it all
2 like it one bit
3 bad
4 better than bad
5 almost good
6 good
7 better
8 real good
9 less than perfect
10 perfect

11 (grouvee gold ronly rating)

So far, I only know two games that go to 11. Strafe and Half-Life 3



That last sentence gave me a good laugh.



I come from a site that does not have the 5-star Rating System enabled and for me, this seems much more easier. I would not have an issue having to change but definitely would have an issue changing all the ratings from start to finish yet again.

As a personal suggestion, I could love seeing a “Priority” tab so I can show people in what games I am active and in what games I’m not. (Ex: Priority: Low/Medium/High)

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That’s the FAVORITE shelf on Keep Track of My Game’s website.