For the record, here at PSXE, we get a lot of really great user reviews. That says a lot about the community and at the same time, it proves that plenty of gamers are fully capable of providing their peers with accurate, informed breakdowns.
But for the most part, in general, I would not recommend taking user reviews as gospel. And I certainly wouldn't recommend taking their word over the word of professional critics. That may sound elitist but in reality, it's just a fact. There is a certain level of knowledge and expertise required, regardless of what gamers want to believe, and I address that to some extent in this forum topic , if you're interested.
Anybody can write a review of anything. Just because I can review games doesn't mean I can review music (at least, not nearly as well). I wouldn't expect anyone with a brain to take my opinion on a new album over the opinion of a Rolling Stone veteran. And sadly, when it comes to this industry, when there appear to be more immature individuals than ever before, it's almost never a good idea to trust random user reviews. Take the user review score at Metacritic for the recently released Call of Duty: Black Ops II : The average score is a 4.0. I mean…come on.
I'm fairly certain the game is better than a 4. The critic average sits at about an 8.5, which seems about right. But when you leave it up to individuals who clearly have only one goal – and that goal has nothing to do with assisting consumers – and that goal is essentially the mindset of a 5-year-old, the results are less than reliable. And that's putting it mildly. Some people out there can write great reviews but you know what? It's quite clearly a very tiny minority, as it is with just about anything else. I'm sure you think you can write a review every bit as good as one Roger Ebert pens, but FYI…you probably can't.