From time to time, we here at DBLTAP get the chance to share our thoughts on new games and advise our readers on whether a game is worth their time and money.
We looked at a few of our favorite critics for guidance, and here's the grading system we came up with:
A+: A masterpiece. Rewards the hundreds of sunken hours and/or haunts the mind for ages. So good you can't help bringing it up to friends who don't play video games.
A: A great that transcends its genre, that you could comfortably recommend to players who don't typically enjoy this style of game.
A-: An apex of its genre, but with more limited appeal. Alternatively, a unique experience perhaps marred by a few faults of execution.
B+: A thoroughly enjoyable game worth a run through for fans of the genre, or with some fresh approach that could bring in new fans.
B: A polished, competent work that doesn't inspire. Or: an inspiring mess.
B-: Just shy of competent. Hardcore genre fans may find something to enjoy, but most will be left unimpressed.
C+: Not good, but not embarrassingly bad.
C: Not good. You would not play if you were not writing a review.
C-: Embarrassingly bad. Worth warning players against.
D: Offensively bad. Stay away.
F: This place is not a place of honor. No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here. Nothing valued is here.
Now, these grades aren't going to fit every case perfectly. They're also not the full story — that's what the review is for. They're just a (hopefully) useful shorthand. Each individual writer uses these criteria as a starting place and a guide, but the grade is ultimately theirs to assign according to their own evaluation.