The term Moby is old hacker slang meaning humongous, all-encompassing, or The Big One. We thought MobyGames was an appropriate title for a hacker/gamer-created project that tries to catalog tons of electronic game information. The project is extremely ambitious, so we thought it should have a similarly ambitious name.
It's also easy to remember and rolls off the tongue quite nicely. :-)
Jim Leonard: "The original title, as conceived in early 1997, was going to be The Vault, but no significant development occurred during that time and ClassicGaming.com started using it, so that name was dropped. Later, The Basement was adopted for the then-undecided project's goal of archiving classic games themselves (the reasoning was that 'all great games end up in your basement'--get it?) but of course that was dropped for legal reasons. When the project scope was focused and truly serious, a name that best represented the project was chosen, and MobyGames was born. As for 'rap sheet' for the name of the summary info, I don't know; it just popped into my head. (Yes, I know games != criminals.)"
"Well, that's much more than you wanted to know, isn't it? I'm a verbose person by nature, so now your brain is stuck with that useless bit of trivia for eons to come. Enjoy! ;-)"
A MobyScore is the average of all the ratings a game has. You can use the MobyScore to determine how others feel about the game--whether it's great, good, okay, or just plain terrible. You can get a breakdown of how people rated the game's individual qualities by selecting the Rating Breakdown option on the left side of the page (or by selecting the actual MobyScore itself).
MobyRank is a statistically accurate metric of critical success for a game using a weighted average of normalized rankings from individual critics. In simple terms, MobyRank is the combination of reviews and rankings from professional critics and reviewers from a number of online and other media outlets. The higher the MobyRank, the higher the collective critical opinion is of the game. MobyRank has its own FAQ.
Games are rated and reviewed with full consideration to their time period. We don't think it's fair to compare old games to new ones. Just because Wing Commander (1990) isn't as good in the visual department as other PC spaceship shooters like (like Descent: Freespace) doesn't mean it sucks; it was a great game for its time, and is rated appropriately for the year it came out.
It's not impossible; in fact, several releases of the same game were not uncommon as game development systems/interpreters were ported to different platforms or improved. MobyGames has both a Platform section with release dates and a Version section that tracks the history of a particular game's releases.
Our genre list is viewable when you enter a game, but if you'd just like to see what we have defined, you can follow this link to the complete genre list.