In computer games, a highscore table is a table in which the best players are sorted in descending order according to their maximum number of points ( highscore ) achieved in a game . High scores were already present in the first arcade games and pinball machines .
In games with high scores, players receive game points for successful actions such as defeating opponents, collecting treasures or simply surviving, which are added up until the end of the game. These points form a common criterion for the different game games, according to which the success of the player can be assessed. Usually the player is allowed to enter his identification abbreviation (in the past mostly three letters, nowadays often longer) if his game points are sufficient to appear in the table. Classic highscore lists only offer space for the ten best game games, but there are highscore lists of various lengths. Players may be represented in the table with several games.
Often the players get extra lives or additional balls when playing pinball if they exceed certain point limits. Otherwise the points do not flow into the direct game play. In platforming games, the player often has to collect certain game objects (e.g. coins) in order to get extra lives. This can be seen as a refined variant of the high score extra lives.
High scores increase the replayability of games as they correspond to a kind of indirect multiplayer mode . Older games in particular, including Pac-Man , often do not have an immediate natural end to the game. In other words, the goal of the game is simply to hold out as long as possible. In these games, the player therefore lacks the possibility of being able to check the confirmation of his playing ability by reaching the end goal. Here high score tables offer a simple, variable and local mechanism to grant a clearer goal of the game. In the arcades, high scores challenge the players to keep improving their gaming performance in order to maintain their place in the high score list. As a result, high scores have a competitive character, so that they can be counted among the first forerunners of e-sports .
In today's games, the plot and atmosphere are more and more in the foreground, high scores are usually no longer available. As a more modern variant of high scores, however, the Frag tables can be viewed in the multiplayer mode of first-person shooters . The possibility of setting the best times in most current racing games is also based on the highscore principle. In addition, many browser games have built-in high score functionalities, as the Internet is an excellent medium for this.