I have seen some games being called "AAA". What does it mean?

  • 5
    These days? Usually that you're paying too much.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 13:58

3 Answers 3


It's not a definition set in stone - but it usually refers to a game published by a major publisher, enjoying a large budget (can be millions of dollars) and a large team working on it over a few years. AAA titles typically also have a lot of publicity.

The term does not say anything about the game quality or sales figure.

  • What about SSS?
    – Arkl1te
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 0:12

"AAA" is an adjective to describe quality. AAA can be be used to denote a major project for a developer, such as a Halo or Metal Gear. AAA can also be used to denote high quality, such as Batman: AA or Little Big Planet. AAA is a marketing term, so it is perceived quality rather than actual quality (although it can be both)

For kicks, an analogy:
AAA is to Games, as Blockbuster is to movies

A fair warning though, not all movies that are considered blockbusters are great (cough Transformers cough)

  • 1
    Transformers was awesome
    – Eric
    Commented Aug 18, 2010 at 23:58
  • What about Babylon AD? Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 1:21
  • 4
    @Eric: "Too bad they never made any sequels"
    – Zommuter
    Commented Mar 25, 2011 at 9:25
  • 2
    Both of those movies were terrible and you should feel bad.
    – yannbane
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 21:07

AAA in many industries, gaming included, means the highest level or best in class. Games produced by AAA studios are generally expected to be of the highest quality.

In sports AAA is typically the highest level of amateur play such as AAA baseball, volleyball, etc...

Developers like Blizzard, Bungee, Rock Star Games, etc... would be considered AAA development houses and titles they release would be considered AAA games.

  • If so, sounds like this came from: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bond_credit_rating
    – Wayne
    Commented May 23, 2011 at 19:28
  • Instead of "best in class", I would say in reality since 1990 or so, it has been used to mean something like "high-expense industrial investment in production", and if it refers to quality, maybe add "without having screwed up and been an embarrassment". It's about multi-million-dollar budgets, not the best games. If quality is part of it, it's about having investing tons of money on the effects.
    – Dronz
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 3:52
  • I'd disagree that "Games produced by AAA studios are generally expected to be of the highest quality.". They're expected to have the largest budgets, but as far as I know, the public is well aware that budget only has a causal relationship with graphical detail and the size/scope of the game.
    – Corrodias
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 17:26

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