Gamespot is one of the most visited video game websites. Being popular doesn't always equate to being the best, however.
The biggest problem becomes apparent once you visit the homepage. The background of the entire page is covered by one big advertisement. Only about half of the page is based on the site's content.
While this usually is not a problem, Gamespot got into some controversy recently regarding a review of Kane & Lynch: Dead Man. Publisher Eidos Interactive, who also had advertisements on the website, was not pleased with the wording of the review. The reviewer was fired soon after and most of the displeased staff left as a result.
It is hard to trust the opinions of the website after what transpired. Gamespot used to be known for its tough grading system on even the most popular of games. After this particular incident, they simply can't be trusted.
Fortunately, Gamespot does just about everything else right, especially if you like looking at the latest screenshots in addition to watching the latest official and user videos. You have to pay for high-definition ones, however, which is pretty stingy considering you can most like find the same high-definition video online for free.
The site also includes blogs, podcasts and video shows. These are great for Gamespot as they try to win back the fans that were hurt by the Kane & Lynch: Dead Man incident.
The biggest competitor to Gamespot is IGN. Like Gamespot, IGN has its fair share of blogs, podcasts, video shows and even subscription only content for the community. However, Gamespot has the leg up by enabling user submitted videos.
Aside from that, IGN has the advantage in just about every other aspect. The biggest one is organization. The design of the website is simply better compared to Gamespot's. The content is way more organized for IGN since you basically know where to go from the onset instead of taking a couple of seconds to find where the content is.
The game database is about even for the two websites. For older games, however, IGN is simply better. Classic games like Chrono Trigger are described in more detail on the IGN website.
The IGN's editorial team is also more reputable now that most of Gamespot's writing position has received a huge turnover. It is a lot easier to trust the opinions from IGN's editors rather than the ones from Gamespot's.
The only drawback for IGN is the advertisement. Pages with nothing but advertisement will pop-up on every other page on the website. Although you can skip then, the advertisement can become an annoyance (even more so than the advertisement layout for Gamespot) when browsing on IGN.
While IGN has a slight edge over it, Gamespot is still a premier video game website. Just take their opinions with a grain of salt, at least for the time being.